Sunday, January 13, 2013

Zach Zinn at the Cavity Club: A Human Wire Suspension Masterpiece - January 13, 2012

Zach Zinn at the Cavity Club: A Human Wire Suspension Masterpiece

January 13, 2012

An invitation to a new club. More like a burned-out house off of Texas Street. Set-up in the basement. Only Zach Zinn would play a gig like this. I walk in and am drowned in consecutive waves of thick incense and disturbing ambient sound. There are a few signs leading you through the house and down into the basement where there are about 30 people standing around – everyone looking like they are ready to run. Electric weird vibe. Dark anticipation. The odor of humans starting to worry. Across the room is a black plastic sheet. The occasional shudder as those working behind it move around. 15 minutes pass. A few people wander away. Then the ambient music stops and a girl comes out to pull the black plastic down from where it was nailed into the ceiling. And everyone has a hard time figuring out what exactly is it that they are seeing there on the other side.

At first, it looks like Zach Zinn is floating there in mid-air like some sort of absent magician’s trick. But then, you see that he is suspended by a multitude of wires which are hooked into his body. Tiny rivulets of blood trickle over his skin. After an initial inward gasp, a collective murmuring of concern starts to rise in volume. Zach slowly raises and arm and plucks one of the strings. A deep bass note trembles through the room. The crowd shuts up. Then he plucks another string and another until each is resonating and rising through manipulated tonalities, fading over long moments, swirling like water down a drain, suddenly going quiet, always a distant thunder sounding. Zach twists in obvious pain to reach some of the strings. And it dawns on me that he has made himself into a human stringed instrument and he is playing an ambient adagio of his own pain. It is brilliant and disturbing and no one could stop watching and listening for the duration of the 45 minute performance.

It is a rare artist that is willing to endure such agony for their own creation. I bow down to Zach Zinn and his willingness to push the boundaries and show the world something that has not been witnessed before.

Originally appeared in What's Up! Magazine