[ This is a stereoscopic image. Cross your eyes until you see a third image in-between ]
Uncontrollable distortion ensues
when you feedback without returning to zero
chaos outside, below this window
Samples – Rachel Johnston cello, Melanie Walters flute, Meredith Lane electric guitar, Glen Hadden electric guitar
Created in Melbourne, in the late night ambiance of the window of my brother's 2nd floor apartment
Samples: Luke Peterson spoken word, Al Thumm accordion, glockenspiel, synth, Christopher Roberts qin
Created in Thebarton, Adelaide (Live at the Wheatsheaf Hotel)
Controller: trackpad, Korg NanoKontrol
About: At Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, I went with my friends and hosts Brianna and Luke Peterson into the rainforest below the Three Sisters. Deep in the forest, Brianna recorded an interview with her husband - a professional tree-lopper - asking him about his relationship to the forest. This spoken word piece is composed of his responses during that interview.
This piece is the first live performance done during this project. The performance was video-recorded, and the audio was only captured through the small microphone in the camera - so although it's quite lo-fi and only mono, it also picked up the beautiful room ambiance - the crowd chatter, the bar in the next room, and cars going by outside - which blend and give another dimension to this recording.
Samples: Meredith Lane electric guitar, Gina Chadderton gong, Glen Hadden electric guitar, Melanie Walters flute, Iran Sanadzadeh circuits
Created in Hobart
About: Hobart heaves around in concentric ripples - ripples out, and ripples up and down. It undulates and cascades. The crisp air keeps us alert.
Presence, in this place that changes fast, is kindness. Presence and knowing. Generous openness and compassion.
But in the dark it mutters to itself and yells guarded abuse at no-one in the cold morning. Red smoke of flares and later, extinguishing fires in the rusted barrels on the beach. Thick white clouds of spirit emerge and curl. Exposed roots and frozen plants that night on the mountain-top, where we were a band of strange pilgrims looking over the city and lakes.
After a cosmic shock on the cliff’s edge
Something breathes through the stars
Heart of ink
A deepening wind from the breath of a true friend
Sail you back home
Gratitude raining light
Samples: Al Thumm glockenspiel, noise (audio rendered from a photo), Sebastian Phlox pipe organ, Meredith Lane electric guitar, Glen Hadden electric guitar, Rob Wallace violin
Created at Hargraves Lookout, Blackheath, New South Wales (sitting with two others at the lookout at night, blanket of stars above)
Created at Logan Brae Orchard, Blackheath, New South Wales
Field Recording (Al Thumm piano)
About: The owner of the orchard showed us a run-down house on the property that was about to be renovated. This old out-of-tune piano was the lone piece of furniture in the front room, looking out the window into the garden.
The recording above is not about the piece of music - which is obviously very rough (I'm by no means a pianist) - but more about the beautiful out-of-tune-ness of this old piano - about that wonderful decay of artificiality back into nature, like vines and tree roots growing over old stone ruins.
Samples: Glen Hadden electric guitar, Rachel Johnston cello, Melanie Walters flute
Created in Goodwood, South Australia (backstage at the Goodwood Institute)
About: During a discussion with Stephen Whittington, we got onto the topic of 'balance' in art, and how to know whether a piece is balanced or not. We discussed different approaches to this - for example how the notion of a balanced composition in a romantic European painting would differ greatly from that of Japanese traditions. As we talked about balance in improvisation, and how this is a dynamic process of error correction, we got to talking about cooking - adjusting the flavours as you go. Stephen spoke about traditions the food is not tasted until it's finished. This led me to the idea of making music without listening to it. Electronic music is uniquely suited to this, as one can completely mute the audio - unlike with an acoustic instrument, where blocking your ears would still leave vibrations being felt through your body.
So this piece was made with the audio muted - just going on intuition. It is interesting, because for one it is quite a balanced composition for such a short piece, and secondly because I have often intended to do short pieces, but I find it very difficult to do so - error correction or a need for resolution often pulls me along into very long pieces.
Although there is the danger of this method simply devolving into a parlour trick, it has great potential for breaking me out of my comfort zone when needed, and allowing some other mode of intuition to open and lead.