[While I work on the reviews for the Friday and Saturday shows at the Outsound Music Summit, we have a guest review from Joe McMahon, ambient music/soundscapes – pemungkah.com. Given that I was a performer in two groups on Friday, his review provides an interesting outside perspective.]
Friday at Outsound: Reconnaissance Fly, Cornelius Cardew Choir, Amy X Neuburg
An interesting evening of word (and other vocalization) related music. Reconnaissance Fly led off with their songs based on “spam poetry” – the sometimes strangely numinous texts randomly generated to try to evade spam filters. RF can, and does, play in a massive variety of styles, from samba and tango through pop, prog rock, and jazz, all the way to full-on avante-garde improv. These wildly disparate styles and surreal text are combined in pop song structures into catchily mind-bending conceptual smoothies. It appeared that the audience was ready for an encore, but time was short. The piece which included what seemed to be samples from a “teach your bird to talk” record and Polly Moller’s exceptional flute multiphonics and extended techniques was particularly fascinating, and Moe!’s drumming lent serious propulsion and quirky humor as well.
The Cornelius Cardew Choir did three pieces: the first was based on the alphabet and reminded me a bit of “In C”, as the choir started at “A”, both reciting the letters and making their sounds, the individual members determining the speed at which they moved through the alphabet. Charming and fun. The second piece was based on rock inscriptions; very dense and almost surflike; I had a little trouble spotting a structure in this one, but that’s probably more the result of a long day on my part. The last piece added electronics and flute; a very evocative, ritualistic piece – fascinating textures and quite wonderful.
Last on the bill was Amy X Neuburg, who wowed the crowd as always, performing, among others, several pieces from her _Residue_ album; her performances of these have evolved interestingly. In addition, she improvised a new piece on the spot using her Blippo Box and her just-built Scatchbox, and a tribute to Kim Flint the late founder of the Looper’s Delight mailing list.
A very enjoyable evening; looking forward to hearing more from all the performers.