QUARTERBRED is a 3 year old artist run initiative supporting and presenting hybrid arts projects. The TINY STADIUMS FESTIVAL 2009 has been presenting work from a wide selection of artists from the 24th February to the 7th March. “QUARTERBRED involves Blue Ribbon Artists cramming big experiences into small spaces.” The PACT Theatre has been the host building.
AISTHESIS is the second part of the night. In another space, James Brown (a Sound Artist) takes one on an exploration of music and sound as experienced by the body through expanded highlighting of other senses: sight and smell as well as our hearing. We sit on cushions and mats on the floor, a screen is alert above us, constructed smells are wafted to us, sometimes by the mixing of perfumes on an oil burner or pumped out over us in the exploding whoosh of a scented haze machine. Mr Brown began by playing notes and a simple melody on a piano, that reverberated gently to us, accompanied by visual colour “blobs “on the screen (a kind of synaesthesia experience), gradually with samples and a prepared soundscape with an inter mixing of live instruments (piano, timpani) we begin a very powerful soundscape journey, wrapped around us, (occasionally it vibrated my whole body) whilst visually we are entranced by images that have a "new age" glimmer of what I recalled of past psychedelic times. (On Sydney Mardi Gras night it may have been a very appropriate timing for some of us.) The technical feats are “awesome” but the experience was not as transportive as it could have been. Maybe the repetition of some of the imagery became just a little tiresome. It was also odd for me to watch the artist in the throes of his performance, casually take a glass of red wine sip or two - it jarred my belief system, but then was it meant to be a visual piece? If so, all of what you present to me has meaning. The glass of wine took me to my conscious cushion seat at the Pact Theatre.
HOLIDAY has been seen in Melbourne and I am sure will pop up again. Keep an eye out. The QUARTERBRED blog may keep you alerted.