Supersonic Festival adds further artists to its twelfth edition; tickets now on sale‏

March 18, 2015



  Since 2003, dynamic and innovative arts producer Capsule has brought you Supersonic Festival, an internationally-renowned experimental music and arts festival with genre-bending sound and performance at its heart.
  Over the years, Supersonic Festival is privileged to have garnered an incredibly loyal audience and is widely regarded as one of the best experimental arts festivals in the UK, last year selling out in record time.
  Whether you’ve been to every Supersonic that ever was or this year you’ll be dipping your toes into our welcoming waters for the first time, we are sure you’ll love our unmissable line-up, that already includes an opening concert with Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, post punk provocateurs The Pop Group, Liima, a new collaborative quartet formed of Danish indie-pop trio Efterklang and Finland’s finest improvisational percussionist Tatu Rönkkö,  post-everything black metal lone wolves Liturgy and many more, and is bolstered by today’s batch of artist announcements. Without further ado…
  Supersonic are pleased to announce that Gazelle Twin, the creation of producer, composer and artist, Elizabeth Bernholz shall be performing at the festival. From the start, Bernholz has utilised the anonymity provided by costumes, masquerade-like, to assist in her performance. Her unnerving, Cronenberg-inspired craft is, according to Bernholz, ‘like a shedding of skin’, creating an uncompromising and unmissable live set.
   That’s not all – grit’n’synth solo punk Apostille (also of London ear-graters The Lowest Form and label boss of Night School Records) will be pummelling samplepads and synapses for the cathartic good of everyone involved; Ravioli Me Away bring their brightly coloured prickly post-pfunk; maxi-percussionist Danes Selvhenter explore the field between repetitive, drone-like compositions, strong beats and free improvisation. Mysterious organ and saxophone possessing super-duper-group Sex Swing (members of Dethscalator, Part Chimp, Mugstar) and, from Northern Ireland, manic, droning interpreters of local mythology and instrumentation Woven Skull are both crucial components of this year’s Supersonic Festival.  Circuit Des Yeux is another welcome addition, Haley Fohr’s striking, impassioned baritone is the centrepiece and guiding force, gravitating towards singers like Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Etta James and Billy Holiday. Fohr’s songs tap into the stark imagery of pre-war blues, folk and jazz, as well as also being influenced in equal parts by her study of ethnomusicology.


  On Sunday Richard Dawson curates an afternoon of performance, named after his infamous podcast, Delight Is Right. The programme will play host to a number of very rare live UK performances by artists handpicked by Dawson, those whom he holds dear and sites as an influence on his own songwriting. These include Ethiopian free spirit Afework Nigussie, who plays a range of traditional stringed, woodwind and percussive instruments. Many people are familiar with the Ethiopian music of the golden seventies; Nigussie’s music both harks back to this era and innovates the ancient Azmari tradition. An artist for over fifty years Jiří Wehle is a Czech street musician from Prague who specialises in ethnic and Medieval instruments. Also performing is harp liberationist Rhodri Davies and fellow Tyne folk narrator Phil Tyler.
  As it stands, the Supersonic Festival 2015 lineup is this:
Apostille / Afework Nigussie / Cicuit Des Yeux / Eternal Tapestry / Flamingods / Gazelle Twin / Happy Meals / Jiří Wehle / Liima – Efterklang + Tatu Rönkkö / Liturgy / Phil Tyler / Ravioli Me Away / Rhodri Davies / Richard Dawson /  Selventer / Sex Swing / Six Organs of Admittance/ Slow Magic / The Pop Group / Tomaga! / Wildbirds and Peacedrums / Woven Skull
  In addition to this, Capsule reveal the first of the extra curricular goings on across the weekend. In partnership with Many & Varied, Supersonic are delighted to present Bees in a Tin 2015 as part of this year’s festival. Taking place during the daytime on Friday 12th June, Bees in a Tin is a gathering for people who make or are interested in unique interfaces for the world around them, featuring talks and workshops from key makers and thinkers from around the country. If you’re interested in the spaces where the arts, science, technology and games crash into one another, then this is for you.
  Audience participation is a key element of what makes Supersonic so special, and this year we have two projects in particular which embody this approach. Firstly we present a new commission by Circumstance titled A Folded Path – a pedestrian speaker symphony, a soundtrack for a city, carried through the streets by a participating audience, experienced by everyone it passes. Comprising of 30 custom-built, location sensitive portable loudspeakers, each plays a different element of the music. The speakers are highly directional, so the movement of the people within the group changes the acoustic relationship between them, the audience become the orchestra.
  Secondly, taking inspiration from Capsule’s artwork for the Supersonic 2015 edition, we bring the Dirty Electronics Horn & Bells Workshop. Audience members are invited to build a three-dimensional sound-object. The sound object will feature printed circuit board artwork and a DIY piezo flared horn that omits bursts of noise and generative electronic bell-like sounds.  It also comes with a rustic stick beater. Dirty Electronics have become synonymous with DIY electronic sound and a music that is born out of hand-made machines. In Dirty Electronics, process and performance are inseparably bound. The ‘performance’ begins on the workbench devising instruments and is extended onto the stage through playing and exploring these instruments.
  More of the line up, musical and extra curricular still to be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, after reaching the target set by the earlybird kickstarter campaign, we are pleased to announce that general tickets are now on sale.  Find out more via
Birmingham’s Supersonic Festival occupies an exalted position at the vanguard of the festival circuit. And rightly so. Since its inception over ten years ago, it has maintained a staggeringly focused and intelligent curatorial policy, transcending the music and art worlds to present a programme teeming with invention, audience participation and a certain amount of unpredictability. It’s also a bloody good knees up.” 

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