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This year is all about hybrid identities – let's face it, when you're entering a transitional period, this is all you can really ask for, and Sónar Barcelona knows it. They're looking at the upsides by seizing the moment and creating a cycle of immersive shows at Ideal, the groundbreaking digital arts centre from September 16, 17 and 18, as well as October 7 and 8, a brand new festival focused on artificial identity this Autumn called AI and Music S+T+ARTS Festival, on October 27 and 28 – in collaboration with the Universitat Politènica de Catalunya and Betevé – as well as the annual version of the festival, called SónarCCCB this year, as it will be held at CCCB, one of the city's finest creative hubs, on October 29 and 30.

These special times require different approaches and creative thinking to offer the best proposal, which includes hybrid events (both on-site and online), with a wide variety of content – from talks, hackathons, debates and co-creation spaces, as well as the usual music shows – in order to connect and exchange ideas with people from different sectors, from creatives, cultural agents or even scientific institutions.

This year we're especially seeing the presence of universities and training or research centres like UPC, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas (ICFO), Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), ESMUC, Eina, Taller de Músics, IED, BAU and other institutions such as Ideal, Factory Berlin, Somerset House or In-edit festival. You'll be able to witness over 21 music shows that integrate artificial intelligence into their performance, as well as forty shows and DJ sets at SónarCCCB, here are our highlights.

AI and Music S+T+ARTS Festival (October 27 and 28)

Most of the twenty-one shows being presented in this new festival are never-before-seen performances; for some artists this is the first time that they experiment with such innovative mediums, although others have decided to create a new experience for the festival's debut. The former category counts with dancer, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Kiani del Valle who is teaming up with Hamill Industries to create an interactive show created by the catalan producer Awwz. An example of the latter is Holly Herndon, whose research project and art residency, which experiments with the voice as an instrument and artificial intelligence, produced by the AI and Music Festival, is being presented here, along with María Arnal and Tarta Relena.

SónarCCCB (October 29 and 30)

This year's festival presents more than fifty activities in 5 different spaces, with a programme that counts with conferences, debates, presentations, debates, workshops and an exhibiting space. When it comes to concerts, we will be able to see artists like Rakky Ripper, Bikôkô, Cora Novoa, Object Blue, and Tirzah at CCCB's Hall and Theatre.
At CCCB's Pati de les Dones you will find a stage that presents a dozen of Barcelona's finest musicians, in collaboration with the radio platform, including Baba Sy from Jokkoo. The programme will present videocapsules that have been created for the occasion, from artists like Yeule, in collaboration with Somerset House Studios.
Other proposals that are being presented at the festival include research projects, like Carbolytics, developed by artist and researcher Joana Moll with Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Aksioma, that studies the energetic impact of using cookies on the internet. In addition is Cora Novoa's newest audiovisual project, born out of her art residency at Taller de Músics. This edition is also highlighting the power of cooperation, as the festival has collaborated in terms of curation with European institutions such as Today’s Art (from The Hague), Insomnia (from Tromsø, Norway), ℅ Pop (from Cologne) y Elevate (from Graz, Austria) in the mark of the platform We Are Europe. Expect the unexpected, for example a talk with the multi-talented Madrid-based artist Filip Custic.

Collaboration with In-Edit and Sónar at Ideal

Sónar CCCB will have a special night where they will present a documentary marathon on October 31, this will count with the screening of Laurent Garnier: Off the Record, on the life and career of the legendary French artist, which will also come with a talk between Laurent Garnier himself and J.A Bayona.
And at Ideal you will see Koraal – Magma, John Talabot's newest audiovisual performance in collaboration with the pioneer visual artists called Desilience. You will also find concerts such as Raül Refree & Pedro Vian featuring Pedro Maia's audiovisual set.
Sónar Barcelona 2021 is presenting Sónar at Ideal from September 16 to 18, and October 7 and 8. Get your tickets here.
AI and Music S+T+ARTS Festival is being held on October 27 and 28, and SónarCCCB on October 29 and 30. Get your tickets here.

Mercedes Rosés

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