This year, Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto releases "UNIEQAV" — a new chapter in the Uni series, the outlet for his more rhythmic and dancefloor-oriented work. The Uni series began when Alva Noto was playing live at the club UNIT in Tokyo where he had to adapt his sound to this unique environment.
"UNIEQAV" is the next evolutionary step in the concept behind his "Unitxt" and "Univrs" albums, completing a trilogy of records each unique but still part of a bigger picture.
Described by Carsten Nicolai as “sonically representing an underwater dive”, the gleaming "UNIEQAV" delivers an experience of inherent artistic, conceptual and scientific depth. Mathematics, data, unit systems, grids, rhythms, codes, text, language, spoken words, DNA, science, technology and nature all are part inspiration, part execution of this sonic journey.
As with the last two Uni releases, the French sound poet Anne-James Chaton also contributes to "Uni Dna". Whereas on previous records Chaton wrote a vocal track to inspire Carsten Nicolai's music, here the duo flipped the process. Now writing lyrics to an existing tract, the poet adds his unique vocal flair by reciting the amino acids which make up the DNA molecule.
Reflecting Carsten Nicolai’s interest in 3D sound design and building sonic spaces, "UNIEQAV" transports the listener to a modern, spacious and Zen-like place ideal for meditative movements. Conversely, the album works equally well in a dark club as its every glistening digital spark and simple, emotive melody are supported by a stealthy bassline, frenetic drum patterns and colossal low-end thumps.
"UNIEQAV" is preceded by two albums on NOTON featuring Alva Noto: "Live 2002" with Mika Vainio and Ryoji Ikeda and "Glass" with Ryuichi Sakamoto, released in early 2018.
About the Artist
Carsten Nicolai is a German artist and musician based in Berlin who releases music under the pseudonym Alva Noto. Born in 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, he belongs to an artistic generation working intensively at the intersection of music, art and science. A strong adherent of reductionism, he leads his sound experiments into the field of electronic music by creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual symbols.
Carsten Nicolai founded the label NOTON in 1994 as a small imprint, releasing Noto’s “spin” record in 1996. That same year, NOTON began working with RasterMusic, a collaboration that led to the two labels merging into Raster-Noton in 1999. In 2017, NOTON began working independently, releasing Alva Noto’s back catalogue while currently planning future releases. Its diverse musical projects include remarkable collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda (cyclo.), Blixa Bargeld and Mika Vainio. Carsten Nicolai toured extensively as Alva Noto throughout Europe, Asia, South America and the US, performing in venues like the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London. He also scored the music for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant”, a score nominated for Grammy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Awards. More recently he created the sound design for Iñárritu’s groundbreaking VR project “Carne y Arena”.
His work as a visual artist echoes his musical oeuvre. Carsten Nicolai strives to overcome the division of human sensory perceptions by making scientific phenomena like sound and light frequencies perceivable to both eyes and ears. Featuring a minimalist aesthetic, his installations intrigue with their pure elegance and consistency. Besides being showcased in prestigious international exhibitions like dOCUMENTA X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennales, Carsten Nicolai’s work has been shown extensively worldwide in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
Book the Tai Kwun Pass via Tai Kwun Website / App prior to visiting for guaranteed admission.
No seating will be arranged for this programme. Audience can freely choose where they would like to watch the performance.
The performance lasts approximately 60 minutes.