Harmonia @ All Tomorrow's Parties, Brisbane
The All Tomorrow's Parties festival has finally made it to the (east coast of) Australia, so I just had to go east. It is being presented in Brisbane over 4 separate days, but what a wonderful (disjointed version of this amazing) festival it has been so far.
Harmonia opened the proceedings at the Powerhouse on Tuesday night with a set not too removed from many of the laptop performances of today.
Harmonia were a Krautrock supergroup consisting of members of Neu!, Kraftwerk and Cluster and also boasted one Brian Eno for short a period of time.
Although they only lasted from 1973-76, and played very few live shows at the time, Harmonia are considered to be one of the important forerunners of the experimental / electronic music scene.
The Powerhouse show saw the trio perched before a packed house and behind their laptops with a backdrop including images from their youth and the set included an interesting mix of ambient and electronic soundscapes. Many of the samples were pre-recorded and tweaked, although the inclusion of live (then looped and modified) electric guitar provided some semblance of cause and effect (one of my oft-stated problems with laptop performances).
It was interesting to see a photograph of the band playing live in 1974 projected onto the large screen behind them in comparison with the band performing today. In 1974 they had quite an arsenal of musical equipment, but today they were armed with only their small array of computers, effects and electronic bric-a-brac. The wonders of modern technology. See the posted photograph to get my meaning.
The set was played with typical German precision but a sense of humour also pervaded the performance, there was even a joke and laughter between the band and the amazing and at times mesmerising performance was reverently received by the appreciative crowd.
Brisbane (thanks largely to Lawrence English of Room 40 fame) has a vibrant experimental music scene and what better way to start the All Tomorrow's Parties celebration than Harmonia.
Stay tuned for more Something Old, Something New ramblings and opinions on the ATP festival over the coming days and weeks.
But in real time for me, as compared to whenever you may be reading this post, tonight is the noise component featuring Afrirampo, Dead Meadow and the amazing Fuck Buttons. Woo Hoo indeed!!
Harmonia - Dino
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