A Bunch of Noise festival and tours

Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Musica

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In April 2024, six groups of Swiss musicians participated in A Bunch of Noise experimental music festival, and then four of them set forth on their own tours around Asia.

A Bunch of Noise, organised by Mei Zhiyong, is a large-scale experimental music festival that engaged six groups of Swiss musicians and 1300 audiences with eight workshops and 30 performances. This festival envisions becoming a significant platform for avant-garde sounds radiating from Shanghai, spanning Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Southeastern Asia, as well as Japan and South Korea.

Through one festival and four satellite tours across three countries this April, the combined touring project taps into a growing community of listeners in those regions who embrace experimental music. Noise musicians from Switzerland are able to participate in a cross-border dialogue of sound practices.

Mei Zhiyong and the audience on the workshop day of A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival
Dave Phillips at A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival

About organising the festival:

‘Experimental music or noise art is still a relatively new form of culture in China. This time, we’ve designed more dialogue and communication sessions, with a Q&A segment after the Swiss performance to allow the audience to understand the creative process of the performers up close! Our focus is to make the scene more inclusive and free. In the next event, we will actively promote the participation of more female artists from different countries. ’ 

— Mei Zhiyong (organiser, 2M2)

‘Large festivals can sometimes seem a bit impersonal for an artist, while smaller shows offer more possibilities for exchange. The sound crew was extremely friendly and efficient, giving enough space and time to be able to respect all individual wishes. My prepared talk was translated, printed, and distributed to the audience prior to my presentation. This opened up doors and triggered discourses, and the audience’s feedback was enthusiastic and warm. People often hug me after my live-sets, this has never happened until Shanghai. ‘

— Dave Phillips

Rudolf Eb.er at A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival
Noijzu feat. Tapiwa Svosve at A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival

About the audience and venue:

‘The festival in Shanghai was very well organized in any aspect. The audience is attentive and open-minded, and interaction happens easily. The artist should feel free to create in any direction that leads to the best presentation.’ 

— Rudolf Eb.er

‘The audience in Shanghai was absolutely amazing! There were lots of people from different generations and musical backgrounds. In Europe, this particularity is pretty rare and it’s a pity. This audience in Shanghai was, for me, a clear sign of a high-quality festival and also a sign of interest in noise and experimental music. I was also surprised about the relatively high attendance for the workshops, and many people stayed all day!’ 

— Maxime Hänsenberger (2M2)

Daniel Maszkowicz (KosmoSCore Blitz) at A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival
Anton Ponomarev at A Bunch of Noise, photo provided by the festival

About the format:

‘I believe it is important to combine such a big event with a tour. Not only does it make more sense while travelling such a long way, but it also helps strengthen the relationships one builds. The wider China tour was very interesting and heart-filling. The venues and the people are very kind and welcoming. It was one of the best touring experiences I’ve ever had.’ 

— Daniel Maszkowicz (KosmoSCore Blitz)

‘This festival provides the opportunity to meet a lot of other wonderful musicians and exchange thoughts. In addition to the festival, I had four more concerts in mainland China and Hong Kong. I would advise everyone, if you come to such a festival, to try to organize a few more concerts. This way, we could further establish connections and build communication bridges between musicians who work in the same direction as we do.’ 

— Anton Ponomarev

A Bunch of Noise festival

Founded by the active noise artist Mei Zhiyong and his label FUZZTAPE, A Bunch of Noise represents China’s current vast underground experimental noise scene. Every April in Shanghai, over a dozen highly representative international experimental musicians gather to unleash the most radical sounds in history. A pure sound celebration of buzzing noises, disrupting audience expectations and challenging social conformity. It aims to become the largest experimental music festival in East Asia.