In case you missed it last year, we are going to introduce a festival that for some reason didn’t make it to the hyped ‘festivals you should attend in April’ lists. However, you really should! This year, Intonal Experimental Music Festival will be held between 21-24 April in Malmö, Sweden. Showcasing a wide range of experimental music from abstract sound experiments to new and inspiring electronic dance music, Intonal is the perfect place for festivalgoers who prefer an intense but also a more intimate sound experience. You must be wondering about the line-up… how about Morton Subotnick, James Holden, Stephen O’Malley, TM404, Peder Mannerfelt, LCC, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Thomas Ankersmit just to name a few? If this sounds interesting, visit the festival’s website and keep reading to find out more about the festival and the full line-up. We also spoke to Ulf Eriksson, one of the head organizers of the festival who will tell you a bit more about what to expect at this year’s edition.
“Intonal 2015 was literally an experiment in itself – a unique international festival co-operation in Malmö. The superb quality of the performances, the gallant work from our many volunteers and the heartwarming reception from the visitors all inspired us to revive the festival once more. Now the time has come, and we promise to make Intonal 2016 even better.
We want Intonal to be a place where seemingly difficult and inaccessible musical expressions are transformed into open and joyous experiences. We believe that if artists are granted freedom to explore their musical limits and move beyond existing conventions, open-minded attendants will be handsomely rewarded. Curiosity is the nemesis of boredom.
The key to making Intonal an open festival with both great depth and diversity is our rare cluster of partners: From seasoned club veterans and international festival promoters to art musicians and classically trained sound sculptors – everyone contributes with their own unique experience and potential. Together we aim to create an arena where different kinds of art and music expressions can unite and be presented to a wider audience. Intonal is a true partnership, and we include our visitors in that word.” (excerpt from the festival’s website)
Last year saw the first edition of the Intonal Festival in Malmö. What concept did you have in mind when you’ve put together this festival and what’s the idea behind it?
Ulf Eriksson: It started as an international collaboration between Inkonst, CTM and Unsound. I had for several years tried to get funds for common projects but never had any luck. Anyway, 2014 I got some positive answers for a festival collaboration focusing on experimental music and art. Intonal was born. I called up Mats Lindström at EMS and told him about the festival idea and basically asked if he was interested to join. Same story with Inter Arts Center, another main collaborator. So what we had now was a really strong and interesting cluster of partners. We had two major international festivals, EMS, a world famous studio environment for electroacoustic music and sound-art, IAC, an interdisciplinary platform for artistic research and experimental art and finally Inkonst, the stage, the club and the core of production. I would say this cluster is the strength of the festival and what makes it unique. We have a lot of competence in different parts of the experimental scene, all put together into a weekend mashup. Intonal is a festival where academic music gets to meet club music and our aim is to create an environment where it feels very natural to move between the two. As an organizer, I feel a lot of joy when a “raver” gets a chance to experience some modern composition played on the Acousmonium (multi channel speaker system) and vice versa.
I remember last year, just before he was leaving the after-party, Rashad Becker came over to me and said: “Ulf, you really have a special thing going here”.
For me that was just great. This is a musician that has played every festival out there and it felt touching that Intonal, based in small Malmö, actually made some kind of impression.
How were your experiences during the first festival? How was the feedback?
Ulf: I was actually very surprised that we had an audience. And a rather big one too. I know many people will hate me for saying this, but Malmö is not a progressive city when it comes to music. Nobody takes risks and everything feels very safe. The ravers go to the raves, the clubbers go to the clubs, the rockers go to KB and the cultural politicians go nowhere at all. It always seemed to me that the crowd looking for something different was a very small one. Anyway, so I was surprised. People really came out to this festival even though last year’s lineup was super hardcore experimental. My impression was that people really had a good time. Feedback was great. Otherwise a second festival wouldn’t feel worth doing.
Is there something that you decided last year to make differently this year? If so, what would that be?
Ulf: We have increased the amount of days the festival is open. This year we do Thursday to Sunday to create some more space in the program. Last year the program was too jam-packed. The audience had to run between the concerts and there was no room for any delays or failures in the production. The poor technicians were sweating. So this year the program is a bit bigger but hopefully it will feel less stressful and create more time for people to interact, meet and greet and enjoy the silence.
Tell us a little bit about the second edition. What can the visitors expect this year?
Ulf: New for this year is that we do a free opening concert in a church nearby Inkonst called St. Johanneskyrkan. Sort of an initiation ceremony. The techno artist Rrose will play his ambient gong piece “Having Never Written A Note For Percussion”. Also there are a few more “bigger” names in the line-up, due to better funding. We have also added a few acts that break away from the somewhat serious feel of the lineup, like Camilla Sparksss, LXMP and 67,5 minute Projekt. When you present a big and intense program, I find it very important to add some different sounding acts as well. I want people to have a good time at Intonal. I want the audience to have blast and experience some really weird sounds at the same time. I see no contradiction here.
Malmö is an interesting location. Quite a bit far from the Swedish capital but extremely close to the Danish one, Copenhagen. How is the audience of Intonal? Do you think more Swedes are interested in it or the foreigners are the real core?
Ulf: I think the main audience is Swedish for sure. Last year we had quite a bit of foreigners visiting which is of course great. But on the other hand it is hard for a small festival like Intonal based in expensive Sweden, to compete with the big-big festivals like CTM and Unsound. As always we have very few Danes over. That is a shame. I do not know why this distance between Denmark and Sweden seems so long. Especially for the Danes to come here. I guess they think Sweden is boring because of all the rules and early curfews etc. Or maybe it is just the price of the bridge, which is ridiculously expensive.
Morton Subotnick & Lillevan
James Holden & Camilo Tirado
SØS Gunver Ryberg
Tolouse Low Trax
SooJin Anjou (plays Subotnick)
Rrose (plays James Tenney)
Maria w Horn
67,5 Minut Projekt
Acousmatic For The People
Sonic Art Chamber Music
DJ Rivet (Kess Kill Special)
DJ Finn of Tomland
DJ Jurko Haltuu
DJ Elena Wolay
DJ Frankie Twilight
DJ Mai Nestor
DJ Mobiletti Giradischi
Marcus Pal “Welcome in, Outside”
Janna Holmstedt “In the Greenary”
Nevin Aladag “Traces”
Fabien Giraud “The Straight Edge”
Gram[m]ofon with Mats Almegård interviewing Kassem Mosse & Tolouse Low Trax
Lisa Blanning interviewing Kara-Lis Coverdale
Sound in the City seminar
Festival tickets 490 SEK at Tickster, Kulturcentralen & the record store Rundgång in Malmö
One day tickets will be released later.
Age: 18 years
Alcohol and food will be served