Over the past month or so I've taught myself how to 'play' rocks, stones and pebbles. Inspired by the activities of the acoustic shaman Akio Suzuki, I've found that these materials can create some very interesting sonic results when the right discipline and focus of listening is applied in conjunction with a resonant space. I've made some audio recordings over the past couple of weeks, but my server is giving me grief - hopefully the situation will be rectified in the next couple of days, with some description of my playing techniques. Stay posted.
January 30, 2007
January 23, 2007
On the weekend I checked out Jason Sweeney's "Making Sound Work" sound art workshop at Headquarters Studio in Richmond, invited by Jason to drop by and talk about sound art and myself for a bit.
The workshop attracted just under a dozen participants from broad artistic backgrounds, including two guys who came all the way from Melbourne for the event! The workshop kicked off on Saturday, and I dropped by on Sunday afternoon to see how things were coming along. The sessions involved participants creating works (as individuals or small groups) with whatever materials were around, this included vintage synths, guitars, tape machines, record players, samplers, effects pedals and microphones. The works performed were more or less improvised, with a compositional and performative structure worked out beforehand (which included loose instructions by Jason.) The results were varied though mostly enjoyable with plenty of creativity, spontaneity and invention from the participants. In fact, some of the best works I heard were from the participants who were either unfamiliar or had some trepidation about using a particular instrument or device. As a result, there was refreshingly little ego in sight.
I talked briefly about how sound art is regarded as an artistic practice, giving examples of my own work as well as commenting on some the performances I had heard that afternoon. I mentioned that the predominant nature of the works (which were conceptual and process driven) had a strong tie to the aesthetic of sound art, and how the absence of a formal language (i.e. musical) dictated the works in terms of being inter-mediatory, spontaneous and in some cases, specific to particular space or object. I also mentioned how pleasing it was to not see a single laptop in sight!
I did contribute one work later in the afternoon - walking very slowly from one end of the gallery space to the other using an egg-shaker to articulate the resonances of each room.
Here are some pictures I took:
January 16, 2007
Therefore, The Soniferous Garden will only contain posts which are related (in one way or another) to my practice, The Soniferous Amphx will be my personal blog, containing musings, photos, said recipes and lists, and anything else that seems extranneous.
Rampaging journalistic pundits seem to be compiling list after list on Bowie at the moment as the lovely old codger has just turned sixty. I've decided to get in on the filthy action and compile a list of my 25 favourite Bowie songs. You may find some unfamiliar and alarming selections here. After all there are two songs each from his peroxide yuppie phase (Let's Dance) and the start of his WTF phase (Tonight).. but who doesn't go for pop trash now and again?
- 01. Fashion - Scary Monsters (1980): contains third greatest guitar solo of all time.
- 02. Always Crashing In The Same Car - Low (1977): contains fifth greatest guitar solo of all time.
- 03. China Girl - Let's Dance (1983): contains twelth best middle-8 of all time.
- 04. Art Decade - Low (1977): nice bubbly synth and synthestic strings.
- 05. "Heroes" - "Heroes" (1978): Eno's wall of sound that builds up.
- 06. Golden Years - Station To Station (1976): funky, chunky and melodica.
- 07. Sunday - Heathen (2002): glitchy, Scott Walker-ish, then those drums kick in at the end.
- 08. The Man Who Sold The World (1971): GREATEST guitar riff of all time.
- 09. Sound And Vision - Low (1977): Blue, blue electric blue...
- 10. Loving The Alien - Tonight (1984): great song, but has the most OTT video of Dav's career.
- 11. Seven Years In Tibet - Earthling (1997): goodness, what a beastly wall of guitar!
- 12. The Heart's Filthy Lesson - 1.Outside (1995): goodness, what a beastly NIN omage!
- 13. Space Oddity - Space Oddity (1969): lovely and quaint, 400 years ahead of it's time.
- 14. I'm Afraid Of Americans - Earthling (1997): angular.
- 15. New Killer Star - Reality (2003): those chord changes.
- 16. Bring Me The Disco King - Reality (2003): a jazz number with origins in Weimar, Berio, Mingus and Neptune.
- 17. Buddha Of Suburbia - Buddha Of Suburbia (1994): nice ditty.
- 18. Ziggy Stardust - ZS And The Spiders From Mars (1972): oh, you know.
- 19. Blue Jean - Tonight (1984): pure pop smut, veritable sonic pornograhy.
- 20. Let's Dance - Let's Dance (1983): pure pop gold.
- 21. Ashes To Ashes - Scary Monsters (1980): [insert superlatives]
- 22. Look Back In Anger - Lodger (1979): nice atmospherics.
- 23. V2-Schnieder - "Heroes" (1978): horn(y).
- 24. Young Americans - Young Americans (1975): oh matron it swings.
- 25. Rebel Rebel - Diamond Dogs (1974): another decent riff.
Since leaving my post at Adelaide University as a failed post-graduate, I've been struggling to regain some confidence in my writing. Therefore, with the Bienniale of Electronic Art in Perth (BEAP) coming up in Setember this year, I thought I would submit an abstract on the CADE conference theme of 'stillness'. My abstract is a point of departure for examining sound and stillness, titled: 'Auditory Stillness as Phenomena.'
My writing skills are still rusty as you may notice, and hopefully it all doesn't seem too convoluted.
It can be read here, any feedback would be kindly appreciated.
January 15, 2007
Right, time for a strong drink. The external website pages have been finished after much delay! You can browse them by clicking the links above, or if you're feeling lazy then just click here . However, being the mild dyslexic that I am, there may be some errors on the page - so if you stumble upon any please be gentle. Also, I've been having some problems uploading audio samples, and at present only the clip for Graupel is up.
January 01, 2007
It is a new year, thus resolutions are to be fulfilled. Firstly, the external website has nearly been refurbished, I would have finished it off in the last couple of days but socialising, drinking and R+R have been wooing me of late. Secondly, I will start writing again since I have some confidence back at long last. Thirdly, I find a job in a bookstore after leaving my position at ANAT in two weeks time. Fourthly, I'm getting a haircut eventually...
...the latter resolution might help me with job prospects outside of the arts.