Dazzle of Fog - Film City, Glasgow, Sat 29 Sep
- Colin Chapman
- 18 October 2012
‘Ambisonic’ cinema soundtracks from Lafoden, Alex Smoke, Konx-Om-Pax and more
Billed as a ‘unique, experimental audio/visual event that platforms ambisonic, immersive sound technology’, Dazzle of Fog gathered the work of seven Glasgow artists, mixing live performances, film and installations over four specially commissioned pieces.
Curated by independent producer, Jim Hutchison (co-founder of Glasgow’s Hum + Haw records) and Giles Lamb (director of the Film City-based sound post-production company Savalas), the project used Savalas’ facilities and other creative spaces within Film City to let the artists present their own interpretation of a cinematic experience.
Shown in the domed Chamber Room, James Anderson and Niall Walker’s ‘Suilven’ [see below], is a timelapse film of a day in the life of the far northwest Scotland peak. A live performance of a composition by Lafoden (Giles Lamb’s composer alter-ego), accompanies images of the mountain’s unique topography; its ensemble of piano, violin and cello seeming to offer respective, aural representations of both the changeable light and ebbing cloud cover that plays across its terrain, from dawn ‘til dusk. Next, a collaboration between electronic producer Alex Smoke and visual artist Florence To, ‘Fovea’ combines his soundtrack of differing tones, rumbling bass, crackle and fizz with her experiments with light, darkness and differing visual textures; an ever-changing montage of white dots, lines and patterns move across, eight tray-sized screens, semi-circled before us, creating a hypnotic experience. Rob Kennedy’s ‘Untitled’ manipulates various sounds to create a disorientating experience. The ambisonic installation uses a number of audio outlets in Savalas’ unlit studio, toying with our conceptions of sound; one recording we hear seems to have been made at a carnival, however, a speeded-up voice follows, discusses the London riots and suddenly, our understanding of what we previously heard is reinterpreted.
Shown in the same space, Tom Scholefield aka digital artist Konx-Om-Pax’s work, ‘Local Ambience’ completes the evening’s proceedings. Again making use of ambisonic technology, it combines his animated, virtual noise machine creations with live footage of various Glasgow locations, the field recordings made at these seeming to be ‘played’ by these alien-like speakers, giving the piece an eerie, otherworldly feel.
Certainly a more unusual way to enjoy the cinematic artform, the Creative Scotland-funded project Dazzle of Fog is probably due praise for its experimental presentational approach alone, however, the event’s stimulating and thought-provoking content also makes it a more than worthwhile venture, which will hopefully be repeated.