Zeitgeist Gallery front door

Brutum Fulmen

Live at the Zeitgeist Gallery

October 6, 2000
live performance

Bill Denison

Bellmont MA

Little did I know what kind of bombastic scrape I was in for when I arrived for this show. How can I describe what Jeff Wrench and Ken Pfeifer do. Electrocuting? Riveting? Bombarding? As a musician who does have a hankering for the experimental, but is really unfamiliar with the Noise genre, I was quite intrigued as well as slightly terrorized to see the setup: Wrench has a circular bank of guitar effects pedals hooked up in sequence, in a continuous loop! A definite no-no for the unknowing, but in the hands of a veteran noisician, pure sonic delight. What emerged from this electrical safety officer's nightmare was a wonderful cacophonous howl that was very in-the-moment art; meanwhile, Pfeifer was drawing the observer in with dramatic experiments with acoustic and electric noise, including some sort of sheet metal housing being struck by a heavy wire and other bangings and scrapings with small mundane objects of various shape and material, as well as some tricky stuff with an old cassette tape and a hand held tape deck. The climax of the show centered around both artists doing some serious metallic scraping of an old large metal file cabinet, this all audio processed in a way only the Fulmen understand.

During the performance, I was reflecting that I do listen to and integrate the complex sounds and noises of every day existence which have a sonically interesting or dramatic quality, but on an almost subconscious level. What these artists are doing is bringing these elements as the forefront medium. They are rather prolific and have quite a few recordings available which are really of very high audio production quality.

In a media conglomerate dominated world, for those looking for something new, the Brutum Fulmen and their noisician brethren are worth a go for the direct pure art experience.