Echoes is a virtual multi-sensory exhibition hosted on Mozilla Hubs – an online environment in which audience-observers can interact with each other, as well as the exhibits themselves. Upon entering Echoes, you find yourself in the ‘Blend Space’ – a wooden platform surrounded by stone pillars leading up to each audio-visual artwork. Here, the works peer and pry into this shared space, and when stood in the centre of the room all five soundworks can be heard simultaneously, whereas moving towards a particular room boosts the volume of its corresponding soundwork. This interactive overture was immersive and addictive, with snippets of bristling breakbeats, soaring and sparkling synthesisers and saxophones, and glittery and jittery glitches ducking and weaving above and below a sea of pulsating sound.
Experienced individually, each artwork was equally satisfying: Louis’ room morphed through an atmospheric electronic mix of growling synths, intricate percussive hits, seamless drones; Ross’ room combined tasteful post-bop sax, stylish piano writing, and subtle pads that culminated in a sense of the post-apocalyptic (or maybe a night after hours in an underground New York jazz club); Kieran’s room contrasted hard-hitting 8-bitting funk with squealing synthesizer solos, soothing Rhodes-writing, and playful bursts of bubbling pop; Izaak’s room provides consolation with earthy vocals set against a mesh of lush, pulsing harmonies, twinkling plucked tones, and patient crescendos that seep out from each corner of the mix; and Ben’s room provided a cinematic finale with spinning string ostinati, cleansing bursts of warming woodwind and brazen brass, and elegant electronic processing which un-earths the orchestral writing.
All the while, each soundwork is accompanied by a communal visual track made up of space-race era stock footage from a variety of industrial, chemical, and biological contexts. The result is an impressive, eerie, and dizzying reimagining of modern music-making which effectively makes the most of what Mozilla offers.
Review by Aaron Moorehouse