Swedish Energies 2014: EMS at 50

CM von Hausswolff / Frederikke Hoffmeier / Christine Abdelnour & Joachim Nordwall + more

The fourth-annual Swedish Energies Festival returns to ISSUE, opening with concrete sounds from UK-based Swedish sound artist Jenny Sunesson. Saxophonist Christine Abdelnour, known for the breadth of her textural alto techniques, plays duo with Joachim Nordwall, a member of The Skull Defekts and iDeal label-head. Sound artist Daniel Rozenhall and visual artist / graphic designer Sten Backman appear in a rare collaboration. Copenhagen’s Frederikke Hoffmeier, aka Puce Mary, plays a solo set crossing rhythmic industrial and harsh power electronics. The notorious Swedish composer and visual artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff closes the night with a solo performance. A co-founder of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, von Housswolff’s minimal-leaning works explore themes of electricity and communication with the afterlife. Featuring DJ Daniel Araya of EMS.

ISSUE Project Room’s Swedish Energies Festival, the fourth-annual presentation, celebrates 50 years of Stockholm's Elektronmusikstudion, aka EMS. Presented by ISSUE in collaboration with EMS, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, over three evenings December 4th, 5th and 6th, at ISSUE and Experimental Intermedia, the series brings together a wide-ranging international lineup of visionary electronic and improvisational musicians spanning genres of sound and visual art.

Christine Abdelnour (b. 1978) is a Lebanese sound artist based in France. After discovering improvised music in 1997, she began a process of self-taught study and sound experimentation with alto saxophone. Abdelnour has developed a unique personal language, producing sounds that are close to those of electroacoustic music but on a purely acoustic instrument. She approaches sound as a malleable material, rich in concrete textures which combine breath, silence and countless acoustic distortions. She has developed extended techniques and complex patterns of sound production, exploring the microtonal aspects of the saxophone and its high-pitched tones. Abdelnour has toured and worked with collaborators including Ryan Kernoa, Andy Moor, Magda Mayas, Pascal Battus, Andrea Neumann, Bonnie Jones, David Stackenas, Raymond Strid, Patrick Thormann, Sven-Ake Johansson and many more.

Since the end of the 1970s, Stockholm-based artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff (b. 1956) has worked as a composer using the tape recorder as his main instrument and as a conceptual visual artist working with performance art, light and sound installations, and photography. His audio compositions from 1979 to 1992, constructed almost exclusively from basic material taken from earlier audiovisual installations and performance works, consist of complex macromol drones with a surface of aesthetic elegance and beauty. In later works, Hausswolff has retained this aesthetic with the addition of isolationist sonic condition to composing. His works are pure, intuitive studies of electricity, frequency functions and tonal autism within the framework of a conceptual stringent cryption. Recently he has also developed a conceptual form of audio art observing subjects such as architecture and urbanism, rats and maggots. In the 80’s, he formed the Radium record label changing the Swedish music scene at the time and forever, releasing everything from pop and garage rock to noise. Collaborators include Graham Lewis, Jean-Louis Huhta, Pan sonic, Russell Haswell, Zbigniew Karkowski, Erik Pauser, The Hafler Trio and John Duncan. His music and sound art can be found on labels such as Touch, Ash International, Laton, Oral, RasterNoton, Firework Edition, SubRosa and Die Stadt. Carl Michael von Hausswolff is also one of the kings of the imaginary Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland.

Frederikke Hoffmeier (b. 1989) is a Copenhagen based musician composer, best known for releases and performances under the name Puce Mary. She has made a name for herself within fields of modern industrial and experimental noise music, and despite her relative youth, Hoffmeier’s discography is vast with releases on labels including Posh Isolation, Freak Animal and Ideal Recordings. Her working methods are diverse, with a sound that is constantly evolving and moves from the concrete sound-poetry of her collaborations with Swedish noise champion Sewer Election, to her latest live sets and releases of rhythmic industrial and harsh power electronics. During 2014 she has performed throughout Europe, Russia and America.

Joachim Nordwall (b. 1975) is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has a long background in the Swedish experimental music scene, starting out with recordings with the psych-drone duo Alvars Orkester as a teenager in 1988. His early interest in psychic tension created by sound is now as ever present in his music. His ”Soul Music” album for Entr’acte shows his deep interest in circular rhythms, analogue synth loops and mind expanding experiments. Nordwall has also released his music on labels like Ash International and Hospital Productions. From 1999-2005 he was sweating with the avant punk rock trio Kid Commando and when that stopped he created the ritual drone rock group The Skull Defekts. Nordwall also runs iDEAL Recordings since 1998 and is collaborating with artists like Mika Vainio, Mats Gustafsson, Leif Elggren, Mark Wastell and Christine Abdelour, and he is a busy organizer of festivals and concert nights in Sweden and abroad.

Rare collaboration between sound artist Daniel Rozenhall and visual artist and graphic designer Sten Backman. Rozenhall has released a handful of harsh, strong recordings on labels like Firework Edition Records, Fylkingen Records and Kning Disk. He also runs the Fylkingen Record Shop in Stockholm. Backman uses video in this specific collaboration but is also a keen illustrator and designer of books, packaging and beyond. Expect something quite intense from these two gentlemen.

Jenny Sunesson (b. 1973) is a UK-based Swedish artist and writer often using concrete sound. Her practice ranges from field recording and conceptual sound art to electroacoustic composition and documentary. Sunesson uses real life as a stage for her dark, tragic and sometimes comical work where real and invented characters along with derogated stereotypes collaborate in the alternate story of hierarchic and normative power structure in our society. She was born in Gothenburg and graduated from Dramatiska Institutet (University college of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre) in Stockholm, Sweden 2004. Her work has been commissioned by the Swedish arts fund, Concerts Sweden and Swedish national broadcasting company and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2008 she was awarded the Åke Hodell award for her sharp, eccentric and political storytelling.