26
May

Domestic Disturbance descended on my friend Andrew McWilliams‘ flat a few weekends ago. About 15 people installed artworks or performed something whilst the 30-strong crowd chatted, sipped beers or snacked on the crazy food by Schrodinger’s Cake (everything that looked sweet was savoury and everything that seemed to be savoury was sweet!). I tried to perform something, and I’ll talk about that below.

The highlights for me, were, in no particular order:
- the other Andy‘s sonic intervention – extended soundscapes, metalic and unsettling, in the bathroom!
- Sonia and friends’ walking musical performance – an impromptu musical procession, improvised and full of character
- Graham Dunning’s off the wall turntablism – soundscapes and textures from modified turntables, unusual records and home made effects boxes
- Andy’s installation – re-edited documentary footage from Al Jazeera projected onto dozens of irregularly placed mirrors, involving, confining and unsettling questions about truth and media.

My performance was a part-improvised set of “songs” for berimbau and Ableton Live. I played, whipsered, hummed and  bashed stones together, picked up by a microphone and looped in Live. I’d taped a Wii-mote controller to my berimbau and, using OSCulator to interpret it, drove Live’s Looper. The pieces were meant to be calm, each with a different overall tone. However, what didn’t show up rehearsing at home was that the sound picked up by the mic was so quiet that with the venue’s speakers turned up loud enough to hear what Live was playing back (and the mic gain up enough to actually pick up the sounds), the mic would feed back uncontrollably. With a room full of chatting people it was impossible to play the set properly and I ended up improvising with looped and tuned feedback instead!

Playing a berimbau and wii-mote

The event was a lot of fun, albeit embarrassing for me. A lot of connections were made, and some varied performers got to share an interesting event. Domestic Disturbance runs at irregular intervals – check with Sonia, linked above, for more information.

One Response to “Domestic disturbance”

Thanks to G for correcting my typos in this one.

Simon
May 27th, 2010