Saturday, March 15, 2014

Boat Burning's Music for Massed Guitars -- Union Arts DC - Mar 14 2014

Boat Burning's Music for Massed Guitars - The first thing you think of when you see a conductor in front of a mass of electric guitars is Glenn Branca. While I enjoyed Glenn Branca a year ago, I think this project by Andras Fekete was even more exciting. He conducted a room full of guitarists (I thought 14, someone thought 20, but another viewer thought 16) along with a drummer, cellist, and violinist in a series of songs that he explained some of the experimentation involved. That had to do with octaves, half octaves, intervals, and all the shifts that created patterns emerging deep within the sounds. And while the clinical fascination was evident, you could also sit back and just enjoy the waves of guitar sounds that these highly skilled players brought to life. The drums were superb and so helpful in wrapping it into a structure, although perhaps it helped that I was sitting next to the drummer and had him rather high in my mix. The strings were evident and the guitarists were conducted in sections with clear parts to work off of each other. The guitarists are all well known around the area and included several from bands I have seen such as Tone, Paperhaus, Ra Ra Rasputin, Imperial China, and Dark Sea Dream. There was quite a crowd in this interesting room deep within a warehouse on New York Avenue in the NE. The crowd response was great and I hope we can see something like this again in an even bigger venue, say maybe at Sonic Circuits Festival? (hint, hint). Great music for 50 minutes, loud but purposeful, flowing and emotionally involving over something cool and clinical. I was happy to be here (although sorry that I didn't stick around for Les Rhino and the Fordists--hopefully another day).
Quote of the Night: After I asked Antonio (of the band Greenland) if he had fun tonight... "Yeah, it was a lot of fun for us, I don't know about the audience--hopefully."

A resounding yes from me, and likely to be unanimous from my feeling in the midst of the crowd.

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