King Britt’s Space Odyssey

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The set up for King Britt’s show (a long table with a single mic, a number of laptops and other gear), at Diana Wortham Theatre, looked more like the producer/DJ was going to lead a panel discussion about music and less like he was going to perform music. But his program, “Fhloston Paradigm featuring Pia Ercole” (a U.S. premiere) proved to be bass-y, at times dancey and often transcendent.

Against a backdrop of rocket ships, sound wave charts and other visuals, the musicians produced a sonic tapestry of some very personal Odyssey of both inner and outer space. Britt managed top compose a sound that was at once huge and thoughtfully dynamic with chest-rattling bass paired with moments so subtle you could hear camera shutters clicking.

Two questions: How much of Ercole’s haunting, angelic non-verbal vocal was pre-written and how much was improved during the set? She used loops to expand the effect to both its chilling and awe-inspiring end.

And, the guy on the end with the laptop: What was he doing? How cool would it be if his role was to intuitively VJ the set by listening to each song and then quick-like Google “space ships” or “Saturn’s rings” or whatever came to mind?

Because, even as Britt’s “Fhloston Paradigm” was a complete artistic expression, it also felt like a presentation of the creative process, in how creativity is not necessarily a means to an end but a process (like outer space itself) continuing to unfold into infinity.

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