From Now On has announced the first wave of acts for 2017. A two –day leftfield sound and performance happening at Chapter, Cardiff on Fri 19 & Sat 20 May 2017. Curated by the band Islet and co-produced by Shape Records, the remarkable centrepiece of the event’s fourth year is the premiere performance of Breaking and Entry, a collaboration between Welsh musician Gruff Rhys and Catalan architect, Roger Paez.
Performed by an invited ensemble, primed for harmonic improvisation and armed with heartbeat monitors, Breaking and Entry is Rhys’ sonic response to Paez’ ground-breaking prison complex at Mas d’Enric, Tarragona. Invited to respond to the prison in 2014, which uses low-rise buildings and wide, open spaces to balance the confinement and discipline of prison life with freedoms necessary for basic human rights and reform, Rhys’ score is based on a map of the prison that also registers the emergent life that occupies the building.
Now the subject of a book detailing the principles behind progressive prison architecture, the site created by Paez stands as a beacon for the triumph of dignity over oppression, with nature being welcomed into the rehabilitative environment.
Gruff Rhys says: “Writing the soundtrack for a Catalan penitentiary was a new one for me, and a great chance to try some things out that wouldn’t fit in on a record of bubble gum sunshine pop, for example. Having written this experimental score three years ago, we’re extremely grateful to ‘From Now On’ for letting us air it for the first time. Expect a punishing yet rewarding time with our guest musicians and the visual accompaniment of Roger Paez’ beautiful photography of the wild flowers and loose nature that have sneaked into his prison”
Following their return from a two year performing hiatus with their Liquid Half Moon EP in late 2016, Islet will play with what promises to be a typically effervescent appearance. Renowned for disrespecting the fourth wall to frequently transgress the lip of the stage, the four-piece’s performances typically involve spontaneous percussion on both animate and inanimate objects, communal chanting and euphoric abandon.
Emma Daman Thomas, FROM NOW ON Curator and member of Islet, says: “We can’t wait to play alongside these brilliant artists, who we chose for their dedication to defying boredom and their pursuit of the new and strange. Gruff’s explorations into different musical habitats have always been massively inspiring to us, so it’s an honour and a great joy to present his completely new collaboration. For us, ‘From Now On’ is all about sharing what we love, traversing borders between music and sound. As nature defies the walls of a penitentiary we hope we can do our bit to expand some musical perimeters. Expect to dance about architecture.”
From Now On is a carefully assembled journey through a door of unexpected possibilities and a show by London-Bahraini four piece Flamingods, reflects not only the nature of the event itself, but a vivacious sense of internationalism and the effervescent hope of transgressing real and musical borders. A global view remains in the inspired booking of Bristol-based, Japanese ‘psych-folk’ artist Yoshino Shigihara (formerly of Zun Zun Egui) and her band, Yama Warashi whose embrace of Japanese folk dance music, free jazz and African music with an added slice of electric psychedelia melts together to form a gently flowing torrent of dreamy soundscapes.Straddling not only the familial ties that bind, but also their respective homes in the UK and Austria are father and teenage daughter ‘noise duo’ Yeah You, making incisive, improvised cuts into the experimental music landscape. Rarely off the road in pursuit of new sounds, the duo, also known as Elvin Brandhi and Mykl Jaxn, use walks, trips to the shops and long, meandering car journeys to assemble the sounds and spoken word rhapsodies that have emerged on their two albums to date. With a shorter journey to the stage comes Cardiff-based, Welsh-language electrophile Twinfield, setting a distinctly punk aesthetic alongside a gift for knowing the way around transistors and diodes, the result is a compromising, drum machine-driven dystopian vision of the future.
With more artists to be announced throughout April, Wales’ most curious audiophiles and travelling performance enthusiasts from around the UK are urged to keep tabs on the From Now On Twitter profile at www.twitter.com/From_Now_On and the website at fromnowon.wales