Gig Recap: 2024 A Bunch of Noise (2024.4.5-6)

2024 A Bunch of Noise 一把噪音 – SYSTEM 2024.4.04-06

Another year, another ‘Bunch of Noise’…My mind kept wandering over to a quote posted by one of the attendees in the lead-up to the two-day festival – ‘noise is the only sentiment that reminds me of freedom’. I think as I’ve gotten older my brain has strived to engage with my surroundings in more acute ways – to be shocked, moved, and even befuddled – and noise and experimental music seems to have filled that void. 

Pure expression, abstract exploration, or just unhinged anarchy – there’s both a visceral quality and a liberated affection to how performers in this field relay their sentiments and how the community around it actively encourages one another. 

Bunch of Noise was no different. Audiences jumping on stage to plug a contact mic back in, performers conspiring to ambush another active performer, and audience members screaming both as catharsis and as a gesture of respect and comradely. I wasn’t suspect to every moment throughout the three-day event so I won’t try to recap every set though there are moments that will forever be engrained into my psychosis and moments that had me giddy with excitement.

But what I took away from A Bunch of Noise this year was it brought together artists and people from all walks of life – creatives who relish the off-beaten path, whether from a technical more intellectual standpoint or a more instinctive performative outlook. An experience unsurpassed in China – and one I can’t wait to partake in again next year.

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