By Sam Pryce
1. Heart of Noise, Austria
This fest of avant-rock and noise music is spread over three days across five venues in the Alpine valley city of Innsbruck. Headlining its line-up is ex-Throbbing Gristle member Genesis P-Orridge’s band Psychic TV, alongside live performances from tape-looping soundscape artist William Basinski to experimental singer-songwriter Jenny Hval, turning her musical scalpel to the subjects of gender politics and sexuality.
Venues around Innsbruck, June 2-4
2. Blurred Edges, Germany
With a programme of artists exploring electronic, improvised and field-recorded music as well as film screenings, exhibitions and workshops, Hamburg’s Blurred Edges festival invites its audience to go on a sonic tour of the city centre. Birgit Ulher explores the possibilities of her humble trumpet with the help of electronics, splitting technologies and multiphonics. Electronic music group Oval present their pioneering work in glitch music. Plus there’s an irresistible slice of John Cage on offer, courtesy of the ensemble Nelly Boyd.
Various venues around Hamburg, June 2-18
3. Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, Australia
A driving force in the New York underground art scene, Tony Conrad was at the forefront of both avant-garde film and experimental drone music in the 1960s, developing his own brand of Just Intonation and Minimalism through his work with Stockhausen and La Monte Young. In this film, director Tyler Hubby uses intimate footage of Conrad and his collaborators shot over the last twenty two years to create a portrait of the artist that mirrors Conrad’s own playful approach to art-making.
ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne, June 3-11
4. Handel’s Water Music, Hungary
The Szechenyi Spa provides the perfect palatial setting for Handel’s Water Music – a first in a bath complex for a work written for King George I to be performed on the River Thames. The concert, which is part of the Festival Academy, founded by Hungarian violinist Barnabas Kelemen, also features Baroque songs and airs, performed by the soprano Anna Reinhold
June 12, Szechenyi Spa, Budapest
5. Don Giovanni, France
In this take on Mozart’s comic opera, the infamous libertine is entrusted to a female part, providing scope for a completely new reading of the relationships between the characters. Meanwhile the instrumentalists, who are set on different levelled platforms, become characters in the opera, experimenting in their own way with Mozart’s original score. Part of Lyon’s annual festival Les Nuits de Fourvière.
Grand theatre, Lyon, June 13-15
6. Avantgarde Is Happening, Germany
A weekend of art and music in an old German farmhouse? Oh yes. There are audiovisual performances from the likes of Rapoon, Asmus Tietchens and other emerging underground artists, a zine workshop from Flennen and the event’s Saturday headliner is none other than the mythical Krautrock band Faust.
Various venues around Schiphorst, June 23-25
7. NeoArctic, Norway
The destruction of humanity by its own world, is the theme of this opera, featuring texts by Iceland’s literary star Sjón, and a score infused with techno, and minimalism redolent of Philip Glass. Composed by Krists Auznieks and directed here by Kirsten Dehlholm, the opera’s suite of twelve ‘songs’ evoke a post-apocalyptic world where climate change has turned the Earth into a hostile planet. Part of the Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad, Norway.
Arctic Arts Festival, Harstad, June 24
8. Murmur, Belgium
This group exhibition in Belgium explores the threshold between sound and silence, presenting works by new and established artists that intend to break that silence. Works on show include Amalia Pica’s communication installation Catachresis, Christopher de Boeck’s resonant sculpture Floating Beam and A Grammar for Listening, a 16mm film from Turner Prize nominee Luke Fowler.
Netwerk Center for Contemporary Art, Aalst, Throughout June
9. The Voice, South Korea
Don’t mistake this for the god-awful BBC talent show. This group exhibition unites artworks, films and performances that focus on the concept of the voice, featuring works from the 1960s up to the present day. Ragnar Kjartansson’s six-hour film Song sees his three nieces, acting as living sculptures, positioned in a grand museum in Pittsburgh singing a gentle folksong inspired by an Allen Ginsberg poem. Jeanine Oleson brings together objects, film and performers to make her continuous experimental opera Hear, Here. And there’s Judith Barry’s two-way experiential video installation Voice Off.
Coreana Museum of Art, Seoul, Throughout June
10. Infinite Lives
Science meets art in Robbie Thomson’s audiovisual work, which combines living bacteria, projection and a live electronic score. Drawing on a diverse range of influences, from neuroscience to psychedelia, Thomson unveils a universe of extra dimensional structures and pulsating visuals.
The Grand Theatre, Groningen, The Netherlands, June 30