23/05/2023Sónar+D 2023 - Everything you need to know: themes, stages, timetables, ticket types.
Themes  The impact of AI on the Arts, the central theme of Sónar+D As Artificial Intelligence spreads into more and more areas of our lives, it’s become increasingly essential to monitor how the relationship between humans and machines is evolving. This will be the subject of a talk given by world-leading robotic ethics expert Kate Darling, presented by SEIDOR, at Sónar+D this year. The festival will also feature the work of Catalan collective Domestic Data Streamers, whose founder Pau Garcia highlights the astonishing development of the use of AI in the Arts, whilst also underlining its dangerous consequences. Elsewhere, CJ Carr, director of research at Harmonai, will explain how he uses AI to make music and Tupac Martir will perform his new multimedia ensemble work ‘Unique’. Finally, the AI & Web3 Creatives Summit, an initiative of Sónar+D and UPF Ventures, will explore the relationship between AI and music, cinema (it’s also conclusion of the +RAIN Film Fest, more info to be found below), expanded media,creativity, and Web3  Decoding the future of the music industry... Just as the AI & Web3 Creatives Summit tackles the relationship between AI and music, Friday’s  Music Innovation Forum will discuss how tools for creators, evolutions in live performance, and new communities and distribution networks are changing the music industry The forum’s open format will remove the barrier between guests and audience, allowing for a free-flowing conversation about the current and future state-of-play of the sector. Elsewhere on the programme, CJ Carr will explain how he’s using AI to reimagine the future of music, and grime artist Elijah will bring ‘Yellow Squares’ to the stage for an interactive session designed to help creators find their way in an increasingly difficult industry. Ugandan artist Afrorack will also be in attendance to explain how he has short-circuited the eurocentric world of modular synthesisers, showcasing his own creations and explaining his unique vision of technology.   and of audiovisual technology  As well as the AI & Web3 Creatives Summit’s sessions on cinema made using AI and Tupac Martir's 'Unique' - which combines generative visuals and augmented reality with live audio - there’ll be various sessions that focus on audiovisual technology. Behind the show: Weirdcore + Black Box Echo allows the audience to understand the creative processes of the artists responsible for the visuals of renowned shows such as Aphex Twin and BICEP. Creative designers Universal Everything will be represented by their Interactive Creative Director, who’ll dissect the audiovisual work of this fluid collective of "media artists, experience designers and future makers". And, with 'Generative AI and the Arts', Rhizomatiks studio (artist Daito Manabe and engineer Yuya Hanai)will  offer a masterclass that introduces the audience to the inner workings of generative AI and prompt-based image synthesis technology.  Where art, science, technology, and society meet  Sónar+D 2023’s programme of open debate forums is completed with the Art, Science and Technology Forum, organised together with HacTe. The festival’s opening activity will discuss the importance of the relationship between art and science, explore different artistic residency models and analyse how artists are responding to current challenges. PUZZLE X has been asking how cutting-edge technologies intersect with art, music and creative expression since its foundation. For their interactive ‘MATTER EXPRESSIONISM’ masterclass, its founding director, Dr. Zina Cinker, will be joined by various guests to explore exciting advances in technology and deep science. Using a more performative approach, Playmodes & UPC-Telecos will present 'Astres' at Stage+D by MEDIAPRO, their line of research that explores the use of natural light in visual art. Claire L. Evans will discuss the links and parallels between the natural world and information technology, ranging from fungal networks to computers made from brain cells, with visuals provided by Sofía Crespo. And, for 'Listen to find questions', Jana Winderen will deliver a hybrid talk and concert that explores the field recordings that she makes in difficult-to-access corners of the world. There’s also Plaça de Barcelona, an interactive installation organised by the Barcelona City Council,  that will offer three days of activities to be announced soon.  A new Project Area featuring over 80 exhibits Along with the debate forum, the other new addition to Sónar+D 2023 is Project Area, the central forum of Sónar by Day. Across three days, projects will be exhibited in various different areas. Music & Sound is where music technology will come to life, with exhibits by Playtronica, Richie Hawtin & Erica Synths, Domestic Data Streamers, Befaco, Pioneer DJ and Tribe XR, and Dolby Atmos & Mercedes-Benz. Art & Science will feature works covering cosmic radiation, quantum computing and online pollution with contributions from the Museo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnología and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, plus the likes of Evelina Domnitch and Dimitry Gelfand. Design will include a selection of works that explore radical artistic possibilities and emerging designers, from The Utsuori Lab, Gnomalab Studio, Blo que, and others. Realities+D will provide a showcase of some of the most creative augmented reality and virtual reality experiences around, highlighted by Rindon Johnson, Lauren Moffatt and Universal Everything. Gaming will bring some of the most creative local video games to Sónar+D, don’t miss Aleix Pitarch, Albert Barqué and GameBCN are not to be missed. And finally, Stage Project Area is where +RAIN Film Fest, Entangled Others Studio and D-Fuse, plus many more, will present their work.   Venues and Timetables   Special morning sessions for professionals, students and curious minds..  