Playing Live at Sonic Vigil 6

Yesterday, Saturday 22nd of October, was the first public performance of the Cork City Gamelan. It was also my first live gig after overcoming my belief that I couldn’t do it because of my disability… and it went just fine. I was happy with it, and so was the small audience and the organizing team, it seems. I might even be asked to perform again, and I’d probably do something a little more adventurous then…

I chose to “play it save”: I had prepared some MIDI controlled software instruments loaded with CCG sounds, making it possible to create and mix MIDI loops on the fly with just a few occasional mouse clicks, building up a rhythmic texture of increasing complexity and density. Along with this texture, I created some soundscapes via granular synthesis from a series of stretched CCG beats, which I could leave to evolve on their own for much of the time, leaving me free to improvise a few gestures on my Waterphone along with everything else. Towards the end of my set, I deconstructed the MIDI texture, reduced the soundscape, and crossfaded without a break into A Prophet Looking For A Wall To Write On, live on my Waterphone with a prerecorded backing track.

I found it quite easy to do, really. Why on Earth did I keep myself “out of circulation” for such a long time… ah, well, everybody does silly things every once in a while.

I hadn’t planned to hang around after I was finished, but I stayed for most of the show. I saw 11 of the 13 sets and enjoyed all of it immensely. Thank You to everybody involved for making it happen.

I also bought a sweet little souvenir: A live recording of last year’s Sonic Vigil on a USB stick, dressed up to look like a Walkman (R.I.P.) tape – several hours of really cool music of a kind one never gets to hear on the radio…

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