Adam Simmons is a composer and sought after woodwind multi-instrumentalist, involved across many different scenes within Melbourne and beyond, performing contemporary jazz, punk, afro-beat, new music, traditional Japanese honkyo-ku, funk and free noise/improv. In 2004, Adam received a Special Award from the Freedman Foundation, facilitating a period of work and study in New York, Germany and Poland. For the 2006 Melbourne Fringe Festival, a special Retrospective of Adam’s work was held – featuring over 200 musicians in 40 configurations over three weeks. In the last twelve months, Adam has premiered major works in Italy, Greece and Australia, toured with Nick Tsiavos to Greece and Estonia, as well as creating and staging the inaugural Festival of Slow Music held in Ballarat in August 2013. Adam has just released a new recording of solo shakuhachi, with another due out soon of Crushing Thatch, a duo with David Brown.
Alexander Garsden is a composer, guitarist and electro-acoustic musician, working in numerous disciplines of exploratory music. Recent work includes commissions from the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Michael Kieran Harvey, Speak Percussion, Golden Fur, and Jessica Aszodi. He performs as soloist of notated and improvised musics, and in a range of other performance contexts in Melbourne and overseas. He teaches through the University of Melbourne and RMIT, and is co-director of the INLAND performance series.
Alice Hui-Sheng Chang’s work focuses solely on developing extended vocal technique as a means for improvisation and communication. Her vocal explorations include sound from varying tension of physical vocal parts, driving air into alternative passages and vibration of calls and breath. The physical sound produced by a mouth and throat organism, under no computer manipulation, is not only for the artist to be fully involved during performance, but also to challenge the listener with an intimate relationship while receiving. The results of these explorations create a delicate world of primal and vulnerable soundscapes.
Callum G’Froerer is a Melbourne-based trumpet player, active in improvised and notated musical settings. He has performed in the USA, Canada, Germany, and Italy, and was a prize-winner at the 2010 Stockhausen Course. He plays in the Phonetic Orchestra, Cathexis, and has performed with the Australian Art Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Camilla Hannan is a sound artist based in Melbourne, Australia who works exclusively with field recordings. She processes these recordings into abstract representations of place and experience. She is interested in ideas of the ‘sonic object’ and sonic abstraction. Camilla has performed and exhibited both in Australia and internationally. She has performed at festivals including Articulating the Medium (San Francisco), and Liquid Architecture (Australia). Her sound installation work has been featured at Instants Chavirés Paris, the Sydney Opera House, San Francisco MOMA, Gertrude Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne and the AC Institute, New York. http://www.camillahannan.com.
Cat Hope is a Western Australian composer, sound artist, performer, songwriter and noise artist. She is a flautist and experimental bassist who plays as a soloist and as part of other groups. She is the director of and performer in Decibel: a group focused on Australian repertoire, the nexus of electronic and acoustic instruments and graphic score realisations. In 2011 Cat won the Inaugural APRA|AMC Award for Excellence in Experimental Music, and In 2014 she is resident at the Peggy Glanville Hicks composers house, recently completing a Churchill Fellowship which included a residency at the Visby International Composers Centre in Sweden.
Cathexis performs music spanning contemporary repertoire, improvisation and performance pieces. Since December 2013 they have created shows at 45downstairs, Abbotsford Convent, and Northcote Town Hall, performing music by Luke Paulding, Cat Hope, Liza Lim, Eres Holz, James Rushford, Beat Furrer. Its members, Peter De Jager (piano/keyboard), Matthias Schack-Arnott (percussion), Callum G’Froerer (trumpets), and Lina Andonovska (flute) are celebrated Melbourne-based performers in the areas of composition, repertoire interpretation, and improvisation. www.cathexis.com.au
Clinton Green’s work has been a mainstay of Australian experimental music since the 1990s. Focused for many years upon new approaches to the electric guitar as a sound generation tool, Green’s current interest is in prepared turntables as dynamic generators of random sound and percussive patterns. He has released numerous recordings and has performed live around Australia, including in festivals such as Liquid Architecture, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Electrofringe. He has also had commissions for installations at the Quebec City Biennial and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Green is also a writer and researcher with an interest in the history of Australian experimental music. His Shame File Music label has released two volumes of the Artefacts of Australian Experimental Music series to critical acclaim.
