POUAW! is the name of a work composed by Mat Ward for the 2013 MONAFOMA festival that just ended. As the MOFO blurb says: It celebrates the centenary of Luigi Russolo’s manifesto L’arte dei rumori – The art of noises, a seminal text in the history of musical aesthetics. The concert turns its back on the digital tools of contemporarynoise and sound art, and returns to Russolo’s roots: an ensemble of six noise machines based on his original sound families will be accompanied by power tools, heavy machinery, domestic white goods, spoken word, and forklift trucks. .I
Mat had instruments – intonarumori – recreated from Russolo’s original designs and these were played by an assortment of artists and musicians Mat refers to as the No Mates Ensemble. Matt (Warren) and I performed as part of the Ensemble – M as a percussionist and me as a part of a three-lady shouting chorus.
It was the first time I had performed in front of a live audience in many a year and I had a real hoot. Those who have known me well over recent years will know how amazing it is that this was able to happen. Things have really changed and shifted. I felt more secure than I could have imagined.
The collective ensemble was keen, fun and professional and Mat really pulled something great together. So much kudos to him alongside my gratitude for asking me to be a part of it. My general impression from the way the audience rose to their feet and joined in the noisemaking in the final act of each performance suggests it went over really well with the MOFO crowds too. I really hope I get asked to do more some time. I think my lungs loved the workout.
Stay tuned: I’ll advise if an audio or video recording goes up online somewhere.
(Photo above was taken by Lucy Hawthorne at the final performance. Pictured from L to R are Andrew Harper, Jorge Burgess-Lowe, Carolyn Wigston, Pip Stafford, Me and Tania Bosak, all having a bit of a yell.)