By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The experimental music festival Novas Frequências (New Frequencies) will hold its fourth edition beginning on Monday, December 1st. Running through Sunday, December 14th, this year’s festival will feature thirty-three musicians, electronic composers, DJs and artists from eleven countries performing live in venues throughout Rio de Janeiro.

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A live performance during Festival Novas Frequências 2013, photo by Eduardo Magalhães/I Hate Flash courtesy of Festival Novas Frequências.

Since it began in 2011, the Novas Frequências festival has grown steadily in popularity with Prêmio Noite Rio naming it the “Best Rio Festival” in 2013. Celebrating new combinations of sounds and rhythms along with innovative uses of technology, the festival originated from a partnership between cultural producers, Chico Dub and Tathiana Lopes.

“The world today has become very pasteurized, everything is so similar,” Dub told The Rio Times, when speaking of the festival’s importance. “No matter if you are in Japan, the United States or in Rio de Janeiro, access to things, access to information is the same. So I try to filter and bring really different music and sounds, proposals that are hidden in the global cacophony and that only a festival with our DNA and concept can find and share.”

Chico Dub is well known for discovering and showcasing new talents. He curated the Belo Horizonte new music trends festival, Eletronika, in 2013 and 2014 and the second edition of the SESI Digital Culture festival. Dub is also the founder and curator of the compilation series Hy Brazil, which currently includes six volumes of new and innovative music from up-and-coming Brazilian artists.

During this edition of Novas Frequências, thirteen Brazilian artists will perform. The remaining twenty international artists will present their unique sounds live in Brazil for the first time.

“It’s a very diverse group yes, a total of thirty-three artists from eleven countries,” said Dub. “In fact, this year we have several curatorial axes, these cutouts that cross and establish new connections. The largest of those axes brings together artists that somehow appropriate rhythmic and melodic cells from continents other than their own to develop their own sound.”

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American Ashley Paul will be the first performer of the 2014 edition of Festival Novas Frequências, photo courtesy of Qu Junktions.

American Ashley Paul is one such artist. The Brooklyn-based performer and composer will start the festival with her show at the Audio Rebel music store in Botafogo on December 1st at 8PM. “The Festival looks amazing!” Paul told The Rio Times. “I’m excited to see Rashad [Becker], and Aki [Onda] while I’m there and thrilled to be coming to Brazil. I have wanted to visit for years.”

Paul is known for weaving together multiple instruments and elements to craft abstract yet melodic and decptively simple works. “I grew up in a very creative family,” said Paul when explaining what influenced her to become a musician and what currently inspires her.

“I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be in the arts. It was my sister and dad who first inspired me to play music. Later it was Paul Desmond who made me want to play the saxophone. I think I’m most inspired by seeing my peers perform, but I love Morton Feldman, Duke Ellington, Reiko Kudo, Ornette Coleman, and Conlin Nancarrow, to name a few.”

Paul received a Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory in 2007 and during her career thus far, has released solo albums which received praise from the NPR (National Public Radio) program, “All Songs Considered,” online music magazine Pitchfork and Wire magazine, among others. Her newest album, entitled 12,000 Seconds was recently released.

“When recording I usually have a sense of what I want the album to be,” said Paul when explaining her creative process, adding, “Problem is, my music is instinct driven, so often what I plan and the end result are entirely different.”

In terms of live performances, Paul said the best part is; “The challenge of it. I grew up studying saxophone. That instrument feels easy to me. Once I started working with my current set-up (guitar, voice, saxophone, tape and bells) everything became difficult. That excites me. ”

Following Paul, Novas Frequências 2014 will feature performances by artists including Aki Onda, Ben Frost, Bill Orcutt, Cut Hands, DJ Marfox, Frisk Frugt, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Laraaji, Mark Fell, Phillip Jeck, Rashad Becker, and The Astroboy, among others.

The venues hosting the performances in addition to Audio Rebel, will be Sérgio Porto, Oi Futuro Ipanema, La Paz, POP – Polo de Pensamento Contemporaneo, Casa Daros and Oficinas.

See the Novas Frequências website here, for more information about the performers and venues as well as the complete schedule of events.

What: Festival Novas Frequências 2014
When: Monday, December 1st through Sunday, December 14th
Where: Various locations
Entrance: Some performances are free, while others range from R$10-R$50. See the ticket page here, for more information about the entrance for each event and to purchase tickets online.

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