The New York Times * 1/17/97 * Jon Pareles

Hand in Glove: Sounds that Lie Up a Sleeve

Laetitia Sonami plays a unique instrument: the lady’s glove. It’s a sheer, elbow-length, left-handed glove with 16 pressure and motion sensors controlling electronic sounds. Alone onstage at the Kitchen on Wednesday night, she sometimes looked like a human antenna searching the air for sounds, or like a deity summoning earth-shaking rumbles with a brusque gesture. Her pieces are sparse but allusive. conjuring half-remembered dreams; they shimmer into earshot, glide and gradually evaporate. Two pieces mixed pure electronic tones with sampled sounds. In the “She Came Back, Again”, a text recited on tape by its author, Melody Sumner Carnahan, described a surreal contraption:” She contrives a sense of pleasure at the edges of her boundaries.” Ms. Sonami, dwarfed by her own spotlighted shadow, summoned electronic tweets, a sustained minor chord, notes that buzzed and faded away. Gradually, industrial sounds replaced pristine tones: ticking, steam-engine huffing and a Geiger counter crackle, as if the mechanical were taking over. “Has/Had” was improvised with an entirely different sent of sounds: syncopated bass lines fit for a dance record, melodic runs that expanded or contracted with the sweep of n arm, admonitions to “Wake up!”, whirs. metallic rattles, skidding cars. But once again, there was no narrative, only drifting, tapering off and a final glimmer of the opening sounds.

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