Gradisca d’Isonzo, a small and unremarkable town in the north east of Italy, seems an unlikely spot to host an international festival of experimental music. But, close to the border of Slovenia, it’s the sort of place that can easily get hold of the generous government funding needed to draw the region closer to the heart of the nation. It explains how this three-day event managed to present artists from three continents to packed houses absolutely free of charge – a situation unthinkable in most other locations.
Still, much of the music would be familiar to seasoned festivalgoers, with the majority of musicians drawn from the fringes of Improv and free jazz. (…)
Canadian duo Nous Perçons Les Oreilles, ventured into some of the furthest out areas of improvisation. Combining twin alto saxes with Jean Derome’s whistles, flutes and mouthpieces and Joane Hétu’s vocal groans, whines and whinnies, they produced an ever evolving thicket of organic noise with a heavy dose of sound poetry. (…)