Eerste avond STEIM festival uitverkocht

Een verslag van Oscar Smit voor Gonzo (circus) Magazine

De eerste concertavond in het Amsterdamse Frascati van het door STEIM georganiseerde Patterns + Pleasure Festival was geheel uitverkocht. Dat niet iedereen tot het einde bleef had vooral te maken met de heftige klanken van de slotact.

Al ruim veertig jaar is STEIM een baken in de elektronische muziek. Hun belangrijkste activiteit is het in samenwerking met kunstenaars/ muzikanten ontwikkelen van nieuwe instrumenten. De Kraakdoos (Cracklebox) van Michael Waisvisz (oud-directeur van STEIM) is daar een vroeg voorbeeld van. Het festival Patterns + Pleasure geeft een overzicht van de meer recent ontwikkelde, elektronische, instrumenten. Zo presenteerde het Nederlandse duo Ground hun ‘Grafiet synthesizer’. Op een tafel lagen twee grote opengeslagen schetsboeken. Hierin werden met grafiet lijnen getrokken waarop een soort elektronische contactblokjes werden geplaatst. Het grafiet wordt dan de geleider tussen deze contactpunten. Door het verplaatsen ervan ontstaat allerlei elektronisch gekraak. Door een camera boven de tafel zagen we alles haarfijn op een groot scherm. Het zag er spectaculair uit maar na twintig minuten was het muzikaal gezien wel op.

Lees verder op de website van Gonzo (circus)

Hair Stylistics Cancelled

Unfortunately Hair Stylistics from Japan won’t be able to perform at the Patterns + Pleasure festival on Wednesday. But the good news is that Takuma Watanabe and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto will be supported by Momo Yoshida from Japanese noise-rock group TADZIO.

Crackleboxes for sale!

Patterns + Pleasure is the festival to unveil some of the most ingenious, experimental and revolutionary sound-generating machines that musical creatives worldwide have put their minds to create. The event will show in premiere musical performances with instruments like the juggling balls, beat and noise generators made from the quirkiest objects (desk lamps, old razors or miscellaneous kitchenware) or handmade lunchbox controllers. Amongst all these audio(visual) instruments that you’ll be able to see and hear performing on stage there is a very special one that you’ll be able to take home with you to create your own music. STEIM’s one and only Cracklebox will be for sale (limited edition) at the festival.

A collectors’s item, the Cracklebox is an alternative type of portable keyboard based on the mechanism of, as the creator himself calls it, ’touched electronics’. Invented in the early 70’s by Michel Waisvisz at STEIM, with the help of engineers like Peter Beyls, Nico Bes and Johan den Biggelaar, the idea of the instrument rose a while back when Waisvisz and his brother were playing with their father’s short-wave radio receivers while touching their inside circuits. And this is how they discovered the liberating experience of generating music intuitively, just by simply touching electronics instead of keyboards, with no conventional sounds that you could reproduce by means of universal notations. Electronic music shaped by pure human touch. Today the Cracklebox is still being used by various performers on stage as an act of defiance of exclusively digital electronics music.

We are selling a small amount of Crackleboxes at the festival location.

Steina Exhibition

Steina Vasulka is one of the most distinguished video artists working in the world today. Born in Iceland, she is a classically trained violinist who played with the Iceland National Orchestra. She relocated to New York in 1965 with her husband and collaborator, Woody Vasulka, where they founded celebrated artists’ venue The Kitchen and began producing innovative video works. Combining a uniquely musical visual approach with complex experimentation in electronic imaging, Steina’s works have been celebrated worldwide.

We honor the groundbreaking work of Steina Vasulka through a public interview session by Arie Altena and Lucas van der Velden on the first day of the festival. You can see the following videoworks from the NIMk-collection at the festival location of Patterns + Pleasure. Curated by Martijn van Boven (Sonic Acts) and Theus Zwakhals (NIMk). More information about the exhibition.

Errors of Delight: win tickets for Todaysart

STEIM will present the Errors of Delight program at Todaysart, featuring some of the newest and most adventurous approaches in today’s live electronic music. There will be performances by Moldover, Jamie Allen, TO-PO (Yuko Uesu + Vincenzo Onnembo) and Rosa Menkman. Read more

On September 23 and 24, just before the Patterns + Pleasure Festival, you can visit Todaysart Festival in The Hague. TodaysArt is a festival concept that revolves around the presentation and development of adventurous contemporary visual and performing arts in a variety of urban settings. Since 2005, TodaysArt has brought international artists, thinkers and audiences to The Hague. In 2011, the festival’s outreach will be extended through the initiation of TodaysArt Brussels.

We are giving away 2 x Todaysart weekend tickets. Buy your Patterns + Pleasure ticket and win a extra ticket to this great festival in The Hague.

More information about Todaysart

New Additions to the Line Up

With less than one week to go to the festival, we’ve added a couple of more names to the line-up. Media art historian and researcher Nina Wenhart will be talking about archiving the past at the opening symposium on Day 1.

During the ‘GARDENING COMPLEXITY‘ symposium on Day 2, Staas de Jong will share one of his PhD research projects on developping a novel haptics technology specifically for fine manipulation in musical interfaces. On Day 3, the lunch concert will include performances by STEIM Fanfare Instruments and Brian O’Reilly & Darren Moore (a.k.a. Black Zenith).

