Posts Tagged ‘experimental’


Catch Replay Marclay at ACMI before the last repeat – February 3rd

January 19, 2008


 Replay Marclay is an exhibition currently showing at ACMI @ Federation Square until Feb 3.  It’s a freebie exhibition showing in the basement and showcases the video/sound art of installation art maestro Christian Marclay.  The exhibition was first conceived in France and is doing the rounds in ACMI until February 3rd. As you walk down the stairs you hear the first exhibition, and at the bottom of the stairs you’ll be handed an exhibition pamphlet by an ACMI employee who must either seriously enjoy experimental sound, be well paid or take it in turns, as there seems to be someone down there to greet you throughout the exhibition. The exhibition is in no particular order important to appreciation but if you’re soothed by chronology there seems to be at least a vague nod to this, with his earliest work close to the stairs.  His work is  experimental and conceptual:  you won’t be looking at some MTV video wall – Marclay works with sound as collage – filming people using instruments and records to make sound – but not using them to make music in any conventional way. He also cuts existing film of sounds – some in quite famous films you’ll recognise – to make experimental arrangements.  Sounds intriguing?  Saying any more will definitely spoil the experience a little so to know more escape January’s extreme temperatures (whether it be scorching heat or unexpected rain) and duck into ACMI to take a look fo r yourself. 

The first couple of pieces are interesting insofar as you can see his developing skill and interest in the subject matter of noise bricolage, reassembling sound and vision or focussing on sounds which are not in themselves usually described as ‘musical’ as music.  These themes develop throughout the rest of the exhibition, with several small rooms housing visual and sound pieces of a few minutes each.  

 What is good about Replay Marclay: My personal highlights are ‘guitar drag’ and ‘crossfire’, but telling you too much would possibly change your expectations so I’ll keep this vague but strongly encourage you to see this exhibition even if just for these two spectacular pieces.  Also, it’s free. 

The downside: the early work is a little dodgy in many ways , although it does show his development it has little resonance in comparison to later work.  You might, however, get some ‘daft art for arts sake New York improvisation’ effect from these early pieces. No matter: it probably was daft art for art’s sake but it certainly lead Christian Marclay in more interesting directions later so – art on, Mc Duff!


Melbourne’s own Planets Suite: Feb 08: Klang und Raum – experimental music at the Planetarium

January 10, 2008

Looking at the stars isn’t just for geeks, is it?  How many of you, when you think of Melbourne’s Planetarium, have wished you could see a concert in there? OK maybe not too many, but it has always been my first thought, or at least the second thought after WOW! Planets! WOW!

Coming up in early February 08, we’ve that very chance, courtesy of the Liquid Architecture (electronic music yearly fest) people, as they bring Germany’s Robert Henke aka Monolake together with locals Nat and Steve Law and more in a night called Klang und Raum. It is a night of experimental/electronic music, especially written with a venue like the Planetarium in mind or written for the planetarium.  It will be accompanied by visual artists Sonia Leber and David Chestworth.

If you appreciate experimental electronica and love the concepts around exploring deep space, and the performing space of the Planetarium – you shouldn’t miss this! Tickets on sale now.







 $27 full / $18 concession.

 All tickets from Green Tix –

 On February 2nd 2008 there will be an evening of electronic music and projections presented at the Melbourne Planetarium. This will be a surround sound multi channel performance by local artists and an overseas guest, Robert Henke.  Full dome projections will be presented by Robert as well as Sonia Leber  and David Chesworth.  The concert will commence 8 pm sharp and conclude at about 10.30pm with a 20 minute interval. Robert Henke will play for about 60 minutes in the second part of the program.

More info about the performance:

Robert Henke – performing Layering Buddha with full dome projections.

