HAPPENINGText: Jose Luis de Vicente

While in previous years, the music section at OFFF had been somehow obscured by the bigger names in the presentations and keynotes room, this edition many of the most interesting things happened in Loopita, the music section of the festival. The event featured for the first time some big names in the avant-garde electronic scene, such as japanese singer Noriko Tujiko, based currently in Paris. Noriko premiered in Valencia the new record she has just released in collaboration with Lionel Fernandez of Discom. The result was a combination of Fernandez’s overwhelming structures of grinding noises and Tujiko’s intimate, soft voice, which in too many ocasions was completely inaudible, hidden by the wall of digital sound coming out of the speakers.

Noriko Tujiko

Discom themselves performed also at the festival, along with laptop masters like Kenneth Kischner and groups combining acoustic and electronic instruments that go well beyond the traditional format of a band, like Thilgues 3. Also, Loopita featured shows by digital artists and designers operating mainly on the web, that are investigating ways to connect the aesthetics of interactive culture with the real-time, peformative dimension of the stage. Yoshi Sodeoka of C505 presented his live project The Knobs along with collaborator Sean Rooney, and Spanish collective Innothna staged their fascinating audiovisual show ‘Insonnik’, where they use a videogame they have designed as an audiovisual instrument, generating patterns of sound and movement on the screen as they move their avatar through the polygon landscape.

The Vegetable Orchestra

But the absolute stars of Loopita -and maybe of the whole festival, in fact-were The Vegetable Orchestra. The anticipation to see this weird, provocative music project was so high that the room was completely packed minutes before the start of the show, and many visitors had to see the performance from the corridor outside. The Vegetable Orchestra are exactly that; ten musicians that perform all their compositions with instruments made out of fresh vegetables bought that same morning in the local market. They also cook a veggie soup (used to make sounds) that members of the audience can try at the end of the show. Although the Vegetable Orchestra are obviously a surprising act, and it’s fascinating seeing them create full compositions out of melon-drums and flutes made with carrots, it must be said too that after a few minutes the joke becomes a bit tired. A very interesting idea that sadly doesn’t translate into equally great music.

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