Review: Pauline Oliveros + Timothy Hill + David Rothenberg – Cicada Dream Band

Cicada Dream BandYou have to wander far, far into the reeds to find the Cicada Dream Band. This is either the music of a trio that have spent generous amounts of time in eachother’s company – bouncing ideas between them until the original concept is mashed into a bizarre new shape – or the work of three natural born curveballers, whose sparks of innovation come brightly and frequently, in completely unexpected colours. The energy levels are persistently high, twisting between synthesised vocal dissonance, silky clarinet flutters, earthy throat song and the congregative conversations of nature’s most flirtatious and boisterous birds and insects. I’m forever spoilt for choice – what to turn my attention to? The hooting acrobatics of the European blackbird? The glossy marble overtones of Timothy Hill’s singing? Instead of letting my mind ping back and forth as though observing a four-way tennis match, I often flop myself down in amongst the blur, allowing myself to be massaged by the ecstatic, pinball improvisation that shoots across the frame.

They are all impeccable listeners. On “Three Of A Mind”, Oliveros’ v-accordion hangs on single notes like a held breath, or a hand feeling its way through the dark. Hill and Rothenburg respond accordingly, and before long the entire trio is slithering on their stomachs, hands held behind their backs, letting out soft and deliberate notes one after the other. As time slows down for one, the inner clocks of the others adjust accordingly – they are an eco-system within themselves, forever readjusting to retain balance and beneficial co-dependency.