Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recent gigs - Eleh

Last week I had a last minute and rushed chance to catch the mysterious Eleh in action at a little gallery below a bank in Plaça Catalunya for a rather cheap €3.50. Not much is known about Eleh and he clearly wants it that way since he played the entire gig with back to the hundred-strong audience and lit from behind so he was only a silhouette. Perhaps more surprisingly, he finished the gig in a total and sudden rush, turning off the light then all his gear with a ruthless flicking of switches, before scurrying off into the wings.

As can be heard (but not seen!) from this piece, his music is immersive and microscopic, unfolding slowly and often using frequencies that have a physical presence: bowel churning bass and brain frying high frequency. I must confess, however, to being mildly disappointed with the show. The changes were a little clumsy at times and the trajectory of the music was often uneven as if he was in a state of anxiety or perhaps nervousness for the show. It was a shame as the gallery was bathed in slowly changing violet and magenta lights like La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela's Dream House in New York and seemed an ideal place to relax, especially with the busy city reaching a Saturday afternoon climax above. One of the moving things about the gig was also seeing a few parents with their children ther which seems a nice way to educate them into different musical enviorments and sonic possibilities, though tsome of the more extreme frequencies might not be great for the developing auditory senses!

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