Sounds and the sublime

There are too many things to do in NY to waist time tolerating mediocrity. So after sitting through one half of a contemporary dance show which was more Rock Esitedford /So you think you can dance than our Sandra Parker or Jo Llyod, and my silent laughter turned to visible shaking at the ‘troubled-yet-passionate” dance to Hallelujah in which the couple kept running away then towards each other, him with his open shirt fluttering around his bare chest, her with her flexed footed leaping, we legged it out of there. Caught the L across to Brooklyn and after getting lost, getting lost and getting lost again found a gallery opening at 10 o’clock on a Friday night. And in a compressed night which covered the ridiculous to the sublime, we listened to a sound piece generated by the movement of the audience transferred into vibrations which then passed an LPG bottle. The amplified micro movements were at first perplexing then quite fascinating as it revealed an unseen world of minute particles busying themselves with the flow of travelling through air. It made me think of how full the empty space of air is.

Later that night we became the recipients of noise rather than the emitters of sound at new club in Brooklyn. In the blacken bunker space we were slammed on all sides by a crescendo of repetitive beats. (My history of music professor tells me I shouldn’t be intimidated by Italian words, and I can simply say “the volume gets louder” but I think that the sound of the word ‘crescendo’ feels a lot more like you head has been crashed between two subwoofers and four turntables, so in this instance I’m going with that.) We had been told that “this room had the most sophisticated sound system anywhere in the world tonight!”. And whilst I’m learning to find the exaggeration of Americans endearing, grains of salt still get sprinkled. To my great surprise they could have this time been right.  The music was felt through the floor, through the bar, through the air, through the bodies of the masses dancing and yet we could talk to each other without shouting, we could hear each other without lip reading. Although I should confess when I mentioned this to our friend who had built the sound system he said “What?” and then I had to repeat myself 3 times, which comically disproved my compliment to him.