I saw Grouper last friday at the NGV after viewing the Van Gogh exhibition they had. I wasn’t particularly wowed by the exhibition, but the performance by Grouper was very good.
We sat down on the floor. Grouper sat down on the stage. She had with her a guitar, a microphone and I assume some other things but I couldn’t really see them. Above her were three screens projecting images of people, landscapes, herself, and other scenery. As her playing became more harsh and erratic, the imagery started becoming more distorted, frequent and seizure-inducing (in a good way.)
My eyes weren’t on the projections the whole time though, a lot of the time I was just closing my eyes and letting the music surround me. I think I almost fell asleep a few times (in a good way). Would have been nice to have some bean bags or something though, my legs and neck were killing my by the end of the hour-long set.
As we walked out, we heard others remark that it was ‘transformative’, ‘mediative’ and the such. I didn’t think it was quite that good, but I did enjoy it. I think I enjoy her studio music a bit better, but my girlfriend who was accompanying me remarked that she found the way the music filled up the room to be a lot better. They’re two different experiences, ultimately.
You should definitely check out Grouper’s 2007 album AIA: Alien Observer, and the new singles she’s released this year, if you can’t catch her live.