If you're one of the admittedly rare breed of Israelis who likes his or her art on the rough and ready side, the Hapzura Festival is for you.
The 10-day agenda is a veritable treasure of avant garde music, free-flowing performances and artistic endeavors that steer clear of anything remotely mainstream.
Today at noon, for example, front man for the Faust band from Germany Jean-HervÃ© Peron will deliver a talk on his artistic ethos and the development of industrial rock in the early Seventies. Faust's output has been described as a mixture of bizarre hypnotic grooves, errant studio-sounding collages and all manner of musical genre. The band also occasionally produces the odd burst of satirical pop or even waves of delicate ambience. This evening and tomorrow evening, Peron and his Faust cohorts - Werner Diermaier, James Hodson, James Johnston and Carina Varain - will put their money where their mouths are on stage at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv (both start at 10 p.m.).
And there's more where that came from - in both artistic and geographic terms. Veteran German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann made a memorable appearance at Levontin 7 a few months ago - one which almost literally blew the audience away. At the time Brotzmann explained his ferocious playing as a means of expressing anger at the injustices in the world, and a bare-knuckles performance is to be expected this time too. Brotzmann, bassist Marino Pliakas and drummer Michael WertmÃ¼ller's Levontin 7 show (Thursday at 10:15 p.m.) will include material from their latest album Full Blast, as well as numbers from previous recordings.
Hapzura also features a large local contingent including the likes of TV Buddhas twosome electric guitarist Yuval Herring and drummer Micki Triast, who will appear at Levontin 7 tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. The Buddhas play a musical blend of Indian influences, rock n' roll and organic dance beats, using only a three-piece set of drums and two guitar amps. Last month they completed a 20-date month-long European tour, and recently released their first single.
Musician and multidisciplinary artist Ori Drumer makes his contribution to the festival on Monday (8 p.m.) at the Tzameret Residency Project in Holon. Drumer, one of the founding fathers of the local experimental music scene in the Seventies and Eighties, will perform his latest work, Sand, which combines choir music with animation. Dumer says the new creation was inspired by Egyptian-born Jewish philosopher Edmond Javes and addresses the culture and reality of contemporary life in Israel.
Elsewhere in the Hapzura lineup, you can find the free Sound Intervention outdoor program at various locations in the Holon city center near Weizmann Square. It will take place Sunday through Tuesday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The long list of Israeli musicians and artists on the Sound Intervention roster features the likes of pianist Maya Dunitz, Afro-Brazilian style pianist Roee Ben Sira, interaction designer Michal Rinott and Michal Rothschild. Rinott specializes in works that "challenge the senses, especially sound and touch," while Rothschild is an artist who uses movement as a fundamental motif in her explorations of relationships with sound, space and time.
Some of the Hapzura offerings may not be for the faint hearted, but there is a varied enough pallet to appeal to a wide range of artistic preferences.
The festival, being held under the auspices of the Israeli Digital Arts Center in Holon, will run until December 22 at various locations in Holon and Tel Aviv. For more information, view www.digitalartlab.org.il/hapzura
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