Photograph by Valentin Kokorin
Two weeks ago, I had my first ever ‘Electroverse’ experience. I doubt that many, if any, of my classmates knew exactly what to expect when we were invited to take part in a music workshop and attend the same band’s concert the following night. All we were told was that we would be introduced to a new musical genre created by Catalan poet Laia Malo and Mallorcan record producer Jaume Reus, who together form the Catalan-speaking duo Jansky.
They named themselves after the American physicist Karl Guthe Jansky: the first person to discover radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. Working with the concept of being able to ‘hear’ the planets and stars, the Jansky duo have created an intense, transcendental style of music that is clearly tied to these origins. By combining Reus’ electronica and occasional flute solos with Malo’s poems, they managed to invent something completely original. Yes, when I first discovered what it was, it all sounded slightly peculiar to me too. I mean, synthesisers, flute accompaniments, and poetry readings? Surely this couldn’t work. Well, I can now say that I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
The whole experience comprised a workshop with the band in the DSU’s Kingsgate Bar on a Thursday afternoon, followed by a live concert in central Newcastle on Friday evening.
After the event, we floated out of the venue and slowly made our way back to Durham. Nobody was entirely sure how to define what we had just experienced. What we all agreed on, however, was that we had been simultaneously moved, scared, and trapped in a musical realm we hadn’t been to before, in a place that we were all, nevertheless, eager to dive right back into.