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Le Weekend 2007

Tolbooth, Stirling, 25-27 May 2007

Experimental music festivals are currently so voluminous as to arguably be considered more over-ground than under. When Le Weekend first set the trend back in 1998, however, the landscape was a very different place to the one its tenth anniversary three-day wig-out now occupies.

The previously strict demarcation between free jazz, electronica and a then fledgling noise scene has this year given way to an array anything-goes approach. So, just as Falkirk pianist Bill Wells introduces Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake to a collaboration with trombonist Annie Whitehead, To Rococo Rot’s Stefan Schneider and electronicist Barbara Morgenstern, Phantom Orchard unites harpist Zeena Parkins with Ikue Mori, once drummer with New York No Wave pioneers, DNA.

Beyond such an inclusive roster are three especially exciting Le Weekend commissions. The One Ensemble Orchestra’s debut live show finds Volcano The Bear’s Daniel Padden fleshing out his low-key improvisations with clarinets, cellos and viola, and Nagisa Ni te’s UK debut marks the overdue arrival of Japan’s veteran masters of psych-folk.

Finally, if in need of a lie-down, Kaffe Matthews Sonic Bed_Scotland project is an installation and concert that sees Matthews take a mighty leap away from her recent Scottish Symphony Orchestra collaboration to team up with pipers Jarlath Henderson and Chris Gibb.

Events kick off at the neighbouring Changing Room gallery, where Glasgow’s Nalle play a Friday tea-time set of pastoral-inclined Scando-East European folklorica.

“It’s all gone quite DIY,” says Campbell. “It’s about putting things together that don’t logically fit, but somehow work.”

The List, issue 576, 21 May 2007

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