Monday, July 21, 2008

Exotic Hypnotic 2008: Susan Alcorn

Susan Alcorn @ University of Baltimore Student Center Performing Arts Theater, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Part of the Exotic Hypnotic series - in conjunction with Artscape.

Susan Alcorn: pedal steel guitar

(photo credit: Alice Faye Love)

Susan Alcorn's extended technique and expanded vocabulary for the pedal steel guitar makes for an engaging listen as she roams through a territory of linear, melodic spaces punctuated by detours into joyful bursts of micro-noises through a wealth of timbres unique to this instrument.  The fretless intonation combined with a surprising volume of sound resulting from minimal physical movements led to a sound somewhere between Nashville and the sunken city of Atlantis.  The extended techniques were often extreme in their subtlety and surprising when gently coaxed into the foreground of the soundscape.  With a refined sense of pacing and formal development, this set-long improvisation made for an outstanding invocation to a day rich with experimental expression.

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