Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival, IMC presents SPECTRUM 2018 with another diverse programme of music. SPECTRUM sits at the intersection where jazz and creative music collide, with focus on the live and the improvised.
An exciting cornucopia of live acts, from spectral beats to full-on free jazz, electro tinged folk to Tuvan throat-singing will play across three Dublin venues on the weekend of 9th-11th March, namely DBD (under The Mezz), the Fumbally Stables and The Grand Social.
FRIDAY starts off this year’s festival with an exciting double-header featuring two of the hottest acts on the UK jazz scene. Sons of Kemet are a rambunctious double-drumming quartet led by saxophonist/clarinettist Shabaka Hutchings. After a thrilling live show in Dublin in April 2016, they return for SPECTRUM with their heady, heavy and irresistible mix of jazz, rock, dub and Caribbean grooves. Joining SoK on the bill are Snowpoet, a London-based sextet led by Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year (2016) Lauren Kinsella and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hyson. Their eponymous debut Snowpoet garnered rave reviews and devoted audiences for their compelling sound, drawing comparisons with Bjork, and their 2nd album, Thought You Knew just out on Edition Records takes this musical collaboration to the next level, blending sweet hook-laden vocal lines with warm and lush arrangements. Snowpoet’s music is infectious, delicate, tasteful and powerful. BBC 3’s Mara Carlyle describes their sound as “Like being punched in the face by a butterfly.” Thought You Knew cements their reputation as one of the most innovative and creative new bands in the UK today.
SATURDAY features another double-header of music at the free end of the spectrum, this time in the intimate surrounds of Fumbally Stables, with two exceptionally innovative acts. Brussels based Thunderblender is a jazz/improv trio led by Irish saxophonist Sam Comerford. Blending adventurous free improv wrapped in their trademark thunderous grooves and interspersed throughout with moments of fragile beauty, Thunderblender’s bassless horn-piano-percussion format, inspired by artists like Tim Berne and Henry Threadgill have catapulted the band across the European Festival circuit in recent years. Presented in association with Note Productions, the powerful duo of Catherine Sikora (tenor and soprano saxophones) and Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s / drums) pairs up two distinguished voices working at the forefront of modern jazz. At once lyrical and powerful, dynamic and focused, their music opens itself to a wide emotional and conceptual range which in turn provides for a broad expressive palette.
SUNDAY will close the weekend with what is sure to be an unforgettable performance from Huun-Huur-Tu, a throat-singing and instrumental music group from Tuva, on the Mongolian-Russian border. This once obscure and relatively isolated musical style and tradition has been given pride of place at multiple European Festivals, thanks principally to the mysterious and magical Huun-Huur-Tu, and we are delighted to have them perform in Ireland for the first time. Characteristically, throat singing, where the singer sings both the note (drone) and the drone’s overtone(s), produces two or three notes simultaneously. The overtone may sound like a flute, whistle or bird, but is solely a product of the human voice. And it is utterly captivating to hear live. While the thrust of Huun-Huur-Tu’s music is fundamentally indigenous folk music, they also experiment with incorporating not only Western instruments, but electronic music as well.
Across the spectrum of new musical ideas jazz is, and always has been, a musical attitude as much as a stylistic genre, with improvisation as its keystone and evolution at its core. Today that genre is splitting at the seams as new musical ideas pour forth, recasting the very meaning of the word with each new note, beat, interaction and signal of intent. From Improvised Music Company, SPECTRUM 2018 presents these musical semaphores, in a programme of innovative music acts that, through their music are creatively evolving and busting the confines of genre.