Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"...Whistling School for Boys is all about the aural collage, noisy hook-flirting experimental tinkering. It's playful and hypnotic and analog and homemade..."

Chris Handyside for Detroit Metro Times

"This set was the second strangest show I have ever seen in my entire life...during her show passed out bread with sugar on it (and I’m pretty sure about seven people now have diabetes), and then proceeded to launch loads of stuffed animals from the front and back of the bar...the videos would fit quite nicely with the music (or the music fit the videos, I’m not quite sure). I respect Whistling School for Boys for doing something different from anything else we’ve seen so far. I admire her effort in coordinating the timing on that amount of video and audio, and most of all I really liked her music."

Jaime Henson for Athens Exchange

"...there’s a woman sprawled at the foot of the stage. Clad in a white slip and surrounded by an array of stuffed animals, she begins to writhe around while ambient music sounds from the speakers and a video screen displays a single circle pulsating a spectrum of colors. The din from the set change has not yet subdued. Few have gathered closely to view the twisting silent female in a kitten mask – an expression of confusion adorns their faces. This is the Whistling School For Boys. The music shifts between experimental electronica to typical techno as performer Sabrina Cuadra dances briefly in a normal but somehow unsettling way. The video screen displays images varying from Cuadra cowering in the woods, sliding down stairs and slowed footage of a Latin-esque disco(?) ballroom dancers. Cuadra moves about confidently as she distributes slices of bread around the room. Back on stage she stands to the side of the screen as she repeatedly lines her arms with clear lipgloss or perfume. Returning to the floor she tosses her stuffed animals with goodie bags crammed in the mouths out into the audience. Some are caught nervously, some left to the floor, others are played with. With an armful of toys Cuadra moves to the entrance of Little Kings where she begins to hurl her playthings back at the audience. The audience is flatly confused by what’s happening. Some simply appreciate and respect. Some are amused by the feeling of absurdity. Some are perplexed to the point of annoyance. Yoko Ono may have been more expected. You have to give it to Cuadra, her deadpan face fringed with childlike innocence never faltered or belied anything non-performative. The set lacked a whimsy that would have made Whistling School a Bjork cliche. At some point a bit of reflection could be lent to the consideration of Cuadra’s performance... Notions of "musical" performance is stretched – if not obliterated – since the music itself was not actually performed in the moment. Was it simply performance art? If so, what was Cuadra expressing?"

Casey DeHoedt for Athens Exchange

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