>>>LINER NOTES BY ARNO RAFFEINER<<<

DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

Sender. Inhalt. Medium. Empfänger. Effekt.

Fünf Stufen hat das Kommunikationsmodell des amerikanischen Sozialwissenschaftlers Harold Dwight Lasswell. Es galt nach seiner Entwicklung Ende der Vierzigerjahre lange als überaus nützlich für eine Theorie der Massenkommunikation und das Verständnis von Propaganda. Und zwar gerade, weil es linear und unidirektional angelegt ist und zwei Elemente von Kommunikation rigoros ausblendet: Noise und Feedback. Die Lasswell-Formel ist vollkommen rauschfrei. Akustische und semantische Verzerrung sind nicht vorgesehen, es gibt keinen Raum für Überblendung und schillernde Mehrbedeutung, eine Rückkopplung vom Empfänger zum Sender findet nicht statt.

Die Lasswell-Formel ist also alles, was dieses Festival nicht ist. Rauschen und Rückkopplung sind die zentralen Prinzipien der A L'ARME! Formel. Noise ist das, was Kommunikation stört oder, neutraler ausgedrückt: beeinflusst. Man könnte auch sagen: bereichert. All das, was zwischen einer, ohnehin nur in klinisch sauberer Theorie existierenden, klaren Sende- und einer unbeeinflussten Empfängerinstanz passiert: die Interferenzen, das Laute, das Lebendige. Feedback ist das, was Rauschen und Bedeutung verstärkt und immer wieder neu antreibt. All das, was weitere Kommunikation und Austausch ermöglicht und so Erkenntnissprozesse in Gang bringt.

Störung aus Prinzip. Lärm als Bereicherung. Klang als Material für Erfahrung und Erkenntnis. So kann man Programm und Anspruch des A L'ARME! Festival auf den Punkt bringen.

Material. Das war der Name des ersten Bandprojekts von Bill Laswell zur Zeit von No Wave und New York Noise. Seither widmet sich der Namensvetter des Kommunikationsprofessors in immer neuen Konstellationen dem Elementaren: den Grundbedingungen von Sound und Rhythmus. Am Eröffnungsabend der sechsten Ausgabe von A L'ARME! trifft das Klangmaterial von Laswells Method Of Defiance in einer besonderen Zusammenarbeit auf die Imaginationskraft von Laurie Anderson. „Es geht nicht um Herrschaftsstrukturen, nicht um Schuld, nicht um das jüngste Gericht, nichts dergleichen. Es geht um Bewusstheit und darum, sich den Dingen gegenüber zu öffnen, sie zu lieben.“ Das erklärte Anderson bei ihrem letzten Berlin-Auftritt in einem Interview mit der Zeitschrift Spex. Sie bezog sich dabei auf den Buddhismus. Doch im Laufe dieses Festivals – besonders an Tag zwei und drei mit Auftritten von Gordoa / Malfon/ Edwards / Narvesen, Large Unit Rio, Léandre / Rolfsson / Harnik und vielen anderen – sollte klar werden: Genau dasselbe kann man über Improvisation sagen, über Jazz und neue Formen des Zusammenspiels – und generell über alle relevanten Formen musikalischer Kommunikation.

Letztlich ist alles Schwingung. So lautet die Karkowski-Formel. Sie ist nur einstufig, aber sie lässt dem Rauschen unendlich viel Raum. Zbigniew Karkowski verstand jegliche Form von Vibration als Antriebskraft des Universums. Ihm war klar: Wenn man unser Dasein in Frequenzen, Wellen, Verhältnissen und Intensitäten beschreibt, wird Unerhörtes möglich. Um seine Erkenntnis weiter zu ergründen und im handfesten Sinne zu begreifen, ist dem polnisch-schwedischen Komponisten knapp fünf Jahre nach seinem Tod ein großer Schwerpunkt zum Ausklang von A L’ARME! Vol. VI gewidmet.

