Hypnotique Presents Totally Wired at Sweet Grassmarket is the type of show that you are either going to love or hate and a lot of your reaction is going to be based on your response to the format of this show more than any of the performance from Ms Hypnotique (aka Susi O’Neill). This show is basically a very potted history and introduction to the world of electronic music and it is, as we learn from “Totally Wired”, a musical genre with a history dating further back than many people imagine, all the way back to the 18th century.
Ms Hypnotique is a well established performer in the electronic music genre and her speciality instrument is the theremin (invented by Leon Theremin), and with a mixture of performance on this instrument and some well edited on screen media to give at times the appearance of an interactive show, we trace electronic instruments and their creators from the very beginning through to synthesisers that took up a whole room not that long ago, before moving onto the breakthrough "Minimoog" and modern synth-keyboards and beyond.
A show like this is always going to be a difficult one to present because, unless you have the love of these instruments that Ms Hypnotique has, or as I do have an interest in them, then this show is potentially not going to be that interesting to the casual audience member. Also, this is another case of Fringe venue just not suiting the format of the show, and the care that the media presentation must have required to make it deserved far better technology than was on offer in the room today.
Another problem is of course that the creators of much of what we recognise as electronic music were not as may seem at first glance just people playing with “odd creations”, but often musicians with a very deep understanding of musical theory or impressive technical skills (sometimes both) and there is a point where no matter how hard you try to simplify your presentation in a show like this, that the music theory and science has to come in at some level, and if that is just not your interest, or the difference between tonal and atonal musical structures or analogue versus digital sound production simply does not matter to you, then some of this show is going to be of limited interest.
Hypnotique Presents Totally Wired is an interesting concept for a show, but limited I think in its potential audience appeal, and the format really gives Ms Hypnotique little opportunity to show what these instruments can do in the right hands – a few are mentioned – Kraftwerk, Chic Corea and of course Robert Moog. I suspect that, given the opportunity to see Ms Hypnotique perform this show with the visual and sound technical support that she really needs and in a space with the atmosphere for her music, this show would have a completely different response to many people. Make no doubt, Ms Hypnotique knows exactly what she is doing in the world of electronic music.
Hypnotique Presents Totally Wired
Country: United Kingdom - England
Review by Tom King