The festival of exploratory music and arts is in its 9th year and has brought 13 festivals to life. We are a unique hub for Norwegian and South African exchange in the fields of exploratory music and arts as well as secondarily presenting artists from different corners of the world. EDGE OF WRONG has so far been held in Cape Town, Oslo, Kristiansand, Bergen and Reykjavik. On this years festival, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, there were all in all 33 artists performing all together 19 concerts over the course of 5 days.
This years festival in South Africa finally saw the light of the long anticipated expansion to Johannesburg. Two nights at the Wits University, seven concerts presenting a great variety of expressions from different corners of the world, Switzerland, America, Hungary, Sweden, and off course South Africa and Norway
Some of the festival artists (Joke Lanz, Josh Ginsburg, Morten Minothi Kristiansen, Bjarne Kvinnsland, Simen Skoe and Tonny Kluften) made the long drive from Joburg to Cape Town with two stops. One in Phillipolis and one in Beaufort West. It was good to see with our own eyes what South Africa actually looks like. In general it resembles Norwegian scenery although different fauna and flora. Hills, mountains, fields and farming, but then with the odd baboon and palm tree every now and then. And the people off course, they are radically different.
Leaving Phillipolis, heading towards Beaufort West on our way from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Photo: Morten Minothi Kristiansen
On arrival in Cape Town we feel at home and things run smooth. Our social network is big and the festival artists are hungrily grabbing every opportunity they get to mingle and make connections. Some of these connections usually turn into new constellations that are presented on the festival program. New and unheard music every single year! From extreme electronic noise to subtle whispers via fusions of traditional music, field recordings and sudden psychotic screams. All of this is melting together in and outside the festival venues with an openness, acceptance and encouragement to push through social and artistic challenges. Our venue in Cape Town was Straight No Chaser. In fact EOW was the reopening event of the venue after they changed name from The Mahogany Room and kicked out their investor. I hope they survive! One of very few music venues where listening is at its core.
From left: Joke Lanz (SUDDEN INFANT), Bjarne Kvinnsland, Tonny Kluften and Simen Skoe. Photo: Morten Minothi Kristiansen
Festival organizer Morten Minothi Kristiansens guitar after his performance with Shane Copper and Makeson Browne. Photo: Atiyyah Kahn
South African traditional multi instrumentalist Dizu Plaatjies was the red line throughout the festival days in Cape Town. In altogether three days with a total of 12 concerts, he performed on five of them with new constellations every time with the festivals international artists. His inventiveness and openness struck us as he adapted to every situation with authority and wonder. Finding new ways to play his instruments on the spot, yet manifesting the deep respect he has for his own musical traditions in every turn. Clashing of cultures is a very productive activity as it forces us to be vulnerable and open. It does not always work, but trying is the least we can do.
From left: Bjarne Kvinnsland, Patric Thorman, Dizu Plaatjies, Tonny Kluften and Joke Lanz in action at Straight No Chaser. Photo: Niklas Zimmer
We know Cape Town, but felt lost in Johannesburg as it was our first time there. It is a wonderful experience to feel and be lost and try and find your way. One is forced to look, find out, learn and improvise! We were assisted by the two exceptionally friendly Johannesburg musicians Carlo Mombelli and Jonathan Crossley, both lecturing at Wits University. In fact the name EDGE OF WRONG is an old quote of Carlos who has also performed on several EOWs both in Norway and South Africa.
One last fun fact is the South African harsh noise artist LIPCREEM (Justin Allart) whos concert was the absolute loudest in the whole history of EDGE OF WRONG. Very fun! Accompanied by video by Jason Stapleton.
LIPCREEM (Justin Allart) at Straight No Chaser. Photo: Niklas Zimmer
Back to the future
– We need your help with all sorts of things. Printing posters and putting them up, doing the door, updating the website, transportation of festival artists, follow your intuition, finding accommodation, sourcing necessary gear for performances, challenge yourself, scouting for new talent, press related stuff, be outrageous, finding sponsors, write applications, make a concert series for experimental music. etc etc…