Aimee and I arrived at Hal's around 12:30. The complex, that is. Our GPS didn't want to cooperate at first so we spent a bit of time figuring out which place was his. Once we saw Hal's smiling face waving to us, we knew we were at the right place.
Mark McGee performed first. Minimalist singing bowls, bells, and other such instruments were used to great effect. I felt like I was floating out of my body. I'd love to hear more of this in person again (something I want to be taken for granted with all of the following abstract recollections).
Hal McGee was next. Something like acoustic noisecore. A bunch of short songs consisting of acoustic guitar abuse, some abstract vocalizations (with the occasional words, if I remember correctly), and each was a few seconds long. I enjoy this sorta thing, and it was fun to see Hal doing pseudo(?)-noisecore.
Lumen K performed as Gear Lust. Abstract electronic noise accompanied by a hilarious rant about being an instrument/gear junkie. The sort of performance art noise I enjoy for its sheer joyous absurdity. I could listen to/watch this over and over and over.
Todd Novosad unleashed his Novasak alias for this. Abstract/surreal electronics of a distinctly cosmic variety. The ghosts of Schnitzler, Cluster, Seesselberg, and all the other cosmic synth greats were heavily presiding here, and it was most welcome. A treat for the ears.
Tomokie's Cup was next. As this is Aimee and I, I won't review our performance, but we felt we did okay and everyone seemed to like it.
Jonas van den Bossche followed with some interesting guitar and shortwave impressionism. Similar to Keith Rowe while being completely non-derivative. Interesting double-bass technique used on pedals as well! A performer I can learn a lot from.
Dylan Houser did guitar impressionism/abstraction/surrealism as well, but uniquely his axe is an acoustic-electric! Great use of loops in an almost-but-not-quite Frippertronic way. Having known Dylan a while, I'd love to hear more of this sort of thing from him.
Emmy Lou was next. Her set was something I've never seen before. Wind-up music box dolls and a fidget spinner used on a contact mic'd street sign. Occasional use of treated haunting vocals. Excellent real-time dark ambient. It was scary yet soothing at the same time. A very interesting idea that has a lot of potential.
Hal Harmon ended Apartment Music 29 with some "Bluto Electronics" (as Dylan calls it with nothing but good intent). INTENSE electronic noise, using what appears to be a VERY tricked-out CrackleSynth-type instrument. This was some of the most intense AND interesting live noise I've ever heard! An excellent and brutal way to end a great day with great people!
Following the show, Aimee and I watched episode one of Twin Peaks: The Return with Hal and Mark. Our heads sufficiently and delightfully swirling, we departed back to Jacksonville and our home, glad that we were a part of this magical event.
check out Dylan Houser's AM29 report here
and Hal McGee's report here
Great article! Thank you!
Great write up of the show! Thanks for the flattering description of my set!
Adam, it was such a great pleasure having you and Aimee perform at AM29. Your performance was fresh and lively. I was also happy to have other new performers – Emmy, Todd, and Jonas brought new sounds and ideas. Thanks for the writeup! Apartment Music veterans Lumen K, Vasectomy Party, Dylan, and Mark all did a great job too, I thought.
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