„Wo die Sprache endet, beginnt die Musik“, behauptete Karkowski und griff damit einen Gedanken des Komponisten Jean Sibelius auf. Hat also umgekehrt die Musik da aufgehört, wo dieser Text einsetzte? Ist hier nur Buchstabensalat und Stille statt Lärm und Bedeutung? Finden wir es gemeinsam heraus.

Mit Noise. Feedback. Schwingung.

—Arno Raffeiner (Mai 2018)

Heads up! DOUBLE CONCERT SCENARIO with separate tickets!


>>>FIRST CONCERT<<<

SET 1 Halle: MAJA S. K. RATKJE


MAJA SOLVEIG KJELSTRUP RATKJE (NO)– voice, electronics

SET 2 Halle: LAURIE ANDERSON & BILL LASWELL'S METHOD OF DEFIANCE

*Weltpremiere

LAURIE ANDERSON (US) — vocals, violin
BILL LASWELL (US) — electric bass
DR. ISRAEL (US) — vocals
GRAHAM HAYNES (US) — cornet
DJ LOGIC (US) — turntables
GUY LICATA (US) — drums

>>>SECOND CONCERT<<<

SET 1 Halle: MAJA S. K. RATKJE


MAJA SOLVEIG KJELSTRUP RATKJE (NO) — voice, electronics

SET 2 Halle: LAURIE ANDERSON & BILL LASWELL'S METHOD OF DEFIANCE

*Weltpremiere

LAURIE ANDERSON (US) — vocals, violin
BILL LASWELL (US) — electric bass
DR. ISREAL (US) — vocals
GRAHAM HAYNES (US) — cornet
DJ LOGIC (US) — turntables
GUY LICATA (US) — drums
Reduced to the max! A L’ARME!, the renowned avant-garde festival, is returning to its roots and taking Vol. VI back to where it all began in 2012: four days and four nights at RADIALSYSTEM V! On its opening night, the festival will be kicked off by two incredibly exceptional singers who transcend the boundaries between electro-acoustic avant-garde and performance art. Maja S. K. Ratkje has gone from a Scandinavian superstar to an international acclaim and at RADIALSYSTEM V she will be giving one of her unique, fascinating solo performances for vocals and electronics – experimental, other-worldly and bursting with abysmal beauty. Laurie Anderson and Bill Laswell are connected by a musical friendship that spans decades and will culminate in a breathtaking world premiere right at the start of the festival. Method of Defiance is the seven-person sound of resistance as seen through the eyes of Laswell, the visionary bassist and producer. For the first time ever, the high-energy ensemble’s world-music-oriented avant-garde jazz will come together with Anderson’s violin and her free spirited nature! NYC calling!

SET 1 Saal: BELFI / TRICOLI


ANDREA BELFI (IT/DE) — drums, syntesizer
VALERIO TRICOLI (IT) — Revox B77

SET 2 Halle: KSIĘŻYC


AGATA HARZ (PL) — vocals, objects
KATARZYNA SMOLUK-MOCZYDLOWSKA (PL) — vocals, keys, objects
LECHOSLAW POLAK (PL) — accordion, keys, synth
REMIGIUSZ MAZUR HANAJ (PL) — tapes, hurdy-gurdy, violin
ROBERT NIZINSKI (PL) — clarinet, keys, objects

SET 3 Saal: GORDOA / MALFON / EDWARDS / NARVESEN


EMILIO GORDOA (MX/DE) — vibraphone
DON MALFON (SP) — alto saxophone
JOHN EDWARDS (UK) — double-bass
DAG MAGNUS NARVESEN (NO/DE) — drums

