The Communikey festival is not easily defined. Perhaps it could be loosely pinned down as a transcendental experience surpassing mediums and disciplines in a desire to explore the intersection of artistic and technological innovation, with a smattering of electronic music throughout.
The festival started from the organization with the same name. The Boulder-based organization CMKY was started by people in the electronic dance community who were interested in edgier art and music outside of the dance floor. It started with a series of one-time events that developed into the festival.
“The larger purpose of the festival is to expose new and emerging art forms, whether it’s soundbased, visual-based, interactive art or set design,” says Kate Lesta, the creative and managing director of CMKY. “We’re not showcasing big-name artists to sell tickets. The idea is, we want new, cutting edge work to be showcased, and we want all the festival participants to experience something they would not have come across otherwise.”
But just as the festival is hard to put in a box, it seems to have outgrown its own structure. This year marks the eighth and final year for the festival. Lesta says that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but the organization is expected to keep growing outside of a festival parameter. She says she’s grateful for everything learned over the past eight years.
“When we started it in 2008, we really had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t know if it was going to work, and we didn’t know if it was going to happen or happen again,” she says. “Now getting eight years down the line, it feels very different. We’ve grown a lot as creative professionals, and the community’s changed, and CMKY has international recognition. … It’s really exciting. We can take whatever we’ve done with it, and apply it to the future.”
This last CMKY will be a grand finale for the festival, she says — a celebration of the past eight years and a look to the future with the lineup full of artists that encompass their mission of celebrating innovation. One such event is a showcase for the Canadian electronic music record label Silent Season. The label’s founder and curator, Jamie McCue, spent a lot of his time DJ-ing and in the outdoors. Through that, McCue drew inspiration from his natural surroundings in British Columbia for his music.
An Evening With Silent Season
“CMKY are pleased to turn things over to our Silent Season friends for Friday night’s programming. A true force in the North American electronic music community, Silent Season has become a favorite of discerning techno fans around the world with their unique brand of immersive dub techno and ambient music. Their bespoke releases strive to embody the expansive majesty of Vancouver’s temperate rain forests, featuring beautiful photography of the region’s natural environments. Silent Season mainstays Segue and Refracted will be on hand for this event, as well as their in-house visualist, Danthon. Label boss Jamie McCue will open the evening with a special extended DJ set.”