The unprecedented cultural event of the year: Sónar 2017

The WBIB team traveled to Barcelona to experience an unprecedented cultural event. We’re talking about Sónar, a First Order international reference that made this far because of the attention in curation, combining a playful nature, the avantgarde, and experimentation with the newest trends in dance an electronic music. As in every year, Sónar provides an excellent organization. We were able to live the three days in which Sónar toke place as in Sónar by Day. This event is located in the Fira de Montjuic in Barcelona, a place where we witnessed the performance of brilliant artists who, as in every year, are chosen very carefully to participate in this avantgarde event. Sónar by Day is divided into several rooms, which are: Village, Dome, Hall and XS. Parallel to Sónar by Day, there’s a place called Sónar+D, an international conference that brings together a combination of activities, and also includes Sónar Planta, where Daito Manabe and his study called Rhizomatiks presented their performance of Prosphere.

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On Thursday 15th of June, we inaugurated the festival with a Bawrut session in Sónar Village, the central outdoor setting. We could also see Tommy Cash in Sónar Hall, an estonian rapper who mixed rap music with videos creating surreal moments.


Then, we went to the Sónar XS to see DJ Toxe who, with just 20 years old, is one of the Swedish artists that has most attracted the attention of the specialized media. Her productions, which she creates in his home studio, are crude and intricate.


After that, we left to the Sónar Village again, so we didn’t miss the rapper of the moment Princess Nokia (Destiny Frasquer), Queen of New York. Currently, Princess Nokia is the most important voice of the rap that is practiced in the streets of New York, because of her charisma and the freshness of her music. The Puerto Rico girl, with activist hits such as Tomboy and Brujas, was on stage desirous and with attitude, presenting a strong hip hop singing and a powerful feminist speech. She rapped as close to the spectators as she could and within ten minutes she throwed herself into the audience, also she hanged a Puerto Rico flag at the beggining of the show. Although her short show, she triumphed in front of a crowded Village. 


On Friday 16th, we saw Suzzane Ciani live in concert, a pioneer of the synthesizers and an adventurous electronic composer since the early 80's. She gave us an amazing sound design in Sónar Drome.


Later, we moved to Sónar Hall to see Evian Christ. His immediate impact on scene did not leave anyone indifferent. His music and performance were very hard due to the flickering lights and the blunt sounds that he used. Christ is a young and extraordinary British producer who has found a very personal and instantly recognizable language.


After that, in Sónar Complex, which is Sónar’s auditorium room, we could see an incredible visual performance created by the Nonotak duo (the French illustrator Noemi Schipfer and the Japanese architect and musician Takami Nakamoto). Their main work elements are basically light and sound. They presented a fabulous “Shiro” AV Show, with a structure on stage in wich there were lines and geometric figures being projected.

Damian Lazarus closed Friday’s show in Sónar Village, with an amazing DJ session.


On Saturday 17th, we went back to the Sónar looking to the performances of the day. We started with an Oblique & Carlos Bayona’s session in the XS room. They presented their pop electronic music live in concert. 


Zutzut & Imabs performed in Sónar Village with their Mexican electronic sound, that made the public dance besides the warming weather.

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We returned to the Sónar Complex so we could sit down comfortably to see Valgeir Sigurdsson’s show, who created a unique atmosphere with an hypnotic sound and a very relaxing environment that just a few of us could resist to not to take a little nap while being surrounded by its magical sound.

The american producer Nosaj Thing and the Japanese creator Daito Manabe also presented their innovative show in Sónar Hall. The performance they made included, on the one hand the abstract beats and emotive melodies of the musician Nosaj Thing, and on the other hand the real-time scanners and the overflowing visual creativity of the artist Daito Manabe.


Thundercat, a very expected artist, acted in Sónar Dome. He filled the room so much that the people who were a bit late could not be able to get into it.

Besides the artists mencioned previously, other avantgarde artists performed at Sónar by Day, such as Boris Chimp 504, Dawn, Craig Richards, Andy Stott, Anímic and Optimo.

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Some names that may sound more familiar acted in Sónar by Night, including Cerrone, Justice, Marco Carola, Carl Craig, Dubfire and Moderat.

We also had the opportunity to go to Sónar Planta so we could see the performance of Prosphere, a work created by Daito Manabe and his study called Rhizomatiks. The show was inspired by the process of crystallization of certain minerals and their forms, which created a changing space determined by the light. The performance offered a combination of contemporary dance and mapping.


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Also, Sónar+D presented a bunch of activities with the aim of being useful for different creative communities. They provided training sessions, opportunities for the exchange of ideas and tools to finance projects. Sónar+D reflects all the phases of the creative process with the same goal; to make the relationship between creativity, technology, innovation and business more visible and accessible in an organic environment focused on new creative and professional profiles.

Sónar is an event that leaves no place for disappointment and that always counts on with the more expected.

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Photographer: Oscar Bayona

Writer: Eva Hilla


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