The Salon is a crazy exciting musical food for thought night. Held by uni students from the University of Wales, Newport. More particularly it is held by students who study the unique Creative Sound and Music degree course. Even more particularly It was hosted this time by Gary Martin Rolinson, one of the students who also appeared in band The Coroner’s Court.
The night kicked off in true CSM (Creative Sound and Music) style with a band called Trichome. The frontperson explained to us the instruments were going to act as different animals in an evolution based game. He said we were in control of who plays their instrument louder, faster, quieter, not at all etc. We were in control of this by, at any point raising our hands in a signal fashion. There were agreed signals for different instruments and the variables appeared on flash cards, so we could effectively ‘vote’ for someone to be louder when the card louder appeared. This was a mesmorizing performance, with the added audience participation it was all the more enjoyable and an interesting quirky way to present it too. Being able to see and hear the differences that the audience made was a lot of fun visually. One of the aspects I enjoyed was that there was not room for musicians ego in this performance, it was purely down to what sounds the audience wanted to hear, making it a fruitful and erratic piece.
The night continued with some true compositional talent from Common Knowledge, they gave us some lovely tunes with some masterful keyboard playing, a really fantastic drummer, the kind that makes you tap your foot and nod your head to opposing rhythms when you didn’t realise you could do that.
The Coroner’s Court
Following this were The Coroners Court, they gave us a real kick with some improvised prog (and I think they are coining the term ‘improg’) which was typically not something I would anticipate enjoying, but I can confidentially say it was a thoroughly fantastic performance. With the bassist Reece Mclaughlin entering the audience to rock out and the saxophonist dominating some screaming notes it was an experience that has left me intrigued to see more.
Image Kai Lena
I finished the night with a more experimental set than I usually do, enduring some long built up repetitive loops that end up turning to some sort of overpowering audio mush, (and some sneaky Whitney Houston vocals). I knew my audience were ready for it, so I took the opportunity to play with some less conventional sounds and really enjoyed playing to such a responsive and vocal bunch. Cheers to Newport, The Salon, and all the Creative Sound and Music students. Hope to be there again soon.