Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Location: Allentown, PA
Audio files: 107
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|Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:49 pm Post subject:
GTMBA - Philadelphia - Jan 21, 2005
Last Friday night, Greg (EGW), Travis (Zynthetix) and I drove down to the Gate to Moon Base Alpha (GTMBA) concert in Philly. It was a very cold night. At one point my car thermometer registered +2 F (-16.6 C). Brrrr... It turned out to be well worth the trip. This was one of the best concerts in this distinguished series I've attended. Pictures here: http://electro-music.com/images/GTMBA-Jan-05/
GTMBA is organized by Gina Renzi (a member here - GINA) and is funded by The Foundation, http://www.foundationarts.org/foundation.html. GTMBA features experimental music and performance art. It's a very valuable cultural resource for the Philadelphia area.
Friday's concert was opened by David Kresge, GOODNIGHT STARS GOODNIGHT AIR. Dave plays processed electric guitars and a vast array of wacky noise makers, electronic toys, and anything else that strikes his fancy. He does a lot of real time looping. He sets up nice steady-state textures that slowly evolve. The effect is very hypnotic. Dave played four or five pieces. I enjoyed it very much.
The Great Quintini was there. He does performance art with interludes of drumming on home made instruments and poetry/prose readings. (see: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-513.html ). Quintini is a regular the GTMBA - always thought provoking and enjoyable.
Ace Paradise performed a set of ambient electronic music. He says his music is Kraftwerk extended. There are times when I could clearly hear this influence, and other times the music was quite different. Ace plays an array of synthesizers and processing effects units. The music is quite gentle and soothing. As his set evolved the music got more and more rhythmical. Quite nice.
Quntini did a second set featuring more of his readings. I've heard almost all of the material before, but it stands up to a second hearing. He did a great routine using a talking Barbie Doll. It was hilarious.
The final set of the evening was by MAKE A RISING. I didn't get a chance to talk to these guys after the performance unfortunately. They played several fascinating compositions. There music is quite tight, combining improvisation with very precise composition. The are lots of quick transitions and modulation, both in time and in key. The instruments included a keyboard, two guitars, drums, violin, and various bits of electronics. The music was quite avant-garde, sometimes atonal, sometimes almost 12 tone, sometimes very harmonic. These guys are very capable musicians. Their singing, however, was incredibly bad, lots of weak falsetto and forced vocal utterances. I got the impression that this was not because they can't sing, but intentional for effect. Other people disagreed - they thought it was just really bad. In any case, the PA and mixing wasn't so great and you couldn't make out too many of the lyrics. Still, I loved their performance. I was thrilled to see so many musical styles being tackled in one set. I haven't seen musicians this versatile since last seeing Amy X Neuburg. Great stuff. I hope to see these guys again.
Other notable distinctions about this concert:
Make A Rising
It started almost on time. There were smooth transitions between the sets; not much dead time. All of the performers introduced themselves and established a personal repour with the audience before they started. All of these things are unusual for GTMBA. I hope this sets the standard for the future.
All in all a fabulous evening of contemporary music. Congrats again to Gina and all of the performers.
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