NOVI_SAD – IIC

Novi_sad

A quick web search reveals that IIC stands for “International Internal Catastrophes”. The origin and evolution of this multimedia project, conceived by Thanasis Kaproulias/Novi_sad and visual artist Isaac Niemand, are also described in various sites. For the idlest, it’s a 31-minute experimental film utilizing imagery from remote regions of Iceland in conjunction with a soundscape mainly engineered via field recordings (Iceland as well, plus the vibrations of bridges in Manhattan and Brooklyn; the latter constituent appearing particularly sinister to this writer following the recent collapsing of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy).

The music is distinguished by two rather distinct sides, both of them dramatically remarkable. The first half, tense and inauspicious, is informed by the kind of elemental energy found time and again in selected areas of Daniel Menche’s output. Static harmonies thrive underground, making their presence felt through storms of gravelly/distorted frequencies combined with infrasonic events. The second part is heavily characterized by the sample of a Bosnian mother mourning the death of her child during the war. As the multiplicity of sonic layers turns into an overpowering mantra – we tried to find a shelter, afraid of the headphones getting shattered to pieces – the crying voice of the woman emerges stronger, the scene conveying a mix of awe and anguish. It all stops abruptly, a veritable fracture leading to a shocked silence. The ears are left ringing for several seconds.

Once more, Novi_sad shows how it’s done to the pretenders attempting to carve niches in the overpopulated area of sensory testing. The live audio/video experience would obviously be ideal to complete the inner assimilation of the piece; however, the sheer acoustic intensity of Kaproulias’ reworked materials speaks for itself, projecting us straight into the eye of a hurricane made of concrete fears and portentous sonorities.

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