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October 21, 2009

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In the groove: Nordic multimedia and music fest a notch above

NOTCH stands for NOrdic + CHinese and the 2009 NOTCH Festival starting next Tuesday will be a simultaneous multimedia and music extravaganza in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

The monthlong event promises to be an edgy, cross-cultural party.

Shanghai will host an exhibit and four live concerts by performers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

This is the fourth year of the NOTCH Festival involving audio-visual artists and musicians of all kinds. The rather obscure theme is "ID-Entity." Last year it was "Comma Coma."

It runs through November 28.

Organizers say it "fuses the frontier of Nordic audio-visual culture with China's emerging local scene, triggering an experiment in 'contemporizing the future' or 'de-futurization'."

"It aims to promote new thinking and cross-disciplinary work in art, music, design and architecture through exchanges between creative talents in China and Nordic countries," says Jiang Jian, the organizer.

"ID Entity" is about individuals creating multiple identities using online and digital means.

Notch also draws on the meaning of the word, or groove - marks made by the earliest humans.

Qian Zhe got to know the Notch Festival by chance in 2006 when it was launched and has ever since then been a big fan of it.

"The complicated situation we are confronted with - such as the natural disasters, the financial crisis - are all explored," says Qian. "The festival tries to present the ideality toward the future via participating Nordic and local artists' artistic expression that we should start reducing, instead of consuming, more resources to further burden the fragile Earth."

Musically you can expect sounds from Nordic countries that span musical genres, including jazz, improvisation, electro-acoustic, psychedelic folk, sound art, avant-garde rock, indie pop and ambient/minimal techno.

The music venue in Shanghai will be Mao Livehouse. Performers include Biosphere, Morten Riis, La Belle Indifference, Andreas Tilliander, Ercola, Rumpistol and Karsten Pflum.

From November 12 to 30, the "NOTCH09 ID-Entity" exhibition will be held at Pudong's Jinqiao International Plaza. Artists from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland will participate in the event.

Art will be combined with two live outdoor shows in the afternoons of November 14 and 15, featuring Mental Overdrive, Femme Digital & Local DJs.

Festival pass: 120 yuan (US$17.6) for access to all concerts, plus one free drink each night.


NOTCH09 Shanghai

Audio-visual concert I

Date: October 27, 8pm-10pm

Food (Norway), Moha! (Norway), VJ Pekka (Norway)Tickets: 40 yuan

Audio-visual concert II

Date: October 30, 9pm-2am

Biosphere (Norway), Morten Riis (Denmark), La Belle Indifference (Denmark), Andreas Tilliander (Sweden), Ecrola (Finland)Tickets: 60 yuan

Audio-visual concert III

Date: October 31, 10pm-1am

Rumpistol (Denmark), TBC (Sweden), Karsten Pflum (Denmark)Admission: Free

Audio-visual concert IV

Date: November 4, 8pm-midnight

Uusi Fantasia (Finland), Eero Johannes (Finland), Pekka Finland (Finland), Ost & Kjex (Norway)Tickets: 40 yuan

Venue: Mao Livehouse, Bldg 32, 570 Huaihai Rd W. (inside Red Town)

Outdoor concerts

Date: November 13, 8-10pm; November 14, 8-10pm

Mental Overdrive (Norway), Femme Digitale (Norway), Nordic DJ and local DJ

Admission: Free

Design and art exhibition

Date: November 12-30

Admission: Free

Venue: Jinqiao International Plaza, at Zhangyang and Jinqiao roads, Pudong


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