4 February 2019
It's SoundOut day 2 and I got to the evening session. Both days have been evening sessions for me. I arrived as Brigit, Millie, Pierre-Yves and Richard were about to play. The nature of this event is a mix of people who play together regularly and interactions with new others. It makes it interesting for all and is the essence of the collective nature of the event. Then into Superimpose featuring Berliners Christian and Mattias, drums and trombone. This is energy and noise with some tones and considerable chops. I was particularly impressed by Matthias with his rapid flap tonguing which served a real rhythmic purpose and Christian is clearly sharp on stick techniques. But it was my house-guests who opened new doors for me in this contemporary experimental music: Hannah on flute and Brodie on trombone. They played noise, slapped keys and dismantled instruments and smacking sounds at various times but they were virtuosic in tonal and atonal note play and it made up, perhaps, most of their performances: beautiful tones; unexpected intervals; suggestions of melody and rhythms; intriguing harmonies, implied or otherwise, tonal or otherwise. It's an area where I feel more comfortable. Hannah's appearance was firstly with piccolo playing a rapidly moving birdsong. Brodie took a busily firm control with virtuosic noteplay against Marlene's sympathetic and glorious bass clarinet tones before playing with noises and a CD mute and a return to tones. I mentioned this to Hannah and her comment: that's how we were trained. I guess others have similar training. Certainly Marlene who played bass clarinet with Brodie had a similar approach and perhaps Laura and Millie. There were times Jim played this way, too, and Pierre-Yves. I heard snippets from Clayton the day before. Tonality/atonality is powerful amongst the noise plays. It expands and beautifies, at least to my ears. I felt it in Lenny's drumming too: not tonality but relatively some standard rhythmic concepts. Then ongoing to Jim inviting Millie, Matthias and Birgit to his solo spot. I was amused to watch their discussions beforehand and the synchronising of watches. They were to pass back and forth, Jim to others, every 60sec. Then Brodie and Marlene leading into the final Collective improv. The final group improv is always a feature as this one was. Richard was particularly pleased. Then the pack ups and partying that is essential to such an event. SO2019 was another challenge for the ears but also a diversion into C20th atonality and the mix was great. It's not often we get such a gathering of experimentals in Canberra. Hopefully Richard will manage to revisit it as an 11th anniversary next year for this one was a great success.
SoundOut 2019 final day 2 was at the Drill Hall Gallery. Performers at the evening session were Superimpose featuring Christien Marien (drums) and Matthias Muller (trombone); Birgit Uhler (trumpet), Millie Watson (piano), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba), Richard Johnson (wind), Hannah Reardon-Smith (flute), Laura Altman (clarinet), Lenny Preston (drums), Rhys Butler (alto), Jim Denley (flute) with others, Brodie McAlister (trombone) and Marlene Radice (bass clarinet) and the SoundOut Collective.