Review: 13 Vices

One of the last installments of this year’s Sound Festival was hosted by the Woodend Barn Arts Centre in Banchory, a little far out of Aberdeen but totally worth the trip.

The show was the result of the collaboration between two Irish artists - Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe - with a little help from Red Note Ensemble and Ensemble Doubt.

Set in a somehow rustic place, unlike other performances this one had quite a relaxed and intimate vibe to it, which was boosted by a pre-show dinner offered by the arts centre to anyone possessing a ticket. This gave people the chance to speak with not only participants but also the musicians themselves, get to know the performance and the story behind it a bit more and actually get into the right mood for the show.

The performance itself was quite frankly mind-blowing: think of a quiet Sunday evening, think of coffee after staying up all night, hangover food, a mad Friday night, think of uni notes that make no sense. Mash all that up together, bake it off through instruments and you might get what the performance was like.

I think one of the strongest points was - to anyone who had never heard it before - that it was completely unexpected and refreshing. Music and words in the performance sounded so distant and yet so interconnected, in a way that led the public to wonder for most of the performance what its true purpose was. Was the music matching an inner stream of consciousness? Was the talking led by the music? Were they completely unrelated? Not having an answer to this, but our mere hearing, gave it a sort of magical element, a drug expecting you to close your eyes and feel the trip setting in.

This performance had the exact level of nonsense that you would expect on a Friday night: the good kind that leaves you slightly light headed and somehow makes you feel completely alert, and managed to keep the public’s attention glued to the stage for the whole act, which is quite honestly a pretty rare thing nowadays.

In the after-show, the artists were also happy to chat with the public and answer to all the questions that had bugged them during the whole performance, explaining how the idea came about and the origin of the collaboration.

All in all, it was a very unique and different Friday night, definitely an interesting performance and a show worth seeing in the future.

Photographer: Louis de Carlo

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