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Electron is a four-day festival that ran from April 5 to April 8, spanning the Easter weekend of 2012. Below is this year’s poster – the city in the background is Geneva.

It is an annual electronic cultures festival that included workshops, contemporary art exhibits, concerts, conferences and parties. These events took place at various venue in the center of Geneva and continued with music acts which finished at 4am each night. One can buy a day pass or a festival pass which allows entrance for a day or 4 days.

We went on Good Friday, checked out a few DJs playing sets in the park where people were having drinks, skateboarding, etc. –  a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Cycloïd-E Black Box was an incredible piece of art  – a mobile sonic sculpture. The thing made with five stainless steel tubes, each one hinged at the end of another, each with a loudspeaker at the end blasting noises, and swinging and waving about in a darkened room like a giant metal snake – very menacing and mysterious.

We saw it in the basement of a theatre. The segments move independently of each other, sometimes folding themselves up, sometimes extending fully.

If its base can move, it will become a very scary robot, something right out of the pages of 1960’s sci-fi novels. It will fit right into Patrick Mcgoohan’s The Prisoner.

No photo can do this piece of art justice. It is the highlight of the festival for me. Experience it with my video here.  I found another video of it online, embedded it at the end of the post.

Later on, we saw Mike Ladd vs Thavius Beck at the Rez in L’Usine.. They were energetic and made the most watchable performance. Most of the time, they were bashing their keyboards facing each other, a bit of rapping in between. Follow the link to find their youtube videos.

Cristian Vogel  at the Palladium. Interesting stuff, strung it together well but somehow did not seem to work up the crowd (possibly too early, his slot was before midnight). For the curious, follow the link for youtube videos.

Opuswerk at the Palladium – not bad but not great, house music.

Light year – they sounded more mainstream, electropop, played at the Zoo in L’Usine.

One of the venue was Le Commun at the BAC (Batiment d’Art Contemporain) – where the music by Eliane Radigue – “Trilogie Adnos” was performed.  She is a legend of classical electronic music of France, heavily influenced by Tibetan meditation.  The piece was at least 75 minutes of warm, undulating electronic background noise with some notes sprinkled here and there.  It was played in a darkened room where many people lied down on the platforms (cushion provided) or the floor to meditate or fall asleep.  It was very relaxing. At the end of the performance, she appeared personally to greet the audience.

A sculpture at the bar just outside Le Commun.

Here is somebody else’s video of Cycloid-E on Youtube – a much more professional job. The sounds produced by the sculpture in this video is different from the one we heard. They used several cameras here. Enjoy the performance.


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