Published on January 22

SUBSONIC: Experimental and electronic music from across Asia

Curated by Brad Spolding, the Artistic Director of The SUBSTATION, the SUBSONIC program invites you on a journey through the foundations and future of experimental and electronic music from across Asia.

The program offers a view into the practice of the leading artists who have shaped and influenced the development of musical genres from experimental classical music to noise. By presenting seminal works alongside contemporary performances, SUBSONIC aims to illustrate how important these artists continue to be and the impact they still have on music today.

Below, Brad takes you through the program and introduces you to the artists.

1. Akio Suzuki at Walthamstow Marshes

SUBSONIC opens on 31 January with an exhibition and performance by legendary Japanese composer and visual artist Akio Suzuki at The SUBSTATION. Akio will be joined by long-time collaborator Aki Onda in a night which invites audiences to delve into the over 40-year long career of Akio Suzuki.

This live recording of an outdoor performance by Akio Suzuki in London demonstrates his site-specific and playful approach to sound-making.

2. Aki Onda at South London Gallery

Featuring Aki's signature sound work, this performance shows him crossing effortlessly between visual arts and music practice.

Book tickets to see Akio Suzuki & Aki Onda

From here we head to Arts Centre Melbourne’s grand theatres for three nights, kicking off with Ryoji Ikeda and NONOTAK in Hamer Hall on 27 February. A central figure in audiovisual work which is now best represented in festivals like Atonal in Berlin, this is a chance for Melbourne audiences to experience Ikeda perform for themselves.

3. We are Nonotak

This showreel shows the scope and scale of the work of NONOTAK, from installation to large scale stage shows.

4. Ryoji Ikeda - datamatics prototype

This is a snippet of the incredible full length work datamatics [ver 2.0] before it toured the world and became the phenomenon it is today.

Book tickets to see Ryoji Ikeda & NONOTAK

On Thursday 28 February, Singaporean musical icon Margaret Leng Tan presents the world premiere of a newly commissioned work with Melbourne-based Chamber Made, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep. A protégé and long-time collaborator of John Cage, Margaret Leng Tan is best known for her exploration of toy piano and percussion. Joining them on the night is another new commission and world premiere by Brisbane-based composer and artist Lawrence English and acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Makino Takashi.

5. Makino Takashi Showreel

This is a selection of works from the last 20 years by the renowned filmmaker and artist Makino Takashi.

6. Margaret Leng Tan

This live recording of Margaret Leng Tan performing John Cage's work In the Name of the Holocaust illustrates her unmatched performance style.

Book tickets to Dragon Ladies Don't Weep

The following night takes audiences deep into the world of Japanese noise with two masters of the genre, Boris with Merzbow. Having worked together since the late nineties, they are well known for their intense investigations of noise as a musical genre. Melbourne artist CORIN opens the night.

7. CORIN – Exo

Taken from her album MANIFEST and featuring the phenomenal visual work of Tristan Jalleh, EXO gives a taste of the incredible live show that CORIN will present as the opener for Merzbow and Boris.

8. Boris with Merzbow – Vomitself

The official film clip from Vomitself takes you into the noise and power of two of Japan’s biggest known names in experimental music.

Book tickets to Boris with Merzbow

And finally at The SUBSTATION in March, we are presenting two works and an exhibition by Terre Thaemlitz. Terre’s work really does defy classification, spanning musical genres and art forms. Through this program, we invite people to delve into Terre’s deep, thoughtful and political practice through experiencing their body of work for themselves.

Book tickets for Terre Thaemlitz