Artists came from around the world to present and provide both auditory and visual performances in various different forms and in a variety of different environments. The triple-segment ‘Optical’ showcases displayed some highly compelling acts that explored a technological marriage between film art and ambient sound. The presentations did not seem to favor one specific expression as equal concern was given to both sensations.
On the second last day of the festival ‘Optical 2’ was held in the Benaroya Hall featuring three performances of notable splendor. Noveller, a solo project of Brooklyn based guitarist Sarah Lipstate opened the concert with a display of eerie background hypnosis and teasing, point by point harmonies. Her large array of foot pedals and mod-effects were fully utilized during the production of a multi-layered, looped symphony.
Fennesz, the experimental guitarist from Austria, produced a highly stimulating set of visual wonder and ambient sounds. Odd twists in the way water effects are typically displayed and elements of cacophony amongst harmony added an intriguing effect to his abstract performance. Following him was Oneohtrix Point Never who used synths, electronic media and his own modified voice to summon a somewhat apocalyptic ambience. Both Fennesz and Oneohtrix shuffled between displays of horror and relaxation, while provocatively captivating the audience.
‘DB in the Park’ was a feature event on both Saturday and Sunday presenting six music sets each day accompanied by the visual artist Eric Orr. Held under the Space Needle and a stone’s throw away from the Experience Music Project; the premier location offered a vastly different experience from the night clubs and concert halls of Decibel’s other showcases. The atmosphere was relaxed and jovial and fostered a pleasing mood as mid-day waned into evening.
The range of experiences provided by the Decibel festival proved to be even more expansive than I had previously anticipated. I spoke in my Decibel Festival preview about the event exploring the role of technology in art; which came unmistakably into fruition. The visual and the musical lived together throughout the five day festival, exposing patrons to not just experimental auditory acts, but also to a vast number of visual artists. The net result was not simply to create a collaboration of musicians but to orchestra an interlocking experience of art, of technology in art and of what can be achieved with it.
To read my review of Beats Antique’s Decibel performance check here.