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March 21, 2011 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Sonorous Circle, Happy, Friday 11 March

Sonorous Circle is a Wellington-based musical community, formed under the ethos that ‘artistic integrity is sacred’ and that ‘everyone involved is totally committed to their art-form to the point of a healthy obsession.’ On Friday at Happy they showcased their various talents that have become a part of that principled and growing circle.

First on the bill was Seth Frightening, who also happen to be the founders of Sonorous Circle, Thomas Lambert and Sean Kelly. Incarnating as a two-piece, the pair kicked off the proceedings by silencing the crowd with lyrical chords and powerful vocal harmonies. Channelling a mixture of folk, narrative song writing and what could possibly be described as whale-song, they were impressive, despite and maybe because of their sparsity. Especially strong vocals, and occasional bursts of animalism also gave their set dynamics.

Next up was Golden Dawn, a duo from Melbourne. Golden Dawn started with a theatrical air, and musically they produced an atmospheric, almost haunting setting, using mainly feedback and cassette tapes. Unfortunately they failed to build on their initial foundation, stagnating a little on their droning feedback and failed to really be impressive.

Alphabethead started their set in a similar vein, however, they appeared much more happy to be there and after their suspenseful beginning they suddenly burst wonderfully into a hectic frenzy of quick-fingered proficiency. Plus they just looked like they were having fun, howling and smiling and playing off one another. Perhaps the only fault that could be said of their set would be that there wasn’t much variance in their style, so that the last of the set felt very much like the start. That fact that the start was great however meant it was hardly anything to get too upset about.

Next and last on the bill were the highly reputed Glass Vaults, who are fast becoming Wellington’s darlings. Though the crowd had somewhat diminished by this time, those remaining were happily expectant of the duo’s set, and welcomed the band with pretty honest applause as they started. And rightly so, their ambience and ability to set a mood was clear right from the start, with soaring vocals and expanding instrumentals that overtook the room.

The whole night itself was aided by what felt like a real genuine spirit of those who were there. It was obvious that everyone was happy to be a part of it and felt that they were creating or at least a part of a community of like-minded people who appreciate and care about what they do. It’s great to see that there is a combination of both people who are making good and honest music, and those who are out there to try and maintain a situation in which those sort of people can be fostered and grow. The idea behind Sonorous Circle is a good one that could (and hopefully will) continue on and become something special.


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  1. River says:

    Weeeee, what a quick and easy souliton.

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