Saturday, 13 April 2013

Which one will you pick?

So - I am in a foul mood. My belated enthusiasm for football has me on an emotional roller-coaster, and the comprehensive defeat by Peterborough of Watford has me in a very bad temper. It makes a nice change from the anger that I feel about my personal failures, I suppose. At least when the Hornets get drubbed, I don't blame myself.

However loud I shout, the team won't hear me in the south of England. Instead, I'll find something else to complain about...

One of the things that has preoccupied me as a critic is the idea of the curator as an artist: manipulate, Arika, Svend Brown with Minimal. Simon Reynolds suggests that this is a very contemporary response to art: in the mood of the internet, it becomes collation rather than creation that is the focus of artistry.

And I have been positive about this development. Taste, determination, the ability to see connections between disparate artists: the curator does need a skill set that could probably be taught in an art school. But let me add another quality, something from the stock of the comedian: timing. It would be wonderful if the audience weren't forced to pick between events.

For fans of music outside of the mainstream, here's the choice for next week: first up we have Outskirts. It might be a little old school - having a band at the top of the bill and all- but it is at Platform, meaning that there's a chance for a swim if anyone turns up early and it features two artists - Xana Marwick and Greig Sinclair - who get into the music/live art cross over action.

Second choice: Freedom is a constant struggle, from Arika, at Tramway. I have quite a bit to say about that, and look out for updates in the coming days...  however, this ought to appeal to anyone who likes chat as much as music: Arika are all about the dialectic.

Third choice is at The City Halls. A special mention must go out to UNESCO, city of music. They have a lovely website that tells you all about the events in Glasgow without mentioning their own weekend of Man and Machine. Being disconsolate that Watford only managed to pull back two goals towards the end of the match, I am just going to cut and paste the press release...

Robots and Space
Fri 19 April, 7:30pm
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Main Auditorium
The amazing M&M robot orchestra from Gent fills the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall auditorium with its magical offering of musicality and machinery. Musicians interact with the machines – part techno magic, part steampunk fantasy – to create a moving and theatrical performance.

Andrea Sartori (from Bologna) makes music characterized by fine grooves, evocative moods, humid reverbs and hypnotic synth patterns. The grand finale is Volkwerk Folleto, again form Bologna: audio visual fantasists with a lyrical edge.

Please note there is nudity at this performance.

Man High and OdeusSat 20 April, 7pm
City Halls, Recital Room/Old Fruitmarket

Man High brings together live and electronic music with spectacular live manipulation of visuals to pay tribute to a pioneer of the space age, Joe Kittinger. In 1960, Kittinger set the record for the longest skydive, from a height greater than 31 kilometres. He recently hit the headlines again for helping Felix Baumgartner break this skydiving record.

A club night of outstanding sound and vision from across Europe and a rare gathering of digital artists, innovators, visionaries and mavericks. Odeus, a digital ‘orchestra’ from Seville fill the Recital Room with ravishing cinematic soundscapes using the latest technology.

Part of Man and Machines: UNESCO Music Days in Glasgow.

I take one weekend off and miss three things that would have excited, intrigued and fascinated me. I guess there are three workshops on being a curator. The "what" you put on is sorted, and the "where" (all the venues are worth a visit on their own, let alone when packed with happenings). It's just the "when" that needs some work - a date without competing events is a good idea: all three of these events will be of interest to similar audiences...

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