Now in its 40th year, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival – the UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music – returns to theatres, halls, mills, restaurants and more around the West Yorkshire town this November.
Lou Reed’s brutal avant-garde album Metal Machine Music provides a highlight of the festival’s opening weekend, tackled on strings, horns and percussion by France’s Ensemble 2e2m and German supergroup zeitkratzer – while The Otheroom breaks down the barrier between performers and audience for its UK premiere. This ritualistic piece features electronics, brass and dancers.
Later on in the festival’s 10-day run, electronic art music pioneer Pauline Oliveros is honoured by ICE, Distractfold and her long-time collaborators Fritz Hausers, IONE and Anne Bourne. They combine to present a UK exclusive performance of Primordial/Lift, described as a ‘bizarre and surreal sound work’.
hcmf//’s final day features the Huddersfield debut by American multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon, who presents nine original compositions with the help of guest improvisers. The festival draws to a close in euphoric fashion, meanwhile, with Alexander Schubert’s homage to Berlin rave culture, Supramodal Parser.
Across approximately 50 adventurously programmed events – including concerts, music-theatre, dance, multi-media, talks and film – hcmf// 2017 also covers the likes of Kraftwerk, organ music, gender in music and even Lego.
Ticket prices start at £9, but many events are free.