C-Fest Surround Sound

February 16th

Surround Sound is the third show in a series of that showcases Charlottesville musicians at Satellite Ballroom. The first FreakFest, featured fringe rock, and the second Noble Savages, featured Rock, Hip-Hop and Pop. Surround sound features experimental, ambient and jazz music.

This line up posed a mind bending challenge for sound engineers – tape music and video, live jazz bands, ear-bleeding shoegaze and can-hear-a-pin-drop improv. Despite the gulf between the genres of music, there was something for everyone and musicians found themselves connecting with others who were interested in experimenting with genre and instrumentation.

As bands and performers played on two stages, the crowd shifted its attention. A wide ring of space remained between the bands and the crowd as several professional photographers and video documentarists captured the evening. Particular accolades were reserved for Thrum, who played a drony set with surprisingly upbeat hooks. The Graboids, a shoe-gaze band and one of my local favorites, seemed too loud to entice the crowd who had come expecting something more gentle. They played through their CD Infinite Delay and the first song, with its meditative introduction and explosive middle reminded me of their earlier situation-climax-resolution song forms, which remains their most convincing dialogue. Judith Shatin, a composer and faculty member at the University of Virginia, composed a piece that referenced themes of weaving and women’s self-actualization. The night was brought to a festive close by the Matthew Willner Band.

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