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Sacrum Profanum Festiwal

Oren Ambarchi

Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum's Embrace Ambarchi employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.

Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Charlemagne Palestine, Sunn 0)), Thomas Brinkmann, Keiji Haino, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Manuel Gottsching/Ash Ra, Merzbow, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Akio Suzuki, Phill Niblock, John Tilbury, Richard Pinhas, Evan Parker, Crys Cole, Fire! and many more. Since 2001 Ambarchi has toured Europe, North America and Japan regularly and has performed at major festivals such as ATP (UK), Sonar (Spain), Mutek (Canada), CTM (Germany), INA GRM (France), Roskilde (Denmark), Etna Fest (Italy), Festival De Mexico and many more including a live collaboration with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra at the Tectonics festival in Reykjavik. His acclaimed trio with Keiji Haino and Jim O'Rourke performs in Tokyo annually with many of their concerts documented on Ambarchi's Black Truffle label. 

Ambarchi has composed scores for various film, dance and theatre productions including Lucy Guerin's Weather (Melbourne Festival 2012), Black Box (Ballet de  L'Opera, Lyon 2013), Benedict Andrews Every Breath (Belvoir St Sydney 2012), The Maids starring Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert (Sydney Theatre Company 2013 and Lincoln Center New York 2014) and with Robin Fox, Chunky Move's Connected (Melbourne and North America 2011). Ambarchi's score for the Icelandic National Theatre Company's production of Macbeth in 2012 won best score in the 2013 Icelandic Performing Arts Awards.

Ambarchi co-produced an Australian television series on experimental music called Subsonics (2003), co-curated the sound program for the 2008 Yokohama Triennale, and worked with Gertrude Street Gallery co-curating an exhibition on Australian and international sound art commissioned for the Melbourne International Arts Festival and curated a sound component of the 2013 Melbourne Now exhibition.  

Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for labels such as Touch, Editions Mego, Drag City, PAN, Southern Lord, Kranky and Tzadik. In 2003 his live release Triste received an honorary mention in the Prix Ars Electronica digital music category. His release Quixotism was listed in „The Wire” magazine's top 50 releases of 2014 and that same year „Pitchfork” named him Experimental Artist Of The Year. Oren’s 2016 solo release Hubris featured an astonishing cast of players including Crys Cole, Mark Fell, Arto Lindsay, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Ricardo Villalobos amongst others. Hubris was listed in numerous Best Albums Of 2016 listings in renowned magazine's such as „The Wire”, „Rolling Stone”, „The Quietus” and „Tiny Mix Tapes”.