For a lot of you Vancouver, British Columbia is one of those “way out there” places.  But coming from its U.S. “way out there” sister Seattle, I know that the art and music scenes are anything but moribund (though the Canadian government seems well on its way to getting in line with the venerable U.S. tradition of “screw the arts, let them find their own damn money!”).

One of the things keeping it hopping is Vancouver New Music, whose 2009-10 season is underway. As part of said season, VNM is presenting a fairly mind-stretching festival, the 21st through 24th of October, titled “Copyright/Copyleft.”  The four-day festival will rely heavily (but not only!) on electronic musicians, many of whom appropriate and transform existing music, video and audio material into their own work.

The line-up is adventurous: Andrew O’Connor‘s large analog tape-loop soundscapes; Jackson 2Bears‘ remix and re-narrative of American Native cultures; grandaddy of “Plunderphonics” John Oswald, Eric Hedekar‘s; Jake Hardy‘s and Aja Rose Bond‘s extended-DJ techniques; Percussion/improv/thinking-man legend Chris Cutler; People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett‘s) disjunct enviroments; Sonarchy‘s “miserabilism”; Scanner‘s highly influential electronica; David Shea‘s unique mix of electro and acoustic; Mark Hosler‘s (Negativland) film, presentation and critique of mass media and culture; and Uri Caine‘s phenomenal reworking of the music of composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Mahler.

The VNM Festival website will give you all the details about dates, locations, times, tickets, as well as info on and preview sounds from each artist.  While you’re over there, do check out the rest of Vancouver New Music’ great season, too.  Maybe you’ll be able to find some time come and visit the excellent stuff that happens “way out there.”

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