SET 4 Halle: LARGE UNIT RIO


PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE (NO) — drums, percussion
THOMAS JOHANSSON (NO) — cornet, flugelhorn
MATS ÄLEKLINT (SE) — trombone
KRISTOFFER ALBERTS (NO) — tenor, alto saxophone
JULIE KJÆR (DK) – alto saxophone, flute
KLAUS HOLM (NO) — alto and baritone saxophone
PER ÅKE HOLMLANDER (SE) — tuba
KALLE MOBERG (NO) — accordion
KETIL GUTVIK (NO) — electric guitar
TOMMI KERANEN (FI) — electronics
JON RUNE STRØM (NO) — double and electric bass
CHRISTIAN MEAAS SVENDSEN (NO) — double and electric bass
ANDREAS WILDHAGEN (NO) — drums, percussion
CELIO DECARVALHO (BR) — percussion
CHRISTIAN OBERMAYER (NO) — sound design
PAULINHO BICOLOR (BR) — cuica

Est. 1990: Księżyc is the Polish word for “moon”, and also perfectly encapsulates the contemplative sound of the Warsaw-based neofolk ensemble of the same name. Under the direction of clarinettist Robert Niziński and the singers Agata Herz and Katarzyna Smoluk-Moczydłowska, the group plays a rustic, repetitive form of experimental sound art coupled with moody drones. In exclusive duos and exciting first-time collaborations, stars of the Berlin electro-acoustic improvisational music scene such as Andrea Belfi, Valerio Tricoli and Emilio Gordoa will unite an adventurous and experimental array of sounds with Large Unit, the A L’ARME! orchestra 2018! Frequent A L'ARME! performer, band leader and virtuoso drummer Paal Nilssen-Love from Oslo will be offering up a pre-composed jazz-rock firework at this year’s festival, and is bringing together a range of top musicians from throughout Scandinavia – and Brazil – at RADIALSYSTEM V.

Set 1 Saal: ALSO: SIEWERT / ERNST


MARTIN SIEWERT (AT) — electric guitar
KATHARINA ERNST (AT/DE) — drums

SET 2 Halle: MICHAEL ZERANG & THE BLUE LIGHTS


MICHAEL ZERANG (US) — drums
JOHN DIKEMAN (US/NL) — tenor saxophone
DAVE REMPIS (US) — alto saxophone
JOSH BERMAN (US) — cornet
KENT KESSLER (US) — double-bass

SET 3 Saal: ROLFSSON / LÉANDRE / HARNIK


JOËLLE LÉANDRE (FR) — double-bass
MATILDA ROLFSSON (SE/NO) — percussion
ELISABETH HARNIK (AT) — piano

SET 4 Saal: PHILIPP GROPPER’S PHILM


PHILIPP GROPPER (DE) — tenor saxophone
ROBERT LANDFERMANN (DE) — double-bass
ELIAS STEMESEDER (AT/US) — piano
OLIVER STEIDLE (DE) — drums

SET 5 Halle: RADIAN + BILLY ROISZ and dieb13


MARTIN SIEWERT (AT) — electric guitar, electronics
JOHN NORMAN (AT) — electric guitar, electronics
MARTIN BRANDLMAYR (AT) — drums, electronics
BILLY ROISZ (AT) — electric bass, visuals
dieb13 (AT) —turntables

AFTERSHOW by DJ PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE @ Saal


Radian(t) radial. The Austrian sound artist, guitarist and producer Martin Siewert is one of the most influential avant-garde musicians in Europe and will be performing twice at this year’s A L’ARME! festival: once as a duo with the drummer Katharina Ernst, who originally hails from Vienna and currently lives in Berlin, and once with Radian, the legendary, electrifying art-rock trio which was founded in 1996, in an audio-visual collaboration with the DJ dieb13 and the filmmaker and bassist Billy Roisz from Vienna. In RADIALSYSTEM V’s quadrophonic hall, the festival-exclusive trio premiere of French contrabass legend Joëlle Léandre, Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and up-and-coming percussionist Matilda Rolfsson from Trondheim will perform together with Philipp Gropper’s Philm – one of the most sought-after avant-garde jazz quartets led by Berlin-based tenor saxophonist Philipp Gropper. The latest album by Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights is called “Songs From The Big Book Of Love” – a jewel in the crown of the Chicago jazz scene that will be rounded out by the young, star saxophonist from America, John Dikeman, at RADIALSYSTEM V.

