Color Out of Space Day 3

Sunday evening was for me the most interesting.  Lots of vocals and more sound poetry.  More space and for the most part top quality performances.

Russian sound poet Valeri Scherstjanoi at Color out of Space 2011.

Valeri opened with the work of other sound poets and finished with an improvisation. His set included a collection of Russian vowel sounds. Great work!

Johannes Bergmark

Johannes Bergmark cooked up a sound feast with toys, cooking utensils, saws, instrument bows and who knows what else. The instrument choices were at times comical and at times made interesting commentary, such as when he used a Barbie doll and a rubber pony – the pony nuzzling the doll, so we got not only the sounds but also the imagined relationship of a girl and her horse.

Female Vocalists Gave Accomplished Performances

Maja Jantar delivered about 20 minutes of vocal improvisation, with a film backdrop of starlings circling Brighton’s burned out west pier. Her vocals spanned breathy growls to delicate twittering, complete with an a capella version of Cry Me a River. She performed with a microphone only, run through the venue soundboard unlike Silvia Kastel who performed with a range of pedals and effects boards, unplugging and plugging her mic to change effects during the performance.  Silvia was accompanied by her partner, Ninni Morgia on electric guitar.  Unfortunately, when Ninni cranked his amp and added the back beat, his guitar overwhelmed Silvia’s vocals.

Camilla Sorenson and Greta Christensen presenting Vinyl Terror and Horror at Color Out of Space, 2011

Camilla and Greta were perhaps the most polished electronic act of the weekend, spinning a horror soundtrack on stacked turntables, assembled and disassembled during their performance. It was amazing!

The evening ended with a frenzied performance from Rat Bastard, Licker (John Schoen), Leslie, Angie and Evie.

Angie warming up the space.
Leslie tuning her radio with Rat Bastard's guitar and John Schoen's vocals.

The women who presented at Color out of Space were all accomplished artists. I can’t say the same thing for all the men. It begs the question: Do women hold themselves back as artists, seeking perfection before they present their work, while men will present purely for the sake of presenting?

There was an age gap. Silvia, at 23 (?) was the youngest presenter. There wasn’t an equally young man. I don’t know who the oldest artist was – certainly not a woman. For sure, all the ‘mature’ presenters were men, so there really was an absence of older female artists. Why? A topic for another discussion. Another day.

I’ll be happy when I see as many women as men presenting their work, and just as many wrinkled women as wrinkled men.

It’s extremely difficult to write about objectively. And to be honest, I’d rather make the art than write or talk about it. Life is way too short.

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