Alex's response to the National Platform - Neil Trefor Hughes

Neil Trefor Hughes – Minimalist Music for Young People

The mosquito – a small insect that makes you itch but also, the Mosquito - this other more technological thing, parasitic but in an entirely different and unnatural way - a device which omits a high frequency noise only audible to young people so as to deter them from loitering (or playing).

I ask to the person sitting next to me – ‘can you hear it?’

We don’t see Neil’s face in this performance, he is dressed head to toe in a dark grey (almost skin tight) costume which, in all its beautiful crudeness represents the mosquito. Obscured and out of sight, he talks to us as part terrorist, part entertainer, part mosquito, part Neil, invoking moments of celebration as he attempts to make good the mosquito. The humour of this work is complemented by Neil’s Welsh accent and his casual performance mode lays the foundations for a certain silliness and acceptance of the lo-fi aesthetic which runs throughout: disco lights that respond to noises, a foot operated smoke machine, a dodgy music stand and helium balloons which (just about) make his voice a bit more high pitched.

He is delivering a speech to us from behind a lectern and it’s a generous gesture, reclaiming this high pitch noise which we cannot hear and has echo’s of John Cage’s 4’33, but also reclaiming the status of being ‘a youth’ (in Wales) – not parasites, not pests, not invisible but instead, a look to the future?

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