Bob Seger (with Bruce Springsteen) at Madison Square Garden
Zakee at Parlor

Yarn/Wire at Issue Project Room

By Christopher Moore

The acoustic quartet Yarn/Wire performed Tuesday night at Issue Project Room as the final part to the three-part event "Music of the Hemispheres." Pianists Laura Barger and Ning Lu and percussionists Ian Antonio and Russel Greenberg sat facing each other, creating a communal vibe.

Aaron Einbond's Passagework began with a fragmented series of scratches, caused by drumsticks rubbed against open piano strings, yielding feelings of rhythmic chaos and soothing pain. Recordings of children running through hallways and lockers closing and opening meshed with the pianists sudden slams of keys and other objects. This continued as the percussionists took handmade instruments - rubber balls on barbecue sticks - and swiped along the wooden ridges and open strings of the piano. It sounded like squeegees on a chalkboard, but with a richer tonal quality. 

Einbond joined Yarn/Wire for Alvin Lucier's Memory Space, in which the performers wore individual iPods playing field recordings, to which they would improvise in real time. Since the audience couldn't hear the recordings, it was somewhat jarring to listen to their screeching scratches, sonic wipes, and interrupted slamming of piano keys. The improvisation as a whole sounded like individual bubbles bouncing off one another, never fully synchronizing with each other. Einbond made use of an iPad, filling the space with directional ambient textures that soothed the erratic bubbles of the performers. At one point, the performers fell into sync, in a noisy succession of scratches that proved to be the climax before slowly dissipating into agreed silence.

In a night of fascinating propositions, Yarn/Wire's performance expressed the discipline of consciousness while simultaneously illuminating the erratic nature of our personal interactions.