MAX RICHTER: INFRA | London, Barbican

The prelude to this evening’s performance of Richter’s multi-media piece Infra sees us waiting facing a stage laden with machines, wires and the latest in projection technology. Optimised for sensory overload and an on trend immersive performance.

Given time; our eyes adjusted and we listened in to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s performance and discovered her playing tricks on us. The high tech visuals across the screen are, in fact, not artificial.  She is alone and that is her shadow. That rhythm is the sound of a heart pumping.

Violent then from the closeness of the minuscule explosions of light we see if we rub our eyes too hard to the Delphic and ineffable. Richter introduces infra; from the Latin for the word ‘below’ — subterranean music originally devised for choreographer Wayne McGregor. The 12 ensemble start from blackness to create barely noticeable sounds and patterns.

The work is a meditation on the 7/7 bombings. This music, like a memory, begins far away but suddenly inescapable in mass and veracity.  Not teleportation but close. Part of a series examining the connection between sound, visions and the social; this evening extended the line to examining sensory and the emotional faculties we use to experience. A masterwork in what it means to tune in.

The Prickle - About transp