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ear buzz: The Ping from another world.

Byline: Adam Walton

THE world tantalises and intrigues me most when it shows me a glimpse of something other. It can be that moment when you wake up in the middle of the night, convinced that the dream that you've just had was real . . .

maybe you're terrified that the jaws and claws of the faceless beast that has been chasing you down sleep corridors has caught up with you; or you're full of sweet longing that whoever, or whatever, you saw in your dream, will be there when you finally have to submit to reality and open your eyes. Maybe it's some spangles of sunshine that fall on you just-so as you traipse under undressing trees on the way to the bus stop. All of a sudden, you feel elevated, enlightened and inspired; but you don't know why . . . it's temporary, just a glimpse of something other. In Philip Pullman's His Dark Matters trilogy, Lord Asriel sees a glimpse of a city hidden in the aurora borealis. It's an evocative notion, that there are other dimensions, other territories to explore, in the grey things that surround us. It's what thrilled Aldous Huxley so much when he saw the visions that prompted The Doors of Perception, not that I am suggesting you should take hallucinogens to see this iridescence. Who needs drugs when music can take you there so much more efficiently, and with little danger of a comedown, or psychological burnout? Notice I say ``little'', rather than ``no'' danger.

The vast majority of music, like the vast majority of buildings, or meals, or experiences, is very much rooted in the ordinary. There's nothing extraordinary about it. It fulfils its purpose. It exists like a wood louse exists, to complete a menial task way down at the bottom of the ladder of things. It fills up three minutes on the radio, or helps put a poster on someone's wall, so that the MD of the record company can order more hand-rolled cigars from Havana, and keep his daughter's pony stabled for another year. But there are also occasional rips in that grey firmament. Ribbons of astounding colour that can't be contained; and only flare up when a multitude of conflicting conditions are just right, to bewitch those lucky enough to look up at just that time. This Saturday night we have advance meteorological warning of just such an event. It won't just be a city that you will see in the sky above Holyhead, it will be an unexplored and untrammelled principality filled with wonders that make magic out of the everyday. This domain is called Ethania, and -- for one night only -- there will be a portal to its splendid vaults from the Ucheldre Centre on Holyhead.

A host of extraordinary, trailblazing talents, whose unifying quality is that they eschew the humdrum, will be on hand to entertain the denizens of Ethania: Pwhelli's Andrew Hodges; acclaimed dancer and choreographer, Sarah Mumford; Bangor's S B Ting; Cut 23; the pricelessly idiosyncratic, Afallon; acoustic intimacy from Holyhead's own Rob Griffiths; Waxwane; the electronically-enhanced, bounteously talented, Mank; Alan Holmes' new alchemic musical project, Parking Non-Stop, that takes the sounds of the earth and turns them into beguiling soundscapes; Nixon and Jarvis; the sound craft of Duncan Black, and all compered by the Marquis Ethania-Ping. For one night, and one night only, from 7pm, the wonders will never cease.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 8, 2004
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