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Sonica 2017


Opinion

Cryptic’s astonishing celebration of visual-sonic arts returns to Glasgow

Image of Sonica 2017

It’s often said about Glasgow, not least by its own residents, that there isn’t much to do there apart from “music and art”. It’s apt then that Sonica would have been launched at Tramway back in 2012. The festival has only grown in size and stature since, presenting over 400 events all over the globe, including performances, installations and exhibitions by world-class talents from six continents. As Cryptic’s biennial festival of visual sonic arts returns home this year, there’s no shortage of singular events to celebrate art that is as amorphous as it is fascinating. Here are some of our highlights:

 

  • AquaSonic (Tramway, Thurs 26 – Sat 28 October) – Denmark’s Between Music transport chamber music to the briny depths with otherworldly compositions, written for five musicians submerged in tanks of water. Melding the world of music and science, the UK premier of AquaSonic is sure to be unmissable.

 

  • Shorelines (Tramway, Wed 1 and Thurs 2 November) – Directed by Josh Armstrong, Shorelines is a music-theatre work composed by Oliver Coates and performed by the Ragazze Quartet. Built from the tape-memoir of a woman whose life was swept away by the North Sea flood of 1953, this work is more prescient today than ever.

 

  • Dear Esther Live (Tramway, Fri 3 November) – When British video game development studio The Chinese Room released Dear Esther in 2012, they surely couldn’t foresee its impact on the medium. Critically-lauded for its eerily immersive narrative, the game will be ‘performed’ along with a spoken-word narrative and a live soundtrack composed by Bafta winner Jessica Curry.

 

  • Viola (St Enoch Centre, Sat 4 and Sun 5 November) – German composer Mathis Nitschke brings his boundary-defying short opera to St Enoch centre. Audience members become a spectacle behind a shop window, as an act unfolds before them among passing pedestrians.