BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


April 28, 2006

[27.04.06] Tyndall Assembly: Concert 4

Last night saw Luke Altmann's Gallery Delacatessen play host to the fourth Tyndall concert, which was the most stressfull and successful Tyndall Assembly concert to date. Due to popular demand and fear of overcrowding the gallery space, two sessions were announced with an estimated head count of 60+ people overall!

Two works were performed: Morphic Resonance, a collaborative work by composer Alex Waite-Mitchell and choreographer Amanda Phillips, and Robert Ashley's She Was A Visitor (1967) for leader and ensemble of voices. Though in this case, Ashley's work was adapted for solo performer with pre-recorded ensemble voices. [n.b: I'll post a blog on this performance in the next couple of days, explaining the process of the original and readapted version in a little more detail.]


Rehearsal of Morphic Resonance by dancers [left pic] (left to right: Alison Currie, Ade Suharto and Sarah Cartwright.)

Performance of Morphic Resonance (left to right), 1. Sarah Cartwright, 2. Ade Suharto & Sarah Cartwright, 3. the dancers move outside , 4. projection.

After concert banter.

...and relieved with the lovely Edith after the concert.

Many thanks to everybody who performed and came along.

The next concerts will be held on the 18th and 25th of May.

April 26, 2006

Flat_Four Radio

I've been turned onto this internet radio station in the UK called Flat_Four:

Pigeonholes: (Indie/Electronic/Experimental)

For those of you unfamiliar with radio streaming, open your media player (iTunes/Realplayer/WMP) and enter the following url:

It leads to compulsive listening...beware...

April 24, 2006

Code, Tea and gingernut biscuits..but no rain

As I promised last week, here is an example of some simple synth code I created in Csound and used as part of the Pole Shift work which was performed at last Thursday's Tyndall Assembly concert. It is just one of two components that were included in the performance of the work, the second component comprised of tape recording of this recording was played back in performance - its sound manipulated in real-time using variable tape speeds and EQ attenuation.

Pole Shift (excerpt) [.mp3]

The sound is created using multiple audio oscillators (as instruments) which select pitch sequences that are in the score. The sequences can then be indexed directly by pitch class, or alternativly affected by an LFO and/or random algorithm.

fun fun

April 23, 2006

DRM - stop buying Cds...

The following is from David Byrne's Web Journal: (

Don’t Buy CDs from the Big 5.

CDs from the big five run the risk of damaging your computer, opening you up to security risks, and you can’t rip the music onto your iPod. Stop buying CDs now. At least until they guarantee us that they will never try this shit again.

O.K., I’m exaggerating, but if I need to carry around a list to know which CDs I can safely buy it’s getting out of control.

For those of you who don’t know. Sony, BMG and EMI have been adding software to their CDs to create a kind of copy protection. Warner’s and Universal I don’t know about yet. This software is designed to stop you from copying your CD for your friends or making MP3s…which means you can’t copy it to your iPod, or even copy it to iTunes, which is how an awful lot of music fans listen to an discover music these days.

In addition, some of these CDs contain software that will burrow and worm into your hard drive and do damage — creating security leaks etc. Mainly, as usual, for Windows users, but who knows what else they do. New reports are that the damage Mac operating systems too. The software is very difficult to remove, intentionally so. The record companies have offered repair kits but who knows how effective those are, and the damage is done, guys!

So, first they start off suing their customers, and now they are maliciously making it hard for their customers to even listen to music, and they will cripple your music and media player to boot. These guys deserve to go out of business, they obviously don’t love music, and they don’t understand their own customers. They must have a deathwish or be run by….who? FEMA? Rumsfeld? Bin Laden? (1)

Related links:,4273,4383006,00.html


1. Byrne, David."David Byrne Journal: January 2006" 2006., last viewed 23/4/06.

Art as a means to survival


Last night at the Tutto Ku lounge before the show, I was invited to join a group of arts people who were indulging in their eleventh round of drinks. The place was empty but for us and a dysfunctional couple dining out on the terrace. It turned out that they were all involved with the Festival Theatre in someway (to which Tutto Ku is part of), more specifically the upcoming Caberet Festival. I thought this would be a good opportunity to sell myself in someway - a vain hope that they might employ me somehow (as the thought of finding another coffee making job depresses me.) The outcome was quick: possible voluteer work in adminstration and events's something.


