AV Festival: What’s the crack? Part 1

AV FestivalWords by Billie Jenkins

There is a big event currently being brought together in the pubs and studios of Newcastle. The 6th biennial AV festival takes place at specially curated events across the region and merges art, music and film. Last time Corinne& had the surreal pleasure of experiencing an operatic performance of an ancient Scandinavian ritual from inside the Tyne bridge itself, so was excited to see what this year would offer. The festival brings together a whole variety of talent both amateur and professional and hosts shows in a wild selection of venues. Here we give the down-low on what we think will be three of the best pieces to go an see.

Test Dept at Dunston Straiths, 27 – 29 March

In a performance to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the miners strike the Industrial music group Test Dept will be performing to a crowd positioned literally on the River Tyne. The performance will take place from the structure of a huge, derelict pier that juts into the water. Viewers will be required to jump aboard a selection of rowing boats that sail out round the pier to experience the work, which we think is a truly mesmerising idea. We’ll be getting the evening tickets with the hope the sun will set across the water round us as the sounds take their route.

Susan Stenger at the Laing Art Gallery, March 1st – April 6th

Building on the festivals theme of ‘extraction’ Stenger has produced a work that will transform a ‘geological structure into a sonic structure’. Taking a 40ft long diagram depicting a cross section of the North East Coast and treating it like a score she’s created a musical experience with seven layers, each layer representing a different level above and below ground. She promises the composition will be as beautiful as the 19thC drawings she’s composing it from.

Akio Suzuki

The super duper famous Japanese musician / creator extraordinaire will be leading a walk that begins at Newcastle city centres Castle Keep. With the intention of making people more aware of their audio visual environment he has produced a route with places to stop marked with ears and feet. We want to go because we want to get a sense of perspective from his point of view. He’ll also be performing previous works during the festival as an added bonus.

For more info and tickets see avfestival.co.uk

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