Ben Frost appeared and played a gorgeous set of building droney ambiance, notable for how cleanly defined all of the elements of his music was - the Opera House speakers clearly enunciating the space between all of the elements, as if by design. The set inspired an interesting story - a parable of the okayness of modern life. It was a snapshot of both millenia and also fleeting moments, and the idea that they are not that disparate in the long run of shared experience. Often it would focus on a beautiful babbling brook in the morning sunlight, and whilst existing there, a truck would drive by the side road, but just a single truck, disturbing the peace momentarily, altering the perception, probably errantly. That there is nature, and even nature changes with rain, and sunlight and erosion and floods, and there is the industrial growth and interaction which itself is also natural, but not always congruent, and Ben Frosts sets tension was often due to the resigned battle between the two environmental elements. The inevitability that everything will go on, everything will be the same, nothing is predictable and that nothing matters but maybe its just pretty and nice and even the ugly parts are also nice and at least a break from the monotony, and that everything is ok. It was quite amazing.
Tim Hecker on the other hand told us a few stories. Starting off with his 25 minute opus devoted to accurately imagining the plight of the space ship and commanders journey from Space Cadet, the pinball machine game included in Windows 2000, Heckers minimal multi strobe setup mesmerised and enthralled. Transitioning the audience over lightyears of space and with an amazing sense of adventure and turmoil, Hecker was the captain and steered us ages away from where we began.
Which was great, because as all the battles, the games and the cute loops of well defined noises cacophonied throughout the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Hecker knew he had whisked us a million miles away, and decided to throw in a track which could well be the sampled grunts of alien lifeforms, or possibly just like a great remix of his dad snoring. Couldnt quite tell, but this is what we get. My friend who I was with rightly pointed out the first half was better than the second for her, and I tend to agree, but a night of thoughts and music that neither of us had ever experienced before will certainly go down as one for the ages.