KARKOWSKI PROJECT: THE TRUTH AT ALL COSTS?


Concept by Karina Mertin, co-curated by Mark Fell

Set 1 Halle: ELLEN ARKBRO


ELLEN ARKBRO (SE) — guitar & electronics

Set 2 Halle: PUPILLO / PILIA / LILLEVAN


MASSIMO PUPILLO (IT) — electric bass, organ
STEFANO PILIA (IT) — guitar
LILLEVAN (IR/DE) — video

SET 3 Saal: CM VON HAUSSWOLFF


CARL MICHAEL VON HAUSSWOLFF (SE) — electronics and organics

Set 4 Saal: JESSOP&CO.


ANUPAL ADHIKARY (IN) — laptops, tape, electronics
SUBHO SEN S. (IN) — laptops, tape, electronics

SET 5 Halle: KLEIN


KLEIN — vocals, electronics

SET 6 Saal: WANDA GROUP


LOUIS JOHNSTONE (UK) — electronics

AFTERSHOW @ Saal


Set 7 Saal: RABIH BEAINI (LB/DE) — live pa
Set 8 Saal: MIEKO SUZUKI(JP/DE) — dj set + electronics & field recordings

KARKOWSKI PROJECT: THE TRUTH AT ALL COSTS?


Zbigniew Karkowski’s work as a musician, sound artist and performer transgressed the boundaries and barriers of contemporary music, noise and electronics, opening spaces that many have since occupied. But how do we celebrate or confront the legacy of such an overtly elusive character? How do we construct a history around someone hostile to the reductive effects of such processes?

Karkowski used the phrase “the truth at all costs” in a text from 1992 referring to the transformative power of sound – its ability to radically reconfigure who we are. But, to return the mission statement back to its author in the form of a question: what, if any, is the truth of this person? And, more importantly, what were the costs? In examining his contributions to our musical and sonic vocabularies, where and how do we locate Karkowski? Is there some kind of scorched silhouette where he once stood, burned into our collective memory? Or perhaps several contradictory iterations of the same charred outline? Are we left with a shattered mirror when we really hoped for a skilfully executed renaissance-style portrait?

n resisting the urge to draw conclusions and consolidate our opinions, The Truth At All Costs? is not an overview of or reflection upon Karkowski’s life or artistic legacy, but, by contrast, it aims to underline rather than resolve such issues. Therefore, let’s not synchronise the multiple echoes of his presence into a singular shape or harmonic resolution, but instead let the unresolvable noise refold itself into new questions.  

Text: Mark Fell
“The Truth At All Costs?” takes place five years since the passing of the celebrated composer, sound artist and musician Zbigniew Karkowski. It is not a memorial, nostalgic collage or homage to his legacy. It resists the temptation to construct a simple history around him - he surely would have disliked it immensely. But how do we place someone’s “contribution” to our musical environments when that someone has got something to pass on but is hostile to the reductive effects of such processes? Karkowski’s powerful and manipulating music encompasses emergent computer technologies and analog instruments. His search for a sound somewhere between Richard Wagner and Ramones aimed to avoid the dry, intellectual coldness of most of the contemporary music: it was by contrast unintellectual, direct, visceral sound. His self-proclaimed focus on “direct” music oscillated between the most primitive to the most complex events placed an emphasis on energy and beauty. Its most important musical parameters moved between loudness and silence, beauty and grotesque, fast and static, violent and softly sensitive. In bringing together some special artists and producers not normally associated with Karkowski’s, but with the insistence on following an uncompromising own path and passion to make new works in response to these, we perhaps extent to which his central themes - sound as ritual, sound as weapon, sound as medicine, sound as language, sound as revelation - continue to resonate.
+ WED 01 AUG

Heads up! DOUBLE CONCERT SCENARIO with separate tickets!


