Last friday, the 4th of november 2011, i blundered into the Green Door Store under Brighton Station in a state of post-work bewilderment to witness some amazing acoustic quiet improv courtesy of Diatribes.
This was the final night on a seven date uk tour for this grouping under the Diatribes moniker, (Cyril Bondi & d'incise being the lynchpins), featuring cellist Hannah Marshall, double bassist Dom Lash and percussionist Patrick Farmer.
The decision to perform acoustically was to prove an exceptionally good one as each player's output was equally discernable with no-one overpowering anyone else and i'm guessing making it easy for all players to listen to each other effectively. The audience very quickly settled into a quiet and very attentive state after loud, dense amplified sets from supports Bela Emerson and Noteherder & McCloud who utilized the venue's powerful PA system.
If i had to point out my particular favourite elements of Diatribes' improvisation, i would have to say i enjoyed witnessing Dom Lash's deliberate and fascinating bass playing for the first time, having heard him on just a handful of his substantial recorded output. Cyril Bondi, to whom i stood the closest, employed a large selection of tiny metal bells, chimes and cymbals, applying them to the head of his single large tom drum which sat neatly on a side table in readiness, and of course its always a joy to see the spectacle of Patrick Farmer who abused a pair of small hi-fi turntables by way of striking and dropping them, rubbing them with styrofoam, and even upending a cup of tiny stones, (perhaps filched from the beach earlier in the day?), from an upstretched hand. Beautiful, beautiful...
Bela Emerson produced a pair of dense, bucolic cello improvisations and Noteherder & McCloud wove a tapestry of drone electronics and extended saxophone technique including some guttural voicings through the sax in a kind of growling circular breathing attempt, nicely.
Thanks to Club Zygotic for putting this excellent show together.