This year, Supernormal is hosting a one-week art & music residency at Braziers Park from 8th - 15th May 2016. We have invited six artists who have previously taken part in Supernormal to explore the unique history and site of Braziers Park, Oxfordshire in relation to their practice and the context of Supernormal.

As part of the residency participating artists will develop new site-specific or site-responsive work for the 2016 festival programme taking place at Braziers Park from 5th - 7th August 2016.

To mark the end of the residency, participating artists will present their experiences as part of a special event on Sunday 15th May at Braziers Park and in association with South Oxfordshire Artweeks.

Follow the Residency Blog for updates from participating artists.
We are very excited to announce a new two-year programme devised to develop collaboration between organisations from across the UK who share a similar ethos and interest in experimental art and music practices. For Supernormal 2016, we are working with eight selected partners to programme new performances and projects for the festival. As an exchange, the partners will then host a Supernormal cities tour in 2017 which will see Supernormal leaving Braziers Park and traveling to each city to co-produce a multidisciplinary project.

City Partners are:
Counterflows (Glasgow), an annual contemporary music festival promoting challenging and thought provoking work.
Upset the Rhythm (London), a live music promoter and record label based in London, UK – collectively run, with a sense of fun and a DIY ethic.
Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (Bristol), a film and sound collective and place of vibrant discussion initiated to support and nurture experimental film.
Spike Island Associates (Bristol), a membership network of artists, writers, curators, and creative practitioners built on a culture of collaboration and experimentation.
G39 (Cardiff), an artist run gallery space that presents a programme which is responsive and open, supportive and risk-taking.
Islington Mill (Manchester), an artists studios and event space presenting interdisciplinary public arts and music programmes.
Modern Art Oxford (Oxford), celebrates contemporary visual culture within society through presentation and participation.
Oxford Contemporary Music (Oxford), produces new music and sound-based live events.
Supersonic (Birmingham), one of the UK’s premier experimental music and arts festivals.

Further announcements to follow...

Apostille

Apostille is the alias of Glasgow-based Michael Kasparis. ‘Using sweat-stained, decaying machinery to create denigrated pop music injected with a poison, Apostille is the last resort of a man with too few problems, but blown out of all proportion. Living in the moment, trying to get out’.

Image courtesy of Dawid Laskowski.

Artists Shed Commissions

Following the success of projects within The Pink Shed at Supernormal from 2013-2015, we have developed new artist commissions for Supernormal 2016 – to transform the common garden shed into intriguing enclaves, micro museums, curious shelters, provocative installations or miniature venues. Confirmed artists to follow…

BAS JAN

The three-piece line-up of Serafina Steer, Jenny Moore and Sarah Anderson deal out a vibrant, insouciant and defiantly uncategorisable brand of experimental pop, as indebted to the off-kilter stylings of The Slits as the elegiac strains of Steer’s solo work. Dealing out poignant tales of the everyday and kraut-inspired wig-outs alike, Bas Jan are as punk rock in spirit as they are poetic.

Big Joanie

Big Joanie are a black feminist punk band based in London. They are Chardine (drums & amp; vocals), Steph (guitar & amp; vocals) and Kiera (bass & amp; vocals).

Big Joanie formed to make powerful music but also to create a continuum for black punks by presenting a strong, powerful vision of black womanhood and to inspire more young black punks to start the bands they always wanted to hear.

Bridget Hayden & Claire Potter

Bridget Hayden and Claire Potter make vocally charged sound works, rooted in the affective nature of trauma. Potter’s worlds build around a site of impact; an accident, an exchange, a violence, without ever fully stating the cause. The unspoken instead hangs in the air, suspended by the tension of error. Generating noises in wordless solidarity to Potter’s viscerous reading, Hayden both supports and challenges it’s delivery according to her own levels of discomfort.

Throughout their performances they attempt to locate themselves within their bodies, allowing the struggle to produce an alignment of forces, or else risking subversion.

Their 2015 EP Mother To No Swimming Laughing Child (FortEvilFruit) was described by The Wire’s Frances Morgan as ‘rooted in quotidian horror’ and by Radio Free Midwich’s Sophie Cooper as ‘one of the most intriguing and thought provoking recordings I’ve ever heard’.

Casual Sect

Gnarled punk attack and dementoid aggression from a distinctly skewed metropolitan force, channelling the power of conspiracy theories and knackered old hardcore 7″s into a poisonous brew as iconoclastic as it is idiotic. Surfing a grindcore-poisoned wave from the spirit of John Peel to the apocalypse, these Icke-obsessed miscreants are our fave harbingers of doom.

