Saturday, September 07, 2013

Hopscotch 2013 Night 2: Thurston Moore, John Maloney & Merzbow

Photos by Kevin Norris
At 7 p.m., the official Hopscotch Twitter account announced that the official improviser in residence, Merzbow, would be playing a special set with Thurston Moore and John Maloney at Kings Barcade. Rumor had been circling since Moore and Maloney’s day party performance earlier and the official word spread quickly.

By 7:30 p.m. the line outside Kings stretched down the block. When they opened the doors shortly after 8 p.m., Moore, Maloney and Merzbow were already on stage and making noise together. Walking into the wall of atonal, wailing, incredibly loud sound made for a more powerful experience. One by one people filled the room and considered the performance on stage individually, creating a unique moment for every person.

Maloney’s pounding drums gave the work its structure while Moore was possessed and bending his guitar in a myriad of ways. Merzbow was playing a homemade instrument that looked guitar-like, but created various vibrations he sent through an endless number of effects pedals.

For 25 minutes the trio created an otherworldly sound and an experience that those in the room were unlikely to have at another music festival.

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