With the speakers stored away and the lights turned out at Vapaan Taiteen Tila, the third annual — and most successful yet — edition of Ääniaalto came to a close 10.3, Saturday evening. Running since 2016, the sound festival is produced and run by DADA, Aalto Media Lab’s student association.
The weeklong event featured talks, installations, experimental music workshops, and more than 20 performances from a wide variety of electronically-inclined artists. Everything kicked off on Monday at Aalto Studios’ Kallio Stage, where the evening began with A Chinese Triptych, a fixed media piece by Juan Vazquez. The 6-minute long work, which is in part responsive to the audience and noise in the room, kicked off every day of performances during Ääniaalto.
On hand to support the performers were Aalto Studios’ own Kallio Stage audio-visual technician and manager, who took the burden off the student organizers and handled the live mixing and system performance. The two days at Kallio Stage took advantage of the theatre setting to showcase more esoteric and narrative-driven performances. Artists played self-built instruments, including some originating in an Ääniaalto workshop, or used the stage to tell personal stories in unique and complex ways.
Then by the end of the week, the electronic music floodgates opened. Performances at Vapaan Taiteen Tila on Friday and Saturday packed the underground bunker with both attendees and sound. Artists showed off their technical and creative abilities, often mixing visual and audio experimentation live on stage. The audience was treated to both methodical, contemplative electronic music, and high-tempo, multi-layered synthesizer beats. Closing down the event on Saturday was toysequencer, a unique blend of professional synthesizers and electronic children’s toys.