On October 11, 20:00, vocalist and composer Blixa Bargeld will visit the Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music and related arts in Riga, Latvia. Bargeld will present his solo vocal performance. He is also known for being the frontman of German band Einstürzende Neubauten and his work as a member of Nick Cave’s group The Bad Seeds. The performance will take place at music hall „Daile” – the main venue of the festival.
In 1980, Blixa Bargeld founded the music group Einstürzende Neubauten, which has released numerous albums and singles, performed all over the world, and still exists to this day. His stage name comes from Blixa, a German brand of blue felt pen, and Bargeld, German for cash. Bargeld also refers to German Dada artist Johannes Theodor Baargeld. From 1983 to 2003, Blixa Bargeld was a long-time guitarist and backing vocalist in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Bargeld also sang several “co-lead” vocals with Cave, such as on “The Carny” and “The Weeping Song.” Since the middle of the 90s Bargeld has appeared live with his solo Solo Vocal Performances. During these performances, usually supported by Neubauten’s sound engineer Boris Wilsdorf, he works with microphones, sound effects, overdubbing with the help of sampler loops, and speaks English or German.
Dr. Jennifer Shryane in her book „Blixa Bargeld and Einstürzende Neubauten: German Experimental Music. Evading do-re-mi” (Ashgate, 2011) stresses Bargeld’s passionate stance on the socializing aspects of music (a la John Cage) citing his comment on Grundstück that ‘it’s the social aspects which are important for me’.
In his Solo Vocal Performance Blixa Bargeld explores the limits of the listenerʼs understanding of terms like “speech,” “sound,” and “music.” The audience witnesses a metamorphosis of Blixaʼs distinctive voice as it creates acoustic architecture, sonorous spheres and cacophonous creatures out of the perceived “non-musical” building blocks of sentences, words and syllables. Whispers and screams, pleasing and indescribable sounds coalesce into a composition of orchestral scope consisting entirely of manipulated ad hoc recordings of Blixa Bargeld’s voice. The equipment used is minimal: the artist performs alone on-stage, with four feed pedals and a microphone. There are no pre-recorded samples, no backing tracks. Everything the audience hears is created live on stage. In the course of the evening Bargeld’s voice proves capable of almost impossible acoustic creations, utilizing scientific theory, poetic ideas and philosophical games, all presented in Bargeldʼs classy and ironic style.
Skaņu Mežs’2014 is supported by EU programme “Culture”, Riga City Council, Latvian State Endowment for Arts (VKKF), Trust for Mutual Understanding, US embassy in Latvia, iRobot and others. Skaņu Mežs is a member of ECAS – European Cities for Advanced Music association for experimental music festivals.
Tickets can be bought at www.ticketservice.lv and cost EUR 20 per day or EUR 30 for both days.
Riga, as European Capital of Culture 2014, has incorporated the 12th edition of Skaņu Mežs into its official program. The festival’s main performances will take place on October 10 and 11, and the venue will be the “Daile” concert hall. These events will be characterized by a subtle balance between the electronic and the acoustic, the improvised and the tightly woven, the obvious and the abstract. These contrasts will be reflected both in the program of the festival as well as within the individual performances. This perspective is important in order to assert the idea that progress and innovation in music are dependent first and foremost on bold ideas and flexible language and not just on technology.