PURE SCENIUS part of the Luminous Festival, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House.
Just for the continuity of my diary.... I attended two of the three concerts as part of Brian Eno’s final event for the recent Luminous Festival. The ‘theatre’ of improvising musicians (presumably within some parameters) was an attractive promise. Certainly the musicians that Mr Eno had gathered were worth attending too. The Necks: pianist Chris Abrahams, bassist Lloyd Swanton and drummer Tony Buck were the outstanding "genius" of the night. Individually and collectively. The other artists included Jon Hopkins, Karl Hyde, Leo Abrahams and Brian Eno himself. The riffs and extended variations were mostly absorbing, and, although over the whole of the duration did not lead to many surprises, and had a tendency to repeat themselves, the interplay was engrossing.
Mr Eno’s word play and lyrics, however, felt to me the weakest part of the aural experience. In fact I found them painfully banal and collectively, personally, irritating. A good ‘poet’, rapping with the group would have been an asset. A landscape that acquires a figure is no longer a landscape (DUH!!); observing the facts of what may be in an art gallery and how varied painterly techniques are used on the canvases, or after a gradually rising pitch in the repeated repetition questioning of "What If?" finishes with “The waitress might speak French” (!!!!) or whether it is at all interesting to hear amongst such magical musical offers of the instrumental artists “I saw a woman on the street with a mobile, who, as I passed, I overheard say 'Enjoy your lasagne'” became an objective and gradually, a passionately subjective struggle for me in the event. It was soporific in its totality and unfortunately, dispiriting. I longed for a poet that matched the sophistication of the rest.The other enfeeblement were the video visuals that accompanied the concert. They lacked imagination or any thrill. Merely anaesthetics that kept one dully pacified. Boring and beyond belief considering the company we were in.
One concert would have been enough for me. The second concert was merely more of the same or too similar to me to warrant the time. I paid for two. However, there were many enthusiastic attendees that seemed to be getting exactly what they greatly admired.