wolfert brederode, matangi quartet & joost lijbaart:
ruins and remains

WEDNESDAY / 06.03.2024 / 9PM / EXIL CLUB

How can a piece sound that expresses grief and loss and at the same time encourages people to get up again and not let themselves get down? 

In 2018 – on the 100th anniversary of the First World War – the Dutch pianist and composer Wolfert Brederode put an idea into musical form that had been on his mind for some time: the composition of a suite for piano, percussion and string quartet, which translates the destructive side of man and nature and at the same time their fragility and resilience into sound. Four years later, the piece Ruins and Remains celebrates its premiere. Brederode's highly sensitive piano playing merges with the lyrical melodies and abstract sound fields of percussionist Joost Lijbaart and the Matangi String Quartet to create a musical contemplation on the resilience of humanity – a theme that could hardly be more topical in light of recent events.

As soon as the pandemic is over, new crises, conflicts and wars flare up, causing despair, but in which hope flashes through again and again. This duality is also reflected in Brederode's work: improvisation vs. composition, minor vs. major, atonal vs. tonal alternate in Ruins and Remains, merge into one another and are sometimes almost impossible to separate. Brederode sees the piece as an evolving suite. Leitmotifs and harmonic progressions return again and again, while at the same time parts are added or omitted, stretched, shortened or connected through free improvisations. "This allows us to let the music breathe and transform it without losing its essence." From the ruins and remnants, Brederode creates something new that amazes, surprises and inspires confidence.


no plexus

THURSDAY / 07.03.2024 / 9PM / EXIL CLUB

"I want to (...) listen to anything that makes sound, and not caring about genres and stuff." The way Brechtje van Dijk describes her listening behavior in relation to music can also be applied to her own music. Together with her partner Allison Wright, she forms the Dutch-American duo No Plexus. Their DJ sets fuse hyperpop and industrial with their own remixes and edits, while their immersive live shows are equally future-facing and genre-defying. Raw and physical vocal performances are anchored by densely detailed drum programming and ever-evolving sound and visual design. They empower art-school misfits, unapologetically executing their own creative vision in everything they do. Unapologetically obsessed with experimenting, their creative process is led by happy accidents.

2023, the genre-queer experimental electronic music duo released their debut album Rite of Passage, which they themselves describe as an "experimental electronic pop opera". A description that not only sounds adventurous, but actually is. So much so, in fact, that Rewire – the international festival for adventurous music – selected No Plexus as Young Artist in Residence for 2023 and 2024. 



THURSDAY / 07.03.2024 / 9PM / EXIL CLUB

Sopraterra, a music duo formed by Magda Drozd and Nicola Genovese, transforms the traditional timbres of the saxophone and violin into hauntingly eerie electronic soundscapes. Sopraterra is a sort of natural consequence of years of collaboration between Drozd and Genovese in the fields of music, performance and art. The name “Sopraterra” itself, translating to “above the earth” in Italian, evokes images of ancient ruins where only the upper parts remain visible, mirroring the duo's exploration of sound landscapes that bridge the past and the future – a blend of antique melodies and obscure drones.

The idea of working on a post-medieval experimental drone project, grew during 2023 when the two artists started to work in the studio on common music – first for Magda Drozd’s live show of her latest release “Viscera” and later for Nicola Genovese’s performance “Warp”. Drozd’s approach to music has always been experimental and transgressive. The Zurich-based artist, composer and musician combines field recordings with violin drones, orchestral passages, choral melodies, fragile voices, noise and various instrumentations to create seductive soundscapes. 

The musical roots of Nicola Genovese, who is an Italian visual artist and musician based in Zurich with a practice that focuses on the entanglement of sculpture, performance and soundscapes, delve into the realms of free jazz and avant-garde. In recent years he is expanding the sonority of his instrument through granular loopers and modulated delays to explore the potential of late renaissance harmonies.

Sopraterra draws inspiration from an eclectic spectrum of influences, including the visionary sounds of Current 93, the intricate harmonies of late medieval Ars Nova, and the enchanting elegance of Baroque chamber music, Sopraterra also pays homage to the avant-garde experimentation of the legendary French collective Art Zoyd and the contemporary brilliance of nowadays composers like Kali Malone, Hüma Utku or Hiro Kone.

At the Currents Festival the duo will show for the first time their yet unreleased music. 


