Perhaps you’ve had the debate before: is a piano a percussion instrument, or a stringed instrument? Percussion because you press keys that trigger mallets to hit the strings in the box, or stringed, because it has fucking strings. Well, anyway, it doesn’t matter one way or the other in a beautiful new track/video from Photocomfort (the solo meanderings of Justine Bowe (ex-Magic Man)). An inquisitive and ever-intensifying drama carries on over the machinations of the box of keys and its innards, an exploration of self and the self’s place, or, more specifically, the self’s time in the world. Bowe’s voice, her melodies, the fluctuations of the franticness of her playing, approach desperation, an unthinkable urgency as she ponders, “I’ve been running out of time,” and, “Is it too late for me now?” The visuals, directed by Gabe Jacobs, split the sound and instrumentation in two, Bowe’s head and mic on the top half, and the bottom is passed between her hands on the keys, and the hands of drummer Andy Fordyce playing the open-box strings with brushes and mallets, like a pin-pointed, oversized xylophone. They utilize the whole thing, making percussive tones that go beyond the description of “interesting.” But it’s complimentary, the sweet and flowing sound of the traditional keys’ hitting, and the clanging and clacking of the hand-held hitting.
Brooklyn! Photocomfort plays Baby’s All Right TONIGHT with Lina Tullgren.