Cavalier Song

Cavalier Song’s cinematic brand of exploratory sonic adventure is uncategorisable save for the primal charge of their onslaught – stormclouds of atmosphere and intensity collide in a haunting and powerful brand of symphonic power and elemental abstraction.

Charles Hayward – The Bell Agency

This workshop comprises a simple game structure for 3 or more players, The Bell Agency opens out into a mesmerising slow motion sound world. Somewhere between performance and unfolding, it depends on cluster maths, hive mind and the unique details to be witnessed. Open to all those aged from 5 to 6 onwards and willing to participate in this zen, engaging and startlingly educational audial activity.

Charles Hayward – Zigzag + Swirl

Charles Hayward needs no introduction, his kinetic percussive talents and restless mercurial vision having blazed a trail across the British avant-garde for the last four decades, from Quiet Sun through This Heat to Camberwell Now and a plethora of solo material. Following two dazzling performances last year, he returns to Braziers to perform a solo set in the Zig-Zag + Swirl formation – this comprises a performance in which technology is used to open uncertainty in songs that surf his muse’s trademark combination of a psychedelic continuum and the startling other.

Cup

We’ve been trying to book Verity Susman for Supernormal seemingly since the festival started, which makes it all the more of a pleasure to welcome her under the auspices of her new trio Cup, also featuring Matt Simms and Lucy Plane, and traversing a riotous improvisatory trajectory of motorik, psychedelic and free jazz with abandon and intrigue to spare.

Eastville Project Space – In-Sound Residents

Eastville Project Space will be in-sound residents in the Granary with Synth Building Workshops Workshops led by Farmer Glitch using kits produced for ‘Yeovil Hacker Space’ by ‘Whitford Research Limited’. They will be running a number of workshops to build standalone noise machines including:

*Atari Punk Console – a cute little noise maker that makes a great basis for other synth projects. An ideal project for young people and beginners.

*PunkSeq10 combining a 10 step sequencer and an Atari Punk Console for glitchy grooves. Great project for those with previous soldering experience.

*The Crackler a design based on the famous 1960s touchable electronic instrument ‘Cracklebox’. Another project that assumes some previous soldering experience.

Workshops will be limited to 10 people each session – all materials will be provided – and participants will be able to keep the synths upon completion of the sessions. Pricing/booking details to follow.

Eastville Project Space is an independent art space in Yeovil, Somerset – providing a creative hub for collaboration, where artists, musicians, designers and hackers can develop and produce innovative projects, with a programme including commissions, residencies, events and workshops.

Giant Swan

Mercurial electronic trash-trawlers uniting the hypnotic glow of effects pedal lights with the hypnotic glow of dancefloor strobes, Giant Swan are masters of binary hedonism and anarchic abandon. Mighty noise, rhythmic interplay and an otherworldly allure collide with trainwreck malice, yet fiercely compelling results.

Heather Leigh

Utilising the pedal steel and her voice, Heather Leigh mainlines a psychic force that’s at once primal, ethereal and otherworldly, her psychedelic hymnals uniting the West Virginia and Texas of her origins, the Glaswegian underground where she made her name, and an unheimlich spirit at the heart of the human condition.

Helm & Valentina Magaletti

The first in a new series of collaborative projects comprising both a commission and a performance for Supernormal, this sees experimental sound artist Helm AKA Luke Younger joining forces with visionary percussionist Valentina Magaletti (also of Tomaga, Vanishing Twin, The Oscillation and numerous other projects) to create a new work that appears destined to explore not only new hinterlands between acoustic and electronic, but a world where the tactile and alluring meets the wilfully abrasive.

Herb Diamante

Herb Diamate is a self-styled ‘elegant post-apocalyptick drunken scarecrow who thinks he knows all the secrets of the unverse. He loves glamour, alcohol and pataphysics’ Somewhere between a character from a Lewis Carroll and a member of the Residents lurks this fellow, also performing this weekend with Vibracathedral Orchestra.

Housewives

Inhabiting a monochrome liminal zone where nihilistic No-Wave geometry locks horns with kinetic rhythmic drive, Housewives are an unusually arresting outfit to emerge from the wilds of the London underground. Hypnotic, angular and charged with fervent energy, their clangour with relight your ire.

