Introduction by Dr. Pedro Rebelo

Chair, Sonorities 2005


The Sonorities Festival is the longest-running new music festival in Ireland and is one of the cornerstone Festivals in Europe presenting innovative new music.   The Festival has always brought to Northern Ireland innovative ideas and sounds from across the world and the 2005 Festival is no exception in this regard.   For 2005 we present the work of artists who deliberately explore the space in between established cultural forms. The festival explores the diversity of technological arts, which better than any other, reflect the micro-cultures that characterise our society. We are proud to present a programme that showcases the variety of artistic practice at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Luc Ferrari and Frank Zappa are two of the most thought-provoking and controversial musicians of the last one hundred years. Zappa's You Call That Music? , (incidentally not presented at this festival) is a work of experimental music situated in a rock concert context. Zappa's typically adept title summarises the importance of how an artist can place his or her work in order to question cultural norms that are associated with particular types of art practice. Luc Ferrari's visit to Sonorities celebrates the work of the electronic music pioneer who has constantly challenged genres and pre-defined music cultures. Ferrari's playful and ironic approach to music-making provides an alternative perspective on modernity and on the role of music in contemporary society.

Since 2004, Sonorities has presented music selected from responses to an open call for works. For 2005 we present a small selection of the 200 submissions we received from all over the world. We are also pleased to find a way for the festival to participate in the wider cultural life of the City of Belfast through a day of events in the Cathedral Quarter and City Centre areas. The programme on the 29th of April (Sonorities @ The Cathedral Quarter) is in collaboration with the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and is a day packed with diverse and unusual events including live music at St. George's Market, an Ulster Orchestra concert featuring the music of Frank Zappa and a club night with extreme audio-visual work from around the world.

The festival's commitment to present new work to Northern Irish audiences is reflected in the large number of UK/Irish and World premieres in this year's programme. These include works by Luc Ferrari, Thierry Talla, Sebastian Castagna, João Pedro Oliveira, Ed Bennett, Christophe Havel, Georges Aperghis, Hans Joachim Hespos, Eric Lyon, Ludger Brümmer, Philippe Leroux and Michael Clarke.

The schedule of performances and installations is complemented with artists' talks and workshops which are open to the public and free of charge.

A large number of events take advantage of the unique Sonic Laboratory at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University. The centre was officially opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen during Sonorities 2004. The Sonic Laboratory includes arrays of loudspeakers strategically located around, above and below the audience area. Audiences walk out onto a suspended, acoustically transparent floor and experience a multi-dimensional sound world in the centre of a cube. Please note, high-heeled shoes will be damaged on the grid floor.

On behalf of the Commitee, I look forward to welcoming you to Sonorities 2005.