Sonic Specters IV: Richard Skelton, Jung An Tagen, Firmament

Sonic Specters. A cooperation between Struma+Iodine and AIL (Angewandte Innovation Lab)

Between Nostalgia and Anticipation New Series of Sound Performances, starting October 2023

Eerie atmospheres and flickering sound traces created by past audio sources and the coming times – for each event of the new series Sonic Specters. Between Nostalgia and Anticipation two musicians track down what has ceased to exist and what is yet to come. Oscillating between melancholic nostalgia and euphoric anticipation, linear concepts of time and space will be called into question. Does the past haunt the present and the future?

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Richard Skelton is an English musician. Over the past seventeen years and over 50 albums & EPs, he has developed a signature sound, often comprised of strings, piano and other acoustic instrumentation. Since 2013 he has increasingly buried these organic sources in layers of detritus and static. The process, as he articulates it, is to use signal-degradation as a means of reflecting the processes of decay and transformation in the natural world. His music has been placed alongside giants of experimental music, such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Stars Of The Lid, William Basinski. A DIY advocate, most of his music has been self-released, either via Sustain-Release (2005-2011) or Corbel Stone Press (2009+).

Renown for his expressive and innovative use of acoustic instruments, his much-imitated treatment of strings — at once visceral and haunting — began in 2007 on the album ‘Box of Birch’, and was later developed on his trio of ground-breaking recordings, ‘Marking Time’ (2008), ‘Landings’ (2009) and ‘Verse of Birds’ (2011). His work has been lauded by Gramophone, Mojo, Q, Record Collector and The Quietus, among others, and in 2011 he was featured on the cover of The Wire magazine. In 2013 he was shortlisted for a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award, and in 2014 he was a finalist for the Arts Foundation Award for Experimental Music.



Jung An Tagen invites us to reflect on the diffuse but persistent term ‘experimental’ not as deviation from aesthetic orthodoxy, but as the design and implementation of compositional systems that offer unpredictable results; ‘electronic’ as an annulment of the previous instrumental tradition, and as a simultaneous reversion towards aesthetic openness; as the fragmentation of a theoretical or mythical musical syntax by obsessive repetition, sequential motivic mutations, aleatoric arrays, pareidolic illusions and moiré effects; ‘electronic’ as the ultimate split, dehumanisation, mechanic strangeness.

Backed up by 2 decades of discographic activity under diverse pseudonyms and multiple collaborations on labels such as Editions Mego and Diagonal, Stefan Juster performs tirelessly at Festivals like Unsound or Sonic Acts, researching the boundaries of techno and dissociative computer music. Testing strategies of physical disorientation and forceful sonic phenomena, encouraging minds and bodies to calculate and intuit their own place in spacetime. It’s addictive music. Music in constant explosion.



Firmament is the midst of the waters that divides the waters above from the waters below. It is the past of the traveler that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.