OscilloScope VI: Happy Half Birthday!

Well it is 6 months already, and it has been great! Over the last few months the night has been slowly creeping towards the start time of the evening, and tonight we even setup in the dark; with kit coming in through a door which was kept shut as much as possible against the frost of the winter evening.

The changing months have also marked a progression for OscilloScope too, audience and performer interest has consistently grown and with the mark of its ‘half birthday’ the event has settled into itself. With this has come a wonderful culture of friendship, creativity, and generosity (of ideas, spirit, time and amongst other things donuts!).

As the venue started to fill up the evening was started by AV artist Phil Layton combining concrète visuals, with synched sound and live synthesis, to create two distinctive and thoughtful short-film performances. img_8172Dafydd Roberts then continued the theme of manipulation the spoken word, creating a beautiful, live AudioMulch performance from sampled poetry. This was accompanied by Greg Byatt’s lighting and VJ skills to create an engaging and atmospheric piece. This marks Dafydd’s OscilloScope debut and we look forward to having him back again.

The next performance was by Andrew Hooker. OscilloScope setups can often be rather cable heavy, but Andrew’s rig to provide feedback control over the No Input Mixer he performed with, must be coming close to setting something of a record. From the cavernous snake pit of desk, amp and FX Andrew drew out a performance of outstandingly delicate brutality.

Taking us up to the break was a fixed piece by Canadian born Sarah Boothroyd on the theme of chance. In this work she subtly combined reportage, musical composition and field recording into an engaging and cleverly articulated work.

Starting back after the break (which deserves its own special mention for the amazing amount of treats brought along by audience and performers alike!) David Hopewell made a sensitive and profoundly atmospheric return performance, with a ‘tape’ piece combining recordings from æolian (powered by the wind) instruments, the natural world and perhaps most notably, a hydrophone recording of the Menai Straits.

img_8182Moving from table onto the floor we encountered Charles Gershom live coding with Raspberry Pi Zero in the Sonic Pi environment. He presented a work of fascinating ingenuity, navigating the limitations of his home built DAW to create a performance which bridged the worlds of artistic noodling and more mainstream 4 to the floor rhythms with great aplomb.

Closing the night we had Ed Wright creating a performance with live patching using feedback from an open-ground cable as a synthesizer VCO, to build an evolving sonic texture and visual structure from a number of surprisingly simple components.

It has been an amazing 6 months. Thanks to all who have been involved, performing, listening, composing, watching, designing, lighting, putting the kettle on, driving, carrying and supporting/tolerating! There is no Oscilloscope next month as it would fall between Christmas and New Year, however we’ll be back on 31st January 2017, see you then!

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