Tonight, I leave for Europe, with ports of call throughout Spain, France and - for the first time - Switzerland. Music is a big part of the agenda, with festivals happening all along my planned route.
First stop is Barcelona, where the 18th annual Sonar International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art (otherwise known as SONAR) kicks off tomrorow. (A cheeky little preview of the festival is posted above.) SONAR has been on my radar for years, but I finally made the plunge when I learned this year's opening concert was to be a tribute to Steve Reich, with bcn216 and Synergy Vocals performing "Music For 18 Musicians" and "Sextet." If you're wondering what Reich's music has to do with a festival devoted almost exclusively to electronic music, check out this quote from Alex Ross:
"On some days, as familiar shimmering patterns echo on the soundtracks of commercials and from the loudspeakers of dance clubs, it seems as though we are living in a world scored by Reich."
Steve was scheduled to make the trip to Barcelona himself, but unfortunately had to pull out due to an undisclosed illness. The concert will go on as planned, with Spanish composer Carles Santos - a great admirer of Reich's music - taking Steve's place at the keyboard.
Stay tuned for updates as often as wifi/mobile service allows.