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Blog // Sounds
March 5, 2009

Hong Kong Arts Festival – Karbido: The Table

Saturday afternoon we enjoyed one of the more unusual and original performances of this year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival. Karbido is a production from Poland that pushes the idea of found music built from everyday objects in fresh and interesting directions. The stage was set in the round, with an ordinary looking square wooden table […]

Saturday afternoon we enjoyed one of the more unusual and original performances of this year’s Hong Kong Arts Festival. Karbido is a production from Poland that pushes the idea of found music built from everyday objects in fresh and interesting directions.

The stage was set in the round, with an ordinary looking square wooden table and four chairs at the centre. The table has within it, microphones and transducers, and various musical instruments. The performers use these, along with effects (delay, reverberation, distortion, filtering) to create a series of songs that evoke the four seasons.

The range of sounds they conjure is impressive and the evocative and cinematic music they create at times spellbinding. One table leg becomes a flute, the other a digeridoo. One side opens up to become a small bass, the other a lap steel guitar. Glasses with water become ambient pads and hands rubbed across the table mimic all sorts of movements and animals. A wire dragged over the edge of the table recalls the sound of creaking timber on a ship.

And through it all there is a steady and resourceful blend of percussive effects that propel us through each item. The festival page for Karbido has a video that will give you a small idea of what the show entails.

This was billed as a family event and although there was nothing specifically child-oriented about the show, the audience had a full range of ages. The imaginative and playful music seemed to connect well and the one comment I overheard from young and old alike upon leaving was “I want to have a go at the table too.”

[tags] Hong Kong Arts Festival, Karbido [/tags]

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