Modernist and Postmodernist Arts of Noise, Part 2: From the Clifton Hill mob to Chamber Made Opera’s Phobia
Edith Cowan University
This paper will continue to trace negotiations outlined in Part 1 of the music/noise dichotomy as expressed in modernist and postmodernist works.1 Drawing connections with the trajectory of "glitch" in popular music since the 1970s. The paper will examine a number of key ways in which the music/noise dichotomy has been addressed as a borderline dispute between, for example, the embodied and the disembodied, the scored and the unscored, the accidental and the intentional, sense and nonsense, culture and nature. Two key figures from the highly influential group of sound artists who came together at Melbourne's Clifton Hill Community Centre during the 1970s are Warren Burt and Chris Mann. They collaborated on "Subjective Beats Metaphor" (1983), which plays with biological vocoders and electronic voice manipulation, illuminating constructions such as subjectivity, accent and syntactical meaning. Chamber Made Opera's recent production, "Phobia" (2004), is a startling tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" and Hollywood noise artists, or sound effects teams, achieving a mesmeric amalgamation of music theatre, performance art and "physical theatre" in which "noises off" mime the disintegration of characters' mental states, sense into nonsense, meaning into materiality.
Presentation from the Inaugural Totally Huge New Music Festival Conference