Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Recording: Germaine Liu & co.

Artist: Germaine Liu & co.

Song: Still Life [two edited excerpts]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (X AVANT XIV: Forward – Night 1), October 17, 2019.

Germaine Liu & co. - Still Life [edited excerpt #2]

Germaine Liu & co. - Still Life [edited excerpt]

Taking a well-deserved step into the spotlight to headline the first night of this year's X Avant Festival, Germaine Liu assembled a performance that was as much a choreographed "dance" as a musical endeavour. Joined by Susanna Hood, Julia Lassonde, Heather MacPhail, and Sahara Morimoto, the ensemble moved through a series of small encounters on the venue's floor, surrounded on three sides by the audience. As is often the case in Liu's work, found items became instruments and shifted functions, like lengths of metal pipe that could be rolled across the floor and then used as ersatz panpipes. Other tools included bells attached to chopsticks, bowed styrofoam blocks, marbles in metal bowls, keys, balloons, boxes, bottles, cans, packing peanuts and bamboo sticks. Items were sometimes flung about with joy and verve (suggesting a sort of Care Bears version of a Brian Ruryk performance) and the performers managed to penetrate the audience's serious gaze to co-opt them into laughing along at the playfulness of it all. Sonically, this is a bit spare on its own without the visual element, but it will hopefully give a sense of what was going on here.

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