Thursday, December 16, 2004

Sine of the times

If you've managed to get past that groaning pun, you might have noticed that Beardblog has been updated, with new links and a counter. That's about 60 since the weekend, which is quite a surprise. Thanks for reading, we love you all xxx

Is This Music? sent me off to Kill Your Timid Notion in Dundee last weekend. A festival of experimental music and film, it was quite an experience. Film screenings during the day, including avant-classics like Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising (gay bikers polishing their engines and cavorting orgiastically in a church to the sounds of The Supremes, Bobby Vee and Elvis: tremendous stuff) and Invocation Of My Demon Brother (A bit silly. It might have been sinister in 1969, but now it just looks like a bunch of junkie dilletantes prancing about in daft costumes pretending to be evil nazi satanists). More about the other films in a few days.
The big name was Lee Ranaldo, performing with Text Of Light. The idea is to improvise as Stan Brakhage films are projected onto the exhibition/performance space.
This was my first encounter with Brakhage, but his films were beautiful, bringing out the beauty in everyday life through brilliant use of colours and light. The most affecting film was of a girl on a swing. Some Brakhage buffs have problems with the idea of music being added to the films, and it has to be said that the droney feeback workouts added little to the movies.
Tabula Smaragdin: Jurgen Reble + Thomas Koner wasn't one to see standing up. The trick is to lie down, propping your head up on your jacket and immerse yourself in the minamalist laptop rumble and glimmering, shimmering visuals. As the rumble build to a intense static buzz it was all red stars, with amorphous forms appearing through the haze, like a dancing human figure, or a woman floating by, like the drowned Ophelia. Who needs drugs eh?
What Sachiko M + Anthony McCall did was closer to an art installation than musical performance, but then the whole point of the festival was to blur the lines between the forms. At the centre of the room Sachiko sat hunched over a basic sampler, playing high pitched sine waves that modulated throughout the space, which at first was virtaully pitch black save for a touch of dry ice. Two projectors beamed white light from wall to wall, gradually forming a circle on the surface. You could stand in the beam, which gradually formed a tunnel of light. Everyone just strolled around, waving fingers, and poking heads through the surfaces of the beam. Despite the dark and eerie sine waves the atmosphere was one of relaxation and wonder.

More festival fun in a couple of days. In the meantime, party on and be excellent to one another.

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