Deeper Into the Substrata: Rafael Anton Irisarri on How Substrata Festival Fits In With Decibel

Substrata's Rafael Anton Irisarri, pondering
This week in the music section, I profile the inaugural edition of the Substrata Festival, a weekend of ambient and experimental music (including a field-recording nature hike!) curated by Seattle musician Rafael Anton Irisarri (aka the Sight Below). Irisarri was a far more voluble interview subject than we had space for in print, and so in the couple days leading up to the fest here on Reverb, I'll be posting some additional excerpts from our exchange.

Today, I ask Irisarri how Substrata fits in with or contrasts Seattle's much larger, and much broader in scope, electronic festival Decibel.

I think it complements what Decibel is trying to do in the city. As you may know, I worked for Decibel for five editions, and I'm very close friends with founder and director Sean Horton. We collaborate still, as a matter of fact. I feel Decibel really pushed the boundaries in the city and created a community and platform for electronic music here. As contrast, well, Decibel is a world-class, internationally recognized event with multiple venues and all kinds of great electronic music. Substrata is designed to be small and intimate and very focused, so not so much in terms of a wider palette of artists and more of a reflection of my own artistic intent.

More info on Substrata at

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