Art’s Birthday Party 2013

My third year at this, and it’s always brilliant.

The bugger only being that you want to be in at least three different places at the same time (there are four stages with some staggering of times). Tråd(SE) who I wanted to catch on the ‘Mother’ stage after JG Thirlwell was impossible to get into due to the great hulk of folk packed into the venue, spilling into the bar and the hallway. You needed to crowdsurf to get anywhere. But I was very glad to catch Invader Ace, who I thought were indeed the most jumping gig that night. JG Thirlwell was beautiful, calming and eerie. Nice mix of working through computers and an array of clanking, jangling, tinging and sighing instruments. ‘Flossing’ a piano on stage produced an unsettling but constant metallic whine that complemented the soundscape he was building up to that point.

I really loved the visuals he had playing behind him which was basically a continuous road trip at night time, car tail-lights, glowing green highway signs, streetlights etc. I hope you get the impression of it. The sound piece itself seemed to be a collection of field recordings made on the road-trip that warped into his beautiful and eerie sound scape. In the picture I’ve drawn him twice, once at his gadget/instrument desk facing forward, and then the back of him ‘flossing’ his piano along with a guest who came on stage and who I’ve drawn on the left. I wondered if the mystery piano ‘flosser’ might have been Mats Persson who I’ve drawn doing weird things to a piano for a John Cage performance.

I liked the sound of Exotikdot(SE), but I’ll just need to catch them some other time. I’ve heard good things about Byetone(DE) too and certainly Hype Williams(UK) who had played a Mother gig earlier last year was  on my list but clashing with Thirlwell. Och stuff it. I wanted to see everything. I can’t deny it. Festivals will always mess with my noodle.

Anyway, here’s three drawings from the night – hope you like them.

INVADER ACE, Art's Birthday Party

These guys are brilliant. Experience them for yourself.

JG THIRLWELL, Art's Birthday Party

Dark, Beautiful, Transportative and a little bit scary.


Sound Art Experiments. Interesting but I felt they fell slightly short in their efforts to be devoid of emotion (the girls), or not quite expressive enough (the guy in the last part). Good concepts though. This is a drawing summing up the whole performance, but in particular the first part where they burn a microphone and continue recording the resulting sounds throughout.


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