It was wonderful yesterday to be able to hear live music with live musicians in a venue with an attentive audience. This was the Tritychs event organised by Fizzle as part of the Ten Acres of Sound programme run by Artefact, the cafe/bar on Stirchley High Street.
The pleasure came, however, came from much more than the simple pleasure of hearing live music after a long gap. The music presented was of a very high standard and featured some of the best young experimental musicians in Birmingham. And the music involved the interaction between live instruments and loops and sounds created on laptops, presenting a vignette of a kind of futuristic approach to contemporary music.
It was extremely well organised by Artefact and Fizzle with three venues all within walking distance on the now fashionable Stirchley High Street. Audiences were organised into three bubbles of eight people who went together from one venue to the next. I, for example, was in the bubble that went from Venue B, the Anjuma Lounge, to Venue C, Artefact, and finally to Venue A, The Wildcat. All three venues are attractive small cafe bars serving excellent beer as well tea and coffee. The precautions taken against the virus were also impressive.
I will describe each gig in the order I followed them:
Anjuma Lounge: Sarah Farmer and Annie Mahtani
This was a duet between Sarah (pictured here) on violin and effects and Annie on laptop. Sarah created very interesting lines and added effects by occasionally scraping the bow on strings of the violin. Annie underpinned Sarah’s playing with ambient sounds adding in various samples of bird song and other sounds from the Stirchley area. This was a superb start to the evening’s music with some very special and unique music.
Artefact: Aaron Diaz and Chris Mapp
Aaron on laptop combined with Chris on bass and effects. What I particularly liked about this set was the way in which Chris’ lines on the bass were quite melodic and dovetailed really well with the wide ranging sounds that Aaron created in his electronics.
Wildcat: Georgia Denham, Anna Palmer and Andy Woodhead
A trio this time with all three focussing on electronic effects to create a stimulating range of sounds and textures. Both Georgia and Anna used their voices at times to add a new texture to the overall sound.
Each group performed three times with a different audience and it would have been fascinating to see how far each set varied from performance to performance. The musicans were clear that each performance was different.
Details of the full Ten Acres of Sound programme can be found at http://www.tenacresofsound.com