CTM 2023: The day after, opening the portals of perception, Olya Karlovich, δημοσίευση στο CLOT Magazine [6/3/2023]
Sunday evening, sitting in an old-school chair of the Akademie der Künste’s auditorium, I am trying to focus on a collaborative performance by Jennifer Walshe and Jon Leidecker. As a result, my attention is slightly scattered. Scrolling through the past week’s events in my head, I can’t believe that CTM ended so quickly! At some point, it really felt like my festival stamina, which clearly had lost steam due to lockdown, would run out first. And even though CTM is not a usual festival marathon with poor hours of sleep in a tent, its extensive and robust programme can satiate even the most indefatigable visitor.
For the 24th time, Berlin’s festival has celebrated the adventurous spirit and curiosity in music and sound and visual arts while combining educational and experimental content with fun. The current edition was dedicated to the theme Portals, and, as is always the case with CTM, there were multiple entry points for both visitors and artists to explore it. Сross disciplinary performances, sweaty concerts, all-night-long parties, shows at the intersection of IRL & URL, talks, and film screenings — literally everything for every taste. So on the first festival day, it already became clear that I couldn’t do without a plan.
It was simply impossible to be in two places at once, although sometimes I tried hard. I remember running from Hekla’s concert at the silent green, a new CTM headquarters in Wedding, to the HAU2 venue in Kreuzberg, where the engineering wizard Afrorack performed alongside the legendary composer and multi-instrumentalist Limpe Fuchs. (Their collaboration developed within the Afropollination project). Separated on opposite sides of a stage and in beams of contrasting light, Afrorack with his setup of DIY synthesisers in a cold white circle and Fuchs with percussion and various unconventional instruments in a warm yellow one were like polar, but indeed, equal forces. Sometimes, during their acoustic-synthetic dialogue, the sounds merged and dissolved into each other so much that it was difficult to glimpse the border between the two worlds. Instead, something new and bigger blossomed — polyphony beyond time and space.
Moving also between acoustic timbres and electronic elements, Contrechamps & Zwischentöne presented a unique Maryanne Amacher’s GLIA. Working on this piece, Amacher imagined a listener as a glial interface between two soundscapes (instruments and electronics). She resorted to an otoacoustic emissions principle, which is why GLIA can be pretty confusing. Sometimes my ears refused to work correctly, generating bizarre additional sounds. And also this constant odd vibration inside my cochlea…
For the first time, I experienced something like that. It was both the most beautiful and uncomfortable music. While someone unsuccessfully tried to hide by covering their ears with hands and earplugs, others sprawled on the floor, smiling with their eyes closed. But the most interesting part was exploring the space, which responded differently every time.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.