Sejayno: noise wanderers

On Saturday I watched Sejayno at the Machine Project. Sejayno is a nomadic experimental noise group, composed usually of Peter B, Carson Garhart and Severiano Martinez. Machine Project’s website lured me in with promises of “homemade electronic instruments (renaissance trompette coat, spoon bowl shinth) and channeling ghostal hippy fluttertalk to enraptured open-mouthed audiences”, despite my fear of hippies.

It had been too long since the last time I’d seen or heard anything of the sort, and the entire thing actually took me on a ride down into the cobwebby recesses of memory. As one of the members put on what look like a cardboard half-moon from a samurai helmet, I wondered if this was going to hurt, and whether sitting in the second row of the small art gallery space was a good idea after all.

There were several instruments and contraptions laid out on a workbench in the dark room, and two video projections – one pre-recorded montage of distressed images reminiscent of El Topo, and another on an adjacent wall filmed live through what appeared to be a webcam.

The sound initially made me think of a project conceived by people deep in throes of a bender. It was unclear whether the performance was rehearsed or entirely improvised, reminding me of Throbbing Gristle, the Far East and Pink Floyd, to name a few. Members took turns singing, humming and muttering. Their instruments were indeed unique and handmade; there was what appeared to be a synth with a wind input, something reminiscent of a shamisen, a rice drum that sounded like the ocean and my favorite – the Sidrassi Organ – a pressure-sensitive appliance made of wood. Also impressive was an elegant hand-carved bass guitar.

The show lasted over an hour, though by the end I hadn’t even noticed how much time had passed. After, the audience was welcome to try out the instruments which had me poking at the Sidrassi Organ for a while. Conveniently, you can order Sejayno’s wonderful creations on their website [prepare to scroll, a lot]. And in case you were wondering, “inventor Peter [Blasser] is available to speak at your electronic circuits class, interface symposium, or wabi-sabi house conference.”

5 Responses to “Sejayno: noise wanderers”

  1. the daniel Says:

    I loved this show – the wind instrument synth was my favorite part.

  2. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Indigo children keep popping out of ze woodwork. Or in this case, ‘pressure-sensitive appliance(s) made of wood’-work. *cough*

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Hah @ Jerem! Indigo children? Perhaps!

  4. Wiley Says:

    Peter has made instruments that are played by worms. very neat stuff.

  5. Zoetica Says:

    Wiley – indeed! We were told about the worm+nail setup at the show, actually, but they didn’t have it along this time. Sad.