On a wintry weekend in mid-November, I headed down to Tramway to have my mind opened to a feast of new musical experiences. The Instal ‘10 festival was a three day weekend festival which aimed to show the radical side of music. Its tagline claims that Music is much more than music. The programme included performance artists, talks, experimental music and art installations from all over the world.
From the Saturday programme, which in itself was beautifully illustrated and well put-together, my comrades picked out talk Before or after Finitude which featured 2 artists appearing at the festival, in conversation with the editor of Collapse journal (Urbanomic publishing) and Barry Esson from organisers Arika spoke to an audience. They discussed radical philosophical and mathematical systems of thought which influences the artists work. Though times, a little difficult to follow, it had the desired effect of being thought-provoking and provided a good context to the performances we would check out later on in the day.
Between performances we wandered around Tramway, stopping to have a few drinks in the bar. The Tramway is an amazing venue and Instal ’10 creatively used all the spaces well. Expanse rooms were ideal for experiencing shows like the Florian Hecker piece Speculative Solution, in which multi speakers played alien sounding computer music. We were encouraged to walk around the room which proposed to change the space in which we perceived what we were hearing. Smaller studio spaces housed more intimate and less expansive experiences like the Iain Campbell performances. The self-titled ‘composersuperimposerperformerclown’ performed a series of three short pieces. For the middle slot, we piled into the room and sat with the artist. He then stood up from his sofa dressed only in a dressing gown and started to urinate to a background of SuBo and Nigella Lawson.
By the end of the evening our minds had been musically expanded such that I had all but forgotten about Cher Lloyd and Wagner.