Sunday, 28 June 2009

Dom Allen and Florian Hecker at Urbanomic

It's hot summer Saturday night; and at the Urbanomic studio at the Old Lemonade Factory in Falmouth. Dom Allen set up his complex sonic devices, handmade oscillators and modified toys in the studio and wandered off to take the air , leaving the knob twiddling to whoever wandered into the space. His instruments are messy, grainy, analoguey, and chaotic, it's hard to tell which button or switchboard jack does what, there's the image of a pin-up model etched into an exposed circuit board, with electrical contacts inviting you to probe her body surface for erogenous zones and glitch points.

Later everyone sits in lines of chairs for an hour-long talk with the classical electronic composer Florian Hecker, followed by a performance of his 4-track sound recording Rearranged Playlist as Auditory Stream Segregation. The Urbanomic crew had put a lot of sweat and tears into installing a special sound rig for this performance, but I have to say the show itself struck me pretty much as Stockhausen with disco lights.

Much as I love Urbanomic, flashing lights and noisy noises, I have profound ideological differences with the elitist art-music tradition that Hecker is coming from, so I did a quick bit of videoing and then hit the road.

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