Glass Ghosts @ The Inferno
June 13, 2009
The membership of Glass Ghosts is perhaps like no other on the planet. There’s Maria, who wails over a microphone stand adorned with Christmas lights and occasionally arms herself with a violin. There’s Daniel, a guy in a bird mask playing a bass guitar. There’s what we can assume to be an iPod spitting out gothic drum beats and other creepy noises in the background. And, in a way, there’s also you.
For the past couple of years, Glass Ghosts have been engaging audiences with their dark and very unique artistic vision. One wouldn’t think that there would be much to see with only a singer and bass player, but their shows encompass much more than music; this is morbid performace art, the likes of which are rarely seen around this part of the world, and audience participation (bordering on unwilling) factors partially into it.
At the Inferno on January 31st this past winter, an individual donning a beaked mask walked around the audience with a mirror, showing people their own reflections (their MySpace page claims they “dwell within the mirror of culture… they are the reflection of that which surrounds them”). For some this can be a rather traumatizing experience, having to stare into one’s own soul; for others this mirror could be particularly useful, especially if they are having a bad hair day and need to straighten out their mop, something they could not do in the men’s room as the mirror there had been smashed by drunk punks a long time ago.
Don’t expect to see the same show from them twice. Fast forward to the inaguaral episode of the D’Artique exotic arts exhibition on June 13th at the Annex (the next one is slated for October 10th). As the duo performed, a woman on the stage painted something blood red and black on a canvas with her palms. The room became a crime scene as three shadowy figures in suits and black masks wondered through the crowd and prompted random members of the audience to lay on the floor so they could draw body outlines around them with masking tape.
They play the annual Reverence dark electronic music festival (which has now merged into part of Madison’s larger annual Forward Music Festival) on Thursday September 17th.