MADEIRADiG Festival 2023 — Thursday, 30th November — Tuesday, 5th December
Acclaimed Swedish experimental singer Sofia Jernberg is a composer and performer whose early formative years saw her growing up in Ethiopia, Vietnam and finally settling in Sweden. Her musical endeavours range from jazz to orchestral symphonies and traditional folk. She utilises the human voice for exploration in possibilities, All About Jazz refers to her as no less than a “phenomenon that merits attention.”
Hailed by The Guardian as “extraordinary”, Berlin-based Australian cellist Judith Hamann has a long list of collaborations, spanning multiple countries and various ensembles. Her current solo project Shaking Studies is an auditory journey into the very human physical movement of shaking, having been described as “a swirling and compelling haze of cello” from Live in Limbo.
After first performing solo, Sofia Jernberg and Judith Hamann will present a new collaborative piece in a world premiere. Witness the fusion of these two brilliant voices in composition at MADEIRADiG.
Lisbon-born musician and experimenter Rafael Toral has been known for his blend of ambient and rock in the 1990s but he is more recently focused on a different style of electronic music, inspired heavily by post-jazz. Since 2003, he has been exploring and understanding silence as “space”, a metaphor for social relationships and a statement on information and sensory overload. His long-term project ‘Space Program’ focuses on using experimental electronic instruments and is self-described as “melodic without notes, rhythmic with no beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free”.
Alan Licht, a respected figure from the underground New York music scene since the 1990s, has developed a body of work that moves through noise rock, alternative pop, free jazz, minimalism and electronic. Besides his career as a successful published author and music journalist, Licht has collaborated with artists such as Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Jandek, Loren Mazzacane Connors and many more. “Licht’s guitar playing is both skilled and playful while following a trajectory of modern musical history without embracing one exclusively” – A Closer Listen.
Deep melancholia and harsh walls of noise at ear-bleeding levels are what characterise the creations of French-born and Brooklyn-based sound artist Leila Bordreuil. Her work was described by The New York Times as “steadily scathing music, favouring long and corrosive atonalities”. Using unorthodox amplification methods, she manipulates the PA system to the whims of her cello, giving a unique, intriguing, spatialised sound, concentrating on phantom overtones and pitched utterances, unlike anything you’ve heard before.
Hannan Jones and Shamica Ruddock are a quantum noise improvisational duo. Reflecting on their positionality as subjects of diaspora with divergent colonial histories, they meet in the auditory sphere. Performatively, they are spatiotemporal cartographers speculating through experimental sound, film, electronic and analog music equipment, archives and futurisms, sonic fictions, aural histories and world-building. Artists in their own right, they found commonalities in their practices by way of sonic improvisation. This venture is one of self-acceptance and alternate arrivals.
Their ongoing process is titled ‘Re-Imagining In-Conversation’, a performative exploration of the in-conversation format that extends a multiplicity of identified overlapping and diverging themes through sonic and visual improvisation.
* JDP = John Dos Passos Cultural Center (Ponta do Sol)
* Mudas = Casa das Mudas | Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Madeira (Calheta)
Pulling from new age, dream pop, mediaeval choral music and Hindustani singing, Ana Roxanne tenderly meditates on gender, identity and self-love. Her latest album Because of a Flower has been praised by The Guardian as “a magical pop-ambient mirrorworld” and has been given attention and acclaim from Pitchfork, The Quietus and a slate of other reputable publications. Her new collaborative project with DJ Python, Natural Wonder Beauty Concept, have recently released their debut self-titled EP, characterised by slow-motion grooves and downbeat electronic pop.
Beatrice Dillon is a London-based artist and electronic music producer known for her innovative work including her multi-channel installations, live performances and acclaimed album releases. Her output lands somewhere in the unknown middle of UK bass, house and contemporary. Her latest album Workaround gained attention as The Wire Magazine’s best album of 2020, and Pitchfork acclaimed the record as an “eclectic journey to the vanguard of electronic music”.
Mixing classical and contemporary sounds, accordionist Mario Batkovic, a versatile musician and inventor of his own instruments, defies categorisation with his music spanning classical, ambient, minimalism and metal. His innovative work has earned critical acclaim and has been featured in films, fashion shows and even the popular video game Red Dead Redemption 2, all while captivating audiences through his spectacular solo concerts. Mario will close the festival in the heart of the beautiful village of Ponta do Sol.
After several years working separately, Aires & Canadian Rifles teamed up again for a new collaboration, this time based on research into the extensive sound archive of the cultural and musical association Xarabanda. From this archive, going through various stages of sound collection and treatment, from simple field recordings to small prayers or ancestral rituals, the duo worked on Madeira’s intangible heritage in all its plasticity, at the same time as delving into their own memory, creating parallels and personal projections between the visible and the invisible, the real and the imaginary. The artist Mafalda Melim accompanies the project throughout its visual component, also built between memory and regional imagery.
THURSDAY 30 NOV | 21:30
JOHN DOS PASSOS CULTURAL CENTRE Aires & Canadian Rifles | FREE ENTRY
FRIDAY 01 DEC | 21:30
CASA DAS MUDAS Rafael Toral Hannan Jones & Shamica Ruddock
SATURDAY 02 DEC | 21:30
CASA DAS MUDAS Judith Hamann Sofia Jernberg Judith Hamann & Sofia Jernberg
SUNDAY 03 DEC | 17:00 JOHN DOS PASSOS CULTURAL CENTRE
Screening: WHAT IS WATT? by Hugo Olim (PT)
Documentary, 2023, 76min | Premiere
SUNDAY 03 DEC | 21:30
CASA DAS MUDAS Alan Licht Beatrice Dillon
MONDAY 04 DEC | 21:30
CASA DAS MUDAS Ana Roxanne Leila Bordreuil
TUESDAY 05 DEC | 21:30
JOHN DOS PASSOS CULTURAL CENTRE Mario Batkovic | FREE ENTRY