>>>FIRST CONCERT<<<

SET 1 Halle: MAJA S. K. RATKJE


MAJA SOLVEIG KJELSTRUP RATKJE (NO)– voice, electronics

SET 2 Halle: LAURIE ANDERSON & BILL LASWELL'S METHOD OF DEFIANCE

*Weltpremiere

LAURIE ANDERSON (US) — vocals, violin
BILL LASWELL (US) — electric bass
DR. ISRAEL (US) — vocals
GRAHAM HAYNES (US) — cornet
DJ LOGIC (US) — turntables
GUY LICATA (US) — drums

>>>SECOND CONCERT<<<

SET 1 Halle: MAJA S. K. RATKJE


MAJA SOLVEIG KJELSTRUP RATKJE (NO) — voice, electronics

SET 2 Halle: LAURIE ANDERSON & BILL LASWELL'S METHOD OF DEFIANCE

*Weltpremiere

LAURIE ANDERSON (US) — vocals, violin
BILL LASWELL (US) — electric bass
DR. ISREAL (US) — vocals
GRAHAM HAYNES (US) — cornet
DJ LOGIC (US) — turntables
GUY LICATA (US) — drums
Reduced to the max! A L’ARME!, the renowned avant-garde festival, is returning to its roots and taking Vol. VI back to where it all began in 2012: four days and four nights at RADIALSYSTEM V! On its opening night, the festival will be kicked off by two incredibly exceptional singers who transcend the boundaries between electro-acoustic avant-garde and performance art. Maja S. K. Ratkje has gone from a Scandinavian superstar to an international acclaim and at RADIALSYSTEM V she will be giving one of her unique, fascinating solo performances for vocals and electronics – experimental, other-worldly and bursting with abysmal beauty. Laurie Anderson and Bill Laswell are connected by a musical friendship that spans decades and will culminate in a breathtaking world premiere right at the start of the festival. Method of Defiance is the seven-person sound of resistance as seen through the eyes of Laswell, the visionary bassist and producer. For the first time ever, the high-energy ensemble’s world-music-oriented avant-garde jazz will come together with Anderson’s violin and her free spirited nature! NYC calling!
+ THU 02 AUG

SET 1 Saal: BELFI / TRICOLI


ANDREA BELFI (IT/DE) — drums, syntesizer
VALERIO TRICOLI (IT) — Revox B77

SET 2 Halle: KSIĘŻYC


AGATA HARZ (PL) — vocals, objects
KATARZYNA SMOLUK-MOCZYDLOWSKA (PL) — vocals, keys, objects
LECHOSLAW POLAK (PL) — accordion, keys, synth
REMIGIUSZ MAZUR HANAJ (PL) — tapes, hurdy-gurdy, violin
ROBERT NIZINSKI (PL) — clarinet, keys, objects

SET 3 Saal: GORDOA / MALFON / EDWARDS / NARVESEN


EMILIO GORDOA (MX/DE) — vibraphone
DON MALFON (SP) — alto saxophone
JOHN EDWARDS (UK) — double-bass
DAG MAGNUS NARVESEN (NO/DE) — drums

SET 4 Halle: LARGE UNIT RIO


PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE (NO) — drums, percussion
THOMAS JOHANSSON (NO) — cornet, flugelhorn
MATS ÄLEKLINT (SE) — trombone
KRISTOFFER ALBERTS (NO) — tenor, alto saxophone
JULIE KJÆR (DK) – alto saxophone, flute
KLAUS HOLM (NO) — alto and baritone saxophone
PER ÅKE HOLMLANDER (SE) — tuba
KALLE MOBERG (NO) — accordion
KETIL GUTVIK (NO) — electric guitar
TOMMI KERANEN (FI) — electronics
JON RUNE STRØM (NO) — double and electric bass
CHRISTIAN MEAAS SVENDSEN (NO) — double and electric bass
ANDREAS WILDHAGEN (NO) — drums, percussion
CELIO DECARVALHO (BR) — percussion
CHRISTIAN OBERMAYER (NO) — sound design
PAULINHO BICOLOR (BR) — cuica