Alan, Chris and Kathryn (the arts people) were kind enough to stay for both the sets, though by my final song they had all finished their communal 30th round and were practically falling asleep between the sofa cushions. Amidst the stupor, I managed a coherent conversation about the state of the arts with Kathryn. As a freelance arts designer, over the past decade (or so) she had seen the marginalisation of arts budgets and prioritising of funds towards more product oriontated results and 'big ticket' events. Tied in with the lack of exposure for local artists at events and the lack of participation and interest from the general public (due to exposure and misunderstanding), our discussion concluded with sobering silence.

There was something that Kathryn touched on though, that I have heard mentioned frequently of late. Before this conversation, I was reading an article in The Australian about the actor Vanessa Redgrave, an outspoken leftie and advocate for the arts. In this article she talked about the importance of the arts as a means to human survival.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been particularly morbid about the future of the human race and the planet in general. Perhaps I have been exposed to too much news press and soapbox philosophy...or maybe I just am realising how endangered and doomed we have all become by the stupity and myopic actions of our elected officials.

However, our very survival and future is not only threatened by the recklessness of our leaders on a global scale, but government's dissolution of public resources, community and family, and the proliferation of individual interest and private enterprise the Western world over. In this individualistic captial driven environment, the motivations of the public intellectual and artist (or creative body for that matter) are called into question...even if their conclusions and outcomes might adhere to the set ideal. This is happening everywhere in academic institutions, where vocational objectives and the infiltration private companies are threatening creativity whilst in turn providing production lines of graduates for prospective employers.

Creative thought and the arts should not be viewed as a commodity item for the marketplace. True, the arts has (for the past 1000 years or so) been funded and supported by the cultural elite, but that doesn't reflect the primary reason the arts is of such importance to a community and culture.

It is a form of expression, it provokes imagination, provides points of reflection, comfort, a counterpoint, a statement a declaration, a dedication. It is the means of our very existence, it keeps us stimulated, it's spiritual even to the athiest, it gives us reason to keep plowing forward and remain optimistic in these times of great uncertainty.

The following text is from Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country

If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts is not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You have created something. (1)


And the funny thing is, even this blog posting is a form of expression - and it might just keep me going a little while longer.
1. Vonnegut, Kurt. A Man Without A Country, Seven Stories Press: New York, 2005. 24.

April 22, 2006

Tutto Ku performance 21-4-06

I played a humble little gig (2 hours!) last night at the Tutto Ku lounge bar. It was a humble little crowd of friends and strangers, though a good night was had by all. (Photos by Edith Pedler.)


3.Almost Everything
4.Looking For Astronauts (The National)
5.Daughters Of The Soho Riots (The National)
6.Mysterious Vision
7.Temptation (Tom Waits)
8.Broken Piano
9.Mona Lisa (Grant Lee Phillips)
10. Little Fat Baby (Sparklehorse)
11. Valentine's Day
12 Raspberry Beret (Prince)
13. Solotaire
14. Losing Heart
15. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bob Dylan)
16. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Bob Dylan)
17. Discipline
18. Melanchol
19. So Little In Between
20. Easy Tears

Tyndall Assembly :: Concert 3

The third Tyndall Assembly concert on Thursday 20th April featured new works by Hidden Village and myself, as well as a performance of John Cage's Imaginary Landscape #4 for multiple radios. The latter was definitly the highlight for me...

A DAT recording of the concert was made, and I will be posted some mp3's on the Tyndall Assembly webpage in the near future.

Next concert is Thursday 27th April, 8pm.


