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Posts Tagged ‘Nizlopi’

These are the two reviews I have to do for project one, Perfromance workshop.

My first review is on a group named “Nizlopi” who were a group I had no intrest in at all until I seen their performance.
Nizlopi are one of the most exciting up and coming acts on the UK music scene today and certainly one of the most original and accomplished live performers out there. They are notably famous for their “JCB” song which got continuous air play some time ago. Nizlopi are singer/guitarist/percussionist Luke Concannon and double bassist/human beatboxer John Parker, together they produce a genre defying blend of jazz, hip hop and folk.
The gig was at the Empire in Belfast which is a very intimate venue, and even more so given the fact that the boys started off their set in the heart of the crowd, playing unplugged with everyone huddled around them. This allowed them to create a spine tingling atmosphere, with the crowd singing along in a whisper. I don’t know if they usually do this or if it was in the spurr of the moment but the audiences participation seemed to enhance the performance which made for great improvision.
With the crowd already contributing to the gig the boys got on stage and played out the rest of their set. John the double-bass player who studied Jazz at University went on long improvisations playing double stops, jumping octaves and counter melodies, resembling the styles of the famous Charles Mingus. This sounded excellent, but then he would began his beatboxing and the whole thing changed again. It was great.
Midway through their set they brought the tempo down and Luke gave his vocal chords a stretch. He ran through his scales without a flinch, often holding long sustained notes which sent a tingle down your spine. It was refreshing to see an act who had a great talent in every aspect of their performance. You were constantly antiscipating what was going to happen next, which kept you intrested.
Nizlopi’s approach to a live performance is much in keeping with their style of song writing in that it evolves through a spirit of spontaneity and improvisation. According to Luke (the lead singer) playing live and improvising comes naturally to him as he was brought up in a enviroment enriched in music, especially folk music.; “Our parents were very into folk and we grew up in a tradition of people just picking up an instrument and playing round a table”. It is easy to see how being around this enviroment has affected how they approach their shows as the two of them just get together, play music, and enjoy every second of it.

This is second of the two gig review I have to do for project one, Perfromance workshop.

The second show I am going to review is ‘Disparate Bodies, A three Way Network Performance’.
The show was at the Sonic Arts Research Centre and involved instrumental, audio-visual and laptop work. It was a three way network performance which ment that music was being performed live and simultaneously at three different locations – Belfast, Hamberg and Graz. The show was based around four different performances which included – Five (composed by John Cage), Piano Trio (piano improvisation), Net; Ambiences (laptop-synthesizer trio) and Disparate Bodies. The performance I am going to focus on is Disparate bodies. It included eight performers playing together but at three different locations.

BELFAST
➢ Pedro Rebelo (Piano)
➢ Franziska Schroeder (Saxophone)

HAMBURG
➢ Andrej Koroliov (Piano)
➢ Nora-Louise Muller (Clarinet)
➢ Turo Grolimund (Flute)

GRAZ
➢ Elisabeth Harnik (Piano)
➢ Wolfgang Tischhart (Trombone)
➢ Clemens Fruhstuck (Saxophone)

This performance focused on improvisational strategies through graphic notation and temporal structuring. All musicians played to a score, but not a score as you know it. The score in my opinion resembled modern art to a certain extent. It was of shapes and colours, angles and curves. As an improviser you can interput these shapes and colours as tones and melody.
However there is another point to mention about the score. For a length of time before the performance the public were invited to shape how the performance would go by going online to the db_editor and editing the score by means of space and time. The changing position of each symbol was reflected in the order and duration of each score element during the performance. By dragging the symbols the public were editing two aspects of how the final performance score will be put together and displayed to audiences and performers
This ment that the performers had no idea of how the scores were going to be portrayed.
The performance itself started of with an eratic burst of playing on the piano, which I think was the signal, then everyone began playing. From the start the musicians were constantly improvising, you never heard any melody or note progression being repeated. Another point I noticed of the performers was that each note and piece they played was anticipated and timed to fill the performance, not every performer felt the need to be constantly heard, it was great to watch. You could also see them listening intensely as thay had no visual cues like eye contact.
The performance had a slight mellow middle then gradually began to build again, moving forward and louder towards an abrubt and sudden end. I don’t think there was a set time limit, the piece just felt completed, and it was brilliant.
A main factor of the night which I didn’t mention yet was the networking, it was amazing to hear eight performers playing live and improvising together, but who were not in the same physical space. You kept forgetting that the six other performers were in different countrys playing, unreal.

The gig I think was excellant and would hope to see one again, or maybe listen to it live on-line to experience the difference.

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