Darrin Verhagen is a senior lecturer and researcher in multisensory experience at RMIT. He runs the Audiokinetic Experiments (AkE) lab in the Sculpture, Sound and Spatial Practice Studio using motion simulators and 4D cinema seating to create and audit works which explore the relationship between hearing, vision, movement and vibration. His postgraduate research has focused on musical extremes – the delicate instability of lowercase sound for his Masters, the brutality of Noise for his Doctorate. His soundtrack practice features music and sound designs for contemporary dance, theatre, installation, film, television and computer games. He has released over 20 albums of material internationally, traversing a range of styles, and performs his Shinjuku Thief and EPA audiovisual live shows locally and internationally. He was the founder and curator of Dorobo records, which showcased Australian sound art for 15 years.
Ernie Althoff’s experimental-music activities gained momentum in the late 1970s when he became part of Melbourne’s Clifton Hill Community Music Centre. Early explorations with vari-speed cassette players, circuit-bent radios, toys and found objects soon led to the construction of simple sound devices, e.g. aluminium wind-chimes of different timbres, which were used in his performances. In 1981 his first kinetic acoustic ‘music machine’ was exhibited, followed in 1982 by the first of two extensive and ever-changing series of performances, one titled “Ernie builds a machine” and the other titled “Machines and me”. An array of re-appropriated record players, cassette players, oscillating electric fans and a few kitchen appliances provided the motive forces for aleatory percussive textures in all these works. 1988 saw the first of Althoff’s many larger installations, often in art galleries and similar spaces. Also in that year Althoff read about the Baschet brothers’ classification of sound transference i.e. why instruments ‘do what they do’, in the U.S. journal Experimental musical instruments (to which he was a regular contributor) and everything fell into place. With this knowledge, an awareness of the potential for sophistication with often deceptively simple means and materials came to the fore. His work continues.
Greg Wadley is an academic with a long involvement in unusual music. Since joining his first punk band in 1979 he has performed in about 20 groups including the Hi God People, New Waver, Thou Gideon and Tedium. His label Spill released compilations during the 90s and he has done production work on about 300 Australian and international releases. Greg has hosted radio shows on 4ZZZ, 2RSR and 3CR and works in human-computer interaction at the University of Melbourne.
Vocalist, lyricist-composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound-artist, Haco has been recording solo or in groups/projects such as After Dinner, Hoahio, Happiness Proof, Mescaline Go-Go and View Masters since the early ’80s. At her studio, Mescalina, in Kobe, Japan, she has created numerous recordings both as producer and engineer. As a musician and sound-artist, Haco has also given performances and created live installations throughout Japan and the world. With her unique sensibility, Haco has developed her own genre of art, based on principles of post-punk, electroacoustics, the avant-garde, improvisation, post-rock, environmental sound, and technology. Haco also frequently lectures and gives workshops on various sound-related topics. In 2005, her CD Stereo Bugscope 00 was awarded a prize in the digital music category at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria.
Helen Grogan works as an artist and curator in Australia and Europe. She is concerned with performative, temporal and process-based art practice and research across the visual arts and contemporary performance.
Hi God People perform about music with an ever-changing line-up. Penelope Trotter has been practicing mixed media interventionist performance art for seventeen years and is currently exploring Surrealist fantasy fulfillment and its relation to ethics, identity and disguise. Sophie Perillo is a Melbourne based artist, performer and musician who works across the mediums of drawing, collage and physical performance. Jennifer Callaway is a composer, bassist, thereminist and vocalist, interested in raw expression, sub-conscious symbolism, texture and melody via a blend of tinkered virtual sounds, field samples and live instruments. Julian Williams and Greg Wadley also take part. http://spill-label.org/hgp
Joanne Cannon is recognized as one of the worlds most innovative and creative bassoonists. Beginning her musical career as an orchestral musician, Joanne’s desire to propel the bassoon beyond the orchestra steered her into an eclectic range of musical explorations. She has performed, composed, researched and studied across a variety of music traditions and genres including classical and new music repertoire, South Indian Carnatic music, Jazz, free improvisation and computer music including the making and playing of digital musical instruments. Joanne has developed a number of spectacular digital wind controller instruments including the leather Serpentine-bassoon and Contra-monster and is amongst the world’s foremost meta- [modified] instrumentalists and exponents of live signal processing. She is currently undertaking a PhD on digital musical instruments within the department of Computing and Information Systems (CIS), Interaction Design Lab (IDL) University of Melbourne Australia. Website: www.bentleather.com
John Nixon has been variously described as one of Australia’s preeminent ‘high modernists’, visual artist, curator, publisher and ‘(anti-)musician’. Nixon is also leader of The Donkey’s Tail.
