Monday 30 March 2009

Beat Frequency at The Rainbow

I had a great time at White Noise!

My set started at 7:00pm, on time. Most of the audience arrived well after that so only a select few heard me play, but I like that. There's something very intimate to playing to a very small audience - about a couple of dozen - and I felt free to just enjoy playing through the great big amplifier and making different parts of the building (and the audience!) rattle and shake. And it was a massive amp - two stacks of speakers half as tall again as me - that really brought out the lowest notes of the etherwave to their best. It felt just like playing at home, but better.

No nerves whatsoever. I think that making a fool of myself in front of the best, (in Berlin, as noted previously) has fixed that. So I was relaxed, and I felt I was playing at my best. Afterwards I was approached by a local chap who puts on electronic music events and we had a nice conversation about my effects boxes. Hopefully he'll be getting back to me about something he's organising for August. He was very confident that the crowd he draws would be well into the sort of thing I do.

And Gordon from Vars Of Lichti wants me for a Glasgow based event. It's a long way to travel. We'll have to see about that, but I'd like something to come of it.

I made the audience laugh. The first piece was on a short delay, and mashed up bits of Articulator and Hadal Zone. The second piece used a longer delay, and was bits of Ascension mixed in with bits of Bouncing Blumfeld. For the last piece (Gently Drowning meets Iron Sun) I brought the Panic Box and Whistle Pig into the chain and commented "Now it's going to get weird." Laughter.

All the acts were excellent, but the stand-out act had to be HK119. Heidi Kilpeläinen, for that is her name, is totally brilliant. A powerful singing voice, very theatrical set, great electronics (prerecorded) and just an enormous stage presence. Highly recommended. YouTube does not do her justice (you knew that already - it's youTube) but here's a clip anyway...

We chatted a little before her set - she's not as scary as her stage persona suggests, but not weak either - when the video projector fell alarmingly from its position above the audience (and fortunately straight into the arms of the guy setting it up) and screwed her intended set one could tell from the shell-shocked looks of people around that she is not afraid to share a negative opinion when things are not going to plan. So we got a different set. And it was utterly captivating from start to end. She provided my favourite quote of the evening; ""You're a very good theremin player. I've never seen anyone play theremin before." :-)

And then at about 10 o'clock Hiem decided that there was not enough people there for them (there were already a lot more people than at 7 o'clock and by 1 o'clock, when they were due to play, the place was packed) and they left, leaving a hole in the proceedings.

The hole was filled by an impromptu super-group composed of - Vars Of Lichti, (Gordon on guitars, Jack on drums) Dub Chieftain (Eddie on banjo) and Beat Frequency (me on theremin.) We were called Meat Raffle. Ann said Gordon came up with the name. Gordon says it was Ann. Apparently it's a disco in Shoreditch but that's just a coincidence. We rocked the joint.

Afterwards, one of the audience told me I hawkwinded the set excellently. Cool. I have a lot of respect for Hawkwind. We didn't sound anything like this...

Hurrah for Hiem buggering off and letting me play with the big speakers again. Guys, you can bugger off again any time you like. It's fine by me.

Fingers crossed, you'll be able to see a lot of the action on youTube. There was a guy there with a tiny camera, but on a tripod and with an enormous professional mike on the top. I saw a tiny clip and it looked and sounded good, so fingers crossed. It'll give a taste of what you missed.

(Coincidentally, he was also the guy that won the door raffle - a Moog Etherwave Theremin. He was very excited about it and sought me out. Well, he's now equipped with a print out of The Beat Frequency Method, so it will be interesting to see what comes of it. Guy - if you're reading this - head off to the ThereminWorld forums and tell us about it. Also - I hope you don't mind me saying - in three years of browsing youTube and seeking out thereminists, you're the only black person I know of with a theremin. I don't know why that is. I just think it's curious. :-)

Sonic Weekend next week.

(Oh, yes. One other thing. I learned while I was there that apparently there's a fellow drives round New York highjacking the airwaves off classical music stations and substituting his own playlist, which includes Beneath The Cavern Of The Soup Dragon by yours truly. I like that.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, that sounds fantastic i wish i could have been there,
see you on sw4