We havent been to many gigs yet in our Australia visit due to the time of year and our financial limitations, tho that will soon hopefully change as the Adelaide Fringe begins next week.

Last night we attended a show at the invite of Christian Haines – the Adelaide University lecturer who is very kindly helping me perform in Fridays Project X Presents event via the internet.

This was part of a fortnightly concert series in the Wheatsheaf a nice old pub (they call them hotels here) in an Adelaide suburb near the city centre. The gig venue is out the back in whats basically a big shed, but with very comfy seats and a nice relaxed vibe – tho the lack of air conditioning was a bit of a factor on a day when the temp hit a mx of 37 degrees (min 25 overnight).

The organisers are a group called COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide) a musician-led not-for-profit association dedicated to presenting and raising the profile of original music in Adelaide.

Christian lectures in electronic music and offers a laptop based exploration of sound using custom designed software and algorithms. It could be said to be a brave move from artist and promoter to put such experimental work into pub gig context, but it was a succesful one. The first piece consisted of a sample of George Bush with the penultimate phrase repeated over and over not unlike Steve Reich’s “its gonna rain”. Rather than phasing the phrase tho, Haines repeated it exactly for quite some time to interesting effect. After a while my brain started imagining subtle changes were taking place in the length of parts of the speech, and the emphasis and rhythm, even to the extent when I could shift the way I was hearing the rhythm at will. Speaking to Christian afterwards he confirmed that the changes were all in the mind after the listener, the effect of the repetition being that the brain ceases to recognise the sounds as speech and starts to pick up different patterns in the sounds.

The second of the two pieces was a series of soundscapes spread around (I think) six speakers but here, the subtlety and dynamic range of the work was rather lost due to persistent chatter in some of the audience around us (tho it dropped of a little once Lyndall politely pointed out to one particularly noisy group that there was a beer garden nearby the better to accomodate their conversations). Still, some of the sounds were striking and the style of the piece reminded of work I’ve seen in Birmingham from B.E.A.S.T (Birmingham Electro Acoustic Sound Theatre).

The second act was fronted by a Dutchman – Remco Keijzer and an Australian – Lucian McGuiness on sax and trombones respectively. These guys get togther as the Keijzer McGuiness Quintet on this occasion with locals joining them on drums, keys and bass offering a lively and enjoyable brand of progressive jazz.


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