‘Envelope’ at the Institute Friday October 12th.


The first night of this soon to be regular night certainly drew in an interested-and interesting- party of people, many of whom were unsure what to expect but were certain disappointment would not feature. Featuring the visual talents of Institute founder Gavin Evans, as well as Alan Henry and Peter Gerard, whose contributions were shown alongside the live musical interpretations of guitarist Danny Appolinari and violinist Richard Moore –both moonlighting from Andy and the Prostitutes-, inspired by the musical form Musique Concrète, it was an impressive debut night which bodes well for the future.

The ethos behind the evening is that the filmmakers allow the musicians to see the film only once before they then have to compose-or improvise- a score which provides an aural dialogue to what they have seen. The films on this evening included ‘Motion Static’ by Peter Gerard, ‘Fashion’ by Alan Henry and ‘Fume’ by Evans himself.

Opening with ‘Motion Static’ by Gerard -shot in a Fife fairground -Apollinari opened proceedings with his interpretation followed by Moore. Unfortunately I missed the opening film due to being unavoidably detained by a last minute vodka and tonic at a previous engagement but all reports from my informants and spies were extremely favourable.

Following this was Henry’s offering ‘Fashion’ which featured Freddy Tanner adopting a Buster Keaton/ Charlie Chaplin persona dressing then disrobing in a constant state of flux throwing up many questions as to what fashion actually is and concluding with a naked torso emblazoned with a question mark. It was a skilfully executed piece and the musical accompaniments –each film is shown twice with Apollinari playing a guitar led score then Moore following with a different lyrical violin take on the same piece- were as musically arresting as the visuals on display creating a cohesive whole which was as inspiring as it was inspired.

The last film of the evening was Evans’s own contribution filmed, in five hours apparently, especially for the evening entitled ‘Fume’ which featured a lone female in old fashioned Hollywood female star repose- think Tallulah Bankhead meets Myrna Loy- inhaling and exhaling smoke in a fashion which would have the anti-smoking lobby throwing an apoplectic fit with smoke fuming out their ears due to the glamorisation of their nemesis; the cigarette. It was a stunning piece of work with the smoke forming images unique to each different viewer- I saw a rabbit, an alien and a pair of pursed lips- and accompanied by Apollinari’s captivating electric blues on a Ry Cooder circa ‘Paris Texas’ tip, was- in the eloquent words of a loquacious young companion who obviously knows so much more about these things than I ever will-  as ‘trippy as fuck!’.

He was not misguided in this observation however and the film did seem to conjure up a lot of different images all of which simultaneously evoked everything and nothing, appearing and then disappearing a bit like… well, smoke actually. Moore’s interpretation was no less astounding creating different atmospheres and thus different images and rounded the visual/musical part of the evening off perfectly.

After this there was much socialising and discussion whilst Richard and Danny provided a backdrop of their very own blend of Gipsy Jazz as mild soundtracking to our conversations. One of the revelations of the night for me was seeing Apollinari and Moore perform solo spots away from their day jobs as Prostitutes and show the virtuoso skills they both have at their disposal. Admittedly I had heard Moore perform solo before but Apollinari proved he is a worthy player in his own right also. Apparently Andy McKay –head pimper of the Prostitutes- is performing at the next event with his banjo which I am sure is another experience which should not be missed.

This however was just the opening night to what promises to be a more regular event and a second show is lined up for Sunday 21st of October with the aforementioned Andy Mc Kay and Moore once again providing the musical foil for the visuals on display.It may be wise to get there early-or at least on time- as the evening dovetails together quite perfectly and it is worth catching everything on offer so as many experiences and interpretations are available to you.

The next ‘Envelope’ is at the Institute 14 Roseneath Street on Sunday 21st October at 7.30pm.

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