Two experimental music festivals open in Russia

Two experimental music festivals open in Russia
Californian singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe will perform at the Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival

9 May 2013

Experimental music fans will be spoilt for choice over the next few weeks with two separate festivals in both Moscow and St Petersburg. In the capital, Prepared Habitat 2013, a two-week festival of music experimentation that describes itself as an informal dedication to John Cage kicked off yesterday.

The festival, which in the past has included a number of unusual acts such as sound systems activated by coin tossing, will take place at Winzavod and various locations in the Arbat aera. This year the line-up includes a special project by German sound installation artist Christina Kubisch who personally knew Cage.

Over in St Petersburg, a three-day festival dedicated to experimental music and art performances will run from 16 to 18 May. The 17th edition of the avant-garde Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival (SKIF) will host national and international artists including German experimental krautrock musician Michael Rother, “drone-metal-art-folk” singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe from California and electronic musical duo Kap Bambino from France.

The festival has been held every year since 1998 when it first took place in New York, before moving to St Petersburg two years later. Named after the world famous Russian composer and performer Sergey Kuryokhin, the foundation behind the festival was created with the objective of promoting contemporary Russian artists.

In the 17 years since its launch, the festival has showcased a range of high-profile, cutting-edge artists who are known for redefining jazz, electronic and classical music. They include Peter Brotzman, Ben Frost, Deerhoof, Mujuice, The Thing, Father Murphy, SWANS, Terry Riley, Fred Frith and John Cale among others.