The Scope XVI
Gus Garside started the evening with an introduction, and then a piece by James Tenney called “The Beast” which was a complex microtonal piece from a visual score, all bowed often two strings sounding, long notes , very technical and about 6 minutes long “it’s called ‘The Beast’ because it IS a beast”. I should coco.
Then he treated us to a brief burst of his classic clacking improv, eschewing normal bowing – although he did use the bow to beat and jab at the strings, this would have loosened him back up and cleared the way for what appeared to be the first of a couple of semi structured pieces. One used loops of voice sounds and the other loops of double bass sounds, centred around the story of a lad who liked a song called “Good Timing” by Jimmy Jones, which ended with Gus in full flight singing the chorus of the said fifties marvel, before finishing with a slightly more extended improvisation blending all the techniques available. Really nice to see Gus stretch his wings this way rather than the maybe more focussed sets we’re used to.
The second act of the evening was Franck Barriac, over from France for the Himmel massed organs show at Cafe Oto. He was sitting at the back of the room with a quadrophonic setup, the usual Caroline PA behind us and two extra channels at the back, in front of us. Franc’s set was a soundscape piece based around urban field recordings and tones. It’s amazing how unused we are to this surrounding kind of performance, especially with the artist in front of us, sounds from behind (even after the introduction telling us it would happen) seem really disconcerting. Anyway a really nicely structured piece, partly pre arranged and partly improvised, I gather from talking to him.
Futuro De Hierro
Finally it was Futuro De Hierro from Spain. We utilised the extra speakers to boost up the sound – which was handy as it happened, as a few minutes into his set the main PA seemed to glitch out, although those of us sat at the back didn’t notice as we were immersed in the joyous racket lurking up behind us. A quick work around the cabling and it all seemed OK again, but Viktor seemed a little subdued. Still some excellent beats and bursts of noise, and some really interesting kit to look at. We must get him back for a full throttle set at The Green Door Store.
Me and Steve got really nice clear lathe cut 10s off the merch stall as well (a run of 23 – who could resist).