BEAST FEaST 2022 Reviewed, Part 2

Source: 5:4.

In the previous part i highlighted the works heard at BEAST FEaST 2022 that went against the grain and handled their materials with gentleness. However, not surprisingly the dominant compositional attitude was one aspiring to power and heft. Though unassumingly titled, Helena Gough‘s Yolk featured an almost flamboyant display of muscular energy in a work that, unlike some, was judged perfectly in terms of duration, knowing just how long to keep this up. James Carpenter did something similar in Tangle but in 8-channels (used very effectively). With a compelling narrative, building sequences of tension and at times accumulating huge dense walls, the piece suggested a rapid pulse and timelessness simultaneously. An abandoned piano was the subject of Julien Guillamat‘s Les marteaux oubliés, a gleeful study of its dilapidated twang and plunk which on more than one occasion appeared to have been destroyed in a tumult. Though Guillamat appeared to be lightening the intensity, another crash reduced the beleaguered instrument into a knackered chorus of thrummed notes and chords. It was all gloriously messy. Peter Batchelor focused on pinball machines in Kaleidoscope: Arcade, in a kinetic but measured music that sounded as if its feisty gestures of punch and clank were happening spontaneously, like mechanical will-o’-the-wisps. The conclusion was marvellous, unexpectedly dissolving into sustained radiance.