AMN Interviews: Nhung Nguyễn (Sound Awakener)

CAMANhung Nguyễn composes and performs experimental music that straddles the lines between ambient and electroacoustic. Based in her home country of Vietnam, she has recently released a series of recordings on her Bandcamp page. She recently took some time to answer a few questions.

How did you get started in music composition, in particular, the type of music that can be found on your Sound Awakener releases?

I started composing and improvising music in 2009, after discovering experimental music at the end of 2007. In 2011, I formed my solo project Sound Awakener and eventually released my stuff in 2014.

What are your influences? I hear some GRM and maybe Robert Scott Thompson as well. Am I close?

Honestly, I have to say I don’t really have a certain musical influence and I usually have no interest in finding out the answer for that. It may be confusing, but personally I tend to focus on creating music more than thinking about one.

What is the scene like for experimental music in Vietnam?

It is a small scene but pretty active one. In Hanoi, where I live, there are about 20 – 30 artists working on experimental music, ranging from electronic, noise to free improvisation (to see an almost complete list of experimental artists, festivals and venues for experimental art in Vietnam, click here).

I have just finished my energetic March with 2 live performances. One was part of World of Sounds tour, including both performance and workshop with two artists I really admire – Vũ Nhật Tân and Nguyễn Hồng Giang. The other was curated by The Onion Cellar/Moon Gramophone at CAMA ATK in Hanoi. I admire their energy and enthusiasm a lot to organize the show and bring an upright piano for me. It was really nice to share the stage with thisquietarmy and Glitter Troff.

From your Bandcamp page, it appears that you are releasing music every month or so. Some of this music is several years old. Are you working through a backlog of recordings, as well as new material?

Yeah I love to release tracks that I have done a while before. I am now listening to the material done in 2013 and 2014 and considering release some of them, as well as working on new tracks

Outside of experimental music, what do you listen to?

My taste is wide. I still listen to pop, rock, jazz etc as well as traditional Vietnamese music. It is always good to discover the hidden beauty inside every genre.

What projects do you have coming up in 2015?

In 19th April the new album of me and Linear Bells will be released by Soft recordings (digital and CD). The album is titled Belonging to the Infinity and the material is mainly ambient. I also have other collaboration going on, upcoming shows (including playing on the opening day of Hanoi Soundstuff 2015) and lots of experiments to be worked on.

Read our reviews of Ms. Nguyễn’s recordings:
hidden
September Traveler

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DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET Photos

From DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET:

March 26, 2015
Kresten Osgood Duo, IBeam
Kresten Osgood Martin Philadelpy

March 26, 2015
Kresten Osgood Quintet, IBeam
Eliot Cardinaux Mat Maneri Kresten Osgood Randy Peterson Ed Schuller

March 25, 2015
Raphael Malfliet, Todd Neufeld, Sarah Bernstein, Flin van Hemmen, IBeam
Sarah Bernstein Flin van Hemmen Raphael Malfliet Todd Neufeld

March 25, 2015
Fay Victor, Achim Kaufmann, Ratzo Harris, IBeam
Ratzo Harris Achim Kaufmann Fay Victor

March 24, 2015
Kresten Osgood Quartet, IBeam
Michael Blake Max Johnson Kresten Osgood Herb Robertson

March 24, 2015
Kresten Osgood Duo, IBeam
Kresten Osgood Herb Robertson

March 24, 2015
Carl Ludwig Hübsch Solo, Downtown Music Gallery
Carl Ludwig Hübsch

Big Ears Festival Stars the Avant-Garde

From NYTimes.com:

The avant-garde is a notion shaped by discomfort, as well as defiance. No music gets that designation unless it makes people feel uneasy or threatened. Tanya Tagaq, a singer from Nunavut, the northernmost territory in Canada, gave an exemplary lesson in assuaging worry here on Saturday afternoon at Big Ears, an ambitious three-day festival of experimental music in a place without much of a history of nurturing it.

Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Morton Feldman/Lenio Liatsou – For Bunita Marcus
The Residents – Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?/The Census Tak
Allerseelen – Frühgeschichte I – Schwartzer Rab
Glaciation – Sur les Falaises de Marbre
Disgorged Faeces & Light Collapse – Collaboration
Various – When I Reach That Heavenly Shore : Unearthly Black
Robert Curgenven – They tore the earth and like a scar it
Automating – Bereitschaftspotential
Skullflower – Draconis

Cornelia Street Cafe in April

English: Mary Halvorson with Tom Rainey and An...
Mary Halvorson with Tom Rainey

From New York’s Cornelia Street Cafe:

Friday, Apr 03 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
MARIO PAVONE/MIXED QUINTET
Mario Pavone, bass; Dave Ballou, trumpet, cornet; Peter McEachern, trombone; Julian Shore, piano; Michael Sarin, drums

Wednesday, Apr 08 – 8:30PM
BISHOP/CLEAVER/FLOOD, CD RELEASE: DE PROFUNDIS
Andrew Bishop, woodwinds; Tim Flood, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums

Wednesday, Apr 15 – 8:30PM
THAR
Andrew Rathbun; Taylor Haskins; Matt Pavolka; Tom Rainey

Thursday, Apr 16 – 8:30PM
KIRK KNUFFKE TRIO, CD RELEASE: ON ARMS & HANDS
Kirk Knuffke, cornet, comp.; Bill Goodwin, drums; Mark Helias, bass

Friday, Apr 17 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
SECRET KEEPER, CD RELEASE: EMERGE
Mary Halvorson, guitar, comp.; Stephan Crump, bass, comp.
Secret Keeper, CD Release: Emerge image

Saturday, Apr 18 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
TOMAS FUJIWARA & THE HOOK UP, CD RELEASE: AFTER ALL IS SAID
Tomas Fujiwara, drums, comp.; Michael Formanek, bass; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Brian Settles, tenor sax; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet

Saturday, Apr 25 – 9:00PM & 10:30PM
OPEN LOOSE, CD RELEASE: THE SIGNAL MAKER
Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Mark Helias, bass, comp.; Tom Rainey, drums

Wednesday, Apr 29 – 8:30PM
MATT BAUDER AND DAY IN PICTURES
Matt Bauder, tenor sax, comp.; Nate Wooley, trumpet; Kris Davis, piano; Jason Ajemian, bass; Tomas Fujiwara, drums