And then we went to Seattle to check out the Substrata festival of ambient/electronic/experimental music. More accurately. . . and then I dragged Heidi to Seattle to check out the Substrata festival of ambient/electronic/experimental music.
Gotta say thanks to Heidi for indulging me for three straight nights.
The performances were mixed, I’d say.
I was familiar with several of the performers, and one, Jacaszek, was on my best of lists for 2008 and 2011. So it seemed worth checking out. But I have to say that none of the performances grabbed me. As expected, Jacaszek was definitely the highlight, due to his blending of electronics and traditional, maybe archaic, instrumentation (harpsichord, bass clarinet). Grouper was interesting with quiet meandering piano work mixed with vague/airy vocals. And on the first night, Yagya brought a bit of a beat from Iceland to the affair.
But that leaves the majority of the performers, which were never able to generate a creative spark (IMHO, of course).
We did enjoy our nightly visit to the Good Shepherd Centre for the performances. The building was previously a residential school for wayward Seattle girls, and for the festival, Substrata takes over the old 4th floor chapel. Its a very cool old building and the room has a lovely sound.
More to come on the rest of our trip, if you’re interested.