Daylight Music 356

Ah the mysteries of Daylight Music numbering system. Was today Daylight Music 356 or 357? I thought there was a Daylight Music 356 before Christmas? Maybe I was mistaken. Today was listed as 356, although the Eventbrite link had 357 in the url. So who knows?

In some ways the recycled number was appropriate for today’s event. Curated by Hackoustic, a collective who make music with instruments made out of junk. Today’s theme was ‘Conversations’. Artists who had not played together, coming together to create music with their weird and wonderful instruments.

Home made instruments are not a sound engineer’s friend. Setting up all the microphones and getting the levels right across instruments and junk was a major job for Daylight’s sound engineers. As always, they were up for the job. Their role in making the Daylight sound so great is easily overlooked. Sound checks at Daylight are not simply a case of a band turning up plugging in and doing a 15 minute sound check. At 8am, St John’s had no sound system. By midday, the church sounded beautiful. After we leave, they then had the joy of ripping apart all their hard work and packing up until the next one.

Opening the afternoon was Blanc Sceol and regular Daylight contributor, Terry Edwards. Black Sceol were premiering the latest version of their amazing instrument ‘Orbit’. The orbit is a two person instrument. A large vertical drum with strings attached around the circumference and turned by a big crank handle. The second person moves a flexible rubber belt up and down the strings to shift the pitch of the whirling drone sound. It is fascinating to watch. As they played, stabs of Terry Edwards’ saxophone emanated from the gallery in St Johns. Terry then moved around the building before finally joining Blanc Sceol on stage. It worked remarkably well.

Another regular at Daylight, Kėsia Decoté played piano, toy piano and children’s toys, with Amy Cutler using a range of instruments, samples and tape cassettes. Again, two musicians came together and from almost nothing. We were treated to beautiful music that only happened because of the Daylight collaboration.

Closing the afternoon were Hackoustic. All had brought in a selection of home made instruments. Some, like the harp, were very professionally made. Others, looked like mad inventions made from random pieces of junk, which is just what they were. I have said this many times at Daylight Music. Talented musicians can make anything sound musical and today Hackoustic showed this.

The great thing about Daylight Music is how it pushes our musical boundaries. I am not sure I would have ever been introduced to something as insane as this weird world of hacked together instruments if it wasn’t for Daylight Music. Witnessing the faces on many of the audience. They found it as wonderful as I did.