01 February 2023

One to four

I caught Peter Knight doing a solo set, sadly missing his masterclass.  His presentation was solo, initially sitting in the audience playing whispy trumpet tones, quiet, then whistley calls, then louder, twissddling, flipping between harmonics, animals, tones and lip suctions and kisses (do I have the tech terms right here?).  Then a return to the stage, playing trumpet through various electronics and effects, hevily echoed eighth-note pairs, then a tonal rise and taps and trumpet drones.  Thisd was all mystical, pensive, feeling something like repeating 8 bar 3/4 passages with almost endless echo and layered harmonics.  His t-shirt stated "No music on a dead planet" reminding me of posters that have appeared around Canberra from Extinction Rebellion.

I had met Khabat Abas earlier in the day so I was interested to hear her.  She's played cello with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra and a string of more experimental groups variously around Europe and was over from London for just 5 days. Her website claims "experimental and transgressive cellist" so clearly apt for SO.  She appeared in a session with Jon Rose, bassist Mark Cauvin and voice artist Nikki Heywood.  They presented 4 quartets, one each introduced by each performer, then a final journey from Jon playing and dissembling the theme tune from the film Love Story, "Where do I begin / to tell the story...").  Quite a lovely melody if schmaltzy and gloriously dismembered here into effective noise.  I heard bowed end-pins and explosive bass lines and bowed hammers and dissonant cello slides, occasional words but also non-verbal tones and song from Nikki and again those evident chops put to whatever purpose from Jon.  These were five short, guided, purposeful segments that intrigued with their diversity from different leaderships.

Peter Knight (trumpet, electronics) performed solo and Jon Rose (violin), Khabat Abas (cello), Mark Cauvin (bass) and Nikki Heywood (vocals, electronics) performed together at SoundOut.

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