|(L-R) Sharon Gal, Hutch Demouilpied, Sue Lynch, Jennifer Allum|
Clive Bell (shakuhachi), John Jairo Garcia Rueda (tiple), and Gabriella Swallow (cello) were next on stage. Their set was full of space and considered silence; a rattling shaky construction that often threatened to dematerialise altogether. Rueda's tiple and Bell's shakahuchi provided a jagged, fractured bed for Swallow's more strident, interventionist playing; some of her rhythmic work was brave in this setting, like trying to marshal the mist; a futile but necessary shepherd, her cello playing often pinning the others in place with long drones and soft beneath-the-bridge whistles.
|Adam Bohman, Daniel Thompson|
The third act of the evening was a pairing of Adam Bohman (amplified objects) and Daniel Thompson (guitar). This group was an interesting pairing of controlled chaos from Bohman and weaving bracketing lines from Thompson. The guitarist was a spidery presence, dropping a sound-web over Bohman's grinding morass of rubbery industrial racket; flicking delicate glassy notes into a churning cement mixer. Thompson employed an almost anti-shred technique, completely without excess, holding back and acting as a contrast to Bohman's rumbling abandon. The duo were the living embodiment of the neighbour in Tom Waits' 'What's He Building?'
|Dave Tucker, Phil Marks, Adrian Northover|
The night's final group was an ensemble of Dave Tucker (synth), Phil Marks (drums), and Adrian Northover (saxes). They instantly created a great dynamic; Tucker and Marks conjuring a caustic sound-froth beneath Northover's sharp sax flurries. Marks' sticks often flailed the air, creating inaudible beats around the actual ones. Tucker's contribution was a liquid amorphous gloop, flowing around the others like noise grouting. Northover's playing incorporated sustained tones, long looping runs, and breathe-stretching quacking tongue flutters. Tucker at one point named the band 'Wet Nightmare'; a more apt moniker would be impossible to think of.
As a new initiate, I urge you to visit future Horse Improv nights. In places like this and Boat-Ting, you can really experience surprising, exploratory music; witnessing performers exchanging ideas and radical sound gestures in a good-humoured environment of curiosity and openness.
Horse Improv returns in the Autumn. Listings here.