Urvakan is back. It will take place on September 23–25 in Dilijan, Armenia. The festival is a music and art event that draws its inspiration from Armenia’s countless abandoned structures and locations. The inaugural Urvakan Festival in 2019 marked the birth of a new cultural hub on the world map. Through a range of open forums, art installations, exhibitions, and avant-garde music, it offers commentary on global issues.
The festival examines reimagining and bridging genres, including contemporary, electronic, and electroacoustic music as well as folk, noise, militant dub, and underground rap, to mention a few. New perspectives on regionalism and decolonization, synthesis, programming, and musical activism will be explored through the program’s live performances, laboratories, and conversations.
WHAT ⭐️ A specter is always a revenant
The festival was founded in turbulent times when there were pandemics, migration problems, impending climatic calamities, and colonial conflicts, all of which affected its viewpoints.
This year’s Urvakan festival aspires to offer a public forum that addresses issues of imperialism and post-colonialism in the South Caucasus, Southwest Asia, and Eastern Europe. The festival will widen its scope and examine Greece, Ethiopia, and Northern Africa as well. A lineup of artists whose practices are connected to social activism and decolonization will participate in a series of critical research laboratories, workshops, and roundtables.
Exchange (Lab) – a platform for open dialogue and studies that will host open discussions and laboratories developed by a group of local and international curators. Main focus: a sincere interest in sound, the surrounding environment, and creative and intellectual approaches to engaging with the unsteady world we inhabit
WHERE ⭐️ Yerevan is fine, let’s decentralize
Urvakan 2022, a festival honoring decentralization, will be held in Dilijan, one of the country’s most picturesque and historically significant regions. Urvakan will take place at the Armenian Composers’ Union, a modernist building complex not far from Dilijan’s center.
The hub of Soviet Armenia’s cultural life was the Composers’ Union Resort, named after Edward Mirzoyan, which opened its doors in 1963. The complex offered all the conditions required to support the process of creative work.
Artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world have visited and worked at the resort, including Aram Khachaturyan, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Meyer, Giya Kancheli, Philip Glonti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishnevskaya, Rodion Shchedrin, Anna Zegers, and Hans Buchholz.
WHO ⭐️ Recitative, noise, electro-acoustics and more
The festival will feature a number of specifically commissioned works in addition to a varied roster and a wide range of genres. Ensemble Assonance will perform Eduard Hayrapetyan’s “The Wind” as a world premiere. Another regional premiere worth mentioning is “Retaining the Energy, but Losing the Image” a spatial installation by Vincent de Belleval and Nicolás Jaar that consists of 10 rotating parabolas, and reflectors that capture and emit sound and light.
One can experience a colorful spectrum of sonic acts and gigs from harsh Kenyan industrial grindcore and noise, electroacoustic live sessions from local artists, or soul-fueled vinyl DJ sets from ’60s Lebanon. You name it.
⚡️⚡️⚡️ Lineup (updating)
Eduard Hayrapetyan’s ‘The Wind’ performed by Ensemble Assonance — Urvakan commission, world premiere
‘Retaining The Energy, But Losing The Image’ by Vincent de Belleval & Nicolas Jaar
(developed with Pantxo Bertin & Adam Paikowsky) — Caucasus premiere
ABADIR — live
AMAN!!! — live
Ana Jikia — hybrid set
AWWWARA (Giorgi Koberidze & Luka Nakashidze) — live
AYA — live
Duma — live
Gurjieff Ensemble — live
Ildaruni — live
Iny (shhau & Hayk Karoyi) — live
Jay Glass Dubs — live
JRPJEJ — live
KAMARAMA (Arto Tunçboyacıyan, Davit Sukiasyan & Vardan Harutyunyan) — live
MSYLMA & ISMAEL — live
Mveq — live
Nancy Mounir — live
Norayr Kartashyan & Menua — live
Nystagmus — live
Senyawa — live
Shaddah Tuum — live
Slikback — live
Symptom Error — live
Tiezerk — live
Wild Terrier Orchestra — live
Zoë Mc Pherson — live
Anushka Chkheidze – live
Beirut Groove Collective
(Ernesto Chahoud, Natalie Shooter & Jackson Allers) – live
Dave Geodakyan’s GigHunters – live
Doubledav (T_st & Yhii)
El Khat – live
Faeywa – live
HIPNOIZ (Artyom Manukyan, Vahagn Hayrapetyan & Arman Mnatsakanyan) – live
IAMNIKITA – live
Ildaruni – live
Katil – live
Mesrop – live
Misak Samokatian – AV
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – live
Mulatu Astatke – live
Nthr1 aka DJ Smithee
Peter Kirn – live
Reso Kiknadze and
Rooftop Underground – live
Teenage Error – live
Valentina Goncharova – live
Vazgen – live
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