Soisong – How Live Is Live

Some interesting stuff posted online recently from and about Soisong; an AV group consisting of Peter (Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) Christopherson and Ivan (COH) Pavlov.

Firstly some bootleg video recorded at their recent Cologne gig.

It’s worth checking out the rest of that gig (there are 8 parts).  The video/sound integration errs on the cinematic side, to my mind referencing Dziga Vertov’s “Man With A Movie Camera” and films inspired by this (like Koyaanisqatsi) in the rhythmic editing of didactic / rhetorical material.  Where people like Robin Fox, Botborg and Ryoji Ikeda are concerned with a direct synaesthetic connection, here the cognitive connection between sound and image is explored (see also Rechenzentrum) and the audio and visual aesthetic is subsequently raised in importance (the grainy, over saturated 16mm look screams late ’70s to me.)  Interesting to note Peter Christopherson’s work with Hipgnosis and as a video clip director for hire.

In reponse to some audience member falsely concluding that their material was delivered from a DVD (it’s HD triggered by PC), Soisong have posted some communiques about their live practice here.

Of particular note, from Ivan:

…the more entertaining the performers themselves are, the less “live” their show is likely to be, for in order to be able to perform all those entertaining tricks, the actual musical playing of the instrument has to be polished and rehearsed to be nearly automatic.. In the end, in most cases the audiences end up watching a dancing sampler on the stage…

and from Peter:

I believe that the former view automatically cuts out more or less all the interesting music being made today (mostly with the help of computers) which actually cannot be played at all in the conventional sense…  The most important thing for me, is that I try to put over the excitement and wonder I felt when first conceiving of the music and the image, to a live audience in a fresh and individual way each night….

I’m definately going to try and procure an interview with these fellows.


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