Review: Badrutt Belorukov Kocher – Rotonda

Badrutt Belorukov Kocher - RotondaIt’s not often that I’m rendered aware of the throb of my own pulse in my head. Yet as I listen intently to Rotonda – waiting for something to emerge from the silence, be it a shuffle of movement, or a chime dropped from above, or a drone of laboured electronic process – I begin to hear the low thump of blood in my ears. The only sound is myself. During these moments, I wonder whether Badrutt, Belorukov and Kocher are experiencing the very same: a sudden, persistent awareness of self in the absence of a sonic other; an ellipsis in sound, suspended in expectation and unknowing. Dot. Dot. Dot.

Rotonda is about intrusions of all sizes. The trio sit in deathly quiet until one of them has something to say. Sometimes, shrill electronic tones seep into the frame tentatively, one vibration at a time, like a carefully inserted syringe. Sometimes, an accordion jolts through emptiness like a hiccup. The blanket of silence is ripped open by event and then promptly re-sewn by absence. Questions flood my head in the gaps between action. When is the right moment to make oneself heard? Do mistakes exist in situations like this? My favourite moments on Rotonda are when the trio leap into the frame like three vandals, driven by instinct rather than rationalised judgement: a spittle-flecked saxophone breath, a churning music box, an accordion smear. They deface the blank canvas and retreat.