greywing - ex machina (live recording)
Original Creative Work
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
An important thematic strand in GreyWing performances has been music featuring field recordings, images and other data from the natural environment. Ex Machina shifts this focus towards the anthropogenic soundworld of machines and the mechanical. The six works in this concert span 50 years of engagement with essential compositional issues of art/artifice, natural/synthetic, representational/abstract and music/noise through the juxtaposition of musical performance, sonic reproduction and manufactured sound. Californian Robert Erickson was one of the first to directly search for the “music in non-musical sounds” as the inspiration of music with acoustic instruments and electronics. He pioneered the use of analog spectrography to visualise the shapes of complex sound objects. His Nine and a Half for Henry (and Wilbur and Orville) and its sibling Pacific Sirens (performed by GreyWing in September) both employ scores hovering between traditional notation and a spectrogram. In the digital era, Peter Ablinger is perhaps the most obvious living heir to John Cage’s embrace of all sound – especially noise. Ablinger developed the concept of “Phonorealism” exploring the fidelity of sound reproduction as a subject by altering the grain of the grid used to replicate it – like the pixel size of a photograph. Joanna Bailie and James Saunders take almost opposing positions: Bailie reinforcing and then dissipating the illusion of a recording of Trains and Saunders completely stripping electro-mechanical sounds of their physical context in instruments with recordings. Camilla Hannan is renowned for her sound and radiophonic work with recordings of machines and generously agreed to collaborate on a piece for this concert. Dane Yates turns his attention to a simple but very Australian machine – the keg spigot.
Recorded at Old Customs House, Fremantle, Western Australia on 14 November, 2018.
Released November 21, 2018.
Kirsten Smith - flutes
Lindsay Vickery - clarinets/saxophone
Melanie Robinson - cello and micro-cello
Jameson Feakes - electric guitar
Catherine Ashley - harp and electric harp