Bottlenote Festival


Block T, Smithfield, Dublin Nov 15-17

Sonically intrepid Dublin collective Bottlenote have been patrolling the outer limits of improvised music since 2006, ignoring genre definitions, colliding different traditions and studiously avoiding any mention of the word “jazz”. Oops.

Every year in Smithfield’s hip Block T, Bottlenote gather friends and accomplices from around the city and the world for a no-holds-barred celebration of beautiful noise. It’s a defiant stand against the “safeness” of mainstream commercial music, providing musicians and audiences with the space (literally and figuratively) to get past their preconceptions in an environment that buzzes with creative energy.

In the true spirit of improvisation, the music grows out of a series of workshops involving all the musicians, which take place in Block T in the week leading up to the event. The public can witness that process by attending the free, open rehearsals at lunchtime every day of the festival.

The experimentation gets going next Thursday with much-respected keyboardist Justin Carroll and his latest group, FreeFall, which includes daring Swiss vocalist Sarah Buechi and New York saxophonist and beatboxer Ed Rosenberg III.

On Friday, trailblazing Dublin quartet OKO will lead the charge with a sound that embraces everything from krautrock and vintage TV show themes to drum’n’bass, dubstep and musak.

Then, on Saturday, it’s ostensibly the turn of saxophonist Sean Mac Earlaine (right), fresh from the success of new solo album Long After the Music Has Gone. But expect every musician on the bill, including guests such as Berlin-based composer Roy Carroll and Danish sound artist Christian Skjodt, to be involved in a grand blow-out by the end of the night.

In fact, no-one knows what to expect – that’s the idea.