REVIEW: Steve Beresford, Steph Horak and Gino Robair at Iklectik




Beresford, Horak and Robair at Iklectik
Drawing by Geoff Winston. © 2017. All Rights reserved
Steve Beresford, Steph Horak and Gino Robair
(Iklectik, 5 July 2017; drawings and review by Geoff Winston)


The trio of Steve Beresford, Steph Horak and Gino Robair gelled immediately, performing together for the first time at SONIC, the South London Sound Art Festival. Each had a strong presence and a shared interest in subverting the norm. Expectations of what can be achieved with both unconventional and conventional sound making vehicles were blurred in two improvised trio sets bookending their three solo turns.

It was an evening of incisions and collisions, rapid changes of texture and a juggling of analogue, digital and the downright hands on, informed by a mixture of Cagean discipline and open-mindedness and the quasi-anarchic spirit of Dada heaved in to century twenty-one.

Beresford's anchor was the piano, supplemented by multiple devices which he activated on the fly. Horak focused on liminal electronics and the margins of the voice, while Robair used his percussion kit as the starting point for performance embracing the accidental and the unpredictable. 

Steph Horak at Iklectik
Drawing by Geoff Winston. © 2017. All Rights reserved


Musical instruments, furniture and the room fabric became equals for brief, intersecting moments as violin bows and rulers coaxed treacherously skiddy tones from these inanimate objects. Toys and simple electronic gadgets added an element of warm inanity with their limited vocabularies of bloops and bleeps. Things were breathed into, from tiny whistles to Horak's voicebox with a mic conveying the sounds of the air currents. Distorted vocal interventions rubbed shoulders with disembodied voices from field sources. Spaces and silences were summoned and let go.

Beresford's solo saw him attacking the piano from all angles - neither innards nor keys were spared. Horak transported us to a ghostly, other-worldly realm in an ethereal mix of processed and real time sound, and Robair transformed his area into a physical performance space, pushing his snare drum around, releasing motorised hexbugs, scraping a squealing chair across walls, and recruiting, along the way, a seated audience member for low-key participation.

All three were 'singing from the same hymn sheet', pushing that envelope for all it was worth - and Iklectik proved to be a most sympathetic space for this sonic excursion.

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