Swedish Energies 2014: EMS at 50

Ellen Arkbro / The Sons of God / Kristina Matousch / Stephen O'Malley / Maria w Horn

Swedish Energies 2014 closes at ISSUE with a massive lineup opened by Maria w Horn. The Stockholm-based composer combines projections and raw synthesis, sculpted with minimalistic precision. Stephen O’Malley, celebrated guitarist and doom-metal legend of Sunn O)))) fame, performs a solo set. Malmö-based artist Kristina Matousch explores themes of digestion, eroticism, violence and exchange in a solo performance. Leif Elggren, a co-founder of the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, returns to ISSUE with Kent Tankred as The Sons of God, a duo exploring the borderland between performance, installation and music. The festival wraps up with a solo performance by Berlin-based Swedish composer Ellen Arkbro, whose works for electronics, guitar and her voice, draw on minimalism and just intonation. With DJ Fabio Roberti of WFMU's Strength Through Failure.

AFTER PARTY: 11pm at Hollow Nickel: 494 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
with Daniel Araya (EMS, live)

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.

Ellen Arkbro is a musician and composer from Stockholm, currently based in Berlin. Working with electronics, the electric guitar and her voice, Arkbro is inspired by minimalism, experimental music and the studies of just intonation. Her music and work is signified by slow processes and repetition and comes in different shapes such as solo performances, pieces for ensembles and installations. She is one of the four members of the audiovisual quartet Hästköttskandalen and the band Mordbarn. PSS-280 is her new synth pop solo project.

Maria w Horn is a composer and performer of electronic and experimental music, based in Stockholm. Horn studied electroacoustic composition at the Royal University of Music in Stockholm and Universität der Kunst in Berlin. Her work ranges from purely electronic multichannel pieces and installations to audiovisual works and collaborations with dancers, improvisers and ensembles. Horn’s music is characterised by slowly changing clusters and a pulsating, hypnotic atmosphere. Raw synthesis is sculpted with minimalistic precision, then often layered and distorted through systems of feedback. Main influences are in genres such as digital minimalism, noise music and slow changing timbral music, i.e. drone. In live performances she works with visual improvisation and live projections using super-8 projectors, video feedback and more.

Kristina Matousch is a Malmö-based Swedish artist who investigates phenomena such as digestion, eroticism, violence and exchange. Her point of departure is the encounter between the human body and the everyday objects surrounding it; an encounter where intimacy is mixed with alienation and desire with repulsion. Recent exhibitions include Kristina Matousch / Dan Wolgers and Take Form, Galleri Riis, Stockholm; Shapes in the Making, Lunds Konsthall, Sweden; Embodied spaces, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway;Suecia Contemporare, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden; Baltic Sea Record, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Germany; Painting Fucking Guilty Pleasure, Antechamber, Copenhagen, Denmark. She is currently an Artist-In-Residence at ISCP, New York.

Stephen O'Malley is the guitarist and founder of numerous seminal groups including Sunn O))), Khanate and Burning Witch among others. Born in New Hampshire and raised in Seattle, he eventually spent a decade in New York and presently is based in Paris. As a composer and musician he has been involved in hundreds of concerts and performances around the world over since 1993. He is a frequent collaborator of many outsider and experimental musicians, artists and composers in various formations, and has served as a link between the doom-metal and art spheres. His collaborators have included Boris, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino and Oren Ambarchi to French theatre specialist Gisèle Vienne, American sculptor Banks Violette, Italian performance artist Nico Vascellari and Belgian filmmaker Alexis Destoop, among many others. Since 2011 he has curated the label Ideologic Organ.

Formed in 1988, The Sons of God (Guds Söner), is a duo of Leif Elggren and Kent Tankred, moving freely between performance, music and the visual arts, and whose productions often reach a point where traditional aesthetic boundaries, limitations and concepts are eliminated. Sound objects, pre-recorded compositions, physically demanding movements, the voice, the staged meetings and conditions, the objects: all of this constitutes the foundation for an attempt to gain access to those hard to those rare moments when daily life merges with the heroic nature of the inner self.