CULTURE

Artists in town to misbehave at 2:13 Free Improvisation Festival

Back for a second time following last year’s launch, the 2:13 Free Improvisation Festival, an acutely unorthodox three-day event whose guild of unconventional musicians will be seeking to break free of all confinement, begins this Thursday night at the capital’s Mikro Mousiko Theatro. A total of seven performers will appear between opening night and Saturday, including the event’s organizer, cellist Nikos Veliotis, whose efforts to create a local scene for improvisation have led to a string of worthwhile 2:13 concerts, all at the aforementioned venue over the past year. Also on the bill are Phil Durrant on violin and live electronics, Burkhard Beins on percussion, Ignaz Schick on live electronics, Matt Davies on trumpet, local electronica artist Coti K on live electronics, and Dimitris Mamarotos on bass and clarinet. All seven performers will play on all three days as members of various combinations of players. The event’s schedule, to govern proceedings on the first two nights, will be scrapped entirely on the closing night for relay performances. For its requirements, the musicians will perform from three points – stage, entrance, and upstairs – and rotate to form various group combinations. In terms of music, the first two days will be of higher value, but the third day will have the advantage of being more of a performance, a more playful, probably unpredictable event, said Veliotis, a classically trained musician. Offering itself to artists with a penchant for improvisation, the 2:13 concept was launched in London in 1992. A second stage was added in Berlin four years later, before Veliotis decided to add Greece’s link to the circuit last year. Madrugada, whose lineup consists of Sivert Hoyem, Robert Buras, Frode Jacobsen and Jon Lauvland Pettersen, a quartet that gelled about five years ago following some early reshuffling, traveled to New York to record their second album. There was an American connection to the band’s debut album, too. Industrial Silence had been mixed by American John Agnello, who has produced work by numerous compatriot indie acts, including Dinosaur Jr, Mark Lanegan, also frontman for the Seattle band Screaming Trees, and Steve Wynn, nowadays a solo performer since the demise of his band, the Dream Syndicate, over a decade ago.