Resonance Radio 104.4 Fundraiser at Cafe Oto, 13th February 2014.
Rie Nakajima has a particular take on performance. For the second time on seeing her at Cafe Oto she set up her table of paraphernalia at the back of the space. So most of the audience need to turn 180 degrees and readjust their viewing positions. For the first part of her set she sits on the floor in front of the low wicker table thoughtfully activating the various battery driven gadgets that are her instruments. The process is gradual – she takes her time before setting the mechanics in motion. It almost looks like she has never done this before and is working out the logistics of it as she goes along. And in some ways I guess she is doing just that. About half way through she gets herself a seat but even then she is crouching over the table. It is as if she is buried in the work at hand – buried not just in the sound but also in the actions that produce the sound. Unlike many performances the audience are drawn into this position too – searching along with her for the next move, the next noise as if it was a process of archaeology. We are all looking down watching the small spectacle of movement, sound, action, repetition. This all demands a certain commitment of attention from the audience….and this is what Nakajima, her performance, her music, requires. This is an exercise in close, communal listening.