Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hello Oto

Current level of conviction in own genius: 9
Amount of creative activity acheived in last 24 hours: 4
Hair Day: Short and snappified

It's nice when the coolest venues become places you've PLAYED in, not just been to: having viewed Cafe Oto's rise from afar - well, two miles away in Bethnal Green), we've only managed to pop in for coffee, the rest of the time pressing our noses up against the glass outside another sold-out night of leftfield electronica and all things experimental. So though Anna is away in Brittany, Sarah and I jumped at the chance to fly the juice flag last night at a Twisted Lounge night, curated by our friend, arty supremo and avant-garde jumper-wearer Mikhail ( It was an eclectic evening of interesting vocal stuff, starting with young turk Matthew Lee Knowles' piece for harpsichord and speaker, the latter deadpanly reading out probably the most repellent Marquis de Sade text off a long thin roll of paper which was slowly uncoiled. Very, very hardcore and I wanted to punch their lights out both on behalf of all women, but hell, that's probably the point. Shudder. We also heard really lovely improvisational off-the-wall-jazz stylings from E:LAINE with Leon doing marvellously percussive and inventive things on the grand piano. Then Mikhail did his usual part-Bjork, part-Arabic-ish whisperings and roarings with some excellent harpsichord accompaniment by MLK. Linda Hirst, matriarch of the contemporary vocal scene, finished off the night in deliberately poised, simple style with 9 extremely short unaccompanied John Cage songs. Sarah and I did a couple of Meredith Monk duets, Sarah and Belinda did Roger Marsh's darkly glimmering song 'Black Hair' beautifully, and I debuted my 'catalunyanpoem' on the biggest and best loop station you can buy which I'd borrowed to see if it was worth investing in. Which it is given the lovely reception afterwards - having been shitting myself over getting the first and most essential loop in time and practising putting my foot down in the loos (any others in there must have thought I was a little insane), it all went rather smoothly and I had a ball performing.

Of course, we missed the triumphant return of England to some semblance of skill and form - or at least I'm assuming so, having seen that lovely score. But I suppose being at a high-art vocal evening and networking with a variety of cheery artpeople (video-makers who worship Christian Marclay not Ronaldo), singers (all over the pitch in a good way) and promoters (Twisted Lounge not Twisted Ankle - oh, I must stop) a good excuse for missing little Theo's hat-trick. More exciting for me than Engerland's win is the fact that Wycombe are sitting, pretty and proud, at the top of League Two. Go on the boys en bleu. So sure, it's only five games in, but I'm basking in the glory while it lasts...

No comments: