Monday, September 25, 2006

[gig] Pamelia Kurstin - Bristol - 25 September

Location: Bristol

Venue: Delight Cafe

With guests.

Please confirm performance details with Venue.

Support by Jez-IME.


At 12:38 pm, Blogger black square said...

Pamelia Kurstin @ Café Delight, Bristol. 25/09/06

Other than ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’, of which we’ll say no more, my earliest and favoured musical memories were The Beach Boys. And like so many before and after me, ‘Good Vibrations’ still sends a shiver and a smile to my brain. It was my first introduction to the Theremin, and other than a handful of avant-garde aficionados and science-fiction fans (thanks to Bernard Herrmann), it was probably the wider publics’ introduction to it also.

So my first live encounter with a Thereminist at Café Delight in Bristol was hugely anticipated. And I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed in any way. Pamelia Kustin is clearly a woman who knows her instrument inside out, which is always a good start, but also a woman who really loves to experiment. Whilst chain smoking and sipping beer, she fed layers of sound into the double Line 6 Delays at her feet, creating melodies and bass lines on top of each other, all the while tapping out rhythms, but never overfeeding the signal, never creating too much noise, as can so easily happen with multiple delay. At all times she seemed completely in control, focused and at ease. Her level of musicianship, on what I can only imagine is a difficult instrument to make sound good, and an easy instrument to make sound bad, was incredible. She made it look effortless, with tiny flicks of fingers, and fractional movements creating such an array of sounds. Whilst occasionally hitting what seemed like a wrong note, the listener was left questioning if it was or not, as she would blend and recapture the same note almost deliberately, creating dissonance and disharmony, but always sparse enough to create something beautiful. Then sinking to her knees to chop up the loops in real-time on the pedals, creating another rhythm to play along to.
At times the sound she creates is heart-wrenchingly beautiful, bringing that same warmth and smile that Brian Wilson always brings me. At other times it is gently sinister and dark, without ever falling into the trap of being clichéd.

An incredible evening, with an incredible musician. I felt honoured to be part of such an intimate setting, and would urge anyone to experience her sound.


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