Hidden Village (Seb Tomczak & Lauren Sutter)
To Stare At The Sun - for Gameboy.
I Smile And You My Umbrella -for water surface and Gameboy Advance.

Tristan Louth-Robins
Pole Shift - for Csound and tape.

John Cage
Imaginary Landscape #4 (1951) - for multiple radios.
Players included: Luke Altman, Tyrell Blackburn, Tristan Louth-Robins, Lauren Sutter, Tim Swalling, Seb Tomczak and Sonia Wilke.

All photos: Tristan Louth-Robins.

Rehearsal of John Cage's 'Imaginary Landscape #4' for multiple radios. (Clockwise from left: Seb Tomczak, Lauren Sutter, Tyrell Blackburn, Sonia Wilke, Luke Altman and Tim Swalling.) My radio is on the white table, I'm not in the picture as I was taking the shot.

Hidden Village (Seb Tomczak & Lauren Sutter) rehearse a work for water surface and Gameboy Advance; "I Smile And Hand You My Umbrella".

Hidden Village performing "I Smile And Hand You My Umbrella".

Performance of John Cage's 'Imaginary Landscape #4'. Tristan Louth-Robins (foreground) and Tim Swalling (seated).

April 18, 2006

Research Progress 2.0

Unfortunately I haven't really had any time to do anything really related to my Masters research over the past week as I've been sick (again), and been rushing to finish off my submissions for ACMC.

April 17, 2006

Code & tea for a rainy day...

I have just rediscovered the inherent joy of Csound!

Either that, or I'm just trying to procrastinate on an impending ACMC paper submission tomorrow.

Anyway, I'll post some audio from this little jaunt in the next day or so.

Below is a picture of a cup that my girlfriend bought for me the other day. It's my little storm in a teacup (ho ho.)

April 13, 2006

Solo acoustic gig at Tuto Ku

Yes, I am playing two acoustic sets next Friday (21st April) at the Tuto Ku bar (downstairs Dunstan Playhouse.) Starts 8pm/ free entry/ happy hour drinks.

Hope to see you there.

April 12, 2006


Burr(ow) (2006) - for 2 or more instrumental voices.

A performance outline is currently being written, I will post the draft score in the next few days.


1. a rough sounding of the sound esp. with a uvular trill, a whirring sound - such as a telephone ringing tone or the sound of cogs turning.

2. a rough edge or ridge left on an object by the action of a tool or machine.


1. exclamation.


1. a hole or tunnel dug by a small animal as a dwelling.


For the love of vinyl - furstyle

April 10, 2006

DIY Tape Return: 1st Attempt FAILED

It started off with great promise and a rush of blood to the head, but unfortunatly my first attempt at constructing a tape return has failed miserably.

The idea started with a sketch in my notebook (see below), and I was immediatly convinced that it was possible to create a tape return using my Tascam 424 Portastudio and an old Panasonic tape deck/amplifier.

As you can see by this crude representation, it should have worked, but then I realised that a inherent function of the Panasonic tape deck (or all tape decks for that matter) was getting in the way: that is, the erase head - it had be dealt with:

As soon as the erase head had been violently removed from the deck, I realised that I could have prevented it from functioning by placing some black tape over the head. Now I have a tape deck without an erase head - which is unique in a way.

The connections were then made:

TASCAM 424 output (via tape sends 1&2) > PANASONIC Aux input.
PANASONIC output (via stereo phones jack) > TASCAM 424 Mic/Line inputs.

The tape that I loaded into the PANASONIC (w/o erase head) had a series of short piano motifs recorded to it before hand. The tape in the TASCAM 424 was blank.


I had hoped that when I hit record/play on the PANASONIC, the signal from the piano tape would be recorded by the blank tape in the TASCAM 424, this would allow me to affect the signal return to the PANASONIC by using the TASCAM's 4-band EQ, tape speed and pitch control. Unfortunatly, the design of the record/playback mechanism in the PANASONIC deck prevented the piano tape to be heard simultaneously whilst the Aux signal (from the TASCAM) was being recorded to the same tape. That's a pretty complicated explanation, but to keep it short - it didn't work. Back to the black book - maybe there's something on the net.

