Friday, November 2, 2018

Recording: The Velvet Crystals

Artist: The Velvet Crystals

Songs: Intergalactic [composer: Diamond/Horovitz/Yauch/Caldato Jr.] + Aria [composer: John Cage]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #43), October 2, 2018.

The Velvet Crystals - Intergalactic

The Velvet Crystals - Aria

As sometimes happens, I made an invitation to a musician (in this case, Olivia Shortt) to perform at TCB without knowing what I was getting myself into. She said she was going to be bringing a new performance collective she's involved with alongside Emilie Gelinas-Noble, Austin Lamarche, and Katherine Watson, but besides that I had scant details, so this performance turned out to be a rather-delightful surprise.

Taking the form of a chamber ensemble that refuses to treat itself with any of the seriousness that phrases connotes, the quartet's songbook drew from as much from pop music as the avant garde — this is the first time TCB has seen a performance of a work by Pauline Oliveros or The Beastie Boys, never mind both together. This closing survey of Cage's Aria (intended for "unmusical use of the voice, auxiliary percussion, mechanical or electronic devices") was tailor-made for the group's skillset, and tackled with heady and joyful ferocity. Meow.

[Track Could Bend is back at Wenona Lodge on Tuesday (November 6th) with sets from Araz Salek & Colin Fisher, Julie Reich and Alex Fournier & Tara Kannangara.]

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