Bowie & Sónar 2017
03 May, 2017
Apart from this conjunction in location and time, can an event like Sónar 2017, with the most advanced music proposals, be related to a figure who was able to capture and assimilate the essence of upcoming trends for nearly half a century like David Bowie. We believe that it can indeed. At My Vueling City we lay several bridges between the two and single out items in this year’s Sónar programme which embody the ever-restless spirit of “The Thin White Duke”.
Bowie’s demeanour was always tinged with a heady potion of defiance against established values. He never settled in to any set aesthetic, as evinced in his constant regeneration – at every new release, he rebelled against the previous one, which accounts for his endless change of image.
The exhibition, David Bowie Is, opens at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona on 25 May 2017. Produced by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, it has already attracted over one and a half million visitors in the eight cities where it has been hosted so far, including London, Berlin, Paris and Chicago, making it the most visited exhibition in the 164 years since the inception of the V&A.
On display at the exhibition are over 300 objects, including photographs, record covers, handwritten letters, original costumes, stage designs and hitherto unseen material from Bowie’s concerts over the last five decades, on loan from the David Bowie Archive. David Bowie Is takes an in-depth look at the way David Bowie’s music and radical individualism have inspired others by defying conventions and seeking freedom of expression.
The Impact of Sound, and Sight Too
This year Barcelona is hosting two events related to music, and also to advanced thinking and the creative avant-garde. On the one hand, the largest exhibition ever dedicated to Bowie and, on the other, the world’s largest electronic music festival. We all know Bowie’s prowess in the musical sphere, in terms of his great ability to assimilate styles and his insatiable effervescence, which kept him constantly in touch with the latest trends until the end of his life. Indeed, the standard bearer of glam rock also flirted with more advanced genres, notably ambient music and drum and bass. Here then are some of the proposals in this year’s Sónar programme which we feel are imbued with Bowie’s spirit through and through.
Arca undoubtedly condenses the cryptic essence of Bowie’s final studio album.Blackstar and Arca speak the same language – both are solemn; both seem to know the afterlife. Of all the world’s festivals, Sónar was singled out by Arca, the unclassifiable musician and producer, for a live presentation of his newly released work which redefines him as an even more complex and evolved figure. This show will also feature the presence of and visuals by Jesse Kanda.
Bowie moved to Berlin in the second half of the 1970s and there he became steeped in the high-calibre art and music scene. Those were the years of his collaboration with Brian Eno, during which he released the trilogy of Low, Heroes and Lodger. Moderat clearly dovetails to perfection into this pure Berlinese tradition – pop and electronic music with tunes in black and white. Moderat started out as a collaborative project between Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary (Modeselektor) on the one hand, and Sacha Ring (Apparat) on the other. The idea was to work together whenever their respective projects left them enough spare time.
Bowie incorporated the new dance and experimental music trends in the 1990s, as evinced in such albums as Earthling and Outside, with a nod to drum and bass, electronic metal and even avant-garde jazz. Nicolas Jaar is a musician who merges seamlessly into that philosophy of musical defiance which cannot be stuffed into any specific stylistic straitjacket and also imparts a political or poetic message to his creations.
Phosphereby Daito Manabe
Music was Bowie’s great passion throughout his long career. He collaborated with the great stars of pop and rock, notably Queen, Lou Reed and Mick Jagger, and those of contemporary music such as Philip Glass, but that was not the only discipline he excelled at. He also collaborated with such top-notch artists as Tony Oursler. So, it can’t be ruled out that Bowie might have authored the background music to Phonosphere, by Daito Manabe, one of the most acclaimed digital artists in the world. This installation is an important step forward in new kinds of immersive creation and will be one of the highlights of Sónar+D 2017. This monumental structure is a robotic hybrid architecture in which synchronized mirrors, smoke machines, beams of light and up to 24 video projectors combine to create an unprecedented spatial experience, drawing from the world of new contemporary dance music, as well as the vocabulary of projection mapping.
Boris Chimp 504
Space Oddity was Bowie’s first big hit. The single was released at a time when humanity was in the grips of space exploration in the guise of journeys beyond the stratosphere. With his Multiverse, Boris Chimp 504 takes us back to that period. This audiovisual, real-time performance emphasises the relationship between audio synthesis and graphical language, with the story of the first ape to be sent to the moon in 1969 as the point of departure.
Book your Vueling to Barcelona and score a luxury double in its most highly evolved aspect – Sónar – while looking back to the figure of The Thin White Duke at the exhibition, David Bowie Is.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
03 May, 2017