As the lights lowered, the cold eye of a blank television screen illuminated the stage. The infernal machine was sittting in the lap of a mysterious Germen named Heinz, who embraced it as he uttered the words to an even more mysterious poem.
Far away, on the outer fringes of rocks, is a group of musicians (mostly European) who are reaching for the limites of both sound and intelligibility. Last night, at the Trinity Theatre in Georgetown, three of those musicians collaborared for an evening of esoterica.
Fred Frith and Peter Blegvad of Slapharry and John Greaves of the group National Health, presented a hastily assembled show that featured electronic flourished and inventive compositions. Frith, a guitar experimentalist of the first order, wove dense, distorted melodies and back-dense, distorted melodies and backgrounds against Greaves' keyboards, yet his playing (perhaps because of a lack of rehersal time) seemed tentative and at times, undirected.
Blegvad, however, was a sheer delight. Backed by a four-piece ensemble, high bright, primitivistic songs had a freshness that slashed across the bleakness of much of the more abstract music that was offered. His vocals and guitar technique were hardly spectacular, but he played with a forthrigtness and simplicity that were most engaging. He proves that even the most far-out music can also be down to earth.