Edit-Point @ City Halls
Eric Karoulla | 02 Dec 2013
Edit-Point’s latest concert Axe! may sound like it is part of an anti-bedroom tax movement or the title of a very exciting action movie, but in fact, an electroacoustic music concert is a much more elegant and elaborate affair.
Directed by composers Timothy Cooper, Nicholas Virgo, and Matthew Whiteside, Edit-Point have been around since 2010 and put together concerts of electroacoustic music, what they describe as “a catch-all term for any electronic music in the classical music tradition.”
Axe! focuses specifically on the guitar as an instrument, both live and recorded. With a programme including three tape (fixed-media) pieces, and three live ones performed by guest guitarist Peter Argondizza, Edit-Point ensure they explore the instrument’s sound thoroughly.
Vista Points by Manuella Blackburn stands out among the fixed media pieces of the concert. While staring at an empty stage is not exciting theatrically, the intricacy of the sound and its multiple layers builds an entire landscape in the mind of the listener. It seems the entire plot of a film or play could be compressed into one soundscape, giving each audience member a different narrative, although it all comes from the same audio source.
These pieces set a very high standard for any live performer. While Peter Argondizza’s virtuosity on the electric guitar – demonstrated especially during the furiously fast plucking techniques required for Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XI – is undoubtedly remarkable, it has a great deal of competition when placed alongside the extremely polished fixed media pieces. The programme intelligently contains a variety of styles and pieces to showcase the variety of sounds an electric guitar can produce. Juxtaposing the live human source of sound with the perfected sound from a tape seems unfair, but here it’s quite effective. [Eric Karoulla]