Friday, April 17, 2009

AFUM 2009: Christian Haines (16/04)

There is something almost magical about the power of (music) technology to help us as humans transcend the limitations of our senses and perception - whereby even a process as simple as amplifying the melting of ice must be listened to with some level of reverence, as acoustic events outside of the normal sphere of our existence are revealed.

The concept of failure aesthetics was somehow captured very nicely in Christian Haines' performance. The highlight of the show was the reinterpretation of Ligeti's Poème Symphonique for 100 Metronomes for mobile phones. Although there was some waiting involved (in order to get all of the perfomers' mobile phones set up correctly) it was well worth the wait.

I love phase-based rhythms and melodies, and so this work was a special treat especially with the unique spatialisation of having the performers as part of the crowd. The mind seems to wonder from one phase relationship to the next, and it is reminiscent of listening to a complex chord / drone for an extended period, in that one will focus on a particular part of the timbre for a certain amount of time before moving on to other elements. This was the rhythmic equivalent.

A good dose of humour was present as well.