Sonic Interactions

The Capstone, Liverpool
27th October 2014

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

As usual this concert was not for the fainthearted or hard of hearing. Sonic Interactions was back for it's fifth consecutive outing at this venue, an evening of electro acoustic sounds from the edge of the musical spectrum.

So what was it all about? Basically the composer of each work occupied a centralised control desk replete with laptop computers and electronic paraphernalia. The periphery of the auditorium had equally spaced around it eight loudspeakers on stands, which blasted out the generated sounds.

In a short introduction Blazej Dowlasz, (first up), invited the youngish audience to cluster in the middle for maximum impact, while the bruised red lit stage set the tone for what was to follow. There was to be no introduction to any of the eight works - only the shadowy coming and going at the console as the controls changed hands.

The first and the last pieces were mere trifles; a gentle tempter into a parallel universe of noise and at the end one to bring you back to reality. In between there was a skittish, birds in flight menage of metallic sound, cutting, reverberating, hanging on, in Manuella Blackburn's Javaari.

Sam Salem's The Fall, Part 2 was dystopian zither crackle and pop, with a Japanese tinge; ear splitting stuff. Next came a myriad of sounds including voices, like cascades of noise washing up on the beach. It was music to slice your head off.

For the most part the works came from tapes but a screen burst into life to brainwashing effect in Joseph Hyde's End Transmission. This was Andromeda Strain, 7 Hertz bypass music - a fluid visual Raushach Test of zygotic interconnectivity. The last nerve jangler, krsshhh-plip for laptop and live-improv, as it progressed induced disorientation and the start of a headache. There was a more than 'I want to go home' in the restless squirming from the seats in front. Cosmic.

As the lights went up a nervous tittering indicated a return to reality. It was only an hour, but what an hour! Different. The composers, one suspects, will never be household names, but they threw themselves into this rare eclectic matrix for the converted.

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Cormac Gould on 8th November, 2014 at 11:04
Just a small correction - the person giving the short introduction was Constantin Popp not Blazej Dowlasz. Also, you have spelled Rorschach incorrectly, easily done. All the best.