Profound Sound – Folkestone’s experimental music festival
Profound Sound is Folkestone’s experimental music festival and returns for their 7th outing. The festival has always had a local, national and international feel to it. It’s part of the Folkestone Fringe calendar and together with Hot Salvation Records they curate another masterpiece. Outlands Network is also part of the collaboration this year, and they are an experimental music platform supported by Arts Council England and Profound Sound. Diane Dever talked Folkelife through the programme.
“Yes, we return again for our 7th festival which has 14 events over 3 days – 16th and 18th February 2024. There are workshops, performances and installations which I’m really excited about so I hope everyone else is too. Penumbra are a collaboration of vocalist Dali de Saint Paul, electronic composer and double bassist Maxwell Sterling, and visual artists Charlie Hope and Rebecca Salvadori. They’re debuting a commission they’ve been working on here in Folkestone. They wanted to play this to audiences outside of London, and so we’re key to be on that list. It shows that Folkestone is a place where you can experience sound art and music in this experimental way. We’re close to London, so that works to bring in audiences, but we’re not London, which helps build regional audiences.”
“Hot Salvation Records have been running for 10 years now and they’ve done all the programming for the festival on Saturday. They took more control of Profound Sound in 2018 and have been an integral part of the team since the beginning. We started in 2015 or 2016, and bar the Covid years we’ve had a festival each year. I think that’s testament to the will of the people wanting to run Profound Sound. There’s an appetite here in Folkestone, a really loyal audience who know they’re going to get an edgy yet enlightening festival.
“George Clifford is going to perform at the end of Saturday night and he hasn’t done that in a while. He’s got a new project called Second Dark Age which is melodic, improvised thrash metal. It’s really beautiful. He’s got Taya Grant who’s Norwegian, who’s signed to Hot Salvation Records, she’s going to perform. There are a few people from their network who are coming down so there will be many flavours mixing on Saturday evening.”
“ILĀ is another artist who has been part of the festival for a number of years. Their music is constantly evolving and will be performing a solo electronic set fusing ethereal non-binary vocal timbre, dense sonic textures and quantum data sonification. It’s wonderful watching people grow in the festivals that the Fringe puts on.
“I see this with the staff we have too. Currently we have Jacob Bray who is our curator producer. It’s great fun giving the reigns of a festival or project to someone much younger and see what they do with it. I’m here, helicoptering and hovering and handing out advice, sure, but how do you learn if you don’t get in there yourself and put an event on? How often to younger people really get the chance to run arts events?”
“We’ve got a strong core of projects we work on. Profound Sound happens in February each year. Then we have Salt, Festival of the Environment which happens at the end of Summer. Next year will be the Triennial and we’ll be involved in that. Then we’re also on the next bid of Magic Carpets which is a European project and we’ve been involved in that for the past few years. This consistent calendar of work is good for creating a framework for people to fit in to.
“We’re also involved in the Town Centre Activation which is part of our evolution as a unit. The days of four or five full time staff and being set in one place have gone, now we’re moving in different areas around the town and outside, and that feels right.”
Tickets for Profound Sound are available via the Creative Folkestone website. You will find the festival pass is £20 for Friday and Saturday, and under 23s go free.