Saturday, 13 March 2010

Alan Moore/Stephen O'Malley: Simultaneous Conjugation of Four Spirits in a Room (AV10 Newcastle)

Today I went to another AV10 festival event pairing legendary graphic novelist Alan Moore with Stephen O'Malley from Sunn O))), Thorr's Hammer, Burning Witch, The Lotus Eaters, KTL, Khanate, Stephen O'Malley (solo), Gravetemple, Ginnungagap, Aethenor, Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine and Fungal Hex. Among other things.


"Alan Moore will write and perform a new text responding to the energy of the two paintings: John Martin’s infamous The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (1852) and a key painting by JMW Turner from the Tate Collection. Stephen O’Malley will create a new ambient soundscape, sonically melting in the radiance of the paintings."

It was heavy stuff and compared the paintings with the Romans coming to the North East among other things. Looking at the paintings it's easy to see similarities but Moore really linked them together. He was leaning over a lectern and spitting the words out with much gravitas. He sounded like he was at least 500 years old. He also looked like he was at least 500 years old. I was too scared to ask him to sign my League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen DVD*. I could have been killed.

Stephen O'Malley expertly soundtracked the proceedings with two half stacks and a lot of pedals. What looked like him stretching his guitar strap produced some ominous creaking noises. The poem was broken up by some loud heavy riffing which did a lot to justify the large amps. We were about two metres away from him sitting on the floor having come in just about last. On the conclusion of the spoken word O'Malley leaned his guitar against a speaker cab and went over towards the door, letting long loops (seemingly created earlier while he was doing everything else) ring out. It was like the instrument was playing itself. Everyone was left staring at the amps and you could feel that a connection between the paintings and the living artists in the room had been made. Awe inspiring stuff!

*I would never do such a thing

4 comments:

John Chadwick 14 March 2010 11:17  

I was there too, it was an absolutely awe inspiring event. I feel extremely priveleged to have seen this performance and I'm off to the Sage to see Alan Moore again tonight with Ian Sinclair.

This event was so much better than The Silent Sound event last Sunday at Middlesbrough Town Hall.

The only downside of it for me was that the PA could have been better from the lectern as there was quite alot of what was read out that wasn't 100% discernable and I would have liked to be able to get hold of a copy of what was read, or even better a recording of the piece as was given away at The Silent Sound event.

Of course the proceedings would also have been better if it wasn't for the body odour from the comic shop owner from The Simpsons sitting in front of me with his builders butt on display. There were three gaping chasm in that room and only two of them were incorporated in the paintings on the walls. I could have fitted a copy of the tumultous From Hell in the third crevice to obscure it if only I'd had a copy and the desire to get any closer to the behemoth in front of me.

All in all this was a fantastic event and I will never forget being in the presence of Alan Moore, the man has an aura around him that changes the atmosphere of the room.

John
http://jdchadwick.blogspot.com/

Andy 14 March 2010 12:36  

Hey, thanks for checking in. Sorry to hear about that extra chasm. Two was enough. Agreed about his aura, I wasn't just being mean with the '500 years old' comment, it was like we were being lectured to by some sort of ancient sage!

I would love to have a recording of the event, didn't see anyone with any sort of recording stuff though.

John Chadwick 14 March 2010 14:09  

Hopefully they'll be one for tonight's event kicking around somewhere on the net... i.e. I'll let you know tomorrow how my dictophone has worked out. :)

I've put a review up of my own on my blog page if your interested.

Andy 17 March 2010 16:53  

Good stuff, a lot more insight than mine there! I'll stick a link to it on the bottom of mine if that's ok!

There are a few photos on Stephen O'Malley's site now too http://www.ideologic.org

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