Since the festival was held in November and that means Nanodrawmo (in which I am taking part), I thought I would try to draw whatever I remember about the event and use it for an unusual chronicle :-)
The festival was held at the old Fabra i Coats factory. It used to be a thread factory, so it was (sparely) decorated with some sort of threads which were lit with UV lights later on, as when we arrived there was still daylight. It seems the local council has been left without funds and thus they haven't been able to complete the refurbishment project as they initially expected, so apart from a few "modernities" here and there, the building is really bare and industrial, which was quite cool.
The first thing we noticed were the strange sound installations in the Sala Petita (the smallest room). There were three huge custom-built instruments from Les Luthiers Drapaires, seemingly using discarded and recycled parts, and boy were they noisy!
"No signal 25" was an array of old VGA monitors, displaying an occasionally rhythmic arrangement of coloristic patterns which reminded me to the patterns that ZX Spectrum created on screen when loading from a tape. That was accompanied by an extremely intense series of waves that from time to time sounded like sml's tracks (when asked later on, he said he hadn't played a part on this).
I quite liked this one and in fact was mesmerised for a while, trying to find out the relation between the sound and the matricial graphics, but I'm not sure I got it right. At times it seemed like lower pitches corresponded to reddish output (as if the output was only using the opposite of RGB... masking R as the lower values). But sometimes you got very high pitch at the same time that completely red values were shown, so I don't think I figured it out.
"Tubòfon" was a series of draining pipes (from old swine farms if I remember properly), reconverted into a huge xylophone which got played automatically with those little hammers that were triggered according to certain patterns. It didn't sound bad but was very subtle compared to the brutal square waves emitted by the No signal 25 and the...
"Màquina del amor" which required two people touching each other (and the electric terminal) to produce some noise--that explained the name of the instrument: "Love machine". It was some sort of Theremin and Tesla stuff crossover, and I'm pretty sure it would never be allowed to be displayed in an English museum without a huge yellow warning from Health and Safety warning about the dangers of playing with electrostatic.
It was certainly scary and I didn't really feel enticed to try it out... Most of the people seemed a bit confused about its behaviour (it seems people don't "get" the concept that you need things to be connected in order for the current to flow).
DOSF were really awesome. I have no idea how they did it --although I have several suspects-- but they played quite cool music extremely well synchronized to the visuals (or the visuals were extremely well synchronized to the music). They were somehow minimalistic, but sometimes they evolved into some bizarre geometry that was really hypnotic. You couldn't but stare at the screen and marvel. It was great.
They were also using an iPad for controlling some parameters of their sound/video, which apparently was a great source of pictures for the photographer that could be seen behind them taking pictures like crazy of the guy who was waving the iPad over his head, like: "look at me!! I'm using an iPad! an iPad! hype hype!"
"Caputxeta Intergalàctica" by Insectotròpics was what we in Spain call "a performance", with a certain disregard even. An actress dressed as Redhood performed in front of a camera, in a little square with a screen behind, while she was recorded on camera. The output got then overimpossed drawings that several people were doing on the other side of the setup, using two computers behind her (one using Modul8 and the other one Resolume, which we thought dead already). And the final mix was projected over a large piece of cloth which was hanging on the main façade of the factory.
The story was quite... challenging to follow. It reminded me to the old Planeta imaginario animations that usually followed Sesame Street on TV, only this one seemed a tad dirty in every sense of the word. But it was certainly entertaining, and I guess if I'm speaking about it it's been successful enough... At least it's got some sort of narrative, which can't be said about every performance. And the title is just fabulous (Intergalactic hood).
While we were outside watching this, we suddenly were greeted by someone--which scared us to no end, as we weren't expecting anyone to address us out of the blue! It was sml, with fthr from tpolm, and two more friends: the "Argentinian Ricardo" and another Finnish guy whose name I can't remember right now :-/
A bit after that, Cyteck and Esther showed up unexpectedly too! I hadn't seen them since bcnparty100, which in other words means almost six years ago. That was a nice surprise.
And later I was introduced to mighty Miguel-underscore-eedl (who I found was from Valencia too) and Joan, from eedl too. Woooo! I told them I liked their music and they were very humble about it, that was funny! :-)
Fhtr also introduced Kettel to Mr.doob, who was just so nervous that did hardly say anything to him. It reminded me to one day when I was a child and went to see one of those child-singers famous back then, and then for some strange reason we got onto the dressing room (as my mum knew the singer mum or something of the sort??) so that she would sign her LP for me. I got terrified and nervous and... began crying like there was no tomorrow! Luckily mr.doob didn't cry! ;-)
Kettel managed to get most of the people dancing and even waving their arms! It seems he's quite well-known as lots of people cheered when each song started, as in "yes! I like this one!. Either that or the drugs they had taken were working cyclically.
The visuals seemed somehow weak at the beginning, as they were mostly photographs of beetles and soil fading in and out, but then they caught on and were a bit more inspired and, dare I say it, appropriate, more urban. There were some sequences of lightnings and storms over Barcelona, which seemed really fitting as it was raining cats and dogs outside.
And a bit after this one was Plaid's live, which featured nice "properly mapped" visuals over that strange and pointy amalgamation which was the stage. Unfortunately I can hardly remember anything about this one because I just couldn't breathe thanks to the dumb idiots that decided that smoking bans don't apply to them, so they started smoking inside the hall. Since it is not a club, but a simple factory refurbished to act as an exhibition space, it doesn't have the sort of air conditioning and filtering that clubs have. So there was an incredible amount of smoke inside, and it was not only annoying, but unbearable.
We finally left a while after the Plaid concert finished. We might have stayed longer, were it not for that unbreathable atmosphere. So I totally wish those unconsiderate smokers catch a horrid cold like the one I caught this week. And I wish them it lasts for the entire winter, and they feel as horrid as I felt, having cough attacks and all. Hopefully they will stop smoking for good. Idiots.