Live Music Review //
Georgia Beatty / Maisie O'Brien, Windscour, Sweetness The Point of Song
June 12th, 2023
at Grey Matter Books, New Haven CT

Additional photos can be found here :::

This was my second show at Grey Matter Books in four days and it was somewhat of a noise show.  I knew a little bit about what to expect going into this in terms of what it would sound like, but overall as I like to be surprised I wasn't really fully prepared for all that happened.   What started off very much in a sense where you would pay close attention to listen ended with a set that was both heavily focused on sound and visuals.

Sweetness The Point of Song opened this show with what was a minimal noise set.   At times I found myself not so focused on taking pictures because I was paying more attention to the sound.  I cannot even begin to explain in any sense of technical terms how this was set up, but there were knobs being turned and a record player being manipulated to the point where it even had samples at one point (I think that's where those came from)

This sound was also on the quiet side to where I felt like it needed my undivided attention.  At one point a brush was used on the turntable and that made a sound I cannot quite describe but as someone who has listened to a decent amount of cassettes which have produced sounds such as these, it always still amazes me to see it happen live because it really feels like the difference between reading the book and seeing the best film interpretation of it.

Windscour was up second and they are a duo consisting of Zach Rowden and Joe Moffett.  Zach Rowden had tape loops and other sounds to make noise while Joe Moffett played the trumpet.   This set started with Zach Rowden making noise, but then Joe Moffett came in with the trumpet and the two just blended together so well that you could close your eyes and not know it was a trumpet.

They did trade off to where at one point the only sound was of the trumpet.  I found it interesting to see how the tape loops came into play, as they provided audio samples but also just having the tape player on the table made it feel more closely related to cassettes and I enjoyed the feeling that they were as much a part of the sound as other musicians would use a guitar or snare drum.  

The third set was really unlike anything I'd ever seen before and I've seen a lot.  Georgia Beatty and Maisie O'Brien combined audio with visual to create a unique experience that everyone needs to go out of their way to see should they have the opportunity.   First off, Georgia Beatty played the fiddle and had this sort of drawn out and solemn way about it.   It reminded me most of the way a character in film might play the harmonica while they are stuck in jail.   At times, Beatty would sing as well.

Maisie O'Brien provided visuals with a projector and shadow puppetry.  The projector reminded me a lot of the one we'd see in science class in high school and the puppets all came on at their various times, but one of them was ripped in half and I do wonder about its fate.  There was also this bug, like a butterfly, and the way that the main character went through death and emerged as a butterfly-type creature made me think of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" but nature tells me when the butterfly does this it's called eclosion so it could be "The Eclosion" as a title for the visuals.  

While I have seen visual artists before and their visuals accompanying music, I've never quite seen them in this way or as shadows puppets in general.  It really gives you a lot to take in and think about because you have the story both through what you're seeing on the screen as well as through song.   If you follow along, you can experience a story and unlike most performances I've been to there's really just not so much of a frame of reference to go back to unless I can see it again one day live.

In some ways, I like these types of projects as well because if I listened to music someone made and said I wanted to put shadow puppets to it or if I wanted someone to make music to score this shadow puppet idea I had, I don't know how people would react to that-- I'm not sure if people would be receptive to the idea as music makers.   So it's really kind of cool that both Georgia Beatty and Maisie O'Brien were on the same page about this and could bring such beauty into the world.  

Sweetness The Point of Song has a cassette on No Rent which you can listen to here :::

Additional works of Stella Mori Silbert can be found here :::

Windscour can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Additional works of Joe Moffett can be found here :::

Georgia Beatty can be found on the web here :::

Maisie O'Brien can be found on the web here :::


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