Sonica: Trip, Phases and Twittering Machines (4 stars)

Sonica: Trip, Phases and Twittering Machines

Twittering Machines / credit: Kathy Hinde

AV show focuses on three inspiring female artists

Sonica's impetus is on experimentation, zooming in on work which transcends genres. So it is with this triple bill of women working in AV production.

Opener Trip by Sabina Covarrubias, who is based in Mexico, uses abstract floaty forms that take on a corporeal sensuality, fusing live vocoder vocals and gliding into geometric future cityscapes somewhat akin to computer game designs. It is complex, dazzling and full of kinetic energy.

If Trip focuses on grid systems, Montreal's Myriam Boucher interrogates more elemental forms in her piece, Phases. Using water in the form of ice floes, glaciers and what is left of frozen environments, she creates a stunning, if disturbing, meditation on our relationship with nature and the effects of climate change, with the sound of cracking ice in her field recordings.

Arguably the most incredible work of the evening is from UK artist Kathy Hinde, whose Twittering Machines is like a twenty-first century zoetrope. With twittering animated birds at the centre, landing like musical notes on the screen, she integrates unusual instrumentation (Tibetan singing bowls scraped with violin bows) with vintage vinyl, and translates Keats' 'To A Nightingale' into Morse code, albeit with glitches. It's a brilliant study of the dissemination of language in our increasingly tech-savvy planet.

Reviewed at Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 2 Nov. Sonica continues across various venues until Sun 10 Nov.


Cutting edge performance by established international artists, crossing the boundaries of music, theatre, visual and electronic art. It is produced by Cryptic, who are responsible for some of the most fascinating live performance work in the country. Since its launch in 2012, the festival has presented over 400 events by…

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