Portland, Oregon’s ambient duo Visible Cloaks are well known in the electronic music world. Tonight at Platform, the pair recreate their newly-released album Reassemblage, live, accompanied by live digital and installation artist Brenna Murphy.
A highlight of the evening at the Eastern Promise festival, the American duo are masters of their craft and their affecting music is the perfect counterpoint to the visual madness which abounds on the rest of the programme.
The visuals by Brenna Murphy don’t exactly gel with music, they are reminiscent of the glaring primary coloured graphics of 1980’s TV show The Krypton Factor and are simplistic rather than original or ground-breaking. That said, the music more than transcends the limp visuals.
Visible Cloaks music has the power to physically and emotionally change your state of mind and body – surrender to the sound, you won’t regret it.
If gold medals were awarded for sheer eccentricity then the collective behind Pauline and the Matches would be world-beaters.
A group of multi-media performance and sound artists create a performance and installation based on Heinrich Hoffman’s cautionary tales, Hoffman best known for his work Der Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter) demonstrating the disastrous consequences of children’s misbehaviour. This work appears to be based on Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug (The Dreadful Story of the Matches), a little girl plays with matches and burns to death.
Giant matches, drawing lots to squash tiny straw doll Pauline’s, walking spotlights, cigarette smoking legs, tinfoil blanketed screaming and drumming women, a bicycle-driven panoply of instruments and a man with a shed-load of cassette tapes, are only a small sampling of what’s on offer.
Chaos abounds and the main presenter of the work (who looks as if she’d rather be anywhere else than here) appears not to have a full grasp of what she’s meant to be doing.
Amusing for all the wrong reasons.
Sita Pieraccini’s work Make a HOO is billed as: “a play set in the tropical hills and the Sri Lankan plains which witness a young woman’s journey as she strives to reconnect with her identity and the world she lives in”; save for some pre-recorded sounds from the Sri Lankan forest, this rambling mish-mash does nothing to either evoke a sense of place or stimulate discussion or the emotions.
Several years ago, I saw a production about the ancient myth of the Phoenician princess Europa, a show I thought was the worst thing I have had the misfortune to endure, however, Make A HOO surpasses even that in awfulness. It is one of those works that makes you question the very reason for its existence, other than the self-indulgence of the creator.
Comprising something akin to visual and aural torture, there is no dialogue, Pieraccini performs to a pre-recorded soundtrack of natural and industrial noise, and her movement skills are not particularly well developed. There is little artistry or originality to the choreography. It captivates neither the eyes nor ears.
The themes this professes to address: “connectedness/disconnected-ness with nature”, need to be explored and discussed, however this laboured and poorly executed work does nothing to further the conversation. At one point there are the sounds of wild forest animals, one can’t help wish that the creatures of the night would eat her up and be done with it.
The kind of show that makes you lose all faith in the visual arts.