Claire Rousay, KMRU, Valentina Magaletti - Remotely Together
As part of their shift online for the 2021 edition of the festival (for reasons surely no-one needs reminding of), Rewire programmed a series of remote collaborations between geographically disparate artists that attempted to bridge enforced gaps, and extend practice and community where proximity wasn't possible. It seems so long ago now, but such initiatives were highly welcome - and likely even vital and necessary - to what was a severely depressed set of creative circumstances, a flicker of light in what did feel like a unendingly bleak moment. Remotely Together is the product of those efforts, three discrete long-form pieces that do a fine job of connecting the previously unconnected in ways that make a lot of sense. Though not working together (though i'm sure it can't be long until they are), ceaseless collaborators Valentina Magaletti and Claire Rousay are both present, alongside Morita Vargas, Maria Chavez and KMRU. As you might expect, the results are soft-form and probing, dancing around the edges of respective signature practices in an attempt to eek out new understandings. And so Magaletti's typically improvised, free form percussive approach dovetails blissfully with Chavez' glitchy ambience with such effect to feel like a lot more than a one off, while Rousay's dominant concerns with narrative-led field recording techniques find a compelling foil in Vargas' haunted vocal. What's perhaps most interesting is how those two tracks share a dreamstate, almost escapist feel, as if reflecting on one of the dominant responses to lockdown. By contrast, the KMRU collab with Dutch filmmaker Donna Verheijden is ostenisbly doomy, a heavy-set immersive drone that suggests a world slowly collapsing in on itself. A not inaacurate document of a specific point in time which sounds a lot more hopeful listening to than it would experiencing a second (or third) time around. Be thankful for connectivity!
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