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QWAK club #18

Wojciech Rusin + The Thicket by Yas Clarke (Album Launch)

Plus support from Scops

Wed 22 November 2023 // 20:00 (SOLD OUT)

Tickets: £11 (+bf) adv, £7 (+bf) unwaged or concessions

QWAK club #18 - massive double headliner!

We're madly chuffed to be welcoming WOJCIECH RUSIN back to the Cube. Wojciech completely blew minds at the very first QWAK club just a couple of days after the release of his genius debut solo album The Funnel (Akashic) in Apr 2019. That album was the first in an 'alchemical' trilogy, with equally mind-bending second album Syphon (AD 93) following in Feb 22.

The performance will feature music from both albums as well as unreleased material from the final instalment of the trilogy. For those yet to encounter Wojciech's wildly idiosyncratic music, expect to encounter speculative medieval and renaissance music, imagined composed in the future, where it is reconstructed from the ashes of the past, via incomplete fragments. "In a future where the old semantic systems don’t apply anymore, what we are left with is some kind of delirium."

Wojciech will be an joined on stage by regular collaborators Jo Hellier (electronics & voice) and Emmy Broughton (harp & flute) and his deranged visuals will look magnificent on the Cube's screen.

To celebrate the imminent release of The Thicket on TBC editions (CD/digital), Bristol-based composer YAS CLARKE presents the first live performance of the new work - an intricate, rhythmic and melodic text score, composed for four voices.

The composition probes the limits of human capacities for understanding our position in the natural world, the feedback loops of consciousness, the construction of myth, the processes of categorisation and delineation, the creation of self as a discontinuity in nature. 

Written in arcane vernacular, The Thicket narrates an ambiguous pilgrimage into the wilderness; at times resembling an orphaned passage from one of William Morris’ early fantasy novels or a Doris Lessing science fiction, at others becoming abstract and non-verbal, like a syllabic tabla score or the alien opera of The Fifth Element. As the text progresses it becomes increasingly abstract and describes the dissolving of the human identity, both through its content and in the structure of language. Words break down into syllables, textures and tones and become musical in their presentation. What emerges is a unique a cappella work that opens up a speculative channel between Chaucer and Bob Cobbing.

Stretching language from a fragmented linear narrative to churning minimalist cascades, Clarke's text is delivered such that each performer takes one word each, cycling the whole text between them in a strict order and rhythm. Each singer is conducted by a distinct in-ear audio click track, a process which allows for an elaborate structuring of the four-part score; phrases, words and syllables layered into elaborate rhythms and harmonies that would otherwise be impossible to perform; unmanipulated voices generating phasing patterns and repetitions which are almost reminiscent of early Steve Reich tape works. 

To open the evening, Avant folk ensemble SCOPS perform their sonic folktale Greya and Glibyun. Scops will take you to a remote island deep in our spiritual past to tell the story of Greya, a barren peasant woman caught between two religious worlds. On this island we will learn how Greya came to undertake a journey to achieve her lifelong wish for motherhood. This story will be told through seven songs, theatrically brought to life at The Cube Microplex for an immersive story telling experience.

QWAK club is a carefully curated event series from The Cube Microplex, bringing eclectic avant garde sounds, visuals and performance together with a fun and inclusive atmosphere.

The cheaper concessions tickets are very limited and are for people who currently find themselves really up against it financially. Please support the artists and the Cube by purchasing a full price ticket unless you would really struggle to do so.