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Jazz Festival Review: Music & Film

Jazz Festival Review: Music & Film


Review by Kate Kennedy

Birchville Cat
Motel
Click to enlarge

Birchville Cat Motel

Music & Film Night
Sunday 5 November
The Frontroom

Robin Fox
Louise Curham and Mike Cooper
Birchville Cat Motel


Montage of Madness…

Louise Curham and Mike Cooper

Collaborating with thought-provoking visuals and music that could only be described as not jazz. But then really… you can take the boundaries so far with music – What is music? What is jazz? What is noise? Is noise Music? Is noise Art or Music?

The whole performance was well executed, with them both sitting almost amongst the audience members waving their projectors and black boxes around!

A montage of visuals with the theme of nature seminal throughout. I conjured up ideas of war, death and birth – and also a very beautiful something I can’t really put my finger on. Words and phrases like embryonic vessels, migraines, intensity, art, heady pounding, mechanical – all of which seemed to be inspired from this performance.


Birchville Cat Motel

Campbell Kneale or ‘BCM’ has released over 100 records. Last year one was voted Number One Avant Rock album of the year 2005 by THE WIRE magazine. To be categorised, as of course every artist loves to be (!), he has been described as ‘drone/freenoise/outside music’.

He was standing directly in front of the big screen behind a mass of cables and black knobs and was definitely ‘part of the show’. In comparison to the first gig, visually the imagery was much more digital.

There was this high pitched sound at first which developed into a plaintive drone that reminded me of the Middle Eastern drone – especially with the visuals of a monsoon.

He is holding some kind of small microphone which he proceeds to scream into sometimes. In fact even in the very low light of the Frontroom and visuals you can see through the veins popping out of his head and neck the strength and passion he is injecting into his music!

It sounded like he was building the sound up in layers and consequently building in tension. Then the beat kicks in and it’s probably about 160-180 beats per minute so pretty full on! Especially as you can see his body shape thrashing around at the front - really becoming one with his art. He was roaring into his microphone again creating this multilayered effect but you can hardly distinguish that the voice is human. Visually it conjures up the idea of the power of an earthquake or a volcanic eruption.

Obviously a very passionate artist. Check him out… http://www.furious.com/perfect/birchvillecatmotel.html

One of my friends who is really into this art said it “was uncompromisingly beautiful… there is no middle ground”

Robin
Fox
Click to enlarge

Robin Fox

Robin Fox

ART TERRORIST in the house! His laser light show was pretty amazing. The fire engines, fire alarm, evacuation and smoke was perhaps a good build up for this show too! Robin filled the room with a smoke machine for a better effect and I guess due to the sensitive nature of the Frontroom’s newly refurbished status – set the fire alarm off!

So as I said we all had our own premier light and sound show outside on the street. Was an interesting little interlude actually – well at least it works folks!

Regardless of this excitement, Robin Fox is obviously a very talented guy. I felt like I was raving somewhere, but the music was much more abstract – matching the laser beams as they danced rhythmically around the theatre. Was definitely something not to have missed - was an ‘experience’ to just be there.

Check him out… http://www.halftheory.com/index.php?go=blog&id=40


Kate Kennedy – International Musician

********

Jazz festival homepage: www.jazzfestival.co.nz

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