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Friday, July 1, 2016

J G Thirwell - Christchurch Art Gallery 30 June 2016

J G Thirwell, the brains trust behind the Foetus group of releases, i.e You Got Foetus On Your Breath, Scraping Foetus Of The Wheel and Foetus Interruptus, just to name a few, as well as other collaborations like Wiseblood and the Flesh Volcano, and other musical projects like Steroid Maximus and Manorexia, has been a musical hero of mine for over 30 years, although I don't possess as much of his recorded music as I should nowadays. I was surprised to find that he was finally coming to New Zealand to do something for us here.
The contents of the show were pretty vague when I bought my very cheap $15 ticket a couple of months back and being held at the art gallery and being billed under his own name instead of any of the other musical names he has used over the years, suggested maybe a non musical presentation, i.e, a talk or lecture or something.
I arrived at the Gallery just on the 8PM advertised start time and was ushered into a small auditorium/lecture theater. Taking a seat three rows back and near center I settled in and started wondering what was going to be presented. There were two small speakers either end of the "stage", a big projector screen on the wall in front of us and a small collection of electronic equipment on a table in center with a laptop and some bells and triangle in front of a microphone, which suggested were were in for some music even though it looked more like a lecture.
JG, appeared briefly a couple of times not taking any notice of us and doing things on the Laptop and other equipment and making notes before disappearing again.
Apparently the show was suppose to start at 8:30pm but it was nearer 8:45 when Jim finally cam out just after the projector kicked into life with a film taken from the front of a vehicle travelling down various large highways probably in New York, where Jim has been residing since 1983.
With his head down focused on the manipulation of his electronics, Jim presented us with an approximately 45-50 minute electronic pulsating soundscape of pretty cool sounds. Very experimental/avant-garde and a different and unique live musical experience for this scribe. I was trying to figure whether this was an improvised piece or more pre-constructed and the notes he had spread on the table suggested the later. This was confirmed after in a short conversation with the man himself at the end of the show.

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