‘The Sound of Everything’ installation/performance as part of my Artist in Residence at Thirning Villa: Sydney.
Thanks to Ruth Allen for the gorgeous back drop of ‘permeable’ and for the resonating vessels. Thanks also to the team of image makers. Nina Kourea, Suzie Wix, Selwyn Hunt and Carolyn Nowaczyk Film edited and sound by Me- M.Loucataris. For more information on my residency and on the project – see a number of posts below as well as my residency blog http://artistinresidencashfield.blogspot.com
I am in one of those in between moments : Another big project finished : deciding which focus to bring to the fore : allowing ideas to filter : sifting through my consciousness : I am working on the documentation of “The Sound of Everything” Here is the start:
A frame drum piece- Stills taken from a video shot by Carolyn Nowaczyk.
Photos by Nina Kourea of Ruth Allen’s installation for “The Sound of Everything”. I spoke, danced and drummed infront of these water filled plastic bags. I then took a pin and made small holes in the bags leaving the sound of water as it landed on the ground. Everything is permeable- The sound we make is dependent on our form- and the sounds we make change our form. We are sound : ) Photos by Nina Kourea
an ongoing project
music, dance, film, installation, sound design
creating spaces to trans – form in
7.30 pm : 24th of March : Thirning Villa : Ashfield, Sydney
sound- form- movement
ancient traditions – new technologies
improvisation – consciousness – integration
creative collaboration – shared visions- collective action
Phase 1 : installation mode : a number of different spaces will be set up with sound and vision- One of these will incorporate live sound and vision making featuring resonating vessels made by key collaborator installation/glass artist Ruth Allen.
Phase 2 : performance mode : the performance of a number of my songs and a piano piece, with accompanying projected images and special guest musicians, including the wonderful Noah Hampson and Kevin White.
Phase 3 : improvisation/ jam mode : with as many of my improvising collaborators who are in the mood : )
Read more on the project HERE
There is something very evocative about this video. I shot it lying on my bed one very hot afternoon at Thirning Villa, Sydney, where I am currently Artist in Residence. I was so tired my rational brain had well and truly passed out. My senses ruled. The patterns in the shadows, the pulsing change in the light generated by the hot westerly breeze, the air on my skin, the sound of the blind breathing………..this is all that existed. Balancing our capacity for sensory reception with our ability to analyze, is the day to day challenge of being human. Being conscious in a way that engages both hemispheres of our brain…. that is neither purely creative nor purely analytical.
Integration is the fundamental principle in all of my work.
The challenge, as ever, is to work out how to articulate simple key ideas clearly in a way which allows for the often contradictory nature of reality. How to highlight perspectives, ways of seeing things that is true to a multifarious way of perceiving the world.
I am currently focusing on …………… What it means to be an artist- performer-composer-dancer- media artist.
Windows and doors / images of frames-boundaries are recurring themes…… A metaphor for existing between creative genres- between cultures- between genders- between time………..
Encompassing traditions and innovation- finding the essence of what it is we seek through performance.
What is it we seek through creating and sharing music/dance/performance/creative contexts? Connection is one of the main answers.
Connection to what? Connection to ourselves, to each other, to our environment and to spirit. Spirit? The substance which IS….. All. Beyond words, time and quotidian understanding. That which we know to be true while not being able to express it. That which we attempt to express through art, poetry, music, dance. That which is beyond reason, incomprehensible.
What is the role of technology?
How much do we do alone as artists? How much do we do in collaboration? What is the balance between solo practice, collaborative practice, community engagement?
How do we share our work with the world? How is the internet changing this? What are we doing when we create web worlds?
Where do ideas come from ? How are they shared? Do they exist between co -creators? Do they have their own substance? Is the connection we share with other artists a kind of love? What are the bounds of creativity? Improvisation? Collaboration? How can the mechanisms we have developed as independent collaborative artists be put to use in solving the social and environmental issues we face?
How can ancient forms of creative improvisation between dancers and musicians be harnessed with new technologies and/or with group communication, collaboration and decision making in non arts based contexts?
Artists/ performers are networkers and miracle workers. They pass information between groups of people. They organise gatherings. They create a means for people to feel connected to a kind of clan, joined by a shared experience of performance. They are often working to create miracles with small budgets, not enough time and the minimum of resources. They often work anarchically handing leadership to who ever suits the given task in a given moment. They make decisions on the fly, find solutions to all sorts of problems to create a shared vision, to manifest an idea, to bring a fantasy into an experienceable context.
These are all incredibly valuable skills in a world faced with the need to transform itself and our relationship to each other and resources. How can we share these skills with the broader community?
These are just some of the questions floating around my mind which I am attempting to shape into a form which can be explored as part of a series of forums I am planning to host as part of my residency. It is exciting and yet also somewhat overwhelming to attempt to place these ideas into a coherent framework. They are the things closest to my heart. If you share an interest in these matters…. please… feel free and be brave to respond… here … now …. in what ever way you choose : ) I would love to hear your thoughts : )
For more photos of Thirning Villa check out my Flikr sit here.
