Sunday, January 28, 2007


Last night we attended the first part of a didgeridoo-based ambient show by John Vorus. We arrived a little late, and Vorus had already started creating electronic atmospheres behind a gauze curtain, on which Kati Astraeir from Poland projected a slide show of close-up photographs of trees and streams intermingled with drawings and paintings. After a while, Vorus was joined by Steve Roach and a sitar player. Due to our late arrival, the only remaining seats were along the wall at the very front, with the unfortunate consequence that we were too close to observe the visuals properly. When the images were dark, we could occasionally see behind the screen and catch a glimpse of what the musicians were doing. Like other live ambient events, it was sometimes a challenge to connect the movements of the musicians with the sounds we were hearing. I caught glimpses of laptops, but saw no keyboards or any other synthesizers (doesn't mean they weren't there, just that I couldn't see them). Roach played a stone flute and bowed a round percussion thingie, which sort of looked like a kandy drum but which must have been metallic based on the sounds that were introduced, and he also struck the ribs of the instrument with a mallet. The sitar player plucked a few notes that got swallowed into the mix, but retired when the didgeridoos got going.

The power of the show kicked up to another level when Vorus played the didgeridoo. You could feel the deep bass drone vibrate throughout the body, which was a wonderful sensation. Even better was when Vorus and Roach both played didgeridoos together, which made the whole building rumble. The other couple who accompanied us wanted to leave after about 90 minutes, during which the musicians had not taken a break, so I don't know how long the performance went, but it was a fascinating show.

No comments: