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Swimming in Sounds: A Tribute to Arthur Russell

Courtesy of Audika Records


Swimming in Sounds: A Tribute to Arthur Russell

20 May 2018

La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2

La Casa Encendida pays tribute to Arthur Russell, a musician, cellist, avant-garde composer, pop innovator, “disco-not-disco” forerunner and a pivotal figure on the downtown New York music scene of the 1970s and 80s.

In the morning, Family Activities will host Calling All Kids, a musical review of Arthur Russell’s life adapted to young audiences and featuring his most colourful, upbeat songs.

The afternoon programme will kick off with a screening of the documentary Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell. In this film, Matt Wolf reconstructs Arthur Russell’s life step by step, from his early years in Oskaloosa, Iowa, to his creative blooming and constant forays into different fields in New York, where he lived from 1973 until his untimely death in 1992. After the documentary we will spend some time with Tim Lawrence, author of Russell’s only biography and co-founder of the Lucky Cloud Sound System collective.

The day will conclude with Let’s Go Swimming, a series of proposals that invite us to dive into the music of Arthur Russell: a multimedia installation for exploring his most experimental side, a concert where multi-instrumental musician Peter Broderick will give a live performance of some of his favourite songs by Russell, and a DJ set where we can enjoy some of his compositions that are closer to pop and new wave music and his incursions into the underground disco scene.

Arthur Russell was more interested in the creative process than in creating finished pieces, and he only released a handful of recordings in his lifetime. After his death, Russell’s music was largely forgotten until 2004, when the discovery of new unpublished material—he is estimated to have left more than 800 tapes behind—brought him back into the international limelight. Since then, his fan base has grown slowly but steadily.

Everyday moments, echoes, searching, disco ecstasy, pop avant-garde. Popular music still waiting for popularity to arrive. This is a tribute to Arthur Russell.

Curated by Guillermo M. Ferrando.

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