5. Vector of mad change
I couldn’t say the same about Saturday. After an uplifting rendition of the Stranger Things
soundtrack on analogue synthesizers at ICE and some logistic delay on my side, the box office tickets for the party at Hotel Forum were sold out. We waited to find out whether the tickets would be supplemented or not, and after some two hours of rainy, wintry wait the answer was no. Of course not everyone was THAT desperate to get in, and suddenly the queue diminished, but that did not make a difference. I met some people just as passionate though – two of them were the organizers of another AV festival in Krakow, Ars Techne. I’m not going to tell how we got in, but one of my failed attempts was climbing up the big fence in the smokers’ area to brainstorm with the smokers about ways to get in contact with my friend Andra, who had no phone on her. The smokers were really nice and encouraged me to jump, which I would never advise anyone to do while wearing a precious, borrowed kimono. Moreover, that big guy in the funny coat was not actually wearing Vetements, but was a real Security guy which started a polemic with my new found friends. I hid myself and my glitter kimono and will remember this as one of those things people do for science. Once in, I spent most of the night around the Staycore stage. It was chaotic, fun, demented and it brought back the comfort I associate to my home and my Soundcloud dashboard.
I was looking forward to one more thing on Sunday, which was the Body Sculptures performance, expecting butchering contemporary classical to meet severe industrial noise in a decorum of white lilies at the at the Philarmonic of Krakow.Body Sculptures would normally rely a lot on the performance dimension, so it was already a context that was challenging them out of their comfort zone. Besides, Puce Mary was missing for the formula which was predicting even more a different approach. However, the present members concentrated into an aseptic, highly controlled nucleus which aimed at stretching nervous impulses and timing in the most tense and refined dialogue of melancholic ambient, cavernous soundscapes and slowly, torturous unfolding strings. It sounded like the very moment before an irreversible nervous breakdown, stretch to its maximum duration.
During a one week festival of sleeplessness and intensive socializing I bet we all could find a cathartic bit in that, as much immediate as metaphorical. But what is really key is that Unsound commissioned Body Sculptures to collaborate with Ilan Volkov on this piece, to conduct Krakow’s Royal Orchestra Sinfonietta Cracovia. The fusion was really intuitive and I was expecting this, given Volkov’s connection to the classical music world, as a world renown conductor, as much as his deep ties with the free jazz, improv scene, drone metal - having brought Gravetemple in Israel in 2006 - and spectralism as Hyperion Ensemble collabortor. But the fact Unsound accelerates such synapses within the current world of avant-garde makes it an informed and unrelenting vector of mad change.
*photos by Andra Chitimus
Read also: Unsound 2016 part 1: Tajik folk, almond-flavored vodka and Iranian techno