April 09, 2006

Research Progress 1.04

It's about time I posted something with a reasonably strong relation to my Masters research.

[n.b: I am currently fighting off a nasty cold, so I apologise for any mistakes that may be caused by faltering vision, lack of sleep and a persistant cough.]

This posting will summarise current points of departure in the research.



The research is concerned with the American composer, Alvin Lucier (1931-).


At the heart of Lucier's work is the phenomena of acoustic sound and space. The objective of Lucier's work is to direct the listener's attention to such phenomena in specific situations and envrionments. Therefore, his work does not restrict itself to the concert hall - as in certain cases - works can be specified or applied to spaces such as rooms, corridors, chambers, vessels and the outdoor environments.


Alvin Lucier's works are often regarded not so much as musical compositions, but more as a series of scientific studies. But whereas the goal of science is explanetory, the goal of Lucier's work is revelatory. This is expressed in Lucier's philosophy and aesthetic - making the listener aware of sounds and their surrounding environment. Also, in a majority of his works, Lucier makes a concerted effort to remove his own self-expression as a composer from his works in composition and performace. This approach ensures the philisophical meaning of his work remains the central focus for the listener, overriding any subjective meaning the work might have.


Alvin Lucier uses various technologies to externalise his conceptions and ideas relating to sound and space. Technologies such as tape machines, equalisation, synthesisers, amplifiers and loudspeakers are employed in ways to transmit a work to the listener. Importantly, technology is not necessarily the focus of attention in Lucier's work, it is the means of a technical process that would otherwise be impossible to realise without such technology.


I Am Sitting In A Room (1970)

Queen Of The South (1972) - a description is given in an earlier blog posting (see archive.)



Though Lucier is of central focus to the research, from the outset I wished to incorporate a variety of composers and writers whose thoughts which relate to aspects of Lucier's craft (such as acoustic phenomena and space) might offer greater insights into the work of Alvin Lucier.

Currently I am reading texts by the following composers and writers:

John Cage - Silence
The quintessential Cage text - dealing with many facets of sound, silence, experimental music and the avante garde.

R. Murray Schafer - The Tuning Of The World
This has become an essential reading, taking a largely holistic view of acoustic phenomena and sound, selected chapters illustrate the nature of soundscapes, perception, morphology, noise and acoustic design. A term of Shafer's which has become a staple of my own growing vernacular is the: 'Soniferous Garden'.

Robin Minard - Silent Music
As I worked with Robin Minard during the festival period in March, his influence has become very profound - particularly in areas of acoustic space and sound installation. This book is an essential companion to my research.

Alvin Lucier & Sam Simon - Chambers
For a couple of years I was certain I was the only student borrowing this book from our music library, now it seems fellow students have been turned onto the work of Lucier. I am currently awaiting delivery (via Germany) of Lucier's book of scores/articles/interviews: Reflexions (due for arrival in May.) In the meantime, this collection of scores and interviews dating from 1965 to 1977 is a permenant fixture in my reading and referencing.


As this is an ongoing blog posting, corrections, annotations and additions will be made over the next week. A new research blog will appear next week.

April 06, 2006

John Cage's 'Imaginary Landscape #4'

Imaginary Landscape #4
by composer John Cage will be performed at the upcoming Tyndall Assembly concert on Thursday 20th April. The work is for many radios, with players alternating the frequency and volume throughout the performance. As a score for the work is difficult to locate, so I have decided to interpret the outline of the work and apply specific conditions for the Tyndall performance:

- All players select a fundamental frequency (such as 728 KHz) which they may return to from time to time (as a point of reference.)

- Players may choose the same frequency as each other, which may lead to unsion during performance.

- Players are encouraged to alternate volume levels and frequency as much as they wish throughout performance.

- Players should consider silence.

Tyndall Assembly site

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