What is the idea behind Tolm?
The idea of the festival is to create a platform where art and music meet in a critically entertaining form. We want to offer cool bands and performances to surprise the audience and to not let them escape with a whole skin. We want to make the audience think a bit. Perhaps, for a moment, they should even feel discomfort and confront their inner stranger to overcome it and to become a more broad-minded person.
I understand that the idea of moving to Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (CAME) started to grow when things went bad in Patarei complex. Is there a plan to hold the festival there also in the future?
CAME has always been in the air. In fact, CAME was presented in the festival program in 2011 when the program concerned Eastern European issues. Then the Rael Artel curated international exhibition Lost in Transition that studied and played with the East European identities took place at CAME.
Tolm is very eclectic. What scenes are represented this time? Line-up is impressive as ever but please give a short overview of what kind of music can be heard and what kind of performances can be seen?
There will be some good old punk, indie, shoegaze, electronica, techno, soul, and nouveau and post weirdos who combine all the above-mentioned styles. If Friday night belongs mostly to the artistic and indie bands then post punk sets the tone of the early evening of Saturday, and the late night till the morning is filled with performers and electronic artists who are using soul motifs. The festival will also feature a party of all parties – the Haigla Pidu, and the favorite party series of all techno freaks – Mürk.
There will be very different performances. The assortment features video-acoustic, as well as text and dance performances and numbers, in which case you can not actually tell if it is music, performance or joke. Tolm is trying to follow this thin line where different disciplines meet. The list of performance artists features choreographers Rene Köster and Henri Hütt, transgender researcher and photographer Alan Proosa, and performer and researcher Riina Maidre whose performance will also open the festival.
Please give three to five must see recommendations for Tolm.
You should definitely come and see the Australian soul-pop artist JOEL SARAKULA whose music is just so bright and good that it cleanses the soul. Also, you can’t miss the Siberian Russian hypnotic tribal cabaret rock band SHORTPARIS. Everyone who saw them at the Tallinn Music Week said it was the absolute top of TMW and a cathartic experience. Then you should definitely see the electronic live dub duo SOBRANIE 8 18 from St Petersburg, the Lithuanian nouveau jazz weirdness SHEEP GOT WAXED, Hannaliisa Uusmaa’s audiovisual soul pop ensemble HUNT, soul pop artists MALCOLN LINCOLN and FLORIAN WAHL, future punks ST CHEATERSBURG, etc.
Tolm has taken place several years already, in what direction has the festival evolved over the time?
The general idea of the festival hasn’t changed much but it seems to me that every year the program has become more sensitive and consistent. For example, this year we have a very decent art program which consists of two parts, performances, and an exhibition. The latter includes photos and (video) installations.
What issues does the festival’s art program address and who are the performers?
As alienation and fear of the foreign are ever-expanding phenomena both locally and globally, we are exploring various phenomena that can be placed under the common denominator – “the stranger”. What kind of feelings does a stranger evoke in those who perceive a stranger as a stranger, and also what kind of feelings does it evoke in a stranger who is perceived as a stranger and who oneself perceives oneself as a stranger? The stranger does not have to be just an exotic refugee from somewhere far away. The stranger can also be “our fellow man” who is wearing different clothes, eating different food, listening to a different kind of music or behaving differently in bed. The stranger is excited by the things that do not excite “me”. Things that I do not understand will make me feel uncomfortable. But one can also be a stranger for oneself. Maybe the stranger makes us feel uncomfortable because it reflects the stranger in ourselves. How much do we really know ourselves? Perhaps the fears and inconveniences that the stranger evokes in us are actually the fears of ourselves, that we do not really know ourselves and we are not complete.
The art program consists of two parts, exhibition, and performances. We spoke briefly about performance artists. The exhibition will feature JOHNSON & JOHNSON, MARKO MÄETAMM, MARGIT LÕHMUS, and KIWA, to name just a few.
What else happens at the festival?
On Saturday afternoon there will be a fair of records and band T-shirts. The entrance is free and the culmination of the fair arrives at 18.00 when the punk poet Freddy Grenzmann presents his debut poetry collection. The book and its presentation by the singer of a group Psychoterror may be one of the most exciting literary events of the year. On Saturday, there is also an exclusive exhibition, which is opened only during the festival and is free of charge, and the exotic movie program by Fifi.
More information about the event could be found from the culture.ee calendar and from Facebook.
Interview with Indrek Spungin, the organizer of Tolm Festival
What is the idea behind Tolm?