Est. 1990: Księżyc is the Polish word for “moon”, and also perfectly encapsulates the contemplative sound of the Warsaw-based neofolk ensemble of the same name. Under the direction of clarinettist Robert Niziński and the singers Agata Herz and Katarzyna Smoluk-Moczydłowska, the group plays a rustic, repetitive form of experimental sound art coupled with moody drones. In exclusive duos and exciting first-time collaborations, stars of the Berlin electro-acoustic improvisational music scene such as Andrea Belfi, Valerio Tricoli and Emilio Gordoa will unite an adventurous and experimental array of sounds with Large Unit, the A L’ARME! orchestra 2018! Frequent A L'ARME! performer, band leader and virtuoso drummer Paal Nilssen-Love from Oslo will be offering up a pre-composed jazz-rock firework at this year’s festival, and is bringing together a range of top musicians from throughout Scandinavia – and Brazil – at RADIALSYSTEM V.
+ FRI 03 AUG

Set 1 Saal: ALSO: SIEWERT / ERNST


MARTIN SIEWERT (AT) — electric guitar
KATHARINA ERNST (AT/DE) — drums

SET 2 Halle: MICHAEL ZERANG & THE BLUE LIGHTS


MICHAEL ZERANG (US) — drums
JOHN DIKEMAN (US/NL) — tenor saxophone
DAVE REMPIS (US) — alto saxophone
JOSH BERMAN (US) — cornet
KENT KESSLER (US) — double-bass

SET 3 Saal: ROLFSSON / LÉANDRE / HARNIK


JOËLLE LÉANDRE (FR) — double-bass
MATILDA ROLFSSON (SE/NO) — percussion
ELISABETH HARNIK (AT) — piano

SET 4 Saal: PHILIPP GROPPER’S PHILM


PHILIPP GROPPER (DE) — tenor saxophone
ROBERT LANDFERMANN (DE) — double-bass
ELIAS STEMESEDER (AT/US) — piano
OLIVER STEIDLE (DE) — drums

SET 5 Halle: RADIAN + BILLY ROISZ and dieb13


MARTIN SIEWERT (AT) — electric guitar, electronics
JOHN NORMAN (AT) — electric guitar, electronics
MARTIN BRANDLMAYR (AT) — drums, electronics
BILLY ROISZ (AT) — electric bass, visuals
dieb13 (AT) —turntables

AFTERSHOW by DJ PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE @ Saal


Radian(t) radial. The Austrian sound artist, guitarist and producer Martin Siewert is one of the most influential avant-garde musicians in Europe and will be performing twice at this year’s A L’ARME! festival: once as a duo with the drummer Katharina Ernst, who originally hails from Vienna and currently lives in Berlin, and once with Radian, the legendary, electrifying art-rock trio which was founded in 1996, in an audio-visual collaboration with the DJ dieb13 and the filmmaker and bassist Billy Roisz from Vienna. In RADIALSYSTEM V’s quadrophonic hall, the festival-exclusive trio premiere of French contrabass legend Joëlle Léandre, Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and up-and-coming percussionist Matilda Rolfsson from Trondheim will perform together with Philipp Gropper’s Philm – one of the most sought-after avant-garde jazz quartets led by Berlin-based tenor saxophonist Philipp Gropper. The latest album by Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights is called “Songs From The Big Book Of Love” – a jewel in the crown of the Chicago jazz scene that will be rounded out by the young, star saxophonist from America, John Dikeman, at RADIALSYSTEM V.
+ SAT 04 AUG

KARKOWSKI PROJECT: THE TRUTH AT ALL COSTS?