Julian Williams has been creating and performing experimental music and theatre for 25 years and has been based in Melbourne since the early 90s. He is known for his performance group the Hi God People as well as for his plays and movement pieces, a long string of solo albums and live shows, and his indie bands Inevitable Orbit, Above Ground Pool, and Solids. His From The Same Mother label has regularly released albums, magazines and compilations.
Justin Heazlewood is an award-winning writer, musician, performer and arts activist. As The Bedroom Philosopher he has released three albums including the ARIA-nominated Songs From The 86 Tram, including Triple J hit ‘Northcote (So Hungover)’, the video for which earned nearly half a million hits. He is a share-household name. As an author, he was a senior writer for Frankie for five years. In June he released his first non-fiction book Funemployed, about being an artist in Australia. Author Neil Gaiman praised his self-published, The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries, as “what all the great rock and roll touring books would have been like, if the people who wrote them had been honest to the point of embarrassment.” Justin is currently working on a series for Radio National based on Funemployed. His TV series Crazy Bastards – a parody of Mad Men set in mid 80′s Australia will screen in June as part of ABC’s Fresh Blood initiative. He lives in Melbourne.
Kate Neal studied early music at the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Performance in Early Music Instruments (recorder). Neal received a NUFFIC scholarship from the Dutch Government in 1998 and moved to the Netherlands to study composition with Louis Andriessen at the Koninklijk Conservatory, and Carnatic (South Indian) music studies at the Sweelink Conservatory, Amsterdam. Neal returned to Australia in 2003, establishing her events company Dead Horse Productions. In August 2005, Neal received a scholarship from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Italy, and in 2006 she was the recipient of the Hephzibah Tintner Fellowship.
Neal is the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including the Albert Maggs Composition Award, International Young Composers’ Meeting, Aspen Music Festival and the Hepzibah Tintner Fellowship. Neal has enjoyed working as an orchestrator and arranger for many pop and rock bands as well as feature and independent films, choreographers and dance companies. At the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Neal worked as a sessional composition teacher and also lectured in Music and Image at the Centre for Ideas in 2004-2007. In 2008 Neal received a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and in 2009 Neal relocated to the USA as a Graduate Fellow to begin a PhD in composition at Princeton University. She remained in residence for four years, creating a substantial body of work.
In June 2013, Neal returned to Australia and began a one-year project as composer in residence for the Four Winds Festival, with new commissions for Shellie Morris and Michelle Nicole in collaboration with indigenous poet Herb Wharton. Her large-scale theatrical work Semaphore was premiered at Arts House, May 2015. Neal’s PhD work, both practical and academic, deals with the notation and incorporation of extra-musical elements within a musical score, such as physical gesture, design, light and choreography.
Kelly Fliedner is an arts writer, curator and Program Curator of West Space. She is also currently part of Next Wave Festival’s Curatorial Advisory Committee, co-editor of upcoming online publications The West Wing and West Space Journal, and is working with Phip Murray conducting a broad qualitative research project outlining the current state of the Australian visual arts sector commissioned by the Australian Council for the Arts. She is completing an Art History Masters in Research at the University of Melbourne, considering the experimental performance, sound, music and interdisciplinary practices of artists working from the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre in Melbourne during the late 1970s and ’80s.
Dr Linda Kouvaras is a musicologist, composer and pianist. Her solo disc is Kouvaras: PianoWorks (on Move Records). She holds a continuing Senior Lecturership at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Her monograph, Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age (2013) is published by Ashgate.
Lloyd Honeybrook is a sonic terrorist/part-time enfant terrible currently wreaking havoc in Melbourne Australia. A deep-seeded distaste for his instrument of choice, the saxophone, coupled with a steadily suffocating diet of death metal, late-period Miles Davis, noisecore and Alvin Lucier has led to the development of the feedbax, a device intended to shred the internal space of the woodwind beast and audience’s earholes alike. His favourite co-conspirators include Sean Baxter, Brendan Walls, Martin Ng, Oren Ambarchi, Robbie Avenaim, John Wiese, Marco Fusinato and Robin Fox, but his best friends are Density, Heterodyning, Making It Up and Brutality. He is the current curator of the Make It Up Club.