About the work:
You can read about Robert Henke here: and you can read about Layering Buddha here:

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

 presenting Almost Always Everywhere Apparent (fragments) ~ a special live performance of their recent installation work

 About the work:  Almost Always Everywhere Apparent is a sound and structure project for  the vast exhibition spaces at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.  Sonia and David were the recipients of the 2007 Helen Macpherson Smith Commission and their project referenced both Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon  model prison design and the Cathedral as two architectural apparatuses with a surprising aspect in common: both rely on an unseen, all-seeing observer and both use voices in interesting ways. Here at the Planetarium, this project is transposed into another architectural  space: the boundless canopy of the domed ceiling of Planetarium.

The Mutagen Server: The Mutagen Server are Ollie Olsen and Steve Law.

 Ollie and Steve have been collaborating in Melbourne since 1993  performing live at endless parties and experimental music events. Ollie and Steve are well known to those interested in experimental music in Melbourne.

 About the work:  This will be a rare opportunity for Ollie and Steve to present their  music in a high quality surround environment (as well as being one of the few opportunities they have had to perform together). Both have been exploring gradually evolving textural works in recent times and look forward to generating a hybrid of their different approaches to creating multi-faceted soundworlds. The work to be performed on the night is still in progress, so the audience can expect a performance rich in dynamics and timbral variation, as well as the unexpected of course.

 Nat.  Nat Bates is a sound artist, festival director and a teacher in the field of media arts.

About the work:  Drawing inspiration from Bernard Parmegiani’s musique concrète
masterpiece La Création du Monde nat’s performance at the Planetarium  will also be an expression of the cosmic beginnings of planet earth through gradual introductions and transformations of fragments of sound which mutate and coalesce into warm, buzzing timbres and aqueous percolations. However, instead of applying the musique concrète echnique of creating hallucinatory sound without revealing the cause, at’s “ROCKreation of the World” is composed entirely of samples from iconic classic rock songs.


Metropolis Books and Music – Swanston Street, Melbourne

January 5, 2008

Metropolis Books and Music (website here) is tucked away in Curtin House on Swanston Street in the city.  It’s just a couple of doors up from record store Collectors Corner, and is above beloved watering hole Cookie by a couple of floors.  Curtin House is becoming quite the culture-consumption nexus, what with food and drink (Cookie), burlesque and performance (The Toff in Town) and clothing, jewellery, books and music on level 3, including Metropolis. 
Some people might remember the days when Metropolis was in St Kilda, and for those who do the city store will need little introduction as the basic ideas behind the curation of materials on offer are the same.  For those who don’t:  Metropolis is divided into two parts: part one is a bookshop centred broadly around The Arts:  film, graphic design, music, photography, visual art, music and cult crafts.   From small colourful gifty-books about pretty nonsense  (most book shops have these, but Metropolis’ selection are prettier, odder and often locally produced) to impressive hardbacks on architecture, film directors eg Tim Burton, David Lynch, typography, photography and much more.   If you’re after a present or are a little light on the pocket, they also stock fantastic cards and postcards – eg ‘hard boiled’ crime covers on postcards, local artists work, indian kitsch and many more.  
In the other part of the store is Metropolis music, sourcing some truly obscure sounds.  A large experimental section includes an admirably large amount of vinyl LPs, featuring much Sun O))), industrial artists, breakcore, some field recordings and more.  New York No Wave rereleases, ambient, psychedelia and indie classics are also on offer – again many on cd – plus the occasional tshirt or other paraphernalia.  
Both sections sell gig tickets for numerous events, many at The Toff In Town one floor below.
The best thing about Metropolis:  many, many pretty things.  I particularly like the cult film section, but am impressed by the solid selection in visual art, photography, textiles… also the experimental music section which, since the closure of synaesthesia records, may be the most contemporary experimental available over the counter (new, particularly).
The downside: can there be a down side to great books and music?  It would be fantastic if it were open the same hours as Cookie and Toff – late night book and music browsing would be ideal.  
Metropolis Bookshop
Level 3 Curtin House
252 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000

ph: 03 9663 2015
fax: 03 9639 0024

Opening hours:
Mon – Thurs: 10 – 6
Fri: 10 – 7
Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 12 – 5
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