I am artist in Residence through Ashfield Council in Sydney at the historic house Thirning Villa until the end of March. If you have ever had a desire to chew the fat with me about art, music, dance, what it means to be an artist. If you have ever wanted to sing, dance, play and create in response to ideas about the relationship between sound, form and movement. If you are interested in improvisation, collaboration, performance as emergent epistemologies, traditional eastern performance modalities, contemporary media arts practice, creativity as a fundamental way of being for all not some……..then…. come and explore with me….. I am drawing up a plan now with a series of events…. atleast some of it will happen online so you can still participate from a distance…… Looking Forward to exploring ‘The Sound of Everything’
I recently worked on a project with Glass/Installation artist Ruth Allen. She made me a ‘resonating vessel’. A glass vessel based on the idea of playing resonance percussively. The vessel is sung into and then i use my hand to shape and play with the resonance. We had the chance to explore the idea for her opening at the Glassworks in December. I did some movement/performance as part of it too as well as doing the sound design/music for the installation. Below are some images from it taken by Angus Kendon. I am looking forward to developing the project further.
Quite a number of my instrumental pieces and some songs are being used in this exhibit by collaborator and friend Sarah Moss at the Powerhouse museum this month. I also designed a surround sound soundscape to go with it. Check it out if you can.
This is a clip off my phone. An installation piece I did the sound for with Ruth Allen at the Frankston Arts Centre. It is in a window box display and can be seen by the car focussed culture who drive past. The sound was an accidental throw together of the sounds: from the street including some very well timed truck noises, the sounds that were actually being pumped onto the street of mine, plus an overlay of some of the sounds i did for the installation (bowed piano) and a layer of Brian Siskind’s (FOGNODE) lap steel to top it off. He has a gorgeous EP, all lap steel, called “porch music” check it out HERE
There is a lot of dissonance going on in this accidental 3 min phone vid mix job …but somehow in a rather soothing way.
Excellent to reconnect with talented and visionary glass/installation artist Ruth Allen this month through an installation at the Frankston Arts Centre in Melbourne. I have sent down 3 sound pieces which will be pumped out onto the streets of Frankston. Two are old pieces written for other projects but which suit the nature of the work and one was designed especially for this installation using sounds made by playing various bits of Ruth’s glass work. Here are some snippets of the sound.
For more information on Ruth Allen’s work go here.
You can also see some video snippets of our previous collaborations under the name GENERATE with dancer Tammy Meeuwissen. Look under video section for “the dome” & “SKIN-LESS” here. It is a flash site with video and audio documentation of my collaborative cross artform work 1998-2008. It takes a few minutes to load but its interactive and fun to explore.
It has always been a delight to collaborate with Ruth Allen as her mind is a fire of ideas and she is a powerhouse in terms of manifesting the unlikely verging on impossible. Working with her creatively is working magic. Bringing the underlying beauty, asymmetrical complexity and resonance of the world to the fore for all to see. She also introduced me to Buckminster Fuller whose ideas and work have always been a great inspiration for us both.
We will be doing a “meet the artist” event on the 21st of February. Love Melbourne!
Brian Eno is in Sydney curating Luminous. A festival of music, light, ideas and performance. Having decided to stay home for the winter, instead of a Europe adventure, I have treated myself to a number of events for the festival.
Jon Hassel and Maarifa Street was the first. Totally sublime………..
Here is the moon being dwarfed by Eno’s ever changing projections on The Opera House.
Here is a link to the web cam of the Opera House http://luminous.sydneyoperahouse.com/sails.aspx
Eno’s ’77 million paintings’ an installation with sound and slowly evolving images is gorgeous and one could happily inhabit it for days and come out the other end significantly closer to resolve.
Last night was a “conversation” between Brian Eno and Jon Hassell. Which was funny, intelligent, inspiring, affirming and hmmmmmmmmmm slightly disturbing in terms of the usual questionable white male gender and indigenous politics still being present ….even in these the most admired of my creative thinkers. Over all though wonderful to be present for it.
This was their starting point.
“We both come from an artistic frame of mind which assumes that art is in some sense practiced philosophy, that the decisions an artist makes aren’t separate from the world view that he holds and that art can be seen as a ‘working out’ of social/philosophical/cultural ideas. ” Eno 2009, Sydney Opera House
There is much I could say on this as it really is a very lived reality for me which is both wonderful and fraught with difficulty, as so many of these ‘creative’ decisions seem to be at odds with prudence. Prudence a word which i have been exploring the meaning of on a daily basis of late. I digress, I digress, I digress…. I could go on….. but i won’t for now ……….heading off to Canberra to engage in 2 creative collaborations with 2 old friends……more on that later… I am blessed!
Definition from Wikipedia
Prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in practical affairs. It is classically considered to be a virtue. Virtue is the ability to judge between virtuous and vicious actions, not only in a general sense, but with regard to appropriate actions at a given time and place. Although prudence itself does not perform any actions, and is concerned solely with knowledge, all virtues had to be regulated by it. Distinguishing when acts are courageous, as opposed to reckless or cowardly, for instance, is an act of prudence, and for this reason it is classified as a cardinal (pivotal) virtue.
In modern English, however, the word has become increasingly synonymous with cautiousness. In this sense, prudence names a reluctance to take risks, which remains a virtue with respect to unnecessary risks, but when unreasonably extended (i.e. over-cautiousness), can become the vice of cowardice.