Jack Catling

Jack Catling is a London-based artist working mainly through the mediums of performance and installation. Through his practice he aims to bring about an atmospheric shift in ontological value, opening up a space for wonders to occur. Catling draws from his background in illusion, his interest in the value and perpetuity of symbols and a shady past built from various fictions. Jack Catling is also a founding member of the performance group The Parlour Collective.

In 2014 Jack presented a performance on the house terrace for Supernormal.

Lucy Woodhouse

Lucy Woodhouse works across a variety of interactive media, online technologies, live broadcast, and photography with an interest in connectivity and co-operation often involving the people and communities she works within and around. Recent projects have involved working with public billboards, hosting audio-visual raves, developing online broadcasting work and live av performance.

In 2012 and 2013, Lucy bought her collaborative project Secret A.V to Supernormal as a live AV performance that took place in the depths of the woods after dark. Using an inket scanner, strobe, smoke machine and a projector to create live visuals alongside an audio mix of artist made music and other tracks.

Maria Chavez

A turntablist and improviser, Maria Chavez was born in Peru yet her forays into delirious and disorientating abstraction and the pursuit of chance by way of sound art have led her all across the globe. Collaborating with the likes of Christian Marclay and Pauline Oliveros, and engaging in a plethora of commissions and projects of various forms, her commitment to finding the beauty in the broken remains paramount.

Melanie Clifford

Melanie Clifford is an artist working in translation between moving image, sound, drawing, broadcast, material and site to think about psychological relationships to urban space: intimacy, distance, estrangement; the experience of being held in and between registers. Her research interests bridge art and cognitive & perceptual neuroscience. Her work has included constructing visual scores for variable sound interpretation, soliciting sensitivity to detail, to minor fluctuations and structural disintegrity. Melanie also works directly with sound and its location: performing site-specific sound pieces and recording found sounds and her own slight interventions, to be edited, reconstructed and broadcast and co-produces a weekly live improvisational radio test transmission for Resonance 104.4FM, London.

Melanie has performed or participated every year since the beginning of Supernormal in some form, whether with the ever expanding A-Band, playing glass on guitar with Cindy Talk, experimenting and improvising with everyday objects and ephemeral sounds with Bermuda Triangle Test Engineers, and creating a new immersive/reactive sound installation in the Pink Shed.

Melting Hand

Their pedigree alone would suggest planet-altering psychedelic destruction, yet the reality outweighs the expectation when it comes to Melting Hand – comprising journeyman six-string-sorcerer Mike Vest alongside Terminal Cheesecake’s Gordon Watson and Russ Smith and Gum Takes Tooth’s Tom Fug, these vortex-voyagers take demented riff science and a skyward disposition and use ’em to lose it in a blizzard of third-eye-massaging mania.

Mums

The most intimidating and feral rock force ever to hail from Widnes, Mums deal in a fearsome demolition derby of Melvins-style riff worship, balls-to-the-wall rock ballast and an omnipresent sense of humour. No gobs remain unsmacked when this power trio are in the area.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

The hardy toon terrors have left many a smouldering husk of a venue in their wake in the last couple of years, delivering feverish and transgressive blasts of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation that summon an almighty primal charge in all they survey. Indeed, these psychic omnivores will consume a total of seven times almost anything you put them into contact with.

Rebecca Lennon

Working with video, text, sound and performance, Rebecca Lennon brings together the cinematic with the mundane, the spiritual with the bureaucratic. Exotic desire, cartoon violence, debt, history and domestic fetishism are combined in absurd and psychotic montage spectacles, narratives that fold in on themselves and instructional texts that implicate the viewer.

For Supernormal 2014 Rebecca was commissioned to develop a new work for the Artist Billboard project. She also presented a new performance in the Barn called ‘CLEAN LUNAR’, a public cleaning ritual that incorporated sound, video, eggs, plastic bags and drums.

Image: THE DESERT, 2016

Sam Belinfante and Mark Sanders

Sam Belinfante is an artist based in London whose practice explores audio-visual technologies and their corresponding modes of thought. Belinfante recently completed a three-month residency at Camden Arts Centre to ‘unpick the relationships between the choreography of sound, language and technology’.

Belinfante’s research moves between sound, music and gesture, the choreography of the sensory experience and language and gesture within the choral tradition. Upon culmination of the residency and as a way of ‘working through’ the accumulated research and audio-visual material, Belinfante invited acclaimed percussionist Mark Sanders to respond to a series of signals, both voluntarily and involuntarily, within an installation of sound, looping gestures and moving image created by the artist.

