One of the themes that seemed to pop up when putting together the festival is the idea of identity and its counterpersonae authenticity. The ‘I’ as a multilayered complex of conscious and subconscious forces instead of a fixed, unchanging being. In art and music especially there are many shape shifters and / or Tricksters. As well Spencer Clark, Mike Cooper or Giancarlo Toniutti could be seen as Tricksters. They create music that raise smoke curtains. They like to obscure reality, and to project shades of other and possible worlds into your ears. They are presenting themselves as continuous shape-shifting beings, not because they like to dress up, but because they believe in the shamanistic power of the artist. The artist as the enhancer of the trance.
Cases in point; Mike Cooper is obsessed by Island cultures and makes records that could be read as logbooks of his inward and worldwide travels. Spencer Clark presents on his latest record ‘the World of Shells’ a creature that travels over space, time, earth and oceans. Toniutti once made a post-structuralist composition to create possible ethnic cultures.
Bear Bones Lay Low could be a Venezuelan superstar, but reality let him divert from his path to arrive Brussels where he became one of the thriving forces of an obscured diy underground scene.
The same scene where YZ found his freedom to blend sufi music with electronic dance. Dennis Johnson left the path of being the composer. In the 60ties he shifted from writing notes to writing mathematical formules. History forgot him, until his composition November travelled through an old cassette to the ears of Kyle Gann who reconstructed the piece. Minimalist music suddenly had a new grandfather and a Brussels pianist will perform it for at least 4 hours.
Also E2-E4 is a record about which its creator, Manuel Göttsching, never could have foreseen its place in history. He might have conceived it as a game, or at least as a musical equivalent of a game. A strange side effect: techno was suddenly born. Or when you think about Sakala, who once was a boy and who is new known as the first immigrant in Ghent. He transformed into a statue which can be called racist in some points and that is a silent witness of Belgium’s dark past. In 2016, Simon Halsberghe used the statue to raise questions about the collective memory in a poetic movie.
All these storylines will cross each other at this festival, it’s main point being: music is a way to travel faster, not only over continents and cultures, but also through possible histories and musics.