Approximation Festival: Behind the Scenes


Back in November I on some interviews and photos for the Approximation Festival in Düsseldorf. I thought it would be a good time to dig out some behind-the-scenes photos from the event:


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Approximation Festival: Patten


Patten have been performing and releasing music on ultra-limited edition CDRs since 2006, whilst also running their imprint Kaleidoscope. Following a series of increasingly intense live performances, billed alongside artists as varied as Thurston Moore, DJ Spooky, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Leafcutter John, Caribou, and JD Samson, the first official patten LP GLAQJO XAACSSO was released in September 2011 through boutique UK label, No Pain in Pop to widespread acclaim.

Patten’s subtle song structures develop between steeply flanked crystal-like sounds. Distinctive perplexities envelop the sharp-edged romance of the songs, the minimal arrangements avoid the usual retro-traps. []

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.

Approximation Festival: Dorian Wood


Los Angeles-based artist Dorian Wood has brought his emotionally-charged performances to concert halls, museums, music venues and performance spaces throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, with a voice that channels the skill and ferocity of such auteurs as Scott Walker, Nina Simone, Nick Cave and Tom Waits. []

Dorian’s most recent album, Rattle Rattle, is an epic collection of original doomsday-themed songs that form one strong, continuous piece incorporateing over 60 musicians, including a 45-member choir assembled by Dorian himself. He is currently working on a new album, scheduled for release in 2017, of which a few songs he previewed at the Approximation Festival.

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.

Approximation Festival: Super Flu + Rahel


As Super Flu, duo Feliks Thielemann & Mathias Schwarz create playful tracks that lie between techno and deep house. [] They appeared at the Approximation Festival accompanied by Rahel Hutter, who studied the piano performance at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar. Rahel is also part of Leipzig-based band the Cloche, providing music that alternates between high-powered beats and spherical sounds into a multi-layered soundscape of styles ranging from minimalist and electronic music, to rock and jazz. []

Mixing classical piano with house and techno? Sure, why not. Anybody with a passing familiarity with dance music knows the most classic of tracks were built on the driving chords of a piano, after all.

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.


Approximation Festival: Daniel Wohl


Born and raised in Paris, and currently living in Los Angeles, Daniel Wohl’s music blends electronics with acoustic instrumentation to often surprising and provocative effect. Daniel recently worked on the scores for the surrealist indie film Elixir a 2015 Berlinale selection as well as The Color of Time, which features James Franco, Jessica Chastain and Mila Kunis. []

Collaborations are at the center of his practice, and he has enjoyed working with a number of ensembles and artists such as the the American Symphony Orchestra,  So Percussion, Julia Holter, Lucky Dragons,  Laurel Halo, the Calder Quartet, Indianapolis Symphony, eighth blackbird,  and Son Lux. In the Approximation festival, he collaborated with the Asasello Quartet.

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.

Approximation Festival: Marina Baranova


Marina Baranova was born in Ukraine in a family of musicians. Already by the age of five, Marina passed an entrance exam to the Music College in her hometown of Kharkiv, and by the age of 11, she  won the first prize at the International Piano Competition in Ukraine. []

“The original idea of combining different pieces into suites came from my close friendship with some great DJs. I like the way the pieces flow into one another, as they do on a mix tape, and create a new context.”

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.

Approximation Festival: Tamar Halperin & Francesco Tristano feat. guy Sternberg


Francesco Tristano (left) is a Luxembourg classical and experimental pianist and composer, who also plays the clarinet. He composes both classical and electronic music. []

Tamar Halperin (right) is an Israeli harpsichordist, pianist and musicologist. She has played Baroque music in historically informed performance, but also classical repertory and jazz with a big band. []

The three have been friends since childhood, brought in part together by the book Der Untergeher, a novel by Thomas Bernhard, recollections and ruminations relating to the relationships between three musicians.

Performing at the Approximation Festival in Dusseldorf.