Daydream Believer: Lost Minutes At The Unity Theatre

A beautiful live music and digital art collaboration, Lost Minutes will change the way you experience daydreams, says Laura Robertson…

The first thing that you notice upon meeting Friend or Foe Collective is laughter. They’re constantly smiling: maybe working collectively is good for the soul?

The group of artists — respected in their own right for a myriad of individual practices including music, sound art, animation, graphic design and programming – come together at the Unity Theatre tonight to present Lost Minutes: a one-off extravaganza of live music and interactive visual projections exploring daydreaming and ‘the slips from reality that form part of our daily lives.’ Audience members will recline on the theatre floor, encouraged to give their imagination full control during a 360 degree show of colour and darkness.

The whole experience is a result of a carefully considered process: a meeting of minds combining custom developed software and art, controlled in real time by the instruments being played live.

“It’s quite abstract… every single performance experiments with sound and visuals together”

It is, according to core member Laura Campbell, a true collaboration of art, technology and music where all three elements inspire each other.

“It’s quite abstract… every single performance experiments with sound and visuals together… It was about changing a musical experience, seeing how it felt, seeing how the audience reacted.”

Formally frontwoman for ’90s electronic duo Mulu, Campbell has worked with Rankin (on the music video for Pussycat), Russ Meyer (Sparks), Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets) and Richard Hewson (Rah Band); for all her projects, mapping out a core idea is a tricky and thoroughly enjoyable part of the collaborative process.

Lost Minutes 2015, Unity Theatre, Liverpool

“[For Lost Minutes] We started talking about daydreams: Dan and Adam in particular I’d noticed drifting off into their own worlds [laughs], thinking about wonderful things. We wanted to know what daydreams were; that abstract place you go to. Dan came up with the lost minutes title: when you drift off, it’s your time.

“From there, we thought about how we were going to write the music, asking people about their daydreams… We always start with improvisation; trying to get a sense of the theme.”

Other members of the evolving Friend or Foe ensemble include multimedia artist Adam Sloan (who makes music with Campbell as Legends of Flight); designer, animator and programmer Daniel Turner (working most recently for Liverpool Sound City); designer and artist Scott Spencer (founder of; musician Dan Wilson (lead vocalist in The Cubical and basque music collective Los Separatistas) and Esa Shields.

“Expect an experience “suggestive” of daydreaming; a combination of fractured images and sounds mirroring dream states”

It’s clear that this is a chance to combine their varied talents whilst encouraging audiences to view a familiar location in a new way. They have successfully taken the format to the Walker Art Gallery’s stunning Sculpture Room with Tinted Venus, Metal’s former train station engine room with Alone//Together, and the gleaming bookshelves of the remodelled Central Library with Hidden Worlds. All combine lush, responsive visuals with live music. Attendees to Lost Minutes should expect an experience “suggestive” of daydreaming; a combination of hazy, fractured images and sounds mirroring dream states.

According to Turner,  it was vital that the people watching felt they were truly immersed in what they’d created together.

“Relaxing is an important aspect of this,” he says; “we wanted to remove all the other things that you might think about or that might distract you during the show. We want the audience to let themselves go.”

“It’s a very effective way of working”, adds Spencer, “and getting better and better with each performance. Usually I’m behind a computer on my own. Working with these guys gets me up into a stage: I’ve left with a buzz each time.

“People want live music that rewards them with an unexpected and unusual experience: this is that show!”

Laura Robertson

See Lost Minutes at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool tonight and tomorrow only — Friday 6 and Saturday 7 February 2015. Performances 6pm & 8pm (each show approx 30 minutes duration)

More on Friend or Foe’s projects here

Posted on 06/02/2015 by thedoublenegative