In the context of Supernormal, Belinfante and Sanders will reconfigure the performance within the festival’s unique spaces contributing further to the project’s growing set of convolutions.

Image: Postscript: Sam Belinfante: On the One Hand and the Other, Camden Arts Centre, 2016. Photo: Hydar Dewachi.

Sam Cook

Sam Cook studied in London but soon became bored and deflated by the city and the on-going brutal and rapid gentrification of important cultural communities. He moved to Glasgow to study at the Art School in 2014 and has since been brewing beer at his South-side flat, cooking and sharing food amongst others and dragging unwanted matter across the city. His work explores the synthesis between social and environmental sustainability and manifests in multiple forms including collective activity, installation and sculpture.

In 2015 Sam took part in the Artist Plinth Project which invited selected artists to make new work that considered the plinth within the context of Supernormal.

Image: ‘lazy’, reclaimed steel, re-purposed acrylic, re-used glass, vegetable aspic, 2015.

Sam Underwood

Mr.Underwood is a musician, sound artist and instrument designer. As well as being a music producer and live performer Mr.Underwood is often found working on a variety of leftfield projects, from setting up elaborate field recordings, to building obscure mechanical musical instruments. He has an almost unhealthy fascination with sound, often being distracted by a squeaky shoe or the sound of the ventilation system when he should be concentrating on something else. Mr.Underwood also can’t help but twist the uses of objects, to find new ways of creating sound and interfaces with instruments and technology. A hacker at heart. He can be found popping up in various guises at gigs, events and lectures.

Sam has performed in various guises at Supernormal including as Glatze – his one-man-musical-loon alter ego, with improvisation trio DunningWebsterUnderwood, was in co-residence in the Shed Sound Space, along with his toolboxes, in search of raw materials to hack into makeshift musical instruments, and could be found leading a procession with his tuba in tow.

Second Supernormal Super Sensory Summer School [SSSSSS]

Supernormal Super Sensory Summer School make a typically awe-inspiring return in what can only be described as a ‘Wood Henge’ structure, with everything from ‘post-human’ discourses to Kibbo Kift inspired ceremonial design and craft on offer to get involved in. Join SSSSSS on the field at ‘Woodhenge’ for further Super Sensory workshops, talks and seminars including: thinking beyond the ‘human’, Spirit names and guides, ‘posthuman’ dis-courses, Playing with masks, exploring song & collective consciousness, Kibbo kift inspired design and making, mimicking the ‘natural’, ‘Prehistoric’ mind/thinking and SciFi adven-turers inspiring new worlds. SSSSSS will be joined by special guests Plastique Fantastique, AAS, Annebella Pollen, and more TBA.

Serena Korda, Jug Choir (g39)

The Jug Choir explores the materiality of object and sound drawing on a rich history of jugs being used as musical instruments, from country blues jug bands to the psychedelic rock of the 13th Floor Elevators. Each ceramic vessel bears the face of a bearded man, referencing Bellermine Jugs of the 16th century that were used as common household objects. During the Witch Hunts of the 17th Century these jugs were transformed into ‘Witches Bottles’, a form of sympathetic magic used to ward off evil. A kind of voodoo ensued as the body of the male vessel was filled with urine, bent nails and votive cloth hearts, hoping to cause pain to any ‘witch’ that posed a threat. The Jug Choir uses the ‘Witches Bottles’ as a vehicle to explore notions of gender and hysteria through the lens of war. This insurgent army’s sonic journey considers how ritual is embedded in acts of violence.

Serena Korda works through large-scale ensemble performances, film and sculpture to examine the secret life of objects and our latent desire to find pleasure in fear. Underpinning her practice is a search to find and highlight ritual in the everyday developed through encounters, conversations and the researching of abandoned histories. Audiences are often encouraged to participate at some point in her process creating collective experiences that often focus on the forgotten and overlooked.

Sophie Cooper & Delphine Dora

France’s Delphine Dora and England’s Sophie Cooper have both been making music individually over the past decade and have come together for this unique collaboration using piano, trombone and wordless vocals. Last year they released an album called Distance Future on the Yorkshire based “Was ist Das?” label and it appeared on both The Quietus and Pitchfork’s end of year lists.

