UK residents who enjoy content of The Sound Projector really should attend Music Lovers Field Companion, an astonishing music festival taking place at The Sage in Gateshead (near Newcastle) 11th-13th May 2007. I can personally recommend the efforts of its organisers, Barry Esson and his partner Bryony McIntyre (they also do Kill Your Timid Notion in Dundee and Instal in Glasgow); they bring an originality and freshness to these sorts of events, and it’s not just another stellar line-up to satisfy boring jazz/improv buffs, nor some contrived ‘contemporary’ mish-mash to pander to the prejudices of unimaginative arts funding administrator types. Nay, Barry is a genuine music fanatic with impeccable tastes across the breadth of contemporary avant activity, a real enthusiasm for radical and overlooked music forms, and an address book of contacts to match. Photographer Bryony has done much to improve the visibility of international avant-garde cinema, and even if this particular festival doesn’t actually include any cinematic delights, her work has been much appreciated. The sheer variety on offer over these three days is pretty staggering: a truly international selection of players will arrive wearing huge boots, many styles of music, noise, and sound art will be represented in a loud way, and meaningful connections with the rich history of “our” sort of music are being made in the careful programming. Plus there will be interesting talks and discussions streaming from the lips of knowledgeable folk, and plenty of vinyl/CD goodies on offer to purchase, so be sure to bring a full wallet and an empty sea-chest with you. Above all, bring your ears – both your left and right lugs will enjoy a sumptuous feast of sonic edibles, and thank you afterwards for years to come. Full details of the generous lineup are to be found on the links below.