Motel Mozaique is a festival that takes place in Rotterdam every year in April since 2001, when the city was European Capital of Culture. Music, theatre, performance and visual arts are presented at various locations over the course of a weekend.
The festival is spread out over a number of venues across the city. This year they were the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotown, Paradijskerk, Arminius and Worm. Schouwburg Rotterdam is the biggest venue and its atrium with its 3 metres wide LED screen welcomes you with an info point, comfy sofas, theatre performances and a DJ for your breaks. It is a functional building with soft grey carpet contrasting the coldness of concrete walls.
The full programme is still online and it was quite packed, so I have prepared a small selection of the best concerts I happened to attend.
The Irish singer-songwriter played a diverse set of songs that took you on a journey lulled by her beautiful voice. Her performance was really good, she had a great band and presented some young talent that are currently her support band on a global tour. Catch her if you can.
Lamps bring light to interiors and lights can affect our moods. In her video Taken a collage of lamps are switched on and off and contrast a blue sky. Her visual elements brought me to listen to Anna Meredith live, and not surprisingly she had nice projections whilst performing her blend of electronica with a band that included a cello player. Her illustrations were cute. She seemed very happy to be at Motel Mozaique and quite keen on banging those drums really hard.
This young Norwegian/Dutch band is also in the line up of Coachella 2017 and was one of my favourite performances, totally unexpected. Their mix of indie and electronica in the suggestive protestant church was a musical journey into new sounds. Best to experience live as the stuff currently available on YouTube doesn’t really play justice to the complexity of their sound. However you can still have a good listen to their songs on their YouTube channel:
Ala.ni was another pleasant surprise. She is from London and among other things she was backing vocals with Damon Albarn who encouraged her to go solo. She performed at Paradijskerk, a really beautiful catholic church also used for concerts. At some point, she started walking down the aisle like a black angel so that everybody could feel up close her powerful voice. It was a very touching moment, I was thankful she shared this spiritual moment with the audience.
That’s my introduction for this year’s Motel Mozaique. In 2018 MoMo will take place on 19, 20 and 21 April.