The seventh All Ears festival for improvised music opens sin Oslo this week. Jan 10th through 13th will be days of sounds unheard, both menacing and luminously comforting, (albeit more of the former presumably), in the old warehouse “Fabrikken” on the riverbank of Oslo’s mighty brook Akerselva, where the festival will unfold.
Though still a small festival, All Ears has become the prime event for a genre and a group of artists of which Norway is a leading exponent, viz. noise improvisation, or more precisely, in the words of the All Ears manifesto: “electroacoustic free-jazz-noise”. All Ears is a festival for musicians affiliated with this rather narrow delimitation, and it is conceived and organized by some of the leading Norwegian exponents, the board including Maja Ratkje, Lasse Marhaug, Paal Nilssen-Love and Kjetil Møster.
Thus All Ears is a peer-to-peer kind of event –a festival built around the mentioned individuals hosting a get-together of some of the most influential international names of “improvised noise”. Over the seven years of its existence, All Ears has been the place for some of the most memorable concerts of this genre, to use this somewhat nonsensical term, and also of very fruitful workshops. In general it functions as a conduit for the flow of ideas between the milieu in Norway and Oslo, which is already rich and growing, and the international establishment, which readily acknowledges the hot-spot status of the festival.
The stated goal is to present improvised music in all its forms, and beyond, opening up for other mediums such as video and dance. This underscores how music, when it is improvised and unbound by category and convention, readily and necessarily spills over into other forms of expression. All Ears is about flux, one could say; the continuum of art when it is let loose.
This idea is of course central to our times, and judging by the number of young musicians who, despite being trained on specific instruments relating to determined genres, choose to opt for a completely free standing in the musical landscape, it is perhaps a necessary kind of development. Artistic individuality as well as innovative collaboration blooms under circumstances where the parameters are in flux and expressions interweave and dissolve. And, as a matter of course, the only way to experience this for the audience is by adapting a mode of “All Ears.”
The program includes some of the most exciting new names on the Norwegian scene, performances by the leading figures that make up the All Ears organization, as well as some of the most influential international names of the noise genre. The list is as follows:
Thursday, January 10th, Fabrikken (20.00)
# Art Directors
# Ab Baars/Ig Henneman
# Lars Myrvoll, Ole Henrik Moe
# John Wiese
Friday, January 11th, Fabrikken (20.00)
# Magnus Broo, Fredrik Ljungkvist
# Zanussi, Hana, Fjordheim trio
# 16 Bitch Pile Up
Saturday, January 12th, Fabrikken (20.00)
# John Wiese/Shannon Walter
# Minn Minn Lights
# Phil Minton, Roger Turner duo
# Sarah Bernat, Sarah Cathers, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Lars Myrvoll
Sunday, January 13th, Deichmannske (15.00)
# Topias Tiheäsalo
# Christian Wallumrød
MIR, Grünerløkka lufthavn (19.00)