Fri 3rd March 2006 - Intergration 5 [ Scribble Seven ]
Steven Stapleton, Colin Potter, Matt Waldron
Freida Abtan, Maja Elliott, Andrew Liles
Joolie Wood and Monos @ St Peters Arts Centre
The Venue - a lovely converted church
Andrew Liles started off the proceedings with a short set, bleach damaged archive footage supported his nocturnal atmospheres, glimpses of the original films spookily broke through the ‘23 Envelope’ textures. Sonic textures switch bladed, previously introduced elements blossomed then were cut over by others.
I enjoyed the Eastern vibes that went with the silhouetted camel trail on the horizon of dunes, the sound swaying around exotically as the film was buried in a blizzard of decay. Strange echoes of conversation bounced between the speakers and equally strange noises emitted from his equipment, creeping round your ears in macabre shadows.
Three guys, collectively know as Monos took up the reins after Mr Liles, with Colin Potter at the helm. Starting from the slow building of sliding textures, the music grew organically as star shapes flickered over a blurred skyscape.
Light broke through trees to a cacophony of crows squawking from within the electronic flux. Meditative drones mimicked the pristine shapes that formed and dissolved before my eyes. Superimposed impressions complimented the sound's multi-layered density. Somebody on screen was tinkering with a guitar, the image split then patterned into a geometric kaleidoscope of possibility as the sound disjointed into a multitude of colour. The Monos sound was incredibly optimistic, radiant and soothing, but never feeble or prone to slipping into anonymity. They captured a prevailing flow that was as alluring as bright sunshine on a crisp winter’s day, possessing a burnished brilliance that was truly engrossing.
After a long break, filled with strange 'John Lacy' luggage obsessed film work, the highlight of the evening began to gather - The Scribble Seven, comprising of the cream of the sonic underground.
Two absolutely beautiful Joolie Wood songs (highlights from her forthcoming debut) began the set, with Maja Elliot providing backing on piano and the rest of the contributors giving a subtle electronic presence to Joolie’s flute and violin accompaniment. This was closely followed by a full-on continuous improv that filled the rest of the evening’s performance.
Everything seamlessly gelled together. Droning electronics punctuated by the masterful Matt Waldron, Joolie scratching her violin strings and Maja Elliot teasing stuff from the innards of the piano (although she was obscured from view a lot of the time) and at one point slamming the lid with a large crash that was quickly taken up by something Matt was fiddling with at the time. Colin pulled out a ‘Dr Seuss’ like stripy horn, mixing breathy moans into the scrawl. Steve Stapleton's hand hovered over an electro-sensitive box, the other twisted the sound shapes this way and that. The dense construct finally came to a close with Maja stroking her keys and Joolie plucking her violin. They were just fabulous and frankly words fail me when it comes to describing the bizarre concoction of sounds that flowed with breath-taking ease that night.
I'm still pinching myself with dis-belief...