This post is all about the joy of not planning. Or of breaking your plans and doing something unusual. After opting not to trek to Port Townsend for Stuart Dempster's performance from within a 2 million-gallon cistern (thanks to Gavin for introducing me to this), or see one of my favorite local bands, Sleepy Eyes of Death (a show I heard was fantastic), I ended up at Gallery 1412.
A friend had seen Soft Circle's show advertised on Myspace and urged me to go. Soft Circle is Hisham Bharoocha, formerly of art-noise projects Black Dice and Lightning Bolt. He was in the middle of his set when we arrived, seated at a drumkit and holding a guitar while singing/moaning/chanting. Before we got there, and based on his past bands, my friend was worried it'd be "dude music" but on the contrary...it blew me away.
I was immediately wrapped up in the sound this guy created. I'm very suspect of public chanting (I hum instead of 'om' at yoga) but his were mostly an additional ambient sound. Bharoocha played so many different things at one point, triggering sounds with a kaos-pad type apparatus and what I think were some mini-synths. He veered the long, trance-like songs through various tempo and mood changes, never stopping for more than a few seconds. And rather than sounding like the pretentious gobbledegook so much music like this does, it was beautiful to listen to. I had the thought that anyone would love it. He was feeling a musical vibration, in a big way, and translating that to everyone in the room.
Can't really discuss it intellectually any further, so check him out if he comes through your neck of the woods or comes back. And kudos to Gallery 1412 and the 30 people that showed up for this apparently secret show.
Above is Bharoocha's piece from "Cosmic Wonder" at SF's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. From an sfgate post by Matt Perry.