Tectonics 2014

The Tectonics festival returns to Glasgow this May, exploring what happens when different musical genres rub up against each other. Embracing experimental, rock and orchestral music, this year’s festival has expanded to three days.

The line-up sees Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore share the spotlight with contemporary classical music pioneers such as Christian Wolff and Takehisa Kosugi, vocal ensemble EXAUDI, Icelandic composer collective S.L.Á.T.U.R., Scottish jazz iconoclast Bill Wells, and a mixture of local and international performers. There’s a visual art element too as Sarah Kenchington will install ‘mechanical instruments’ in the City Halls Recital Room which can be played by members of the public throughout the weekend.

Taking place at the City Halls and Old Fruitmarket, Tectonics Glasgow opens with an evening of short performances at St Andrew’s in the Square, celebrated for its intimate space and unique acoustics. Co–curator Alasdair Campbell, who also brought you the Counterflows festival, describes the Friday opener as being “like the festival in microcosm, with lots of local acts mixing with some international names. The performances are short – but will explore as broad a series of sound-worlds that you’re likely to hear anywhere.”

Here’s some highlights that you shouldn’t miss:

Richard Youngs
Richard Youngs

‘Past Fragments of Distant Confrontation’:
Richard Youngs and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
11 May | Old Fruitmarket
Commissioned by the BBC SSO, Richard Youngs’s world premiere brings punk sub genre D-beat into the orchestral sphere. Written specifically for the Old Fruitmarket, it features Youngs on electric guitar as the audience is surrounded on all sides by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on the venue’s balcony. Youngs also sings solo on Tectonics Glasgow’s opening night.

Takehisa Kosugi
Takehisa Kosugi

Thurston Moore and Takehisa Kosugi
9 May | St Andrew’s in the Square
This concert sees former Sonic Youth frontman re-team with Japanese experimental pioneer Takehisa Kosugi, a partnership first heard on Sonic Youth’s album SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century. Moore also collaborates with noise-maker Dylan Noukis as part of the Saturday night Old Fruitmarket gig and Kosugi performs solo on the Sunday night.

EXAUDI by Daniel Pufe
EXAUDI by Daniel Pufe

11 May | City Halls
The UK’s leading vocal ensemble will redefine any preconceptions you have about choral music. Vocal performances are big this year at Tectonics and this concert features a variety of works by American and UK composers, from the delicate, to the gutsy, to the non-verbal, and Christian Wolff’s beautiful settings of the poet John Ashberry.

10 May | City Halls
Christian Wolff is one of the great pioneers of American music, who took many of John Cage’s ideas of indeterminacy and experimentalism and made them his own. For this concert he’s performing one of his most famous early pieces For One, Two or Three People with Kosugi (see above) and another great US pioneer David Behrman, whose new work How We Got Here opens Day 2 of Tectonics

Tectonics Glasgow runs 9 – 11 May. Visit the Tectonics website for more details.

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