in Performance Critiques, Uncategorized

D – D – D @ XI on XII | XII | XII

Dear Lea,

How was your 12/12/12? Sorry I missed your show at NoHomme. I went to the “David David David – Creepy Triangle Variety Show” at Experimental Intermedia, first show of the season. It was so lovely! Though not at first. I got there a little late, since I was busy getting ready for the Christmas Shop. The performance had already begun. David First was playing guitar with someone. Was that David Watson? I couldn’t be sure. The place was packed. There was nowhere to sit. I was standing and watching these two guitar-dudes, rockin’ out. Which was maybe fitting, since it is the day to remember Ravi Shankar, who is a guitar-god, if we accept all the strings from piano to sitar as a big happy family of kithara. (Even Axl Rose dedicated GNR’s concert yesterday to Ravi Shankar!) I ignored that there was no where to sit, and tried not to be bored, by telling myself that this was some kind of wonderful homage to Shankar. But David First made it so hard to not be bored!!! He was staring at this computer screen the whole time, probably reading sheet music running across the screen in an endless scroll. He had the glazed look of teenagers watching Adult Swim at 3am and whenever I looked at his face, I forgot about Ravi Shankar and remembered that I wanted a seat! (There were three seats in the second row and one seat in the front row and I kept holding back from seating myself…)

Then they finished. And I took a seat on the stairs up to the loft. And the other guy who had been playing guitar – who had been weirding out while David First was rockin’ out – stood up. And he picked up bag-pipes. Oh, that was David Watson! Everything got quiet. So quiet. Except for these two women standing in front of me who were also probably bored and annoyed that there was nowhere to sit. Except for them, it was so quiet. The silence went up a notch as he began to blow…mutely.

Where was the sound? (Is this how bagpipes work?) Air rushed through. We heard their hiss, modulated by his fingers on the pipe. The attention of the audience blanketed the room into a deeper quiet as we ached to hear the waves of the bagpipe. Hiss… hiss… hiss… shazzam! nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.What had been silent was now filled. Completely.

Bagpipes are so fucking amazing. The drone of the bagpipe seems better than any synthesizer. Or so you think. Until you hear the bagpipe with a synthesizer. David First produced some waves that enveloped the bagpipes. No more guitar dudes mourning Ravi Shankar. This was the David First who introduced me to the Schumann Resonances in his brilliant article about The Earth as a Giant Bell. Sound was solid and yet modulating. Space was solid and yet shimmering. Time was passing and yet still. All that happened. And then it was done.

And then, what? More guitar-shit? David First sang!

The Buddha Sits Another Lifetime.

Come back again, don’t rest in peace…  The memorializing went on. David Second and David First packed up and moved to the kitchen to make room for David Linton. Sound & Light. His camera focused on some illuminated crystal pyramid, behind a rotating globe of interlocking circles, writ large as a glowing triangle of color behind passing curves.David Linton  also summoned Ravi Shankar, with some sort of dulcimer in the middle of all of his synthesizers. He fingered something vaguely raag. And he was singing, too! Was it raag? Was it hoomei? Was it dzoke? It was none of it–not Indian, not Tibetan–it was New York–like Palestine.

David Linton “switched on” his video synthesizers or something and the screen pictures some trip-out wowza magic. It’s amazing what a little LED strobe light will do with some mesh metal chain in close-close-up. It briefly reminded me of Sue.C as the strobes glistened on the arcs of the globe. David strummed his strings and sang a bit more raag. Then he turned it all up. The image saturated with color and noise and the room filled with tones. He switched the chain link globe for a smaller globe — were they springs? Or a little head? Turned the world (in the screen) on its side. Superimposition of cascades at right angles to each other. This went on and on and I wanted to go up the screen like a little kid and let it wash me…

He added more layers and the colors became soft-edged and fuzzy like the clouds of Jupiter. We reached a peak, and floated there. The sound came down and the video burned on. David played a double-pipe flute, like Pan, like a satyr. (You can remember guitarists by playing guitar, but to mourn them, you need to play a pipe.) It’s a loop. It stays. The pipes continue as he picks up some sticks to hit his dulcimer. The cascading bars in perpindicular directions extend dimensionally–stretch back to infinitity, but come forward only as far as the screen. The screen, the limit, between here and there: A giant dark vagina floats in a non-place across infinity in the center of the revelation. And then the loop fades, and dimensions collapse. Buzz fades out to black.

Wowza! People applauded whole-heartedly.

And then I went to the kitchen too, to see what pots Katherine has. You know I’m cooking dinner there tonight for Zach before his show. Hope to see you there!



ps: I completely forgot to mention the triangles.

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