Photo credit: Bottlenote
Fade away and radiate
‘Bleed,’ a site specific experiment in noise and sound, attempts to animate an abandoned Georgian house, creating a reverberating pulsing space. Using an array of musicians and instruments, and moving the audience from room to derelict room, ‘Bleed,’ creates pieces which wouldn’t be amiss on the experimental end of the ECM spectrum. While some are incredibly intriguing, others don’t quite deliver and others just don’t work with the environment as well as they might.
The whole is a little too hit and miss. Use of found instruments, such as twigs and empty Jameson canisters is something of a mixed bag, with the former being used percussively to eerie and subtle effect, while the latter seems to indulge itself in the sonic equivalent of dentistry, electronically sustaining notes to almost headache inducing frequency. Indeed, many pieces suffer from the need to sonically drown the audience, and the whole frequently feels overwhelming in the cramped spaces. Spaces which some seemed to engage with amazingly well, others not so much. An overturned piano, haunting saxophones on the stairs and twigs scratching along the floor all attempted to engage with the house with interesting results. Others essentially threw a stage up in the corner of a room and played their set. Could have been anywhere. Yet all are magnificently lit, with the abandoned building glimpsed breathing in the shadow. But in the absence of a programme it’s not possible to give credit where credit is most certainly due.
Those interested in how sounds are organised and disorganised, how they relate to and talk to one another, will find much to enjoy in ‘Bleed.’ Those interested in seeing how to light a Georgian building to incredible effect will also find much to enjoy. But those expecting to hear the house resonate, to see it animate and hear it breathe, will catch only the faintest, almost inaudible whisper on occasion. They say walls resonate with the energies that have surrounded them all their lives, and that when we’re harmonised with them we can hear their spirits speak. In ‘Bleed’ the darkened house stands silent, like a wallflower at a party, hearing the singing and dancing going on all around her, but it never really touching her, moving hidden through the spaces between the too loud sounds and the deepening shadows.
‘Bleed’ by Bottlenote runs at 13 North Great Georges Street as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe
For more information, visit Tiger Dublin Fringe