Dec 21, 2008
Though this took place several years ago I've been meaning to write about it for some time. I went to this event a few hours after it started. There were six or seven electronic and acoustic sound stations set up on the floor at various points along the walls, which left the rest of the floor open for the dancers. The sound improvisers were listening intensely out of a desire not to dominate the sonic atmosphere, which remained largely on the ambient side. The occasional louder horn or processed electronics would steer the mood towards noise at certain moments, then the ethereal collaborations would resume. Notes were stretched out into long tones, sometimes for a half hour or more while the dancers challenged the limits of movement and exhaustion. Most of their movements were conducted with a mindfulness towards the need to save energy for the full twelve hours, and people would take breaks before resuming solo or collective interaction. A small crowd took in the scene, but not that many made it through the night as tiredness and a slight chill set in. Memorable moments included the players and audience members running around together, playing a piano in the lobby, and tearing up newspapers by dancing on them. Traditional human speech was almost entirely absent for much of the night and a profound alteration took place. I felt slowed down. When the sun came up as the event drew to a close, I knew this would linger in my memory for a long time. The bus ride home was uncomfortably jarring as consensus reality rushed into the hypnotic vacuum. Click on the poster above for a closer look.