Blog Roddus

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fis and Rob Thorn - Christchurch Arts Center Auditorium - 13 June 2018

Rob Thorn presents traditional Maori instruments and with the aid of Fis( Oliver Peryman) creates sonic soundscapes with electronics and taonga pūoro. I scored the album Clear Stones that the pair released last year and it is a very interesting and unique presentation of indigenous instruments and electronic manipulations of Rob's instruments.

 This presentation had nearly a full house at the Christchurch Arts Center on a cool and damp evening. After everyone finally took their seats, Rob gave a short introduction to what they would be doing and a warning as to the extreme volumes we were about to experience during their presentation. The venue staff then handed out earplugs to all who wished them, I don't usually bother but I took a pair just to be safe.

 Rob started the show on his own with the acoustic taonga pūoro instruments and feed them through a loop playback machine, building subtle layers of traditional sounds, this part of the presentation needed no earplugs. After a while Rob gave Fis the nod and he chimed in with his electronic sound oscillators and laptops building in volume until the sound became quite physical with the low end rumblings causing the floor and chairs to vibrate. Earplugs were definitely needed at this time. The pair played for just under an hour I think and it is difficult for me to describe the sonic art they produced except it was very loud and there was a lot of low end noise.

 There was a break for drinks and leg stretching before the show recommenced with just Fis solo with his boxes of knobs and buttons. Again it got very loud and physical but it was a very interesting and enjoyable soundscape he created while furiously fiddling with knobs and buttons and leavers etc on his boxes. Overall a very interesting, intense and enjoyable experience.

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