Live Music Review //
Anda Volley x Ceremonial Abyss
Conor Perreault x hissquiet
Marie Carroll x Jeff Dragan
Will Fesperman x Ceremonial Abyss

June 23rd, 2023
at Never Ending Books, New Haven CT

More photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

  This show started off a weekend where a lot of these same characters would return in the coming days, and to see them as duos here was really something special.  Seeing hissquiet solo, for example, is something I haven't experienced yet, but when you can put two artists together to create something I feel like that can be just as important as a solo set.

Will Fesperman and Ceremonial Abyss started this show together.  I was really excited to see Ceremonial Abyss, who was doing a string of dates here, and I didn't know anything about Will Fesperman going into this.  Ceremonial Abyss creates these hypnotic loops of calming sound.  If I was going to be lost at sea and had no chance of ever returning to shore, this is the soundtrack I would want for it.

At the same time, Will Fesperman read poetry from a book as the music played.  I've always been kind of envious of the time when The Beats were a thing because I feel like in present day society we don't have anyone like them, not even attemping to do what they did, but to hear this poetry read with the music of Ceremonial Abyss made me feel for a moment as if we might just have that type of scene coming around again soon.

Jeff Dragan and Marie Carroll joined together to create electronics with however you would describe the sound of the koto.   I was not really aware of the koto before this, but it's a string instrument which can kind of be both electric and acoustic sounding at the same time or at different times.   I'd hear these sounds and just be focused on what Marie Carroll was doing, but then all of a sudden the sound would come through like a bolt of lightning, a reminder Jeff Dragan was also there.

When you listen to duos, it can have the affect that Will Fesperman and Ceremonial Abyss had where the two sounds fit together but you could listen to it back as a recording and know which part was by whom because of the spoken words and music aspects of it.   With Jeff Dragan and Marie Carroll though, a lot of the time their sounds blended together so perfectly that it was not easy to tell who was creating it.   This made for a nice bit of harmony, which I don't always think of when it comes to duos.

The same can also be said for the duo of hissquiet and Conor Perreault.   The electronics in here were often times noisy but they could also be harsh.  Conor Perreault was playing the electric guitar, mostly through the means of a soulful blues manner, but every once in a while I'd just hear what I thought could be a distorted guitar chord but also could've been that harsh noise element coming from hissquiet.  

This was a really fun aspect of the hissquiet x Conor Perreault set because it made for that mystery of who was doing what.  Sometimes it was apparent, but at times it felt like it could've been either of them.  I've always enjoyed listening to noise on cassette because I often don't know how the sounds are being made so it lends my imagination to it all.  The way this set felt like it was offering up that same amount of using your imagination was great.  Sometimes I feel like by watching a noise artist live I'm seeing them reveal their secrets, but this felt like that top notch magician showcase.

As the show ended with Ceremonial Abyss and Anda Volley, the way the two played together in a somewhat similar sound left a lot to the imagination as well.  But I mostly just got lost in the way this felt so trippy, just spatial and as if we began to float around as well.  There were times where it felt like the two artists were on the same page, times when they felt like they were echoing each other and times when it felt like they were in that piano battle from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" between Daffy Duck and Donald Duck.

Every so often I would glance over and one of the two artists would be looking at the other, almost as if to say "How are you doing that?" and I think the way that we can all feel that when listening and that music can still provide us with that mystery and sense of child-like wonder is important.   Being able to recognize a sound is good, but a lot of times I feel like not knowing what a sound is just feels even better.  

Ceremonial Abyss can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Will Fesperman can be found on Instagram here :::

Marie Carroll can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Jeff Dragan can be found on Bandcamp here :::

hissquiet can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Conor Perreault can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Anda Volley can be found on Bandcamp here :::


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