10 February 2018

Degrees of freedom

It's all free improvisation at SoundOut, but there are degrees of freedom. It's usually played on musical instruments, sounding as expected (and intended?) or not. Sometimes it's played on anything, with mics and various noise sources. Or the instruments are prepared with cloths or bells or clips or other so the strings or bells or tubes don't sound as normal. The sticks on strings and between strings and the clothes line clips and perhaps blutack as classics. Then the range goes through to instruments played as instruments, with various atonalities and implied all. Here I can see the references, the skills and the rest that I admire. Or I think I can. I remember asking a pianist whose playing I'd admired about keys and such technical matters. Nope, nothing. I'd been fooled. Or maybe they just don't talk of that. The workshop talked of all manner of things, but assumed players "know their instruments": a big ask but not the matter of concern. There were several groups who played with noise, with non-instruments or newly electronics.

First up Alexandra Spence, Bonnie Lander and Goh Lee Kwang. Close listening to match voice, (for a little time) drone clarinet, electronics and papers and a mobile phone ap (presumably a sequencer of some type) triggering tones to an old radio as amp. Odd but small, quiet and an easy lug. Then a quartet of Ben Drury, Casey Moir, Julia Reidy and Millie Watson. I was blown out by atonal piano laying by Millie (and singing by Jennifer Nell who sat next to me for this set) at the SoundOut workshop but none of that here. This was plucks and sweeps on piano strings with lightly suggested rhythm from 12-string guitar and double bass noise and restrained but very inventive effected vocals from Casey. Again, fairly quiet but listening. Psithurism Trio are Rhys Butler, John Porter and Richard Johnson and are locals. They played a set with Alexandra Spence, this time on clarinet, and altoist Georg Weissel. A free, open, listening thing with plenty of noises, removed mouthpieces, clacks and drones and taps: noise informed by real instruments. These were the obscure, open, relatively quiet improvs of the Sunday afternoon at SoundOut 2018.

Alexandra Spence (clarinet, electronica), Bonnie Lander (vocals) and Goh Lee Kwang (electronics) performed at SoundOut 2018. Ben Drury (bass), Casey Moir (vocals), Julia Reidy (guitar) and Millie Watson (piano) also performed. Psithurism Trio played with Alexandra Spence (clarinet) and Georg Weissel (alto) at SoundOut 2018. Psithurism Trio are Rhys Butler, John Porter and Richard Johnson.

1 comment:

vortex said...

all very nice but how did it make you feel? We do not know in any of this if you liked it or not? What inspired you? Writing a review should not be just a list of what happened imho :-)