The Walls Have Ears – Review – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival


The Walls Have Ears – Bottlenote

Dates Sep 09 — 11 @ 19:30 & 21:15.
Tickets €14 / €12 conc.
Duration 75 mins.
13 North Great George’s Street

For the most part, North Great George’s street has a collection of well loved houses. They are businesses and flats, busy with people and noise. There is one exception to the list though, and that is No. 13. This is a building that is in the middle of a renovation. It is stripped back to the bare bones with plaster exposed, ceilings broken and floor boards bare. The structure of this once great house is all too visible and it creates an atmospheric space for any type of recital, which is certainly the case in this instance.

This is a performance by five distinct musicians. They each occupy a different room in the building, with the audience travelling between them at the end of their sets. The musicians do not speak, and barely seem to notice the listeners entering or leaving their spaces. The audiences gets to explore the ruins of this once great house and see what each of the rooms contain. There is also some creative lighting, as each room contains different effects. The lights grow and often diminish, leaving the audience in near complete darkness as you listen to the wild sounds.

There are four Irish musicians in the form of Seán Carpio (guitar, electronics), Shane Latimer (guitars, electronics), Seán Mac Erlaine (clarinets, processing), and Justin Carroll (keyboards). They are each skilled musicians, but these pieces are more than the organic form, with a heavy emphasis on electronics, blending and layering their sounds. They resonate in the crumbling rooms and create something quite surreal. The sets are improvised pieces, some heavy with distortion, as the musicians create these new works.

The undoubted highlight of the night was Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, who is known for his work with Werner Herzog, scoring the Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 2011. He is a jazz musician famous for his improvisation techniques, and his performance on the night was quite unique, as he dragged, clawed and scrapped at his Cello. He is a musician who knows every sound his instrument can create, and is happy to explore them.

As the sounds slowly diminish, the lights fade to black and the spell is broken in the house. The musicians take their bows and the audience spills out onto the street. It’s a night of challenging music, without much in the way of structure or melody, so it is for those that enjoy improvised sounds. For me, the chance to see Reijseger alone was worth the price of admission. An interesting night of ghosts and echoes in a once great space now laid to ruin.

The Walls Have Ears – Bottlenote

Dates Sep 09 — 11 @ 19:30 & 21:15.


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