FRIDAY / 08.03.2024 / 8.30PM / MOODS ZURICH

She is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer and curator. We are talking about Taja Cheek aka L'Rain. With her music, the New Yorker creates a world in which everything makes sense and is sensual, where duality and contradiction are omnipresent. Inspired by the gospel and R&B of the 1990s, from black folk and indie rock to the sounds of early synthesizers and Baroque compositional tropes, she creates songs that make use of certain styles but cannot be assigned to any genre. L'Rain herself describes the practice and aesthetics of her music as "approaching songness" – approaching, touching and yet letting go again, which makes the diversity and ambivalence of her sonic explorations all the more powerful. “I’m envisioning a world of contradictions, as always," explains Cheek. "Sensual, maybe even sexy, but terrifying and strange." 

At Currents, L'Rain presents her third album "I killed your dog" together with her collaborators Andrew Lappin and Ben Chapoteau-Katz. In it, she revisits themes of grief and identity and asks what it means to hurt the people you love the most. The New York Times included the album's eponymous single on its list of the 20 best songs of 2023: "L’Rain (…) ponders vengeful, destructive impulses in a near-lullaby that wanders through a chromatic chord progression, building ambivalence into the harmonies.”

moor mother

SATURDAY / 09.03.2024 / 8.30PM / MOODS ZURICH

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. Her work speaks to many genres from electronic to free jazz and classical music. Camae's work has been featured at the Guggenheim Museum, The Met, Carnegie Mellon and Carnegie Hall, Documenta 15, the Berlin Jazz Festival, and the Glastonbury Festival. Through the lens and practice of Black Quantum Futurism the art she makes is a statement for the future, as well as a way to honor the present and its historic connections to a multitude of past realities and future outcomes. She specializes in practical concepts, but works in speculation and historical concepts. Moor Mother creates soundscapes using field sounds and archival sound collage in order to create sonic maps that allow us to journey to our buried histories and futures. She is an artist who, through writing, music, film, visual art, socially engaged art, and creative research, explores personal, cultural, familial, and communal cycles of experience, and solutions for transforming oppressive linear temporalities into empowering, alternative temporalities. Her work seeks to inspire practical techniques of vision and agency against a forever expanding re -conquering of land, housing, and health in Black communities. Camae is a Pew Fellow, a The Kitchen Inaugural Emerging Artist Awardee, a Leeway Transformation Award, a Blade of Grass Fellow as part of Black Quantum Futurism, and a Rad Girls Philly Artist of the Year. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange, WORM! Rotterdam residency, and the Creative Capital and CERN collide residency with Black Quantum Futurism. 


noémi büchi

SATURDAY / 09.03.2024 / 8.30PM / MOODS ZURICH

"I have no specific intention with the music. I want to move something. If something moves physically, that's enough for me". In fact, it's not just the speakers that Noémi Büchi makes vibrate with her musical experimentation. As a listener, you often can't help but let the rhythm of the beats and the orchestral melodies flow through your arms and legs, tracing them with your whole body. The 33-year-old Zurich native's pieces are also always an exploration: Noémi Büchi takes everyday objects, elicits the sounds and tones from them, records them with a microphone, combines them anew at the mixing desk and, through abstraction, variation and the addition of classical, folk or jazz music, creates a symphonic sonority that surprises and arouses curiosity. No two listening experiences are the same; a new musical universe could open up behind every note. 

Noémi Büchi studied electroacoustic composition at the ZHdK as well as musicology and German studies. She was awarded the City of Zurich Culture Prize in 2022. For the currents festival, she has not only put together an ensemble of four talented musicians especially for the currents festival, but has also composed a completely new piece for the ensemble and festival: 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗹𝘆𝘀𝗺, a contemporary electroacoustic ensemble piece written for Horn, Trombone, two Saxophones, and Electronics.

Cataclysm is an amalgamation of diverse musical influences, including film music, jazz, game music, classical, and subtle elements of pop, it’s a cross-genre piece with influences and ideas from spectral music that challenges conventional notions of classical music and blurs the boundaries between the musical past, present and future.

The ensemble features accomplished musicians: Joan Jordi Oliver on Saxophone, Axel Kolb on Trombone, Grace Juliet Macdonald on Saxophone, Filipa Salazar on Horn, and the composer herself on the Electronics.