January 2002, Andy Hamilton, The Wire
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival - Huddersfield Various venues.
[...] But the highlight of the festival was Heiner Goebbel´s wonderful, enchanting Hashirigaki, performed at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. You might know Goebbels from last year´s Surrogate Cities on ECM, and as the composer of radio sound art in Germany, but in a talk afterwards described himself modestly as a compiler of music: outtakes fromthe Beach Boys` Pet Sounds album set alongsiede Japanese folk music. The three theatre actress/singer/dancers - Marie Goyette, Charlotte Engelkes and Yumiko Tanaka - recited texts from Gertrude Stein´s The Making of Americans, in a well-enunciated and almost patronising delivery. Goebbels is a man of the theatre as much as a composer, and music and words were unified in a delightfully absurdist, make-believe world of play, owing as much to Teletubbies as any contemporary American drama. Balloons and bells decended from the ceiling, one of the players took an imaginary shoe-box dog for a walk, and a cardboard cutout bus ´driven´ ´by a nonchalant gum-chewing driver appeared on stage to take the three players on a journey. A darker tone was set for the closing scene, lit by a single garish light bulb, but as for the message I wouldn´t care the guess - maybe there wasn´t one. Lighting an sets were perfect. Unfogettable but sadly there was only one performance. You had to be there.
on: Hashirigaki (Music Theatre)