Sonica Festival of Sonic and Multimedia Arts; Cryptic, Glasgow, 29 October – 8 November

Sonica festival will be taking over Glasgow for the third time from 29 October – 8 November, run by Cryptic, Glasgow’s internationally renowned art production house. Launched in 2012, Sonica is a showcase of the best in visually exciting sonic art, which brings together leading international artists and emerging talent from across the UK. This year’s festival will present work from more than 30 international artists from across five continents. 120 events, including five world premieres and 13 UK premieres, will all be packed into the 11 day programme.

The opening performance comes from Australian artists Speak Percussion and Sonica favourite Robin Fox, who are both working at the forefront of sonic art. FLUOROPHONE (2015) is a synaesthetic display of light and sound.  Fluorescent lights, strobe lights, LEDs and a naked flame are all combined with percussion to create a kaleidoscopic effect. This UK premiere will be followed by the world premiere of TRANSDUCER (2015). In this electro-acoustic spatialised performance work, the microphone is put centre stage and tested as an expressive musical object.

Glasgow’s beautiful 18th century Govanhill Baths will host three separate installations: Order and After (2015), a large-scale kinetic sculpture, commissioned from Indonesian visual artist and theatre-maker Jompet Kuswidananto and new works by Alex Menzies and Florence To (CØV), and Cryptic Associate Robbie Thomson.

Additionally, as part of the 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, Sonica will be presenting the interactive installation Helmholtz (2014) by Wintour’s Leap. The piece takes tiny LEDs and uses them to visualise sound, and will provide a mesmerising and reactive stage for performances by the Maxwell String Quartet and the Dunedin Consort during Sonica’s first weekendThe UK premiere of Irish composer David Fennessy’s Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) (2012) will be another highlight. The piece, which is inspired by director Werner Herzog’s diaries, is almost entirely created from electric guitar clips and tiny extracts from gramophone recordings made by Caruso between 1903 and 1908.

The festival also includes a number of exciting commissions from Cryptic associates. One such commission comes from Bristol based artist, Kathy Hinde. Hinde explores the connection between nature, machinery, and music, by exploiting the sonic possibilities of shifting water levels in glass vessels. Mark Lyken’s Oscillon Response (2015) interprets Ben F Laposky’s pioneering Oscillon electronic abstractions (1952), while Glasgow School of Art graduate Sisi Lu (also known as North of X) makes his debut with The Age of Digital/Analogue (2015).

The Sonica festival is the highlight in a year-round programme of events dedicated to the sonic arts, which has toured to Brazil, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden and across the UK.

Sonica 2015 will take place 29 October – 8 November at venues around Glasgow.

For the full programme see

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1. Myriam Bleau, Soft Revolvers. Courtesy of Sonica and Severin Smith.