AV Show

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In partnership with Ableton and in association with CTM festival Berlin, Metal Liverpool hosted ‘AV Show’ in October 2015.


Through AV Show Metal brought together a group of artists to develop the practice of the audiovisual performance, by participating in a week-long lab at Edge Hill station with the aim of pushing the boundaries of this artform.

Fuelled by this Lab the artists then travelled to Berlin to share their creative discoveries and discuss the evolution of AV show practices at Ableton’s Loop summit. Our Loop programme comprised three conversations between our artists, with audiences encouraged to circulate and experience rare insights into their creative processes.

Participants in Metal’s AV Show were James Holden with Dan Tombs, Forest Swords with Sam Wiehl and Kathy Alberici with Federico Nitti. 

Other participants at the wider Loop summit included Holly Herndon, Robert Henke, Daniel Miller, and Matthew Herbert.

Find out more about Loop here.


Participating artists:

James Holden

British electronic musician James Holden has enjoyed a hugely succesful career as a producer, DJ and the head of legandary record label Border Community. His 2006 debut LP ‘The Idiot’s Are Winning’ is one of the most acclaimed albums in electronic music.

The release of James Holden’s long-anticipated second album The Inheritors in the summer of 2013 kicked off a bold new phase in the British electronics guru’s musical career. With its focus on capturing his own in-the-moment studio improvisations, it was a natural next step to create his own touring live show.


Dan Tombs

An alumnus of Norwich School of Art and Design, visual artist Dan Tombs has spent the last ten years creating both his own standalone pieces and collaborating with a vast and eclectic array of musicians.

Known initially for his amorphous, ever-evolving glitch and 8-bit inspired sets, having starting his artistic path by hacking a Sega Master System console, Dan’s work has become ever broader and sophisticated. Recently inspired by the bright colour palettes of the very last Technicolor films made in the 1970s and the twisted worldview of David Cronenberg, the past 12 months have seen his work installed in places like Liverpool Psych Fest and present in the live shows of East India Youth, Jon Hopkins and Blanck Mass.

A mainstay of the electronic scene, he’s created live visuals for the likes of Factory Floor, Gold Panda, and Luke Abbott, as well as collaborating with the Border Community label. Recently he’s been creating visuals for The Charlatans live shows, as well as music videos for Tim Burgess and a variety of others. In addition to moving image work he’s also completed label and sleeve design commissions including XL Recordings and NOTOWN.


Forest Swords

The project of visual artist, producer and composer Matthew Barnes, Forest Swords first emerged in 2010 with debut EP Dagger Paths – a heady fusion of sample strewn claustrophobia, sweating dub, and weighty soundscapes.

The gauzy deconstruction of electronic music saw the EP named FACT Magazine’s #1 album of the year, and in 2013 Barnes articulated and streamlined his sound world even more on the critically acclaimed album Engravings (released via the Tri Angle label), which forged hip hop shuffles and guitar-smeared washes of sound with ecstatic snatches of voice and drone.

In his work, Barnes explores the intersections between euphoria and melancholy, human materiality and modern technology, spirituality and physicality, weaving threads between them all to create music that’s somehow both familiar and alien, ancient and modern.

He has distilled his recorded output into striking audio-visual live sets that has seen him perform at the likes of Sonar, CTM and Unsound festivals and with the likes of Mogwai, Portishead and Ben Frost, as well as collaborating with dub legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Barnes has recently scored music for the Assassin’s Creed video game series.


Sam Wiehl

Multimedia artist and art director Sam Wiehl is based in Liverpool and was the co-founder of electronic music organisation Hive and iconic Burneverything design studio in the early 2000s.

Wiehl has transitioned into the AV world, directing music videos for the likes of Hookworms, working with large arts institutions such as Tate, Liverpool Biennial and AND Festival on acclaimed installations and projects, and collaborating with Forest Swords on live tour projections. Sam is a partner, curator and creative director of the internationally renowned Liverpool Psych Fest and Eindhoven Psych Lab events.

Kathy Alberici

Working with strings and analogue synth, Kathy Alberici inhabits a tingling space between noise, soundscapes, and drone, manipulating, recycling and deconstructing sound to reveal its many faces.

Following intensive classical violin training throughout her childhood, Kathy launched into a chaotic journey through jazz and noise music that led her to the experimental underbelly of Brighton, UK, and more recently, Berlin.

In addition to an active performance schedule in Berlin and Europe, Alberici has released music independently and in collaboration with numerous musicians. She is best known for her role in psychedelic kraut-doom outfit, Drum Eyes (Upset the Rhythm), and her collaboration with Jan St Werner in his electronic opera, Miscontinuum (Thrill Jockey). Her solo work as Bocca al Lupo yields evocative “sonic portraits” which are 100% analog and twine hallucinatory string and synth shivers and loops around grainy, industrial skeletons.

Federico Nitti

Currently based in Berlin, Federico Nitti works at the intersection between sound and image. Part hacker, part maverick, he fuses digital and analogue approaches, code and electronics, to explore the interactive relation of sound and image. His approach always embraces the beauty of the moment, magnifying synaesthetic response through exploiting the human connection amidst the technology.

Also working under the alias sYn, Nitti has previously collaborated with artists such as Aphex Twin, Roberto Crippa, Shapednoise and Inner8.

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