Le Guess Who? unveils three new projects for 2023 edition: Hidden Musics, COSMOS and The Anonymous Project

Le Guess Who? Festival is celebrating 16 years this November with a wealth of sonic offerings that has us looking forward to autumn with bated breath. Back in May the organisers announced the initial line-up and programmes curated by Stereolab, Heba Kadry, Nala Sinephro and Slauson Malone 1 and now they’ve unleashed three special projects: Hidden Musics, COSMOS and The Anonymous Project.

With a focus on celebrating musical traditions and artists from secluded regions of the world, Hidden Musics is an inspiring and ambitious program that gives audiences a unique chance to experience rare performances. Returning to Le Guess Who? for the fourth time in 2023, the project is the fruit of a collaboration between Le Guess Who?, Grammy-award winning music producer, activist and author Ian Brennan, and Ljubljana based American musician, record producer and Glitterbeat Records founder Chris Eckman. Hidden Musics will host Pankisi Ensemble, an all-female female traditional music group from the Pankisi Gorge in northeast Georgia, who’ve been vital in perpetuating Georgian and Chechen secular musical traditions that are unique to Pankisi. Also appearing on Hidden Musics is Sophia Nzayisenga, the first female master of the Inanga, a traditional Rwandan stringed music instrument which she learnt from her father at a very young age and Rwandan folk trio The Good Ones, a band that was formed as an act of healing following the country’s 1994 genocide, bringing together members from Rwanda’s Tutsi, Hutu, and Abatwa tribes. Known as “the man with singing fingers”, Azerbaijan’s Rəhman Məmmədli, an emblematic figure of the country’s gitara music, will also be part of Hidden Musics’s programme.

COSMOS will put the spotlight into local scenes from around the world through films, interviews, artist residencies, and for the first time it will present live performances. Performing as part of COSMOS is YL Hooi, the project of Melbourne-based producer Valya Ying-Li Hooi exploring the realms of dub, minimal synth, post-punk and dream-pop, Vietnamese experimental trio Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, Ruhail Qaisar, a self-taught artist from Ladakh, India, whose music incorporates and preserves memories of growing up in Ladakh, the traditional Javanese trance explorations of The Phantasmagoria of Jathilan and Bengal Chemicals, the project of Pritam Das, who’s been making waves in the experimental electronic music scene in Kolkata, India.

The third project newly announced, The Anonymous Project, is a match made in heaven for Le Guess Who?. Taking place on the opening night, various artists will perform in a white cube on stage with specially commissioned scenography to keep them anonymous throughout it. As the organizers describe, with The Anonymous Project they “want to create a space to experiment freely with new sounds and in new directions, without any judgment or expectations based on the artist’s previous work or their public profile”.

Le Guess Who? 2023 takes place from 9-12th November in several venues throughout Utrecht. With a monumental programme wholly embracing musical diversity, Le Guess Who? will be a wonderland for musical explorers of all kinds, and there is still a lot more to be unveiled for its 16th edition. Head over to leguesswho.com to see a list of currently confirmed artists and more info. Festival passes are now sold out but Thursday and Saturday tickets are still available so if you don’t have tickets yet, get these quick.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No HTML but links are fine.