SUPERSENSE, THE FESTIVAL of ‘ecstatic’ music and performance, returns to the Arts Centre in August to “turn the place on its head”, as curator, vocalist and performer Sophia Brous puts it. Forget formal seating and prosceniums – Supersense wants to take the audience into places within the Arts Centre that they’ve never been (and places they have been in, but for a totally different experience). The goal? An “ecstatic” state. “Where in the past people sought out spaces of revelation in the presence of divinity, increasingly we are seeking these things out in spaces of collective artistic expression,” says Brous. “I wanted to create a festival that explores these interrelated states of ecstatic perspective.” Anyone who missed the first festival is likely to be enticed by this year’s big names – Russian revolutionaries Pussy Riot; UK space-rockers Spiritualized; New York art-rockers Blonde Redhead – but ‘headliners’ are not really the point of the festival. Rather, it’s designed as a three-day immersive “journey”, from Friday night to Sunday night. Music ranges from Norwegian pastoral folk (Ánde Somby, a master ‘yoiker’) to Sufi trance (the Master Musicians of Jajouka, from Morocco) to free improvised jazz (The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda), psychedelic rock (Japan’s Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO) and doom metal (Nazoranai). Contemporary classical also gets a look in, with a performance by London-based cellist, composer and producer Oliver Coates (a collaborator with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood). Performances include Pussy Riot Theatre, performing their new work
Riot Days (which Brous describes as “an industrial punk opera”), and a specially commissioned work by Laurence Pike (PVT) and Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Waangenga Blanco (titled
Memory Field). Brous herself will present the world premiere of her theatrical song cycle
Lullaby Movement and her ensemble project EXO-TECH, featuring Kimbra.
EXO-TECH at National Sawdust (Brooklyn), March 2 2016