Unfortunately Sarah Angliss was ill, but at the very last minute we managed to rope in Tim Blechmann who had spent the day in the studio with Daniel Jones. He’s a resident of Venice on tour in the UK, who codes his own music on the fly (see the video for an example) adding nuances through a bank of fingertip controllers attached to his laptop, it’s an unusual way of working apparently bringing in massive latencies between action and result. The result is a finely detailed set of subtle drones. Set up at the back of the room he started with an almost subsonic bass that pushed around the limits of the Green Door Store’s PA. Slowly the frequency range was increased peaking with some nice distortion before winding down into a church organ finale. It wasn’t as trouser flappingly loud as a less polite person would have made it, but none the worse for that.
Slow Listener has eschewed his plethora of devices, wires and tapes for a single black box of sampler effects and mixer which looked rather incongruous set up at one end of our camping table, so I was a bit worried that we were going to go from one set of digital drones to another. Still the sound seems to reside in the man rather than his kit and this was a classic Slow Listener set. He started stood at the front of the stage orating; repeated semi phrases, verbalised cut ups of nonsensical word strings before getting behind the table to tend his murky art. Some lovely analogue-y sounds merging and warping with reverse gongs and field recordings, before he got into some serious quieter spaces that held near silence with clicks and whirrs, before bringing in a woman’s voice repeating his phrases from the start to bookend the performance. Nice.
Rounding off the evening were SQ, a duo on stage with a visuals artist up in the sound booth playing back oscilloscope transcriptions of the live sound onto the screen. I liked that. Onstage we had a clarinet player who had a laptop processing his sound and another laptop that could also have been processing the same source more interactively. It was very digital sounding, at times the clarinet completely subsumed into the transformations of the kit, at others Paul Spignon getting into full improv mode with chirruping morphs bouncing straight back at him from the laptop, one of the most dynamic interactions of an improviser with laptop processing I’ve seen. My favourite moment came when he had the top off the clarinet and was circular breathing straight into the tube of the instrument his throat and cheeks billowing like some human/bullfrog hybrid gulping strange music from the air around him.