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Bendik Giske
Institute of Contemporary Arts
June 2023
A headshot of Bendik Giske, a white person with short blonde hair, sharp earrings, and red clothing
Photo: Luke Abby

Experience a headline musical performance by Bendik Giske, a Berlin-based Norwegian artist and saxophonist whose expressive use of physicality, vulnerability and endurance have won him critical acclaim. 

The body is important for Giske. Not just in the strength and muscle control required to accomplish circular breathing on the saxophone, an unusual technique he employs to mesmerizing effect. It’s also reflected in the tradition of dance, which he practiced as a child in Bali – splitting his time between Oslo with his artist parents – and has enjoyed as part of an electronic music epiphany in his adopted hometown of Berlin. The corporal is implied too in his sense of queerness, helping him create his own sound, blossoming luxuriantly not only on record but also in his striking, embodied performances. 

Giske has likened his work to transmuting electronic music through all his human faults, akin to becoming a machine. With his second album Cracks he introduces a new set of parameters for the automated processes of his muscle memory to work against. His decision to collaborate with producer André Bratten, and his extensive studio of electronic machines, saw Giske play in the new ‘resonant’ space of Bratten’s reactive studio tuned to his original sounds. 

You could call it generative music – a term coined by Brian Eno to describe sounds made within a set of rules that can constantly evolve within that system. But here the only algorithms at work are responding to Giske’s self-imposed constraints – like circular breathing. It induces in the player – and perhaps the listener, too – a kind of altered state, more open to discovery, and as a cycle of sound it defies time. This atemporality, or out-of-timeliness, hints at theorist José Esteban Muñoz’s notion of “queer time”, a chronology wholly other than the default.
Book tickets
07:30 pm
Fri, 06 Oct 2023

£18.50 + booking fees

Tickets on sale 10am, Monday 17 April 2023, sold through DICE (opens in new window).

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