Peter Kirn, Miguel Pipa, Rob Hordijk, Mathius Shadow-Sky, Matteo Marangoni, Claudia Robles Angel, Christian Fischer, Shingo Inao, Levy Lorenzo, Léon Spek, Ondrej Merta, Hans Leeuw have all designed odd and unique instruments which will be presented during the ‘HANDMADE MUSIC’ symposium on the closing day of the festival. Click here to have a sneak peak at all the selected projects. 

STEIM on the Radio

For the Patterns + Pleasure we are invited to several radio shows to talk about the upcoming festival and bring some new music. Tune in to the sounds of Patterns and Pleasure.

Tuesday September 20
Beautiful Extremes (20-09-2011) by Studio 80

Wednesday September 21
STEIM @ Red Light Radio 09-21-2011 by Red Light Radio

Friday September 23, 2.40pm: Amsterdam FM
Interview with Taku Mizuta Lippit and music performance by Alex Nowitz

Handmade Music line up complete

The last symposium session on Wednesday September 28 will be a celebration of DIY culture and home-brew musical projects. There will be demos and presentations of hand-built, circuit-bent, custom designed, odd and unique instruments selected from an open call.

With: Peter Kirn, Mogul Pipa, Rob Hordijk, Mathius Shadow-Sky, Matteo Marangoni, Claudia Robles Angel, Christian Fischer, Shingo Inao, Levy Lorenzo, Léon Spek, Ondrej Merta, Hans Leeuw

We received an overwhelming number of fantastic submissions, but could only feature a handful do to space restrictions. Thanks everyone! Click here to take a look at the selected projects.

Patterns + Pleasure at Discovery Festival

Taku Mizuta Lippit (a.k.a. dj sniff) from STEIM will be giving a 20PK (Pecha Kucha) presentation about Patterns + Pleasure during Discovery Festival next Friday. And there will be a special performance by Moldover.

Discovery Festival is a night time festival at Nemo Amsterdam. With live scientific research, ultra short talks, science-related art, a high quality music programme, and a lot of mostly young and always enthusiastic scientists and artists.

Discovery Festival takes place on friday September 23th between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m at NEMO, the big green science museum at Oosterdok (near Central Station).

More info here.

Ghostnotes Documentary with toktek & Simon Berz

toktek (Tom Verbruggen) and Simon Berz will perform live on Monday September 26, the first day of the festival. Watch the Ghostnotes Documentary with toktek & Simon Berz, made by Tobias Bünter and Patrick Portmann in 2010/11.

Live-sampling-beat-pilot toktek battles it out with instrument builder & drummer Simon Berz in an energetic session. Over the years, toktek has mastered the art of sampling anything that makes sound and playing them through his flight simulation controllers. Berz’s handmade drum synth system allows for him to play his electronics directly through the drumkit.

More information

PRESS RELEASE, September 5

New festival for adventurous electronic music in Amsterdam
STEIM organizes Patterns + Pleasure Festival

Monday September 5, Amsterdam – STEIM (Studio for electro-instrumental music) organizes the Patterns + Pleasure Festival on 26, 27 and 28 September in Frascati Amsterdam. For 42 years STEIM has helped local and international artists to build their own dream instruments. The Patterns + Pleasure Festival will feature some of the newest and most adventurous approaches in today’s live electronic music. Every artist brings their own unique rendition of musical styles and genres – from Industrial Drone to Instrumental Hip-Hop and Tuvan singing to Boogie-Woogie-Noise.

The music program includes first time Netherlands appearances by acclaimed “Bio-feedback” Tuvan singer Fuyuki Yamakawa, a collaboration project by composer Takuma Watanabe and noise pioneer Hair Stylistics – both groups coming from Japan, and beat wizard Edison from the U.S. Other exquisite acts such as Dutch live-sampling-pilot toktek, Jessica Rylan, Moldover, Author & Punisher from the U.S., voice virtuoso Alex Nowitz from Germany, a world premier of composer Tom Johnson’s new piece for Gandini Juggling group from England, and many more will be presented throughout the program.

The symposium program includes internationally renowned artists, writers and researchers from different fields. Steina Vasulka, David Toop, Hans Boutellier, Jamie Allen, Joel Ryan, Peter Kirn and others will discuss the future of new music, improvisation and the influence of modern technology in music. During the Handmade Music session, students and local artists will present their uniquely odd and one-and-only handmade instruments.

There will also be several workshops, lunch concerts and discussions throughout the festival.

Patterns + Pleasure Festival
26, 27 + September 28
Theater Frascati, Nes 63 Amsterdam

For press tickets, interviews, more information and hi-res images please contact:
Bas van den Broeke: 06 54 90 77 88 or

Watch the festival trailer on Vimeo

photo: Dutch live-sampling-pilot toktek

Festival newspapers arrived

Newspapers arrived

To promote Patterns + Pleasure and STEIM we came up with the idea to create a festival newspaper. With program information, artist bios, archive pictures and a story about the history of STEIM. Grab your copy at the STEIM headquarters or at your local music store. Or read the paper online.

Watch the festival trailer