Sonica is a biennial festival in Glasgow, a touring programme and a weekend event in London. Sonica presents and celebrates the exciting and powerful combination of music and visual art and the Glasgow festival this year kicks off with a performance by Danish performance company Between Music.
Aquasonic is an experimental and mesmerising musical performance that is presented in an unique and distinctive way. Five fish tanks are present on the Tramway stage. In the murky water are five musicians who each play a variety of customised instruments whilst submerged within the tanks. Microphones pick up the music and mood lighting adds to the visually stunning show that feels as much a physical theatre performance as it is a musical performance. Aquasonic begins in complete darkness whilst the audience hears the familiar sounds of bubbles. As the show progresses the tanks are individually lit up and we are introduced to the performers and their obscure instruments. Eventually the sound of all five performers combines and a pensive and eerie soundscape is created while we watch the performers struggle against the friction of the water. This friction and the nature of the water causes the physical movements of the musicians to add to the uncanny and peculiar nature of the show.
Aquasonic could easily be seen as a novelty, however the style and presentation, along with the captivating music make it feel like an exciting and truly original experience. Between Music spent several years researching underwater and submerged music. This dedication to the form is obvious through the inventive use of violins, organs, the human voice and percussion instruments. The stage is fully utilised to showcase the possibilities of water in the creation of sound. Throughout the hour long performance the audience is continually surprised and perplexed by the imagination, visualisation and vocalisation of the show.
The Sonica festival continues at various venues throughout Glasgow until 5 November 2017. The festival includes performances, exhibitions, installations an a variety of sonic art experiences to stimulate the ears and eyes.