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BWW Review: NEARLY HUMAN, VAULT Festival

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BWW Review: NEARLY HUMAN, VAULT FestivalBWW Review: NEARLY HUMAN, VAULT Festival

"Except for Hydrogen, all the atoms that make each of us up [...] were manufactured in the interiors of a collapsing star". But we amount to something more than the simple sum of our atoms, and Perhaps Contraption are proof of it. Their latest work, perfectly titled Nearly Human, is a joyous celebration of life. We follow the a little particle as it makes its way through the universe in a mesmerising blend of music and theatrics.

Splendid musicianship marries sophisticated reverence for the world and sound itself. From the colour schemes of their costumes - all different but complementary - to the beautiful harmonies, the production is stunning. Their storytelling pulsates with energy as they narrate the magical journey in a sensory explosion.

It's fascinating to see how the nine fit together and move around the cramped stage like gears in a grander machine. The result is breathtaking. The score defies any attempt of pigeonholing and goes from jazz to who-knows-what as they chronicle the bewilderment and uniqueness of one's existence.

Inspired by cosmologist Carl Sagan and his popular works, the company create a sonic canvas where atoms meet and fall in love chemically - and lyrically. Artistic director and multi-instrumentalist Christo Squier leads the vanguard, juggling the tiny protagonist of the tale and driving the abandon of the musicians.

Nearly Human is a bizarre experience. Perhaps Contraption's approach is innovative and euphoric, bewitching and overwhelming, polished and experimental. They instil a brand new appreciation for life and all the seemingly insignificant and hazy elements that make it in their crowd, while simultaneously delivering a truly impressive show. The nine-piece brass band clearly know how to tell a story.

Nearly Human runs at VAULT Festival until 23 February.


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From This Author Cindy Marcolina