Green Door Store
It’s still a bit light as I walk down the hill, this is always my favourite Spirit of Gravity show of the year; coming out of the darkness. It’s not raining, which also helps.
Elena Desai has assembled a group of guitarists to accompany her film “Micro Infinity”, she’s sat up by the sound desk with her laptop playing the soundtrack and monitoring things. Onstage are the three guitarists, although one has an SH101as well judging from this angle. There’s some suspicious flanger, but that gives things a Twin Peaks creepiness at times, which adds to the films degraded and oversaturated but washed out feel. There is the impression of an unpleasant factory that lurks just out of view of the skies and streets visible through her window.
You can see him onstage with a collection of effects and home-made boxes – a step sequencer and a couple of circuit bent toys. Swarbrooke starts up urgently with an irritated buzz, Harvey enveloped in a comforting darkness, he slashes some chunks of noise across it as the bee starts to warble in a far from idyllic manner. The chunks morph into a machine grind before we drop to something like a live mains applied directly to the head and into a popping rhythm into which he cuts some of the rawest noise I’ve heard in a long time, twisting into an oscillating morphing crush. At one stage you can make him out in the darkness, toy lights flashing as he carries something flashing around the stage screeching. It’s a truncated set, washing out to a thin white noise hiss, but shows how much imagination can be applied to something as seemingly restrictive as noise. Thrilling.
Jeff Stonehouse finishes the evening off in a lovely wash of blue light with a red spot on the screen behind him. He has a long trestle table with his laptop at one end and a novelty guitar stand propping up his 60s Woolworth’s guitar at the other. An office fan blows ribbons gently onto the strings and occasionally he wanders over to it to jangle the bracelets that hang from its head or scrape the strings. The laptop processes all this and has some backing tracks possibly, or field recordings. The whole piece drifts almost in stasis, enveloping and warm. People sit on the floor (in The Green Door Store!) Shimmering developments slowly crystallise from the drones, time passes. I don’t fall asleep this time.
Apparently the performance is based on “the words just won’t come”.