Review, Cosmic Pulses, GBSR Duo & Sound Intermedia, Kings Place, London by James Ellis 

  out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Klavierstück XV SYNTHI-FOU for multiple electronic keyboards and eight-channel electronic music
STRAHLEN for vibraphone and ten-channel electronic music
COSMIC PULSES eight-channel electronic music

What was most likely my last night in London this year was spent at Kings Space. I’ve yet to get back in Space One, this evening was in their stuido space. GBST Duo and Sound Intermedia offered up delights from the real odd ball: Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Wales’s own Siwan Rhys began with the fast approaching anticipation of Klavierstück XV SYNTHI-FOU. I loved her jump suit and massive flares, very serious till the end, even with a keytar too. The galaxy of chords and mutations from the keyboards were perplexing and wonderful. The work sort of gathered up all other sounds and had the limelight with its serious demands. I’d revel at the score no doubt. It was the wild and unending scope that I’ll savour. Siwan’s pulling off the fingers of her gloves, counting this down with added musical notes was somehow amazing.

Then along came George Barton with Strahlen. This vibraphone heavy piece has the tender middle ground which might have faired more fitting as the starter. The strands of notes relentlessly patter about, a miniature theremin also proved smooth glissandi. I wanted to nod off during this point, the piece worked but had its own demands. A little too long as well, I found joy in Geroge’s golden jacket was a treat.

After the break, it was up to Ian Dearden as sound designer, who had done a fab job all night, unleashed upon the audience Cosmic Pulses. We sat in near darkness, our live duo nowhere to be seen, as we focused on this electronic piece. It was constantly modulating, loud yet not extremely harsh. I heard an electrical storm, speech, a flock of birds and even Mr Blobby all within its acoustic. Perhaps this could have even been picked as the opener? It felt two parts ludicrous, one part transcendent. 

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