Bewildering figures filled Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (8 June).
From fleshy mounds excreting nectar to pig-human hybrids suckling their offspring, Australian artist Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures are baffling pieces of art. The sounds that echoed through the galleries were also a surreal match.
But while Amaya Lauciricia’s indie pop and the jazz explosion of Xylouris White made for an odd combination, each performance was a brilliant display of their respective artistries.
Melbourne singer-songwriter Amaya Lauciricia was delighted to perform near the Go-Between Bridge and you can hear why in her songs. Her set was filled with sticky-sweet melodies and bright guitar, while her voice went from coos to melancholy sighs.
Behind the reedy keyboard that textured her songs, Amaya danced and swayed as her bandmates’ harmonies breezed in. Soon patrons were placing their handbags on the floor to dance to her summery tunes.
The space in front of the stage was filled by onlookers for the onslaught of Xylouris White. The duo is made up of Cretan musician George Xylouris and drummer Jim White, the latter of Australian instrumental rock trio Dirty Three.
The two sat side by side on stage, Jim behind his kit and George with a Greek stringed-instrument called a laouto resting on his leg.
Despite the pared-down stage, the duo deafened those gathered. Jim’s arms swung high before every hit, letting his sticks crash on whichever piece of his kit drew his attention – from his snares to his hi-hat stand. His hair flicked when he turned his head in the direction of George to see where he would go next.
Often George’s eyes were closed as he picked melodies and howled in his native tongue, while Jim’s rhythms followed.
The pair took surprising directions throughout their set. George’s fingers ran and slid across his instrument’s frets, letting out a series of power chords. A flurry of drum rolls crashed over George’s melodies, but out of the noise emerged a groove.
The music overcame a man who was compelled to race to the front and dance wildly. Smiles cracked Jim and George’s faces as they watched the man holler and flail his hands, appearing pleased with what they had done.
The music was deafening and so was the silence that accompanied George’s gentle lullaby. He picked a gentle melody and whispered, and the audience tried not to breathe in case it was too loud.
The calm broke when George furiously strummed a discordant drone and Jim bounced his sticks from one drum to the other. The tension tightened to the point of strangulation as the drone continued. It wasn’t enough for George, who began to wolf whistle and howl before madly barking.
It was an exciting end to a powerful performance, and a perfect fit for the human-animal sculptures looking on.
GOMA's current Up Late 'Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection' season continues every Friday until 6 July, 2018.