Tim Hecker & Stephen O'Malley St. James United Church, Montreal QC June 2
Published Jun 03, 2012With all of the house lights off, Tim Hecker sat at a huge pipe organ and Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley crouched beneath him, hidden in the pit, preciously stating nobody come centre stage as he needs to concentrate. And with that, they started their piece. With O'Malley on guitars and pedals and Montreal's Hecker playing the pipe organ and processed electronics, the effect was powerful and hypnotic as the baroque drone filled the church, the only light source being a red glow illuminating from the stage. Bass notes rang out, the electronics, guitars and organ in synch. As the distorted guitar started to dominate in the set's second half, a few people left and many reached for their ear plugs, but the majority stayed as the sound drifted slowly into a more palatable kosmische place until the guitar took the lead again and shook the floorboards of the church with its vibration. Despite being an interesting counterpoint to the laptop sets at MUTEK, the performance unfortunately lacked progression, O'Malley's influence making the piece more linear than Hecker's usual performance would have been. Still, it was rewarding for those with the stamina, but it definitely wasn't for everybody.