Friday, 4 November 2011

flow motion @ the dana centre 11/01/2011

words + photos: gian paolo galasi

Forthcoming performances:
Queen Mary’s Octagon room on the 5th and 6th of November 2011, at 7.30pm

Grahame Painting
While listening to November 1st performance of Flow Motion: Explorations in Eleven Dimensions and interacting with the musicians during the following Q&A, one thinks about the usual juxtaposition between improvising and manipulating or processing sound just to come to the conclusion that there is no such difference, and that one of the concepts Edward George put on the table more than one time - interacting with misleadings - is a good zen exercise, in the proper sense of the word.

"An audio art performance of soundscapes and improvisations based on the transformation of string theory equations, produced by Piva and George during their research residency at Queen Mary’s School of Physics."

The use of mathematics and physics in music is a relevant practice in contemporary music - we can put artists as diverse as Iannis Xenakis, Catherine Christer Hennix and Achim Wollscheid on the table -- a trace of the faith in the harmony of nature, of music, through mathematics, while the idea of a creative/aesthetic rendition of mistakes or chance is a common practice in the audio art: the glitch music came entirely from there - a way to look for what's human in his weaknesses, in his mistakes in the digital era.

Edward George and Anna Piva
But what's interesting in the late afternoon discussion after the music is the stress on doing, more than on dealing with concepts. And that concepts is what the audience ask about to the musicians in order to understand the music: emotions, soul, even God. That means obviously that this project, far from being absolutely 'new' -- even since there's no such thing in the world of art, or in the world in general -- is in line with what's going on in every art field since the middle of the last century: a project comprehensible only in their own terms and to be developed with time, with listeners grasping at their own first encounter with it.

'Liquid' music in some way, an adjective I wouldn't spend for most of the audio art / electroacoustic performances I listened in my life -- there is something similar in many, but not at that level, while the articulation is  coherent, and at the same time dealing with it through words is really something slippery. Obviously this is a new project, and some of the players -- Alison Blunt on violin, Chris Cullen on flute and saxophone, Edward George on electronics, Grahame Painting on cello and guitar, Anna Piva on electronics and Mark Sanders on drums -- were playing together for the first time, so it may be worth to listen to the next performances and see what would eventually come out of a record or a follow.

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