Something of a milestone in February, the Spirit of Gravity is dragged away from the usual geeks for a female-only show.
Embla Quickbeam did manage to get started at a sensible time, rather than far too early, and she rewarded us with a lovely humming set of freakish field recordings, ghostly sonar pings, bell peals from lost churches, and visiting drones from the other side. Apparently this set was decided on at the last minute as she’d been working on something new, but had suffered catastrophic system failures during the afternoon. Which was made up by finding a gorgeous clothbound copy of FC Judd’s book on electronic music. And still managing a blinding set.
Bela Emerson and Carolina Diaz
After a quick turnaround we had the debut of a new collaboration between Bela Emerson on Cello and Carolina Diaz,a Butoh dancer. The processed cello progresses from warm friendly tones to almost astringent modernity, while Carolina reversed herself in front of a low table and slowly formed a series of starkly disquieting shapes, the whole thing was mesmerisingly beautiful to watch and listen to, completely involving and quite beyond my ability to describe. A well realised collaborating improvisation between two artists working very differently – Bela’s eyes never left Carolina during the whole performance.
Sarah Angliss I find slightly more within my linguistic ability. She set up with her famous Theremin stage centre, Hugo the robot boy up to the left, laptop, carillon and keyboard to the right with brand new robot drummer Wolfgang (the only electronic drummer called Wolfgang playing in the UK that night [take THAT Mr Flür ]). She started off using the Theremin as a controller for filtering vocals off the laptop – a sort of reverse vocoder. And it kind of goes from there – it’s a set of songs, using unusual techniques and instrumentation, a couple of favourites from Space Dog (“The Submariner” and “The Lankey” in a rather developed form) its another visit to the spooky side, with Sarah’s Fortean interests to the fore.