Friday, 21 September 2012

No, I'm going to see Macbeth: Vile and Karoulla face over over Black Sun Drum Corp

Black Sun Drum Korps: Macbeth
as part of Arches LIVE 2012
Fri 21 - Sat 22 Sep 2012 | Fri: 6.30pm, 9pm | Sat: 6.30pm (30 mins) |£8/£6

SEX, MAGICK AND BLOOD. Warpaint masks and animal skins. Light the fires.

Led by Drum Major Russell MacEwan (Ron Athey & Company, US) and Glaswegian industrial trioBlack Sun, witness Shakespeare’s Macbeth as you’ve never seen it before – cut up and reworked to black metal standards.

Inspired by the automatic writing/cut up technique made famous by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, highlander rhythms, dark magick and industrial witchcraft combine to create a primal, visceral and very loud experience only for the strong of heart.


So... we both want to see and review Black Sun Drum Korp's version of Macbeth. I think that there is only one way to settle this, in the spirit of both critical discourse and Black Sun's brutal re-imagining of that hoary old myth...
The live battle of the critics. Who can come up with the best argument for being the chosen one to go tonight...
I'll start, since you seem frightened by the challenge. I deserve to go to see the show because I interviewed the drum major, and we share an enthusiasm for the loud, aggressive music of the 1980s. Although you have a taste for fiddly heavy metal, Black Sun, and the Vile Arts, approve the violent, measured savagery of No Wave music... and this Macbeth has its roots in that ferocity.

Well, yes, but I'm interested in the theatrical aspect of it - not only the music. I'm curious to see how they compressed the play's plot into what sounds like a half-hour metal manic's dream. Besides, you did say you thought you'd seen enough of Macbeth during the Fringe.

That's a fair point, but the drum major said that he aimed to annihilate the text. My complaint against Macbeth was the over-familiarity with the script, and Black Sun Drum Korp won't be pausing to give us some speech about "is this a dagger." They'll be hitting the shit out of their drums.

Surely for them to call it Macbeth, they are looking to follow the storyline? I'm intrigued by this annihilation of the text - there are plenty of modern warfare adaptations of the Scottish play as well as other Shakespearean plays. An adaptation of a story without the original text, but with that same, ferocious, dog eat dog message sounds exciting!

Macbeth is a historical figure: why do we need Shakespeare at all? But I think that the play does provide a starting point... however, there are plenty of other influences in there. All of which I have a stated track record of liking. I have referenced William Burroughs as an influence in my critical writing - especially the cut up technique, which Black Sun are using to deconstruct Shakespeare's text. There's only one person here who will really understand this version, and he doesn't have a wolf as his profile image...

Yes but if you already like them, how are you to review them critically? Perhaps a more honest response to their work would be from someone who doesn't know what the cut up technique is and who has only vaguely heard of No Wave music?

I am sure we would both be honest... and the point of Arches Live is to enter into its overall spirit. Black Sun are experimenting with forms - they are better known as a very heavy Glasgow band - and "critically" is this case does not mean "without liking them." It means bringing to bear the writer's knowledge. So I win.
oh- and the cut up technique? Try this, sunshine...
"without liking this,
of Arches writer's are known as a very heavy Glasgow Black Sun are mean with forms - bringing to bear critically the knowledge. sunshine... So I technique? win It means and the cut try bans Live is to enter up into its overall spirit. they - and "" is this case better does not experimenting

How does knowledge of that technique enhance the experience of the audience though? Your knowledge of it could inhibit your understanding in some ways, as well as increase your expectations for it, hence disappointing you personally (especially cause you met the drum major). My lack of knowledge in this case might allow me to go in uninhibited and without expectations. Besides, liking them would lead to bias, and i think we've established that we both like the idea of this version already.

You are still going on about bias. But the Radical Subjectivist Critic not only acknowledges bias, but embraces it. However, I take your point... and ultimately, neither of us has the "best" critical voice. We have different voices. You would see it from one position, I another. So, I guess, either one of us would be an interesting critic to write about it.
However, I would like to remind you that this Facebook argument is supposed to be an imaginative way to preview Black Sun - an example of the Radical Subjective approach to criticism that privileges the entertainment value of writing over some notional "right way" of writing about theatre... and we are supposed to be saying why we want to go and see it, not arguing about who the best critic is...
And since you got into that course and I didn't, we know that is you, anyway.

You didn't apply for it though. tongue It would certainly make a change from dance performances (or physical theatre) you've been throwing me into since Last Orders. Black Sun are interesting to me because they are not a theatre troupe, but originally started out as a 'subterranean metal' band. How does one interpret Macbeth as a non-play and something that is hopefully not a musical?

Okay. We need to wrap this up and get the tickets. I'll tell you what. We'll both go to Alien War at half five, and if you don't shit your pants in fear, you can cover Macbeth. But you have to edit the interview I did with the drum major for the soundcloud in exchange.

Ok, sure. smile

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