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How can a music festival reinvent itself for social distancing? This year on its 10th edition, Festival Semibreve, an electronic music and digital art festival, was forced to think of an alternative edition that could be enjoyed at a distance. Taking the idea of seclusion, they moved the festival to Mosteiro de Tibães, a 17th century monastery, with a program based on sound works specially commissioned for the occasion, roundtables aimed at discussing music and sound art, audiovisual installations, artistic residencies and workshops for families, that took place on the 24th and 25th of October.
To make music performances available to the public, Semibreve challenged us to film four performances, without public, at the impressive Casa do Volfrâmio, located at the Mosteiro de Tibães’ woods. We took on the challenge to film the performances of Gustavo Costa, Klara Lewis, Laurel Halo and Oliver Coates. You can find the four resulting pieces below, who had their premiere at the Festival and online at FACT Mag.
Laurel Halo is an electronic music composer, performing artist and DJ, born in Detroit and based in Berlin. Drawing from a range of music lineages, her considered approach has enabled her to maintain a signature aesthetic across a stylistically diverse output, traversing pop, ambient, leftfield club, experimental electronica and film score.
Born in Porto, Gustavo Costa studied percussion, music technologies, sonology, composition and musical theory. Founding member of Sonoscopia Associação, his work as a musician and composer focuses on underground counterculture, improv music and electro acoustic. He played and recorded extensively across Europe, US, Brazil, Colombia, UAE, Tunisia, Japan, Lebanon, with, among others, John Zorn´s Cobra, Mark Stewart, Fritz Hauser, Alfred Harth, Lukas Ligeti, Jamie Saft, Damo Suzuki and Steve Mackay.
Oliver Coates works as a composer, performer and producer. From touring with Thom Yorke across Europe and the US to creating the soundtrack to Marianna Simnett's short film The Bird Game, Coates has explored drone and drone metal techniques and has developed a new “slime” improvisation method with a viscous and melting approach to live sound, through digital loopers, distortion and chorus. His ongoing work as soundtrack composer involves translucent and hushed layers of strings and melodic hooks embedded in electronic scores.
Klara Lewis is a critically acclaimed sound sculptress who has been presenting her audio-visual shows in clubs and art galleries around the world for the past five years, and has been selected as a highlight of such festivals as Atonal, Mutek, Sonar and Semibreve. Lewis builds her work from heavily manipulated samples and field recordings creating a unique combination of the organic and digital. With her signature sound-recycling technique Lewis collects material from our world and creates something entirely new.
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Music thrives and empowers the thought of togetherness, all the while providing a place to find a connection within oneself or with others. With a history of access to the backstage of music festivals, there have been many occasions when we have filmed unique moments with artists we admire. Music gave Canal180 a room of possibilities.