INSTAGON Benefit acoustic performance

Oct. 17, 1997 A.A.A. Electra 99 Art Gallery, Newport Bch,CA
On October 17, Instagon gathered at the AAA Electra 99 Art Gallery for one of the gallerys final musical performances. The piece for the evening was entitled "Eviction" and was meant to reflect the sad state of affairs of the art gallery; due to noise complaints, the gallery was being forced to change locations. Among those present were Lob (of course), Dan Young, Charles Ardinger, Erin Beverly, and myself. After an excellent tour of the art gallerys varied but always interesting pieces, the Instagon performance began.

Erin had been kind enough to bring along her cello, and she began the piece with its slow and ominous tones. The sonic atmosphere was fleshed out by the sounds of a rain stick, an assortment of suspended tools and kitchen utensils that Dan had built specifically for the evenings performance, and the rattling of a box of mints from someone in the audience. Ardinger added a low wail on some sort of plastic tubing, and the sound slowly built up. Moment by moment, audience members began to add their own input , from hand claps, to chimes, to an array of various percussive instruments, once again thoughtfully provided by Dan Young. As the intensity of the piece developed, so did its sound; as the performance was performed with almost no electronics save for the microphone and recording system, Instagon sounded very tribal tonight, especially at one point, with Lob pounding out an echoing beat on the djembe and three flutes being played simultaneously by other Instagon members. The real charm of the evening, though, was the audience participation; a few of the onlookers seemed as if they didnt know what to expect at the beginning of the performance, but by the end of the piece everyone was contributing to the noise. As Lob put it best, "YOU are Instagon."

A good time was had by all, and many thanks go to the AAA Electra 99 Art Gallery for providing us with a place to play, as well as some tasty snacks and coffee for those of us who stuck around to socialize after the show.

-- Matt Johnson, Irvine, CA

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