Ornament & Verbrechen. Photo by J. Koop
No, Free! Music isn’t free. The title of HKW’s first music festival since its February reopening comes from music’s liberating impact in times of social and political unrest, as well as its breaking of formal constraints and compositional boundaries. Its programme of experimental, jazz and world music is unified only by a central question: “How free can music be?” (That’d be €13 per night, or €30 for all concerts).
The four-day symposium kicks off with a trio of performances that run the temporal gamut of the musical avant-garde, from the mid-20th-century microtonal compositions of Harry Partch to a rare set by NDW-industrial pioneers Ornament & Verbrechen to a contemporary “audio drama” by Patrick Frank. Going outside the Western canon, don’t miss Saturday evening’s Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session: a group performance blending field recordings and samples evocative of musique concrete with pulsating, driving rhythms and electronic overtones. And be sure to catch legendary jazz drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, who fled Apartheid-era South Africa to start his quartet The Blue Notes. Talks throughout the weekend gather anthropologists, journalists, and musicians to discuss music’s bond-breaking power, supplemented by a set of audiovisual installations that are, yes, free to view.
Free! Music, Apr 6-9 | Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Tiergarten