The Other Room 8th Birthday, The Castle Manchester.
Review by James Davies
Gary Fisher opened proceedings, working from the back of the room in order to be able to plug directly into the PA. This necessitated us rearranging the seating to face the opposite direction, a surprise which our regular audience seemed to enjoy on their arrival! Gary’s set was surprisingly lyrical – opening with gorgeously soothing chimes and giving way to a deep regular, beat with high, melodic notes weaving through. One passage involved some remarkable sounds emerging from Gary's handling of a hardbound book with a contact mic attached. Pages were turned and the cover scraped and tapped and drummed with the fingers and fingernails to amazing effect. I found out later that the book was actually a copy of a biography of Mozart! Other sounds which passed through included recordings of conversation and walking on ice. It felt like the piece utterly transformed in the last quarter, or even final fifth, as the note relationships shifted and became gorgeously strange. Other exquisite touches included Gary scraping the aerial of one of his devices on a rotary fan standing nearby, and the presence of his lucky cat that waved its luck-beckoning paw throughout his performance.