Sacred Resonance @ Mercury Cinema
7:00pm, Sun 22 Mar 2009
Supersensonics was another one of those shows that made the list by virtue of a personal association; in this case, the principal performer (Darren Curtis) being the nephew of a work colleague. “He’s pretty full-on,” said my mate when he mentioned the show, “and it’s bound to be pretty trippy.”
And so it was.
Putting aside lofty claims that this performance “activate[s] one’s inner mind and consciousness to… …a vision of future worlds and new paradigms”, this was – essentially – a light-and-music show. Darren Curtis performed three distinct musical pieces – a heavily treated guitar drone, a moody synth drone, and some Moog-ish phase twiddling. You might have noticed the repetitive use of “drone” there; that’s quite deliberate, because all three pieces shared common traits: no sense of progression, certainly no ascension, and all seemingly geared towards a meditative experience. And, by “meditative”, I mean “sleep-inducing”. Certainly the couple sitting behind me in the comfy Mercury Cinema nodded off, waking with a start and kneeing me in the back in doing so.
All three pieces were accompanied by visual works projected onto the Mercury’s screen; these seemed to alternate between detailed mandalas and (seemingly) computer-generated landscapes. There were some really interesting images used, too… but, since the visual slideshow was ticking over at its own sedate tempo, they were fleeting, often disappearing before one could absorb all their intricacies.
In the accompanying programme, much was made of Supersensonics‘ attempts to encourage the mind into accepting a higher state of consciousness through the use of interdimensional music… but all it really did was make me sleepy. The eye candy was inconsequential and lacked cohesion, and Curtis’ live musical performances had a lulling monotony; even the synth pieces that reminded me of Distance To Jupiter‘s slower tracks lacked the elements that make DTJ’s work so engaging. As such, this was a bit of a lacklustre show for me, but a welcome one; being able to kick back and tune out for a little while was very much appreciated.
Most fascinating, though, was the collection of people who gathered for this performance. There were maybe twenty people all up, including a hippy-ish looking couple, the stoner couple, and a collection of youngsters decked out in their finest new streetwear, caps askew – what were they doing there? And why were they emitting such enthusiasm both before and after the performance?
And what is a “choreographer of consciousness”, really?