Analog, modular and synth fans in Macau will be treated to a two-week programme of activities, talks and lessons at GUIA FEST, this month.
Guia Experimental is an analog sound platform that focuses on modular, synth-based experimental music and sound design.
Organisers Steven Ng and Matthew Ho, who are also members of the Experimental Guide group, explained that their idea is to hold a series of workshops about music made with modular synthesizers. “We had lots of ideas of experimental music. So we decided to organise a festival”, said Matthew Ho. Experimental music is far from the mainstream in Macau, so the greater thought behind the event is to bring in musicians and creators to offer an experience that’s more or less unheard of on the casino-clad island.
Like most forward-thinking electronic music producers today, sound design is what sets a studio artist apart, removing themselves entirely from the use of common or generic sample packs and loops.
At GUIA FEST, which runs over 14 days from 4 June to 20 June, there will be four different aural experiments carried out across four different venues, including modular synth workshop, sound design online workshop, sound & cocktail workshop and live sessions. Although a wide variety of genres will be explored, the focus will be on ambient and experimental sounds.
The sound design workshops get quite detailed — one of the focuses will be on Supercollider, a computer program mainly used for real-time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition, that was created by James McCartney in 1996 and still widely and highly recommended for use today. The Supercollider lessons will be hosted by experimental musician Daniel Maszkowicz from Switzerland who will assist attendees with extracting the ideas in their head into tangible audio.
The organisers have also gone out of the box to bring in a Hong Kong-founded gin by Two Moons Distillery — and it won’t just be served at the bar. Two Moons Distillery will work closely with sound designers to create a sound-infused cocktail which you’ll have the chance to see, hear and taste.
GUIA FEST by Guia Experimental is currently happening in Macau, and runs until 20 June, 2021. You can find out more here.