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Sensoria 2019: The UK's festival of music, film and digital media

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Fantastic Planet

The twelfth edition of Sensoria starts this Friday with Marc Collin's new film The Shock of the Future.

The first feature film by the Nouvelle Vague founder is set in Paris in the late 70s. It follows a frustrated ad composer who starts making electronic music when a friend introduces her to a beatbox.

"This year, Sensoria spans cult and classic cinema, future gazing artists, the latest live scores, exhibitions, installations and on-stage collaborations," festival director Jo Wingate told Now Then.

"For 2019 we're exploring the themes of Myths and Legends and Fantastic Planet."

A high point of this year's festival is a live performance by US composer Holly Herndon on 3 October.

In PROTO, Herndon explores technology's potential through artificial intelligence, vocals and visuals.

She's joined by a vocal ensemble and her own artificial intelligence creation, Spawn.

From 28 - 30 September, a free exhibition showcases the work of local photographer Chris Saunders.

Saunders' striking portraits have captured David Lynch, Richard Hawley and Now Then artist Fem Sorcell.

Breaking Reverie, a "sonic light sculpture" by Heather Lander, runs over the same weekend at 15 Barkers' Pool.

The work draws the viewer into an "eternal daybreak on a distant horizon" through illusion, reflection, projection mapping and ink drawing. Entry is free.

On 28 September, the Abbeydale Picture House will screen classic Motown biopic Dreamgirls.

Other films include 70s surreal sci-fi La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet) and a doc about rock photographer Jim Marshall, while The Heart is a Drum follows the evolution of the 'Dingerbeat', the driving groove created by Neu! drummer Klaus Dinger.

At the Upper Chapel, pianist Philip Thomas performs the music of American modernist Morton Feldman on 2 October.

The music will compliment screenings of short films about Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Both films feature soundtracks by Feldman.

As part of the festival's Myths and Legends strand, Orkney composer Erland Cooper presents his new album Sule Skerry. The work explores Orkney folk character Selkie, "a creature who assumes the form of a seal in the water and a woman on the land."

On 4 October, Japanese psychonauts Bo Ningen will soundtrack The Holy Mountain live. Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film features "a flood of sacrilegious imagery and existential symbolism." Not for the faint-hearted, warn festival organisers.

"As always Sensoria loves to celebrate Sheffield talent and will showcase its DIY scene with live bands and short films at Foodhall," said Wingate.

Sheffield 'Til I DIY offers up a whole host of local bands including The Sleazoids, alongside two docs about our DIY scene.

Closing the festival on 5 October are electro supergroup Creep Show. The band, which includes John Grant and Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder, are playing their first ever live show after the release of last year's album Mr. Dynamite.

Sam Gregory

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