Ian BoddyLive at
The Gatherings Concert Series
6 May 2000The Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA
For the last decade, much to the annoyance of my post-modernist friends, my mantra has been "the audience is half the artist." My personal emphasis on interpretation extends beyond the visual arts to include performance and modern music. Too often the listener is excluded from the process - today's methods of mass production and reproduction via the DJ leave no room for such intimacy. The Gathering series - live concerts devoted to promoting ambient, electronic and space music in Philadelphia - has made an attempt to re-establish the organic relationship between artist and audience. This Saturday, Ian Boddy will appear live at the Cathedral, a perfect venue for this type of sacred union - with amazing acoustics to boot. A 20-year veteran of the European electronic music scene, Boddy is known for combining completely diverse genres that span the evolution of ambient music. His most recent venture, the DiN label devoted to artist collaboration, has expanded his style even further. And since the Gathering series is commited to live music performed as the artist creates it, the audience is sure to have a part in Ian Boddy's conception.
-Marisa Mariscotti THE PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY May 3rd, 2000 (Page 47)
Review: The Gatherings with Ian Boddy (Ian Boddy in Philadelphia)
A very interesting performance by Ian Boddy in Philadelphia last night. In contrast to the other recent shows, this one took a different approach. All synthesized & sequencer driven (with some sampling/processing, like the voice at the beginning), with no acoustic instruments. A lot of actual 'live' keyboard playing, with no CD players that I could see (although I have no problem with that), with sequencing, looping, etc.
It was fascinating to see a performer utilizing the modular synth approach -- all of those cords everywhere! Combined with the other, more modern keyboards, it was quite a mix of sound, but with a certain feel that Ian's work has.
The first set started off interesting, with a bizarre opening utilizing a sampled voice, and then moved into what was for me a very atmospheric approach, reminding me at times of Jean-Michael Jarre, and other times of a more fragmented style. Words sort of fail me here, I'm afraid.
The second set was more transporting for me somehow -- perhaps it was the heat! (chuckle). There was a section that was fairly sequenced, Berlin-school, but then it gave way to a very drift-oriented, floating soundscape. A very impressive mix of moods. Ian isn't afraid to quickly jump from one area to another. This was quite a journey, with a lot of sonic depth, yet retaining a unique overall stamp.
As to be expected with the analog synths, there were some really great sonic textures Ian got, and some that I can't recall hearing from others.
Ian explained that the first two sets were new material, and gave us an encore of an older piece that was full-on sequencer, and I loved it! He turned it up good and loud, too. A pounding beat had me almost dancing in the pew, and was combined with some really neat washes of sound. At times reminding me of Schulze, lots of stereo effects, some great analog textures. Even the lights seemed to also throw in everything but the kitchen sink, to great effect.
A big thumbs-up on the light design, by the way. The cloud of colors at the back of the stage was excellent, especially during the first set. My wife said it was as if there was some sort of being back there. And the moving lights through the fog accentuating the columns and space behind the altar during the second set was just brilliant, and very well-executed. The synchronization during the encore of all of the lights was really cool.
I spent a fair amount of time while waiting for the start of the show talking with a fellow who flew into Philadelphia from Wisconsin just for the show, and discussing the differences between the European and American spacemusic trends. It's quite interesting how the two have taken different paths, but end up transporting in their own respective ways.
I always enjoy The Gatherings, but this one was very different from the rest. A very enjoyable evening, thanks to Ian, Chuck, and all of the folks who helped out.
by Joe Olnick
Review: The Gathering with Ian Boddy ('secrets' worth fighting for)
Ian Boddy's riveting encore Gathering performance tonight sent a pewload of folks, including me, rushing back to the CD table in an effort to pick up a copy of his 1999 "Box of Secrets" release. A nice chunk of Ian's prolific output was there to be browsed through. Boddy was even nice enough to leave a handwritten description of the style of music contained on the available releases, with intentions to enable us shoppers to do some picking and choosing.
Too bad no one could understand his handwriting.
Thankfully, John Diliberto wandered back, offering his own description of what lied waiting.
But we, smart gatherers all, knew what we wanted. "Frozen Web", the opening track from "Box of Secrets" had just wrapped up the show....my, my....what a riveting piece of work encoring a stellar performance...
Uh oh...only one copy of "Secrets" remained on the table. I jockeyed for position in order to snatch it. When I finally had it in reach, I saw some pip-squeak of a fellow go after it. Heh heh. I may be aging, but I still retain fine reflexes.
I snatched the CD before the little guy could blink. "AHA! Its mine!" I was ready to hand over my 15 bucks to the lovely gal who mans the CD sales, when some very large fellow, obviously a cohort of the little guy, leaps over my shoulder and grabs me by the wrists, lifting me up, and attempts to shake the final copy of "Secrets" out of my possession. I refuse to let go. "Boys! Boys!", scolds Ms CD Clerk. (I quickly tell her I'm 42.) The pip-squeak tries tickling my ribs while I hang in there in the air. I still refuse to let go. Finally, the clerk reaches into a box and drops another half dozen copies of "Secrets" on the table and I get dropped to the floor like a dead chicken. I'm thinking I've bruised some ribs, but, thankfully, my Boddy remained intact.
Bad, I know.
Seriously, another gem of a night in Philadelphia. There's one more event occuring in just over a month, Jeff Pearce and Kevin Keller appear, before Chuck and the gang break for the summer. If you live anywhere near Philly, come visit the Cathedral. Incredibly indescribable things are happening there.
Following The Gathering, Ian Boddy performed live on the STAR'S END radio broadcast of 05.07.00
...I'm afraid that I'm still glowing with awe, having heard Ian's performance at the Gathering. Ian worked wonders with a road case of Doepfer A-100 and Analogue Solutions Cuncussor modules synchronized to a MIDI rig for pads, melodies, textures, percussion, and plenty of samples of modular madness atmospherics panning wildly to and fro. (That was some of my favourite bits!) A long set, a shorter set, and an encore consisting of a great live rendition of a stonking sequencer piece, "Frozen Web" from his "Box of Secrets" CD (DiN 1). (Did the Cathedral REALLY cool down during that piece?) Jeff Towne outdid himself with the set up and operation of the largest lighting system I've seen him use to date. (And I've seen most of
the Gatherings!) He reacted nicely to the music making some people think that there was synchronization between the lights and the music. Well, there WAS! It was Jeff!!...
Review by Bill Fox host of EMUSIC on WDIY
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All Photos by Bill Forcier