REMAIIN (Radical European Music and its Intercultural Nature) is a project that investigates non-European cultural influences on the experimental, avant-garde and innovative music of the present and the past. The project’s primary activities are concerts, exhibitions and performances, paired with discourse activities that dissect the presented work in the context of the project’s topic. It is run by four organizations – three festivals and a concert series, namely Skaņu Mežs (Latvia), Wilde Westen (Belgium), Out.Ra (Portugal) and Kontraklang (Germany) – and is co-funded by the „Creative Europe” programme of the European Union.
The project was conceived at a time when there was an ongoing refugee crisis and wide-spread political polarisation, when fringe political sentiments feeding on discontent with globalisation were becoming widely accepted and Brexit had just occurred. The initial spark for REMAIIN was a wish to reflect on relevant European and western experimental music from the past and the present in the light of its various cultural references. By exposing the multilayered influences of experimental music that reveal that much of it has never really been purely „European” or entirely „western”, the idea was to hint at one of the beneficial effects of globalisation – cultural interaction, enrichment and ultimately renewal.
Due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the concerts and presentations of the projects are most likely to occur in the second half of 2020, but the project is moving ahead with its online activities, the first being an upcoming essay by free improviser, educator and music writer Joe Morris. This will be one of several articles that will lead up to the central project activities in autumn.
Skaņu Mežs is a festival for adventurous (innovative, experimental, avant-garde, etc.) music. It happens in Riga, Latvia since 2003. The festival usually happens in the beginning of October, whereas one-off events by Skaņu Mežs happen more often.
Acknowledging that all forms of modern music possess an experimental dimension, there is always a wide variety of musical genres represented at the festival – from electro-acoustic music, free improvisation, contemporary composition and noise to interesting shifts in dance music, hip-hop and rock or metal.
Skaņu Mežs is a member of festival network ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound), it has co-created the SHAPE platform as well, and acts as one of its two coordinators.
Among many others, Skaņu Mežs has presented Autechre, Merzbow, Swans, Liars, Blixa Bargeld, Battles, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Henry, Roscoe Mitchell, Christian Wolff, Francois Bayle, Wadada Leo Smith, Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, James Holden, Zebra Katz, Shabazz Palaces, Evan Parker, AMM, Peter Brötzmann and Lustmord.
OUT.RA is a non-profit and non-partisan cultural association founded in January 2009, following previous programming projects carried out under the Searching Records label. OUT.RA celebrates music that seeks to transcend genres and styles, presenting live shows, movie screenings, workshops and residencies.
OUT.RA operates from their main office in Barreiro (Lisbon South Bay), once Portugal’s main industry and railway hub and a city of unmatched identity, to which OUT.RA strives to contribute, whether through the event programming itself or through the temporary venues it seeks to open up to the city, preserving Barreiro’s memory and spaces of heritage value widely unknown to audiences at large.
OUT.RA is also the producer behind OUT.FEST – Barreiro International Exploratory Music Festival, happening each year since 2004.
Wilde Westen is a multi-genre concert and festival organization in the south-west of Flandres (Belgium). It is active in the domains of classical music, contemporary music, jazz, pop, rock, non-western music and sound art. Wilde Westen organises 3 festivals, one sound art exhibition and numerous concerts per year (all together approx. 120 concerts per year). The three festivals are Sonic City (adventurous music festival curated by musicians), Flanders Festival Kortrijk (classical and composed contemporaray music) and Bos (multi-genre festival in a natural domain). Wilde Westen is the engine of an intense music experience in the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai and attracted approx. 27.000 visitors in 2017. The activities are developed in close collaboration with regional and Flemish colleagues. Wilde Westen is also partner in trans-border and European networks.”