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Through The Looping Glass

★★★★

This was an evening full of surprises: first was the discovery of a beautiful and warm theatre with splendid acoustics in a Preston industrial park, and second the compelling juxtaposition of classical music (albeit contemporary composition) with technology – the violin met the loop station.
 
The loop station can be an unforgiving beast – any error will come back to bite you unless you can gracefully make an exit. However, Helen Bower, a classically trained and internationally renowned violinist, dusted the challenge. Bower performed four compositions – three newbies especially written for the show and The Clockwork Owls by Ade Vincent, a rhythmic, gypsy violin and looping piece that had tickled Bower previously.
 
The first work, 4 Miniature Loop Compositions for Violin by Max Perryment, was the most accessible. Although the more challenging pieces found favour with the audience, this was the highlight for untrained ears. It was beautifully layered and restful.
 
The third work, Wall Fragments, was the composer Charles MacInnes’s ode to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He’d been there within a fortnight of its demise and heard firsthand the sounds of deconstruction, which are replicated in this work.
 
The only criticism is that it while the Q&A was well interesting (it was particularly illuminating tonight because MacInnes was there to discuss his work) it became a technical analysis, which took the buzz off after an unexpectedly beautiful and immersive musical experience.
 
BY MEG CRAWFORD

Through The Looping Glass played as part of the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival.