Friday, August 26, 2016

Ava Mendoza and Jessica Pavone: Clash of the Avant-Garde Titans

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 4:58 PM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND 
click to enlarge Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island
The latest avant-garde bill of national caliber (Aug. 25) was a joint presentation by a local Justice League of creative forces: The Civic Minded 5, Timucua Arts Foundation and the Gallery at Avalon Island. Like the congress that presented it, the lineup was a confluence of bright and progressive minds.
click to enlarge Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island
Topping the bill was Brooklyn transplant Ava Mendoza, the highly noted experimental guitarist who is currently making noise in Unnatural Ways. Despite the name of her primary act, the things Mendoza did on guitar at this solo performance – from making a slide sound like whale songs to conjuring aboriginal spirits – were like the very forces of nature.

click to enlarge Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island
At times, her noise-baked badlands blues plays like some epic, elemental cross of Sir Richard Bishop and Earth, but with a wild-child streak. Across sonic landscapes that are gorgeous, foreboding and sonically feral, it’s a sound at once forward and ancient.
click to enlarge Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Ava Mendoza at the Gallery at Avalon Island

Proving her notable bona fides in the avant-garde scene, NYC’s Jessica Pavone takes a classical instrument (viola) and, through technique and effects, stretches it into far realms that span harrowing edges, dark atmosphere, eerie loneliness and noise-fried intensity.
click to enlarge Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island

This wasn’t just some exercise in ingenuity or, worse, strangeness for its own sake. No, this riveting display was a thing of expressive power and experimental mastery.
click to enlarge Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island
click to enlarge Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island - LIV JONSE
  • Liv Jonse
  • Jessica Pavone at the Gallery at Avalon Island
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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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