Of late I have been a little slack about writing up events, so here is last night’s: it all started with the kettle…
I had arrived early to setup speakers etc. and to sound check the diminutive bit of kit on which I was playing, when, horror of horrors the kettle refused to boil. I flicked the switch again, still no light. I swapped sockets and still no change. I then looked at the plug and considered swapping the fuse for one of the many fitted in the multitude of power leads and in so doing thought about fuse boxes. I took the kettle, plugged it into a socket in the main room and that hallowed little orange light came on. Serendipity in the face of surprising probabilities was to become something of a theme for the evening.
The event was opened by Andrew Hodges talking about and demonstrating various methods of FM synthesis on his Prophet 12 Keyboard (an update of the iconic Prophet 5) and displaying the new techniques which are now possible due to the crossover into hybrid DSP rather than purely analogue synthesis. This description sounds a lot drier than it was, and Andrew’s playing, combined with his quadraphonic spatialization ably demonstrated the possibilities. The fun was further enhanced by his red polo neck and new 70’s facial hair.
Following that I did a performance using Mike Blow’s Hornet, a theremin-esque piece of synth hardware. Anecdotally this went well, and was probably vastly improved by a very brief power failure which brought the piece and Greg Byatt’s accompanying VJ visuals to a perfectly synchronised close!
After having a cup of tea (from the kettle plugged in on the floor in the corner) and one of the wonderful iced buns which had been brought along, the second half started.
David Hopewell constructed an astounding noise piece using field coils, a guitar synth and the magnetic output of just about anything around him including: a solid state hard drive, the lighting rig and his own watch. An amazingly dense yet harmonic offering, balancing the marvel of discovery with the assurance of skill and ability.
This was followed by Andrew Hooker’s touching tribute to Mika Vainio who passed away this week. Using randomly selected sound files to create a coherent piece is a very hard task but Andrew achieved this beautifully, creating a piece which built from a minimal vocal opening to a profoundly cathartic wall of sound before resolving into a final acceptance. This was possibly one of the best stochastic performances I have ever heard and in the true tradition of the genre there was no recording, you really did ‘have to be there’.
The night ended with a brief jam by all the performers, which again worked out far better than could reasonably be expected.
It was a great event, many thanks to those who performed listened and supported. Especial thanks must also go to Greg Byatt for his VJ and projection skills and to Ronan Devlin for his graphic design work. Both devote their time and skills for free and deserve recognition for this.
Many thanks all, cant wait for the next one on May 30th.