Concept by Karina Mertin, co-curated by Mark Fell

Set 1 Halle: ELLEN ARKBRO


ELLEN ARKBRO (SE) — guitar & electronics

Set 2 Halle: PUPILLO / PILIA / LILLEVAN


MASSIMO PUPILLO (IT) — electric bass, organ
STEFANO PILIA (IT) — guitar
LILLEVAN (IR/DE) — video

SET 3 Saal: CM VON HAUSSWOLFF


CARL MICHAEL VON HAUSSWOLFF (SE) — electronics and organics

Set 4 Saal: JESSOP&CO.


ANUPAL ADHIKARY (IN) — laptops, tape, electronics
SUBHO SEN S. (IN) — laptops, tape, electronics

SET 5 Halle: KLEIN


KLEIN — vocals, electronics

SET 6 Saal: WANDA GROUP


LOUIS JOHNSTONE (UK) — electronics

AFTERSHOW @ Saal


Set 7 Saal: RABIH BEAINI (LB/DE) — live pa
Set 8 Saal: MIEKO SUZUKI(JP/DE) — dj set + electronics & field recordings

KARKOWSKI PROJECT: THE TRUTH AT ALL COSTS?


Zbigniew Karkowski’s work as a musician, sound artist and performer transgressed the boundaries and barriers of contemporary music, noise and electronics, opening spaces that many have since occupied. But how do we celebrate or confront the legacy of such an overtly elusive character? How do we construct a history around someone hostile to the reductive effects of such processes?

Karkowski used the phrase “the truth at all costs” in a text from 1992 referring to the transformative power of sound – its ability to radically reconfigure who we are. But, to return the mission statement back to its author in the form of a question: what, if any, is the truth of this person? And, more importantly, what were the costs? In examining his contributions to our musical and sonic vocabularies, where and how do we locate Karkowski? Is there some kind of scorched silhouette where he once stood, burned into our collective memory? Or perhaps several contradictory iterations of the same charred outline? Are we left with a shattered mirror when we really hoped for a skilfully executed renaissance-style portrait?

n resisting the urge to draw conclusions and consolidate our opinions, The Truth At All Costs? is not an overview of or reflection upon Karkowski’s life or artistic legacy, but, by contrast, it aims to underline rather than resolve such issues. Therefore, let’s not synchronise the multiple echoes of his presence into a singular shape or harmonic resolution, but instead let the unresolvable noise refold itself into new questions.  

Text: Mark Fell
“The Truth At All Costs?” takes place five years since the passing of the celebrated composer, sound artist and musician Zbigniew Karkowski. It is not a memorial, nostalgic collage or homage to his legacy. It resists the temptation to construct a simple history around him - he surely would have disliked it immensely. But how do we place someone’s “contribution” to our musical environments when that someone has got something to pass on but is hostile to the reductive effects of such processes? Karkowski’s powerful and manipulating music encompasses emergent computer technologies and analog instruments. His search for a sound somewhere between Richard Wagner and Ramones aimed to avoid the dry, intellectual coldness of most of the contemporary music: it was by contrast unintellectual, direct, visceral sound. His self-proclaimed focus on “direct” music oscillated between the most primitive to the most complex events placed an emphasis on energy and beauty. Its most important musical parameters moved between loudness and silence, beauty and grotesque, fast and static, violent and softly sensitive. In bringing together some special artists and producers not normally associated with Karkowski’s, but with the insistence on following an uncompromising own path and passion to make new works in response to these, we perhaps extent to which his central themes - sound as ritual, sound as weapon, sound as medicine, sound as language, sound as revelation - continue to resonate.

A L'Arme! Festival 2018 Timetable
  • 18:00
  • 18:30
  • 19:00
  • 19:30
  • 20:00
  • 20:30
  • 21:00
  • 21:30
  • 22:00
  • 22:30
  • 23:00
  • 23:30
  • 00:00
  • 00:30
  • 01:00