back from@Etay

february 23, 2005.

[quick link: Etay web site]

To use for once :-) kind of a platitude: all good things end too soon ... It has been a wonderful week@Etay, but, yes, of course that it was too short ...

So indeed, meanwhile I am back in Europe again; after an Air Canada night flight, monday, out of a snow covered Montréal, dragging along two Mac laptops and two firewire drives (all of them minutely unpacked and security checked at Trudeau's airport) and a large red Samsonite suitcase (too heavy to comfortably carry because of the - be it tiny - mixing console and my load of 'junk' cassette machines inside), I spent most of tuesday in Paris slightly dazed and heavily jetlagged, not quite sure what day or where I was; until I woke up this wednesday morning to an equally snow covered Paris ... :-) ... So.

I guess that over time there will be occassions to fill up some of the (many) holes in the 'reports' from the last couple of days. Come to think of it: there are mainly holes ... but I'd say that's a Good sign ... !
I did, tuesday night, - pretty quickly, 'on the fly', while listening through the MD and cassette recordings - finish the audio impression of the first 'loft concert', which now is available as a 20 minute Raudio Podcast. You'll hear extracts from each of saturday's performances, representing a fascinating diversity in styles and approaches, each with its proper 'twist'.

esthet B. 2005
Esther B. 2005

The 'documentary' starts with part of the - spacious, un-loud and slow - improvised laptop duet that was performed by Tomas Phillips and Chantale Laplante. A modest, thoughtful and subdued ('ingetogen', we say in dutch) presentation. And a première collaboration ...

Esther Bourdages then introduces her short lecture on the use of vinyl (records) as a creative medium ("The echo of the vinyl record: between the sound and the visual, between the past and the present"), before - quite literally - diving into one of her acts of improvised on-the-spot 'vinyl destruction', using various, artistically (mal)treated or not, specimens of 'the vinyl record', two plastic toy gramophones ("Fisher-Price") and some self-built handheld playback tools. Esther scratches the little wobblers, handspins them forwards, backwards, sidewards, twists them, hits them, breaks them, throws them around... As you may know of my passion for 'junk' (and 'toys'), you can imagine how thrilled I was by this - despite (or is it because of?) being of a generation that grew up in near religious reverence of these 'objects' and used to living in constant 'fear' of my little darlings getting damaged by suns, liquids, foods, greasy fingers, specks of dust or accidental scratches ... :-) ... ha! Esther taught me for the better! Let's hit them!... Great fun to watch, and wonderful to hear, as the 'instant sound montages' that result from her destructive vinyl interventions are full of musical and sonic surpirses.

Aimé Dontigny and David Turgeon did two of their pieces for 'prepared CD players', in which they use and manipulate the looped playback of a large number of very short audio tracks written to CD. The Podcast contains parts of both (the second one being entirely based upon 'samples' from a recording of contemporary string quartet music, but I didn't quite catch the name of the composer; I should ask David). While the earlier 'duet' (that of Tomas and Chantale) could be considered an example of a rather introvert 'table music' performance, theirs would surely rank on the other, the 'extrovert' side ...

Next you hear Jen Morris, who agreed to participate in saturday's event on very short notice, just having come back to Montréal from a European tour, to in the Etay loft do her first ever performance 'without visuals' (apart, that is, from the several monitors in the loft that showed the 'camera's point of view), with a minimum of gear... (it was wonderful, thanks once more, Jen!)

Anna Friz

Radio is Anna Friz's great passion. I learned a lot about her original and inventive use of this 'medium' during Anna's earlier visit to the loft, on wednesday afternoon, and am eager to hear and discover more of her work.
On saturday, in a 'stripped down' version of a performance in an ongoing series called 'the world inside the radio', Anna transmitted her contribution through a short range FM transmitter to four small Grundig receivers placed around the loft. Including the - at least to me - surprising and ever so melancholic sounding minor key blowing of a real harmonica at the end ...

[ To subscribe to the Raudio Podcasts, get the feed's URI by clicking the green podcast button in the sidebar. Alternatively, you may simply download the mp3-file. ]

[More sounds and pictures from the loft are available at the page dedicated to the project by Med'i.ate Network's Project Soundwave.]

[ next related SB-entry: sunday@etay || vicky: update #02 :: previous related SB-entry: saturday evening@etay ]

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