Berlin Atonal returns this summer for the fifth edition of its modern era, inviting over 100 musicians, sound and visual artists, performers and DJs for its five day stretch between the 16.–20. August. As the first festival tickets go on sale, Berlin Atonal begins to unfold the covers on its 2017 performance programme with an initial announcement of 10 world premiere live shows, as well as a special opening night concert.
ALTAR is the surprising result of the new collaboration between Roly Porter and Paul Jebanasam. Based on a performance of ritual system music, Berlin Atonal 2017 will provide the first look at this new project uniting the creative and technical capacities of two of contemporary music’s most powerful composers. Another premiere show sees Atonal regular and electronic music enfant terrible Powell on stage performing with Turner prize winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans. The two artists have been collaborating on music which will reach ears for the first time in this live A/V show.
Chinese performance artist and composer Pan Daijing will debut her extraordinary new work entitled Fist Piece, a composed live act focusing on voice and the relationship between bodies. Equally ambitious is the new live performance conceived by Swedish duo Roll the Dice. Consisting of Peder Mannerfelt and Malcolm Pardon, this theatrical and unconventional show cements the group as the spearhead of a fractured type of future basement jazz.
OKTOPHONIE is the 8-channel spatial acousmatic piece composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen as part of his monumenta opera cycle LICHT. According to the octophonic system Stockhausen conceptualised the electronic sounds (meant to represent the chaotic soundfield of modern warfare) exist in three dimensional space, with the audience listening inside a "cube of sound". Berlin Atonal recreates Stockhausen's octophonic set-up on its opening night for a presentation of OKTOPHONIE projected by long time Stockhausen collaborator and director of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kathinka Pasveer. Contemporary composers will also be invited to create new works for the bespoke system, with further details to be released in forthcoming announcements.
Another new collaboration sees live-coding mastermind Renick Bell and expert sound-designer Fis link up in search of next-level sonic happenings. Starting with an injection of Fis' gastric, sinuous sound into the cutting-edge expressive and compositional power of Bell's live-coded algorithms, their performance plays on apparent distinctions between their live modalities. Puce Mary is the solo moniker of Copenhagen based noisenik Frederikke Hoffmeier. Since 2013 she has been invigorating industrial and noise music through the exquisite power of her releases on Posh Isolation and, especially, her transfixing live shows. For Berlin Atonal 2017 she has prepared a brand new live performance entitled A Feast Before the Drought.
Inga Mauer, who before now has better been known as the irrepressible and surprising DJ who honed her craft at Stackenschneider in St. Petersburg, has now turned her instinctive taste for industrial, EBM and new wave music into a first live show. Elusive producer Abul Mogard also prepares his first ever live show. With an origin story as enigmatic as the music itself, Mogard’s torturously moving tracks have caught the attention of many of the music industry's biggest names, with a rich and strange beauty rarely found in contemporary electronic music. Sophie Schnell (aka PYUR) joins the lineup with her newest musical venture Oratorio for the Underworld – striking a balance between familiarity and an all-consuming immensity, particularly when heard on a full range sound system. Lemna, the alias of Tokyo-based producer Maiko Okimoto, is a regular at underground clubs in Japan. Since she only performs live and never DJs, her rhythmically experimental techno infused shows have become artforms in themselves. A debut LP for Horo and the premiere live show at Berlin Atonal 2017 will propel Lemna out of the Tanizakian shadows into the international experimental music consciousness.
This is just the initial announcement, with many more names and projects still to be released. Festival Passports are now on sale, with a limited number of Early Bird Passports available for the prepared. As usual Festival Passports allow full entry into the Kraftwerk complex for the duration of the festival (16.08–20.08) including aftershow parties. Individual day tickets will go on sale when the festival schedule is released in June.