Sónar 2019, the year of generational change


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Sónar 2019: Global, intercultural, feminine, queer and radical. The vanguard of contemporary music is led by women, and sounds from the southern hemisphere.

This year Sónar has reaffirmed its commitment to artistic diversity and radical sound, with an important presence of creators who work on the geographical, political, stylistic or gender margins. In this sense, women like Holly Herndon, K Á R Y Y N, Jlin, Arca, Sevdaliza, Kelly Moran, Ylia, Caterina Barbieri or Virgen Maria take the lead with artistic discourses of great honesty and emotional depth, commitment to experimentation and expressive power.

In such a globalized world, Sónar has wanted to show the formidable variety of sounds coming from scenes from different corners of the planet, and in this sense sonorities and artists from the new Africa, such as Deena Abdelwahed, DJ Lag, Muqata’a (from Palestine) or Slikback, have stood out especially this year, as well as Latin music and urban trends, exemplified, of course, in the charismatic figure of Bad Bunny (now one of the biggest pop stars in the world), but also with the solidity and originality of proposals such as Dengue Dengue Dengue or the national artists Bad Gyal and Dellafuente.

Sónar once again confirms the talent, artistic power and exuberant creativity of the Spanish music scene, with such resounding examples as Desert, Mans O, Ylia, Los Voluble and Berlinist, all of them with high-level concerts.

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A Sónar of premieres

This 2019 the festival has presented more than 80 absolute premieres and experiences created especially for Sónar: the shows by Arca, Holly Herndon, Four Tet, Bad Gyal, Hauschka or Cecilio G, the sets of Floating Points and Body & Soul in SonarCar or the four-hand sessions conceived exclusively for Sónar, such as those of Louie Vega & Honey Dijon, Peggy Gou & Palms Trax and Blawan & Dax J are good examples of this. The festival thus consolidates its position as an appointment chosen by great musicians from the international and national scene to present their new projects and shows, which in some cases can only be seen exclusively on the stages of Sónar.

Of particular note are the two shows that have dared to open a new avenue of research by exploring the relationship between brain and music (those of Daito Manabe with Dr Kamitani and the Barcelona duo Za! together with the Turkish creative studio Ouchh) and two others in which artificial intelligence has played a fundamental role (Holly Herndon and Actress), establishing more clearly than ever the direct connection between the contents of Sónar+D with the scenic translation of Sónar’s programming.