Their album DISTANCE FUTURE is their first collaboration from the highlights of a very creative session in the setting of Todmorden Unitarian Church and they also both appeared separately on Richard Moult’s album “Last Night I Dreamt of
Hibrihteselle”. Sophie and Delphine are caught here carrying out primal improvisations utilising
the profound acoustics of this historic chapel.

The Ex

We’re delighted to welcome the Dutch iconoclastic institution The Ex to Braziers Park this year, especially with their being true keepers of the spirit of adventure, mischief and innovation which we’ve always held as important in the running of this event. A band forged from punk rock, yet existing outside of any convenient pigeonholing, their minimal approach, no-barriers opposition to any for of orthodoxy and DIY ethos are an endless wellspring of inspiration, and we can’t wait to see them set fire to the place as only they know how.

“An Ex show is a shared experience, they take the audience on a musical adventure to places no one has been before. They are the most interesting musical unit in the world today…Go and see the Ex and you will hear rhythms you have never heard before…a sweaty seething party, an uplifting, joyful celebration. They have brilliantly proved that playing music with this sense of wild-eyed fun and radical political edge and this adherence to all that was good and great about the positive politic of the punk and post punk period can actually fucking work” – The Quietus

The Rebel

The Rebel is an artist, musician and poet based in London whose unique performances present his incredible talent for humorous, meaningful and provocative wordplay. He has cranked out albums since 1989 and has worked in many guises including the frontman, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the band Country Teasers, a Scottish art punk band formed in 1993. A recent appearance as part of Dan Mitchell’s exhibition “Alcoholism” at Celine Gallery in Glasgow saw The Rebel suspended in mid-air to perform the entirety of Anti, the new album by Rihanna and Pink Floyd’s the final cut, the seventies monster-Rock band’s hilarious last album before an acrimonious split saw the monstrous rock outfit lumbering off in separate directions. Rihanna on the other hand goes from strength to strength, building on the wicked opening-closing hi-hat sound on “Umbrella” to fulfill the unique promise of this astonishing Barbadian, whose formative years were in fact spent on the boardwalk empires of Manchester Piccadilly, if you can believe that!…

Tomaga

Deploying a fearlessly experimental, improvisatory onslaught of abstract electronica and propulsive rhythmic drive, Tomaga’s eerie analogue chills hark back to the ghosts of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, whilst drum tattoos engage with an intensity and invention of Jaki Liebezeit proportions. In an era in which all too many contemporary combos seem to equate a krautrock influence with yet another trip down the motorik Tomaga are possessed of a sonic brinksmanship and questing nature far closer to West Berlin’s original spirit.

Tut Vu Vu

Tut Vu Vu are Matthew Black, Jamie Bolland and Raydale Dower. They released their self-titled 12″ vinyl debut album on VaVa Records April 2015.

Drawing on a wide range of influences and defying easy categorisation, they have incorrectly been referred to as: ‘musique concrète’, ‘arguably the best band in Glasgow’,‘vaguely jazz based rhythm with a wayward electronic disposition’ or ‘the love child of David Lynch and Anaïs Nin’…

Vanishing Twin

Kaleidoscopic voyagers from London via the cosmos, Vanishing Twin (formerly known as Orlando) deal in euphoric groove, radiant melody and exotic altered states. In the hallucinogenic world of these five, the beguiling strains of Broadcast collide with the incandescent swagger of Sly & The Family Stone, whilst the soundworld of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop looks on.

Vibracathedral Orchestra

Vibracathedral Orchestra have been kicking out the jams in a variety of forms since the late 1990s. They specialise in long-form improvisation, often built around drones and extended rhythmic workouts. Typically, their instrumentation comprises a wide variety of string, wind, electronic and percussive elements – truly orchestral, but heavy on ramshackle homebrewed punk expediency. Commentators have compared their sound variously to krautrock, folk, free jazz, early music, noise and The Velvet Underground, and while there may be some truth in some of these comparisons, their sound and methods are entirely their own. The current line-up comprises long-time members Adam Davenport, Bridget Hayden, John Godbert, Julian Bradley, Michael Flower and Neil Campbell. Playing live infrequently these days, their Supernormal set will be a rare chance to catch them in their full-blown long-ass natural glory.

Yama Warashi (山童).

Formerly of Bristol-based outfit Zun Zun Egui, Yoshino Shigihara hereby embarks on Yama Warashi (山童). a solo project, inspired by Japanese folk dance music, Bon Odori(盆踊り), free jazz and African music with electric psychedelia. Yoshino sings partially in her mother tongue about mycelium, nuclear power and broken O.