Friday, November 30

Quicktake: Adam Willetts at Whammy Bar

Artist/musician Adam Willetts performed a solo set last night at Auckland's Whammy Bar, moving seamlessly from aggressive, glitch based feedback to melodic pulses and back again. Kneeling shaman-like on the floor, Willetts managed to avoid the cold, impersonal performances of 'laptop' sets where movement is limited to mouseclicks and knob twiddling. Instead, with the typical barrage of wires and effects pedals were a pair of wireless white objects not usually used with music - Wiimotes. Because the Nintendo Wii controllers use accelerometers/gyroscopes, they're sensitive to shaking, tilting and panning, and have been hooked up as MIDI controllers by enterprising glitch kids, allowing musicians to control sonic waves as easily as gamers hit virtual tennis balls. The controllers made for a much more compelling, physical performance as Willetts literally shook out shock waves of noise and bent wrists to overdrive tones. Unfortunately Willetts was the standout of the night, the lineup moving awkwardly from improvised noise and glitch based soundscapes to a Loretta Lynn-like singer songwriter before ending with The Terminals, who cranked through a set of oldskool punk numbers in the spirit of the Sex Pistols.

Note: Photo shown not from performance, although setup was similar.

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