Monday
Jun302014

New Work: Snowden to be premiered in July/August

For the past few months i've been working on two different iterations of a new series of works captured by the broader banner of Snowden. The complete program note is included below, suffice to say that the works engage with the issues of surveillance brought to public attention by Edward Snowden in 2013.

  • Snowden, for electric guitar and electronics, will be performed by Chris Kotchie at The Bakery on 19 August, 2014 as part of Club Zho
  • Snowden (Eyes In The Sky), for bass clarinet and electronics, will be performed by Dr Lindsay Vickery at Školská 28, Prague on 20 July, 2014 as part of 'Improvising Across Borders' 2014

Program Note:

Like many people I struggled to understand the real-world implications of the revelations made by Edward Snowden during his initial leaks of the data mining activities of the NSA. After all, surveillance of this kind has probably been happening for a while and, if so, my life has been no worse off than before such suspicions were confirmed. I could satisfy myself that I wasn’t giving anyone anything that I considered to be particularly valuable. It wasn’t until several months later, following a change of government and the continued recurrence of media news stories that continued to hark back to the original leaks made by Snowden, that it started to dawn on me the truly awesome significance of the data mining activities of the NSA. As I type this, data pertaining to my electronic activities, in part if not in total, are being harvested by PRISM (or some similar program). The exact contents of this communication are not necessarily of interest; rather the surrounding metadata – the data about data – builds an impression of my electronic activities and consequentially me as an individual. From here the temptation is to fall into conspiracy theory. The reality is that we don’t know what the repercussions of such surveillance can be, but we can assume it is of some value to someone, somewhere. Perhaps we are all too used to, and preoccupied with, uncertainty in our immediate lives following the GFC that we can happily ignore the more vague, poorly defined uncertainty that surrounds the harvesting of metadata by security organisations.

Snowden is a work that engages with this modern day surveillance state. The instrumentalist performs a musical dialogue that is never heard in its undistorted form. The computer monitors his behaviour and reprocesses his performance according to the values and changes of collected metadata – pitch, volume, noise, and brightness. The instrumentalist is close-mic’d, and the musical dialogue is constantly monitored and sampled periodically. This exchange is then reprocessed live into a whirring, textural soundscape, a manifestation of these processes of surveillance. Ultimately, Snowden uses these systems of surveillance in an affirming way – instead of being used to predict behaviour they are used to create music, simultaneously exposing metadata control systems and harnessing them for the good of creating something new and abstract. To make a change we must first understand what we are trying to change, and to that end I hope that Snowden contributes to this ongoing discussion. 

 

Snowden was commissioned by TURA New Music.

Tuesday
May202014

Live performances 2012-2014 now available on Bandcamp

Recently I discovered a host of recordings of my work uploaded by Dr Lindsay Vickery that have been performed at various events over the last few years.

The most recent performance is from the Axis 21 concert earlier this year - Spectral Crossings. My work Threshold for Bass Clarinet and Electronics was selected for the program. Originally premiered by Philip Everall in 2011, this latest encarnations has been reworked into a slightly longer form with revised spectral processing.

Secondly are two performances from the Shock Of The New series in 2012 and 2013. The first is a live performance of The Times We Ran Back Into The Fire I, performed by Chris Kotchie on electric guitar and myself and Jack Moriarty on live electronics. The second is a study for music box and electronics. The work is a live improvisation, where unique feedback networks manipulate the gentle melodies of the music box.

Finally, is a performance of The Place We Used To Hang Out Until We Disappeared II at the Conlon Nancarrow tribute concert in 2012. The performance features the talents of Dr Lindsay Vickery, Lyndon Blue, Matt Cole and myself.

Saturday
Mar152014

CutCommon: The New Generation Of Classical Music

In January I became involved with a wonderful group of fellow music writers, journalists and theorists. In early March our plans to launch a new publication came to fruition and the online publication CutCommon was launched. CutCommon brings an energetic and articulate eye to the world of classical and new music all over Australia. With contributors in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tasmania, CutCommon will be bringing coverage of all the classical music events and happenings that matter most from all over the nation. Be sure to check out the website for the articles, and join our facebook page for updates.

