Damo Suzuki at the Black Box

Saw Damo Suzuki (ex-Can vocalist) play at the Black Box last night. Damo’s band consisted of local musicians – 3 drummers, 3 basses, and 2 guitars. The show started with about an hour and a half long set of krautrock-esque improvisation, and after a short break finished with about another hours worth of improv. Although at times mesmerising, unfortunately the black box wasn’t the ideal venue for this kind of long free-form workout, and could have benefited immensely from being held at an outside festival where the music could be dipped in and out of. Definitely worth seeing though, and even signing up for a chance to play in one of his gigs. Check out the Damo Suzuki Network for more info.

Poetry Open-Jack

Played ‘no-input’ Kaoss pad in the Poetry Open-Jack last night. After finding that it was too dark to see the screen on the game-boy (running LittleSoundDJ) I worked on using my thumb on the exposed 3.5mm jack to generate noise for the Kaoss pad to use. This technique is something I’ve also been working on during the QUBE impov sessions. One satisfying outcome is that by the end of the improvisation everyone had tuned to the key of the Kaosspad (well, whatever resonance was being produced when maxing out the filter). Must find out what that note is!

BLISS concert

Attended a BLISS network performance held in the Sonic Lab, featuring a live linkup to Göteborg. Along with the usual BLISS freeform improvisation, there were two ‘scored’ improvisation pieces by Alain Renaud and Justin Yang. It was particularly interesting to watch Justin’s piece as we have been using it in the QUBE improv group for a while now. Photos above (courtesy of Christopher Chong) and the full blurb below:

BLISS: Belfast – Goteborg Network Performance
Thursday 13 March 2008,
Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast: 8pm (UK Time)
Siren Festivalen Göteborg: 9pm (CET)

A distributed laptop and instrumental performance between SARC’s own BLISS (Belfast Legion for Improvised Sights and Sounds) and Göteborg’s Academy of Music and Drama laptop ensemble, Sweden. This networked performance explores
techniques and strategies for improvised electroacoustic music over the internet. The Legion does not prescribe its sights or sounds; they are the product of digital and contra-digital networks of gates,
tables, switches, speaker objects, cabling and data… The Legion is not a band – we don’t play weddings – but we like playing in the network! This event is a co-production between SARC and the Siren Festivalen för ny music. The performance will include works by Justin Yang and Alain Renaud.
Live Stream: (stream will begin at 8:30 CET)

QUBE concert

Played with QUBE in SARC’s Sonic Lab. My musical setup for this gig was Casiotone MT-100 and Kaoss pad. Among the pieces played were ‘Activities’ by Justin Yang which involved improvisation to a graphic score and also an interpretation of one of Mark Applebaum’s stopwatch scores. Below is also a video of the last QUBE performance (as far as I know this one wasn’t recorded, if anyone else knows otherwise, then please let me know!). Here’s the blurb:

Tuersday 11th March 2008, 5pm Sonic Lab
Admission Free

Led by Steve Davis and Pedro Rebelo, the QUBensemble (QUBe) is a forum for improvisation, conduction and new music involving students and staff within the school. QUBe brings together performers from a variety of artistic backgrounds to develop performances which explore ensemble interaction, audio-visuals, open scores, and free improvisation. The performance will include works by Justin Yang, Mark Applebaum and Steve Davis.