The Four Heads
There are already a good number of people in when the Four Heads start. Dan is set up with singing bowls and an odd single stringed instrument at the back also mic’d up and playing quietly back through the PA, Geoff is perched on a stool just inside the door playing his ukelele through a cheap delay to a quiet amp on the other side of the room. The idea is an immersive sound that isn’t overwhelming, so the uke washes back and forth with occasional plonks, and Dan gongs and pings with his singing bowls, and bows more or less everything he can see.
Before Laboratoro play we move people around a bit so that Xelis has some space on the floor. He has reflector dishes with microphones (and pickups?) suspended from the ceiling feeding thin wires to Ed who is set up under the Caroline of Brunswick’s screen. Xelis talks and sings into the dishes the sound is processed by Ed’s Max MSP patches into arpeggios, or noise or something… There are field recordings – bird song and bunker sounds – and they both play a range of trumpets and hunting horns, Ed has a couple of drums he sticks or pats with beaters. Xelis dances and prowls, too. It’s good to see that they’re still not managing to do anything straight.
The gap between sets is far too long but we keep the wide open space for Duncan Harrison. He balances his mixer on a stool, puts on dark glasses (after apologising) and starts talking about and from Henry Miller & Henry Rollins. He has some text in the middle of the floor and a cassette recording of some of it, he reads the text; standing, kneeling, crouching – after a while of this he presses a button on his mixer and we’re engulfed with a not loud but very unpleasant squall of feedback so that it feels like someone has unplugged the speaker on reality. You can see Duncan continue talking but not hear anything distinctly. He comes over to Agata who has been taking photographs and whispers in her ear. The horn player from Birds of Death Valley leaves the room visibly distressed: it is very unpleasant. Duncan shuts it off and I don’t remember if he reads some more or just stops.
duck-rabbit are set up on a table at the “stage” end of the room, Tom Taylor playing a keyboard loaded with crunchy step sounds from Dungeness beach, and one of Joe Wright or James Opstead playing a weird joystick controller thing slung round a neck, and the other with a non-keyboard controller controlling a box synth I’d not seen before. the results are somewhere on the line of free improv and abstract electronica, Tom’s fingers bashing impressively around the keyboard bringing forth all manner of horrible noises. This mismatch is even more pronounced on the third improvisation where they replace the Dungeness sounds with those from a Widnes scrapyard.