Vienna, April 22, 2017, http://www.graetzlgalerie.at/
An evening with two sound performances. The space appeared as multifunctional and probably doubles as an office or exhibition room during non-performance times. The atmosphere was friendly and warm. Audience and the performers all shared the same space side by side.
Stefan Fraunberger used a santur in combination with guitar delay effects. The original sound of the instrument was somewhere between a harp and piano. In the beginning Fraunberger was plucking the instrument gently with sticks designed for that purpose, but as time passed, the performance gained more energy and in the end, in combination with delay effects, Fraunberger looked like a power drummer and the sound turned into a heavy percussive drone. It was intense and the sound drew the listeners in. The pink front projection and blue side light were static and they put the focus on Fraunberger and his every move, providing a calming backdrop to the performance.
The following performance of Klaus Filip and Noid was very different. Instead of musical expression, the focus shifted closer towards a dada-like performance with a custom-designed musical instrument. The instrument consisted of transparent rotating plastic plates with black patterns printed on them that were put into motion by miniature USB-powered electric fans. There was a clear reference to Duchamp’s roto-reliefs. Filip and Noid went beyond the visual, as the light-shadow patters produced by the illuminated rotating plates were read by electronic sensors and converted to sound. Visually, the whole thing appeared very fun, yet sonically, it remained at the level of noise. Fittingly one of the plates was printed with a John Cage portrait: Thus, one could “play” the John Cage photograph on the Filip-Noid light-record player, producing sounds reminiscent of those of Cage’s own performances. Following in Cage’s steps, experimentation was the way, as well as the purpose and goal for Filip and Noid.
The two performances were so different that they can hardly be compared or related, and that’s probably a good thing. Despite their difference, they did not clash, but complemented and balanced each other out.