In the visual and literary spheres, the concept of noise functioned as a capacious metaphor, making it possible to describe, for example, the pace of metropolitan life or the split in human subjectivity, but in music it was a factor that brought about changes of truly fundamental importance, as it made it possible to significantly expand the range of means of expression and the repository of forms, while also conceptually reworking the basic concepts of musical discourse. It was an important point of reference for Edgard Verèse, John Cage and Zbigniew Karkowski alike.
Today, noise is still a phenomenon. It appears in new incarnations, easily adapting to the realities of World 3.0. So it is not just about the ecology of sound, but about the whole area of phenomena related to the transmission of information, cyberspace, media, art. During this year’s edition of the Sanatorium of Sound, we want to return to the moment of the birth of noise, which manifested itself in the fiery proclamations of the Italian Futurists. In doing so, we will try to revise the history of the avant-garde, finding in it both inspiration and pointing to postulates which, from today’s perspective, seem reactionary or even politically threatening. We are looking for an answer to the question of what the new futurism would be and where to look for its roots, ideological and artistic sources.
A special event of the festival will be the opening concert at Kino Zdrowie, during which we will hear performances of new compositions commissioned especially for The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners – a sixteen-person ensemble led by the Italian composer Luciano Chessa, playing replicas of experimental instruments designed by Luigi Russolo (the so-called intonarumori). In collaboration with the Performa biennial, the Intonarumori Orchestra (16 instruments) is brought from New York for the occasion. The concert will take place on the 110th anniversary of the announcement of the Art of Noise manifesto, and festival composer’s commissions realized by John Hegre, Mariam Gviniashvili, Aleksandra Słyż, and Gerard Lebik will be performed by the orchestra composed of Klaus Holm, John Hegre, Jon Wesseltoft, Mike McCormick, Guoste Tamulynaite, Magdaléna Manderlová, Mariam Gviniashvili, Martyna Kosecka, Teoniki Rożynek, Aleksandra Słyż, Martyna Poznańska, Piotr Peszat, Jacek Sotomski, Zosia Hołubowska, Gerard Lebik, Marek Chołoniewski and conducted by Luciano Chessa.The artists involved in The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners project will also present their solo works on the ambisonic, multichannel soundsystem of Biuro Dźwięku Katowice. Justyna Stasiowska and Szymon Szewczyk join the BDK.
Australian composer and guitarist Oren Ambarchi, Robert Piotrowicz, who explores the world of modular music, Italian Valerio Tricolli, who uses reel-to-reel tape recorders, and Canadian sound artist crys cole, who works with composition, improvised performance and sound installation, will also present their noise-based musical visions. Magdalena Manderlova, Paweł Kulczyński and Sokołowsko-based artist Edka Jarząb will show an individual perspective on sound installations.
Austrian member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin Peter Ablinger, considered on of the most influential composers of contemporary music of the 20th century, will present: THE REAL AS IMAGINARY (2012), Beehive – sound sculpture, 2021, General Strike of Art, C-A-G-E or Music Mirror, and WEISS / WEISSLICH 25b/25c.
The programme will include the premiere collaboration of Lacking sound Fest and Electropixel Festival – SUBTROPICAL OSCILLATION II / ELECTROPIXEL ULTIMATE SOUND WAVES. French artists Jenny Pickett and Julien Ottavi will join forces with representatives of the Taiwanese music scene: Lai Tsung Yun, Huang Ya Nung, Lucia H Chung, YAN Sheng-wen. In addition, their solo audiovisual projects will be on display in the spectacular ruins of the former Dr. Brehmer’s Sanatorium.
The Czech experimental music scene will be represented this year by: Ursula Sereghy, Michal Kindernay and Aestum. In addition, non-standard approaches to club music will be presented by hermeneia, julek ploski, Avtomat and Sara Persico.
There will also be publishing premieres; Valerio Tricoli’s album Silesian Seizures Showtimes – a concert recorded during his performance at the 2018 festival – will be released under the Sokolowsko Music label in cooperation with Bocian Records, as will the duo Keith Rowe and Gerard Lebik’s “Dry Mountain” released on Inexhaustible Editions.
A special series of lectures and discussions with artists and avant-garde researchers, curated by Wroclaw-based literary critic Paweł Szroniak, will be devoted to issues related to Futurism. The program includes talks on the reactionary avant-garde, considerations on the role of AI in art, the history of Intonarumori, and a discussion around Elena Biserna’s book Walking From Scores. Daniel Muzyczuk, Agnieszka Pindera, Joanna Sokołowska, Maciej Ożóg, Canti Spazializzati have confirmed their participation in the panels.
Each year, the festival’s programme develops in multiple layers, including concerts, composer commissions, sound installations, performances, workshops, discussions, artist residencies and curatorial practices related to sound ecology, architecture, nature and medicine. Since 2015, the festival has presented around 250 projects by artists from all over the world, many of which were commissioned during artist residencies in Sokołowsko, a spa town located in the Central Sudetes, where in the 19th century, in a building designed by the prominent architect Edwin Oppler, the German physician Dr Hermann Brehmer founded the world’s first lung disease sanatorium. The landscape of the mountains surrounding saSokołowsko, the post-German nineteenth-century architecture or the wonderful air have always been inseparable attributes of activities in the field of sound art and any reflection on sound arts.
The programme of this year’s festival also includes projects initiated by HILO – Norwegian-Polish Platform for New Music Development – a platform created for cooperation between Polish and Norwegian artists, curators, educators and organisers working in the field of new music in the broadest sense.
The HILO project is realised by the In Situ Foundation for Contemporary Art and the International Cultural Laboratory in Sokołowsko. Partners of the project are nyMusikk – Norway’s centre for contemporary music, Sanatorium of Sound Festival, Only Connect Festival, Punkt Festival, University of Agder, Sokołowsko Jazz, Avant Art Festival, ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Ładne Historie Foundation and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.
The HILO project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under Action 2 Improving access to culture and the arts of the Culture Programme within the framework of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
Sanatorium of Sound is a festival focused on experimental music and the broadly understood fields of sound and sonic art. The main objective of the festival is to present the widest possible spectrum of the phenomena related to the development of musical forms in the 20th and 21st centuries, maintaining the balance between the traditions of experimental music of the past few decades and the new, still structureless, emergent tendencies. So far the festival has presented realizations from over 200 artists coming from all over the world. The festival is directed by Gerard Lebik and Zuzanna Fogtt and is held in Sokolowsko-spa village in the mountains on the Czech-Polish border.