Netaudio Festival 09, Maria Berlin
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Netaudio Festival 2009 Report

by Marco Donnarumma aka TheSAD                                                                                                                     November 2nd, 2009

Berlin. Wonderful as always.

I visited again the city three weeks ago to play the audiovisual concert “I C::ntr::l Nature” which was selected for the day program of Netaudio Festival.

I went there together with Joanna M. Stacewicz for a few days and we had the chance to enjoy one of the (probably) last days of full warm sun before the winter.

Our expectations for the Netaudio Festival were pretty high – probably too high. Wait! I’m not talking about the organization but about the musical offerings.

The event was really well organized and it was clear the amount of effort the staff had put in in order to make everything work. I want to thank all the staff for making this happen. The people were great and we all had nice times, but the only thing that I found unsatisfactory was the line-up policy of the event.

I probably wasn’t considering the complete spectrum of a “netaudio-only” event. The line-up was almost completely dedicated to dance live acts (or DJ sets), dancy electronica, dancy IDM, dancy dubstep, techno, and some live pop bands.

Don’t misunderstand me! I like to dance, but I largely prefer to discover new sounds, new approaches to music, innovative reflections of sounds and technology.

This actually made me think a lot about the netaudio scene and how I relate myself to it. Why do I listen to free music? Because it’s free – free as in “free beer”? Is it because I don’t want to spend my money on music? No, I don’t think so. Probably, I listen to free music ’cause I’m seeking an added value that can somehow guarantee a different approach to music composition and the listening experience.

Probably I would like to see a Netaudio festival dedicated to music which is “free” as in “freedom”: the freedom to create music and sounds that are going beyond my everyday perception of techno-glitch, pop-kraut-rock, hip-hop, reggae, and dance-hall. Music is much more than this, music is not only something to have fun with, but I believe it is a relevant aspect of our everyday learning process, so that it doesn’t have to be undervalued.

Anyway, excluding my personal complains, I happily performed the 3rd version of the audiovisual concert for augmented bass guitar and butterfly and introduced the free software C::NTR::L. Thanks Georg – from Pure Data mailing list – for dropping by!

We had the pleasure to meet many old friends after quite a time. The almighty Dr.Nojoke was there (thanks for hosting us and being our light in Berlin!) – he played a really interesting live set under the moniker Trioon together with the common friend Servando Barreiro and JLab – and the omnipresent Visual Berlin collective were contributing to the event with quality live visual shows by Flux, Fred, Oigovisiones, E-Gruppe, Pixelnoizz, Yagama.

We had also the chance to get to know Fernando Fonseca (Public Spaces) who played one of the most interesting acts in whole the festival. A weird coincidence made me play exactly before his set, thus we met and found out we had many common ideas. Finally we also had the time to go out for dinner together and release our minds from too high thoughts hanging around Kreuzberg for 40 min. looking for a place where to eat.
Actually I’m forgetting about another interesting project developed by Netaudio Berlin: The Berlin Wall of Sound. People were invited to record field sounds around the Berlin Wall to create a Berlin Wall of sound map. The map was physically available as a touch screen installation inside the main room of the venue ( ).

All in all I’m happy to have participated and contributed to this event. All critics and doubts expressed in this article don’t have to be perceived as a provocation, not at all. I only try to stimulate constructive discussions and thoughts, since this is what we are here for! Should I sit all the day long mesmerizing myself thinking how beautiful is life?

Nahh! that’s not for me. Please, feel free to write a few lines about your idea of free music and whatever could be related to it. I definitely wish to know your opinion and to keep the conversation going.

All pictures by Joanna M. Stacewicz, thank you!

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