Sylwia Heller visits Sheffield’s Sensoria Festival of music and film

Sensoria Festival is a challenging, ambitious, combination of music and film that has been a part of Sheffield culture since 2008. Every year live performances, screenings, music concerts, talks and exhibitions take place all over Sheffield. This nine-day programme runs from 25th September until the 3rd October 2015. Sylwia Heller visits.

This year’s Sensoria starts with a premiere of the B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989. This documentary brings us to Berlin in the late 70s and 80s from the point of view of a German citizen. It is a realistic and compelling film based on real memories of German people. After that DJ Yoda outlines a history of hip hop at a party in the Picture House Social Ballroom with an audiovisual presentation.

Saturday is a day of city centre dancing and a Q&A with jazz historian, Brian Case. There was also a screening of a 3D film about German heavy metal, Wacken, and of the musical comedy, Spice World.

Probably the most fascinating part of the festival takes place on Sunday when Sensoria soundtracks the Great Yorkshire Run; live bands play along the 10k route and in the Peace Gardens. It’s a great occasion for everyone to participate.

Or, alternatively, there’s an opportunity to pop into the Picture House Social and watch A Family Affair, a Cretan folk music doc, Altered States, Ken Russell’s sci-fi horror, or the 1970s cult psychedelic western Deadlock.

On Tuesday there’s a screening of Sume: The Sound of a Revolution which shows a real story of 1970s Greenlandic psych-rock. For something entirely different on Wednesday there will be live music and yoga exercises hosted by ambient musician and Brian Eno-collaborator Laraaji.

On Thursday there’ll be The Death and Resurrection Show, Shaun Pettigrew’s documentary about Killing Joke. And Tim Peaks Diner will take place at the Picture House Social hosted by The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess. He’ll be chatting to Paddy Considine and journalist Dave Haslam. Live music will be performed by Considine’s band, Riding The Low.

At the same time in the town centre, musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi will be playing at Bungalows and Bears.

On Friday, Blood Sport will perform in the Picture House Social Ballroom, and industrial-electro trio Factory Floor, supported by Manchester funk-pop alchemist Lonelady, will play upstairs in the Abbeydale Picture House itself.

The final film of this year’s Sensoria is Industrial Soundtrack For Urban Decay, the first feature-length documentary on the origins of industrial music. It will be shown with a talk and DJ set by Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder, a key architect of Sheffield’s industrial scene.

Reformed underground punks The Membranes will perform in the Picture House Social Ballroom before the Japanese phenomenon Bo Ningen perform in the Picture House, bringing the festival to an almighty acid-punk close.

Throughout the festival you can experiment with Moog synths in the sound lab at The Foundry or play with light patterns at the Dreamachine installation in the Archipelago Gallery.

Sensoria Festival is an extraordinarily diverse event and one of the most fascinating programmes of film and music that Sheffield has to offer.

To find out more visit www.sensoria.org.uk

Filed under: Film, TV & Tech, Music

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