Fringe Festival

Two years ago I took a week off work and lived the Fringe Festival for nine days straight. I even wrote reviews of most of the shows I saw, and posted them on my fledgling web site. Last year, unfortunately, was a write off in terms of the Fringe, but I’m back on the circuit this year, although not quite as committed, as I’ll be going to work all week.

I’ve seen only two shows so far, but the reviews are up! (See the link in the sidebar to the right ->) Expect two more reviews tomorrow night, and who knows after that.

Tonight, Caitlin and I managed to make it to the Silophone. Weird, but so good! There were four performances, from 7:30 to midnight, but we saw only the second-to-last, and about 15 minutes of the last one.

The first show we saw was essentially this: a guy goes inside this massive empty concrete grain silo (as tall as a 16-storey building) and makes sounds with a home-made instrument that sounds like a cross between a flute and a fog horn. He also uses other devices, such as a thing that he whirls around in circles over his head. While he’s doing this, a strong light casts his shadow against the inside wall.

Outside, we see a live projection of his shadow, and we hear the sounds he’s making, live, through an amplifier and big speakers. It was mesmerizing and spooky. Sounds inside the empty silo reverberate tremendously. The only way I can describe it is this: imagine if you could get inside the dreams of whales.

The second show used sound that created waves on some panels of flexible surface outside, upon which the artists sprinkled grains and water. The grains and water made the waves visible, and this was projected onto the side of the silo.

We would have stayed to the end, but it was late, Sunday, and surprisingly cold, so we skedaddled before it was over. Here’s a picture of the first show, at a point where we’re seeing the artist from above, which is hard to see in the photo, but you can see his shadow in a few spots. For most of the performance, however, the lone shadow image was dominant, and much larger than what you see here.