Live: Wall With One Side/Trills
(l to r) Wall With One Side (Lance Higdon) & Michael Curtin (The Paraffin).
Photo by Michelle Yom.
KHON'S BAR -- 10/31/2009: Around this time last year, I walked into the wrong yoga studio and intruded on a New Age music event. In my tardiness, I brashly opened the door to a contrasting space of people laying on colorful yoga mats and blankets, listening to Tibetan singing bowls. I left quickly, but the image of people intentionally relaxing to live music left a lasting impression on me.
So when I heard that Resonant Interval's next show was going to be Niblock-esque drones, I took a blanket and pillow so I could lie down in dead-corpse pose and try to get as much music in me as possible. The first set was Wall With One Side, Lance Higdon's (Golden Cities, Tambersauro, Lance And The Pants) solo project, with visual artist Michael Curtin, who goes by The Paraffin.
It was basically a major seventh chord with different tambres within each pitch, coming in and out, sometimes gradually and other times suddenly. Imagine sitting by yourself in a dark room with a projector screen in front of you; there are four symmetrical shapes floating in a column. They change shapes, textures, sizes, and sometimes they disappear, but the space is still there, the colors stay within the family, and you know it's going to come back eventually. No development; no pitches changing or colliding.
I usually eat this stuff up, but it wasn't loud enough (or my ears are damaged from going to too many of these without plugs) to be truly visceral, which for droney music, is essential. But when it got too tedious, all I had to do was look up at the video of schizophrenic frame speeds of colorful splashes or at The Paraffin's interpretation of the music, which ended up being bold black ink strokes with neon crayola details.
The second set was Trills, Jonathan Jindrayeah's video/laptop project. His set had more of a bite, but lying down in a dark room at 9 PM on a Sunday evening was enough for me to melt outside of thoughts and into the background. The videos on the wall turned into a blank black screen in my head, and soon people were clapping.
The last set was Trills and Wall With One Side collaborating. It started with a dramatic ascending scale, which repeated a few times then started varying the volume and texture. After about the twelfth time, though, it turned into a game of counting "how many times will he recycle that riff?" I eventually lost count, and soon it ended. END