Unsound Unveils Details of “Intermission” Album and Book. First Details of Online Festival Projects. Unsound Patreon Launched.
While Unsound 2020 takes place online between 1–11 October, a key part of this year’s program manifests itself in the form of the Intermission book and album, where we have commissioned original texts, music and sound works, a response of the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Together they explore the contradictions and tensions embodied in the word ‘intermission’, since this year is a pause, yet not a pause, a year of before and after, a year of upheaval in progress with an uncertain future.
Released on 16th November, the book will be available only in physical format, and includes a digital download of the album. A digital download of the album will also be available separately. They can currently be purchased in the form of preorder in our shop. For those who wish to support the project and the ongoing endeavours of Unsound in a deeper way, the items are also included in an Unsound Patreon campaign, which also includes other rewards, including a first option on reserving Unsound 2021 festival passes. See here.
The album collects new work created exclusively for this project, along with field recordings from a New York protest, Northern English landscapes, lives in lockdown in a Berlin apartment, and audio fragments from the Internet and networked devices.
The idea is to create and capture a moment in time through sound and music, transitory yet timeless, evoking the tension between the physical and online worlds, interior and exterior soundscapes, acceptance and protest. Meditative, often powerful, affected by periods of anxiety and optimism, the aim is to create an album whose tone feels coherent, yet multi-layered.
Artists involved in the album include: 33EMYBW / BASTARDA / CHRIS WATSON / DEFORREST BROWN JR. & JAMES HOFF / JANA WINDEREN / JLIN / LUTTO LENTO / MOOR MOTHER & GENG / SAM SLATER, HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR & KÁRI GRISEY / SLIKBACK / TIM HECKER, AGATA HARZ & KATARZYNA SMOLUK / VARGTSS (VARG X VTSS). Several more names will be announced soon.
We’ve long wanted to publish a book connected to Unsound, but the upheavals of the year have made the idea feel particularly relevant. The “Intermission” book includes writers already connected to Unsound through the discourse program, as well as voices we felt would widen the focus in necessary ways. Approaching from the perspective of 2020, the texts explore a broad range of subjects such as music-making and field recording in the year of COVID-19, protest, online intimacy and solidarity, ecology, mental health, audio-virology, nostalgia, conspiracy theories, masks, zoom calls, machine listening, and more. While essays will make up the bulk of texts, memoir, speculative sci-fi and poetry will also be included, as well as visual elements.
Authors so far include AGATA PYZIK / ANDY BATTAGLIA / AYESHA HAMEED / DAVE TOMPKINS / DEFORREST BROWN JR. / EWA MAJEWSKA / GAMALL AWAD / ARMEN AVANESSIAN in discussion with HOMAR / JACE CLAYTON / JAY SPRINGETT / JENNIFER LUCY ALLAN / JOEL STERN & JAMES PARKER from LIQUID ARCHITECTURE / KRISTEN GALLERNAUX / LUKE TURNER / MOOR MOTHER / OLGA DRENDA / PHILIP SHERBURNE / S.J.NORMAN / STEVE GOODMAN and SYLWIA CHUTNIK.
Some of these writers and artists will also connect with commissioned works in the online Unsound program, taking place between 1–11 October. DeFORREST BROWN JR. & JAMES HOFF will present a new audio visual project that examines the tumultuous geographic history of race in America utilizing sound, field recordings, video, and detourned commercial mapping software. MOOR MOTHER appears with DJ HARAM as 700 BLISS, with music integrated into another online work created by Polish NYC-based visual duo PUSSYKREW. Live percussive interpretations of two compositions by JLIN will be presented by Warsaw musicians HUBERT ZEMLER & MIŁOSZ PĘKALA – in the form of a live Zoom show.
STEVE GOODMAN aka KODE9 will present an audio-visual work based on his essay for the book, while KRISTEN GALLERNAUX will present a film based on her essay. Sound recordist CHRIS WATSON will take the audience on a guided walk from an old apple tree in his back garden, to vertical cliffs of a seabird city on the Northumberland coast, to demonstrate the techniques used to create his piece Unlocked for the “Intermission” album.
JOEL STERN and JAMES PARKER of LIQUID ARCHITECTURE will contribute an essay on MACHINE LISTENING to the book, which connects in turn to their curation of the Machine Listening section of the Unsound program.
Writers, essays and subjects in the Unsound “Intermission” book will also connect with the online discussion program, as well as online reading groups.
We will soon give more information about all these projects in an announcement coming soon devoted entirely to the online Unsound. This will also include information on other projects we will present, as well as the online discourse program.