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The Night Sea At The Masonic Lodge, Saturday April 30th 2016

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The Night Sea

 

The Night Sea event at the Masonic Lodge, located inside Hollywood Forever Cemetery, was a very unusual experience, which brought together multimedia to produce a glorious celebration of senses. When I made a free reservation for the event, I had no idea what I had signed for, however, the night turned out to be a truly magical and strange adventure.

Inside the masonic lodge, already one of the most mystical places in Los Angeles, the walls were covered with white sheets and projections of nature landscapes welcomed us, but the show didn’t start before 9:45 pm, as the wait built mystery minute after minute.

Female dancers, who could have come straight from an Indian, Morocco or Thai temples, cautiously walked toward us, while carrying flames in their hands or at the top of their fingers. They slowly danced, moved their hips and played with fire, while the large ensemble on stage got ready for a long and psychedelic body of music, for which the overused term soundscape seems to have been invented. Their sound was dense and diverse, using many instruments from bongo drums to sax, guitars, keys, trumpet, trombone and flute, it was first a sort of Arabic adventure with a distant but very present saxophone, turning into a bluesy black lounge-cabaret, waking up into jazzy territories, morphing into a tropical and kaleidoscopic frenzy. It was an atmospheric experience, stuffed with mythology and mysticism, sounding totally improvised, and producing a very strange mix, either accelerating or slowing down, but never stopping during a meandrous and endless sonic trip, accompanied by many more apparitions of the exotic dancers.

However, it was as sonic as it was visual, and a lot was going on behind the stage: A few people in the back of the room were VJing, manipulating and projecting images in real time through computers in synchronization to music, while an artist was mixing inks and pigments, creating psychedelic effects, projected on the musicians, to produce grandiose paintings – If I understood correctly, the color mélanges he was making were projected on a white wall, then filmed and sent to a computer for manipulation, then sent through digital projectors!!

Many times, the stage looked like impressionist or pointillist paintings or visions from several acid trips. The result was a live multimedia performance, the manifestation of some mad psychedelia, which brought us everywhere, from a dark jazz trumpet to an almost South America ambiance, a reggae-ish Tropicalia steamed in the layers of an LSD jaunt. There also were a trombone, a flute and more Shiva dancers, a glorious Arabic influence suddenly morphing into jazz, and the visual kaleidoscope was vividly materializing the strange textures of the music. It was experimental and disorienting for all senses, a mysterious head trip everyone was more than willing to participate in.

The Night Sea is Peter Walker (Electric Guitar), Dan Kincaid (Keyboards), Kenny Lyon (Bass/Ukelele/Nylon-String Guitar, Lap Steel) David Ralicke (Saxophone/Trombone) Kevin Browne (Drums/Percussion) Denny Weston Jr.(Drums/Percussion) Danny Frankel (Drums/Percussion) John Schlue (Visual Artist/Projection Wizard) Aaron Espinoza (Sound Artist/Audio Engineer) Dusty Gabay (Sound Artist/Audio Engineer) Persephone Jones (Videographer/Graphic Designer) Peter Novoa (Videographer/Post Production Video Artist) Nye Green (Videographer/Director) Greg Ellis (Drums/Percussion)… and you should not miss one of their upcoming performances.

More pictures here.

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