Thursday
Mar062014

Interview with Cat Hope, Artistic Director of Decibel New Music

In 2013 I was commissioned by Decibel New Music to write an original work as part of The WA Composers Project, which saw Decibel reside in the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts for two weeks. I was recently interviewed by Cat Hope regarding the work I wrote for them, titled The Aura Implicit, and the interview can be found here. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the work i've composed and discuss the inspirations and intentions of my work.

Thursday
Dec192013

2013 - In Summary

As 2013 draws to a close it seems timely to reflect on my activity for the year. 2013 has seen me split my time between teaching at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and pursuing creative interests. Its been a big year for me: I've performed internationally with Cycle~ 440 in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, i've had my first commissioned sound art installation thanks to Foodchain and Perth City, and Cycle~ 440 won the WAM Experimental Song Of The Year award. 2014 is shaping up to be a great year, starting with my participation in the AYO Words About Music program in January and, with any luck, the potential to continue my studies overseas. For now though, i've compiled a list of my activities across 2013 (more for my own records than anything else).

LIVE PERFORMANCES:
Guerilla Sessions - 07.01.2013 - Solo
Noizemaschin!! #19 - 29.01.2013 - Solo
DOCKGAVOTTE, Yuno Museum, Osaka - 02.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Miniatures, MIIT House, Osaka - 03.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Hokage, Osaka - 04.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Minamo Tour Support, Nu Things, Osaka - 05.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
UrbanGuild, Kyoto - 08.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
A(n) Arrangement(s), Kosmos Lane Studio and Gallery, Tokyo - 09.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Bliss In The Dark, Next Sunday, Tokyo - 11.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Test Tone, Super-Deluxe, Tokyo - 12.02.2013 - Cycle~ 440
The Cinematic Scores II, Fringeworld - 16.02.2013 - Celestial Excursions
Noizemaschin!! #20 - 26.02.2013 - Solo
Shock Of The New, Spectrum Gallery - 05.04.2013 - Solo
Going Solo, The Moon - 10.07.2013 - Celestial Excursions
Noizemaschin!! #25 - 23.07.2013 - Solo
Conduit Arts, Melbourne - 26.07.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Make It Up Club, Melbourne - 30.07.2013 - Cycle~ 440
New Music Network Mini Series, Sydney - 01.08.2013 - Cycle~ 440
Shock Of The New, Spectrum Gallery - 10.10.2013 - Solo
Noizemaschin!! #28 - 29.10.2013 - Solo
Noizemaschin!! #29 - 26-11-2013 - Celestial Excursions
Noizemaschin!! #30 - 17.12.2013 - Solo

COMMISSIONS AND SELECTIONS:
The Days When Crows Would Watch Us Play II, Drawn From Sound Exhibition, Spectrum Gallery - 28.03.2013 - 12.04.2013
Warning Tones, ZED Digital, Brisbane - Broadcast 10.04.2013
Burning Embers, Transart, Foodchain/City Of Perth - 10.06.2013 - 10.07.2013
The Aura Implicit, Decibel New Music, Western Australian Composers Project, PICA - 05.07.2013 and 06.07.2013
Red River, International Computer Music Conference - 15.08.2013
Lingering Echoes of the Tempest (Cycle~ 440), FBi Radio (Ears Have Ears), Sydney - 29-08-2013
The Aura Implicit, Decibel presents ‘Australian Music Program 2013’, The Audio Art Festival, Karkow, Poland - 24.11.2013
The Aura Implicit, Decibel presents ‘Australian Music Program 2013’, DIG Gallery, Kosice, Slovakia - 25.11.2013

AWARDS:
WAM Song Of The Year (Experimental) - Cycle~ 440