The biggest change at Sónar+D 2023 is the timetable. This year, Sónar+D opens its doors at 10am on Thursday and Friday for debates, educational activities and exhibitions. As well as the two major discussion forums at SonarÀgora (the Art, Science and Technology Forum on Thursday, and the Music Innovation Forum on Friday), there’ll be expert activities and sector-specific meetings in Lounge+D (welcome breakfast, open mic sessions, community meetups, and more), at Room+D (the presentation of the results of the International Symposium on Soundscape, Advanced Music & AI organised by the University of Barcelona, a Music Pitch Session organised by Barcelona Music Tech Hub and Music Tech Europe and a roundtable ‘Technology and the Cultural Sector.) and at Room+D 2, which hosts a special masterclass Envisioning the Sónar+D DAO’ organised by Polkadot.    … and more open to the general public than ever before in the afternoon Sónar by Day will open its doors at 3pm, featuring Sónar+D activities open to the general public until nightfall. Masterclasses, talks and hybrid conferences will take place on the aforementioned spaces and on stage at Complex+D - alongside concerts from Carles Viarnès & Alba G. Corral, Kode9 and Desert - and on Stage+D by MEDIAPRO’s seven screens - which will also host Daito Manabe, Jokkoo Collective, Ana Quiroga & Estela Oliva, amongst other artists. There’s also an audiovisual installation exploring 30 years of Sónar’s graphic history, ‘Processing… 30 years of Sónar’ presented by ME by Meliá.  Ticket types How to access the professional-only activities at Sónar+D  All Delegate Pass, SonarPass+D and Sónar by Day Pass holders will have access to all the Sónar+D lineup, including the sessions starting at 10am on Thursday and Friday, as well as Lounge+D, an exclusive meeting space. These ticket holders will also have preferential access to some of the other Sónar+D stages, which will also open their doors to the general public from 3pm. Delegate Pass and SonarPass+D holders can also attend all concerts and DJ sets at Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night. Delegate Passes also grant access to VIP areas. Sónar by Day Pass holders may only attend concerts and DJ sets at Sónar by Day. Anyone who has already purchased a SonarPass for Sónar 2023 can upgrade to a SonarPass+D for just 25 euros. An email will be sent to you shortly with instructions on how to upgrade your ticket. Tickets are on sale here.  SonarExtra Sónar+D spreads throughout the city Each year, as SonarExtra, Sónar+D spreads throughout the city of Barcelona: 
  • +RAIN Film Fest: the first ever European cinema festival dedicated to films created using AI will take place on Wednesday 14th June on the Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s Poblenou Campus. 
  • SonarMies: ‘Reprocessing… Piano + AI’: part installation, part open laboratory, where a series of artists from the Sónar 2023 lineup will take to the Pavillion Mies van der Rohe next to Fira Montjuïc to interact in concert with an AI, as Marco Mezquida did in 2021. 
  • Digital Impact: the first exhibition in Barcelona dedicated entirely to digital art is now open to visitors at Disseny Hub Barcelona. All Delegate Pass, SonarPass+D and Sónar by Day Pass holders will be invited for a special guided tour on the morning of Saturday 17th June, organised by Sónar+D.   
  • Hipertèlia: the first solo exhibition by local artist Mónica Rikić, who imagines alternative evolutionary possibilities for AIs, using DIY electronic constructions that invite us to reappropriate these systems.  
31/05/2023SonarMix 024: MikeQ - Pure dancefloor heat
After 20 years in the game, MikeQ is a bonafide ballroom and house legend. He’d already been producing and DJing for over a decade when he burst onto the scene in the 2010s as part of a rapidly diversifying club scene (his early releases were on pioneering deconstructed club label Fade To Mind).And now, the New Jersey DJ and producer is bringing his mix of ballroom and house to Sónar by Day for the very first time, on Friday 16th June. “People should expect a very MikeQ experience,” he warns us, and he’s recorded a SonarMix to give us a taste of exactly what that is -  “a pre-intro to my sound”, as he says.  SonarMix 024 is pure dancefloor heat from start to finish, an hour of classic and modern house, broken beat, and hi-NRG club tracks peppered with exclusive remixes and edits from Mike’s personal archive. From the moment the beat drops on Geoffrey C’s ‘This Is Hot’, the temperature continues to rise, right up until Beyoncé runs through a list of vogue and ballroom icons on the Queens Remix of her towering 2022 single ‘Break My Soul’. There’s jazzy broken beat from Baltimore legend Karizma, foot-stomping ‘gueto club’ from Brazil’s BADSISTA, the obligatory drop of Masters At Work’s ballroom blueprint ‘The Ha Drop’, and countless vogue edits and unreleased productions that you won’t find on Spotify or anywhere else.  The sheer amount of unreleased material featured on the mix is proof of his reputation as one of the most dedicated artists around. Right now he’s working on “MUSIC,” he tells us via email, “...EPs, singles, production for others, label music and hopefully a MikeQ album for the first time as I reach my 20th year in the game”. He’ll take a bit of time out of his packed schedule to enjoy himself at Sónar 2023 though: “I’m excited for BADSISTA b2b CashuBlack CoffeeThe Blessed MadonnaHoney DijonKode9Little Simz and TSVI.”  Why not share in his excitement: hit play, turn up your speakers, and listen to “the sounds of DEE-JAY MIKEQ!” right now.  Tracklist:Geoffrey C - This Is Hot (Remix)Max & Moritz - Ultra EnergiKarizma - Earth These BeatsShino Blackk - InvokedTodd Terry, House Of Gypsies - Sume Sigh Say (DJ Malvado Remix)BADSISTA - Na Onda Da BabylonLaskaar - Maricon (MikeQ Remix)Coletivo Muvuka - Rave Funk Do BustaStrict Face - Circuit Queen Beyoncé - Pure / HoneyMikeQ - Billion DJ Fade x MikeQ - Ain’t Stoppin MeDJ Fade x Vjuan Allure - Fresh Off The RunwayUltra Energi - I Got The Feeling Kelvin Sylvester - Pt2 Bedroom DJ (Inner Sporit Beats Edit)Masters At Work - The Ha DropMikeQ x DJ Fade - Unnamed Track MikeQ - ASUNDER BREAK2LIVE - No Diggity (Vogue Mix)Richard Grey, Lisaat - VogueZach Witness - My Neck, My VogueBeyoncé - Break My Soul (Queens Remix)