Preview: Netaudio London 2011

Highlights of a festival that explores the relationship between music and technology.

The Netaudio London festival, which runs from 13-15 May, showcases the work of artists who use digital technologies to explore new areas in music and sonic art. The programme encourages participation in all forms: interactive sound art installations, conferences, workshops, collaborative online broadcasting and live music shows.

Netaudio London has posted a series of thought provoking pieces from its conference speakers that address a challenging set of themes in 21st-century culture. Speakers include Matthew Herbert, Michel Bauwens and Liliane Lijn, as well as representatives from Mute, UK Uncut and Wire magazine.

Elsewhere in the festival, Steven Stapleton's avant-garde, surrealist Nurse With Wound project headlines the evening programme. Over the past three decades, Nurse With Wound has collaborated with a highly respected troupe of free thinkers including David Tibet (Current 93), William Bennett (Whitehouse) and Andrew McKenzie (Hafler Trio).

Mika Vanio (ex-Pan Sonic) and Bruce Gilbert (founder of the band Wire) will also perform a newly commissioned collaboration using both analogue and digital equipment. The opening concert at Cafe Oto on Friday 13 May presents the composer and artist Valerio Tricoli, along with Robert Piotrowicz, a luminary of the Polish experimental and improvised music scene.

Netaudio aims to do more than simply programme a music event, promoting audience engagement over purely passive consumption, as demonstrated by the Sonic Maze of 12 interactive audiovisual installations. There will also be workshops on making sound effects, creating interactive music projects and radio broadcasts. And there's a broadcast presenting a live webzine in partnership with Resonance FM, featuring newly commissioned broadcasts by Liliane Ljin, Stefan Blomeier and VHS HEAD.

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“Minoan pendant”: a new poem by Mark Granier

“Yes – I press my nose / to the pleasantly warm glass – / it’s a copy of one I saw / cased in the cool museum”

Yes – I press my nose
to the pleasantly warm glass –
it’s a copy of one I saw
cased in the cool museum –
gold beaten to honey, a grainy
oval dollop, flanked by two
slim symmetrical bees –

garland for a civilisation’s
rise and collapse, eye-dropped
five thousand years: a flash
of evening sun on a windscreen
or wing mirror – Heraklion’s
scooter-life buzzing and humming –

as I step in to browse, become
mesmerised by the warm
dark eyes of the woman
who gives her spiel and moves
softly and with such grace,
that, after leaving, I hesitate

a moment on the pavement
then re-enter with a question
I know not to ask, but ask
anyway, to hear her voice
soften even more as she smiles
and shakes her hair – no.

Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Haunt (Salmon).

This article first appeared in the 16 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Britain on the brink