Sam Gillies (Solo)

Studies for Laptop (2011-2014)
Released: January, 2015

In 2011 I started the Noizemaschin!! concert series, a monthly event of noise making that pulled eight artists on stage to create and experiment in front of an audience without the pressure and expectation of a more conventional 'club' gig. It was during this time that I started developing my own approach to laptop performance, often relying on improvisation to navigate my way through different processing structures, allowing the electronics themselves to help inform the music.

While my approach to more 'composed' music is often highly controlled, laptop performance has been an outlet for me to concentrate on creating in the moment. The pressures of live performance are completely different to that of the studio, and so during my time with Noizemaschin!! I was interested in exploring how my improvised laptop performances would develop in this live setting. Many of these experiments, by myself and others, have been documented thoroughly through three years of audio recordings over at the Noizemaschin!! bandcamp page and are available for free download now.

Studies for Laptop (2011-2014) is an edited collection of works realised during this time, musical studies for live laptop performance that were created in the moment as a reaction to the electronic environment. These are, in every sense of the word, studies. But they are also pieces that I feel comfortable sharing as a representation of what performing live is to my music, and as a document of how I have arrived to my practice today.

 

Warning Tones
Released: March, 2013

"Warning Tones" was written for Back Lick on Zed Digital by Sam Gillies over February and March 2013. "Warning Tones" is intended to be listened to as a single, continuous work.

"Warning Tones" came about after I had finished a substantial program of chamber music works at the end of 2012 and a tour through Japan with my piano/laptop duo Cycle~ 440 in early 2013. Returning to Perth I wanted to work again with the medium of field recordings, something that had been absent in much of my work in the last 8 months or so. The result is "Warning Tones", the first of several extended works that seeks to connect with ideas of time and place primarily through environmental recordings.

"Warning Tones" is a return to a narrative idea that I was exploring around 2008 primarily through a more visual medium. I would take snippets of conversation and interviews relating to different stories and recombine them to create the impression that they are related to one another. In "Warning Tones" the conversations and interviews relate to natural disasters and events that have happened in a number of different places and attempts to re-frame them as a commentary on a single event, stripping away the event itself and focusing on the human reaction to any given disaster.

 

Music For Computers
Released: January, 2012

Constructed entirely from raw data files, Music For Computers explores a rich variety of noisy sonic territory.

A concept piece of sorts, Music For Computers explores the creation of music with the language of machines for the ears of humans, resulting in a variety of harsh noise textures and delicate pulsing glitches across it's 18-minute run time.

"There’s beauty in this noise: an elegant, contrary beauty, the type often noticed by those who cherish the discarded and overlooked. To love what others consider unlovable is a rare gift; to present it to others in such a way as to gain their appreciation is even rarer, and that’s exactly what the artist manages to accomplish here."
– Richard Allen, A Closer Listen

"Gillies produces a wide range of sounds and feels that occasionally break into brilliance ... There’s a language at play here that is distant and hard to unpick, but offers strangely satisfying rewards if you’re persistent about it, like thumbing through a novel written in Cyrillic."
– Alex Griffin, Life Is Noise