On Thursday night I experienced The Thing, live at The Judith Wright Centre as part of their Syncretism series. And I mean experienced, physically!
From the moment Mats Gustafsson, blew the first savage breath into the mouthpiece of his baritone sax, my skin prickled and I was moving, laughing, hooting. Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten was plucking and slapping at his bass strings, at times, stretching them to the point of distortion while Paal Nilssen-Love was a flurry of syncopated rhythms and splashing cymbals. They were out of the blocks faster than a rabbit on a greyhound track, playing for their lives, attacking their individual instruments with equal parts fire and dexterity and in the process redefining the possibility of wood, metal, muscle and breath. The joyous force these three men generated was transformative… the crowd surging along with them until the final silence. Simply put, it was a thrill!
Here’s a clip of the band playing live in Budapest. C’mon, give yourself over to The Thing:
or The New Folk XVI
I am anticipating some unique live music moments in the week ahead… First up, I dive into the deep sonic waters of Rafael Anton Irisarri (aka The Sight Below).
Irisarri’s work has been described as, meditations on suspended momentum and the opacity of perception (Big Shot). His evocative soundscapes and ambient pop epics, encompass the big emotions… longing, sorrow, bliss, while drawing the listener below the surface to look up at the storm of sounds shimmering above. Composers like Irisarri don’t visit these parts too often, so I too, am shimmering with excitement at the prospect of seeing him cast his sonic spell this Thursday night (August 19) at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. This haunting composition – Watching As She Reels – is from the Limited Edition 7″ EP, Hopes and Past Desires.
Then I lay my head down on the soft downy sounds of The Stress of Leisure as they take over The Zoo this Friday evening (August 20). Their third album, Soft Approach, has been on high rotation this past month, so I am looking forward to hearing the band rip through some of my favourites – The Boy’s Got Issues, Somewhere in the Afternoon and In the Movie Where He Dies of a Mystery Illness at the End. While the gig is being touted as ‘Soft’, including free hand massages on the night, The Stress of Leisure can rock pretty hard. For proof, check out the clip for Death on the Magic Mile.
Ah yes, softly, softly, the week unfurls…