Mark Groves has been actively involved in Melbourne’s avant-noise and hard rock underground since arriving in 1999 from Adelaide. He is one third of the Sabbatical collective, which has attempted to document elements of local action and provide performance outlets for local practitioners since 2006. Groves has also contributed voice and electronics to various ongoing locally-based collaborative projects – including Dead Boomers, Dick Threats, Hans Harms, Ratsak, and solo project Von Einem – as well as several short term collaborations with a variety of local fanatics. Past projects include True Radical Miracle, Collapsed Toilet Vietnam, Whitehorse, and solo unit Absoluten Calfeutrail.
Michael Pulsford is a Melbourne artist and musician. He teaches Performance and Live Art at RMIT University’s School of Art, has been an improvising drummer for ten years, and makes the ‘Society for Radiophonic Psychogeography’ radio art show for Dublin’s Curious Broadcast. He was artist-in-residence with Helsinki International Theatre in Finland in 2010 and at L’Abbaye de Noirlac in France in 2012, both times thanks to the Australia Council. He is interested in time, chance, metaphor, chaos, order, restraint, exuberance, subjectivity and what we will do when the oil runs out.
Patrick O’Brien has, over the years, curated music and art events, firstly during his time at Bus projects, then at his gallery/shop and performance space, Sunshine & Grease. He has presented O’Tomorrow. A weekly radio program that balances his love for the popular and the obscure on Melbourne community radio station, 3RRR for the last 5 years. He has developed a broad interest in outsider and minority cultures and feels compelled to preserve and promote those operating outside the commercial and academic spheres. He has played music and noise with several groups of musicians over the years and sometimes feels the need to refer to himself as an artist or a musician.
With over 20 years of international practice and teaching experience, and recognition in the International Who’s Who of Music and Musicians, Paul Doornbusch is regarded as one of Australia’s major players in the electronic and computer music scene. Born in Melbourne Australia, Doornbusch is a composer, sonologist, researcher and occasional performer who works largely with algorithmic composition systems for traditional instruments and electronics. Recent chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music, and other research output pays testament to Doornbusch’s research quality and international standing. Doornbusch has successfully completed the major research project, as composer in residence of the Computer Science department of the University of Melbourne, to reconstruct and document the music played by Australia’s first computer – CSIRAC. This charts a new history of computer music, providing an accessible and cogent overview of a now-pervasive social and technical transformation in how music is mediated.
Well recognised loon around town, Paul Kidney is more an action man than a word man. When performing he barely makes discernible sounds. By day, mild-mannered nurse, by night, freaksound DJ on Ear of the Behearer & front thing for improv/psych/noise collective The Paul Kidney Experience.
Philip Samartzis is coordinator and lecturer in Sound within the School of Art, RMIT where in 2004 he completed a doctorate into surround sound in installation art. Outcomes from his research have informed numerous exhibitions including; Dodg’em (2006), Grosser Wasserspeicher, Berlin; Unheard Spaces (2004), Candiani Cultural Centre, Mestre; Presence & Absence (2002), Statenlogement, Hoorn; and Transparency (2001), Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris. As an independent curator he has organized four Immersion festivals focusing on the theory and practice of sound spatialisation, as well as Variable Resistance (2001/2) – a series of international sound art presentations for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Samartzis also curated an overview of Australian sound culture titled Variable Resistance: Ten hours of sound from Australia for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002) and the Podewil Centre for Contemporary Art in Berlin.
Rod Cooper has spent 28 years exploring the sonic qualities of self-made metallic instruments and experimental recording techniques. He has performed in the UK, USA, NZ, Japan, and Indonesia and has undertaken several residencies in Asia. He lectured at RMIT Sculpture dept. on “The object in sound” in 2012-2013.
Rosalind Hall is a performer and composer, using sound, technology, improvisation and space as her mediums. She is interested in sound as both a tangible and elusive expression, in connecting with a moment in time, the collaborative experience, the body as a vibrating form, layers of meaning, states of awareness and the shared listening space between performer and audience.
Ross Bencina is a composer, improviser, instrument builder, software developer, and aspiring mathematician. His interests include musical interfaces, gestural control, novel sound production techniques, and performer-instrument dynamics. Ross performs solo and with collaborators, often in the form of structured improvisations. Together with Steve Adam and Tim Kreger, he was a member of Simulus, an improvising electroacoustic ensemble. He is the creator of AudioMulch, software for sound processing, composition and music performance. In 2004-2005 Ross worked at MTG Barcelona, where he contributed to the creation of the Reactable, a tabletop instrument for electronic music performance. Ross is currently based in Melbourne. He holds a BA (Hons) in electroacoustic music from La Trobe University.
Rowan McNaught works across video, sculpture, sound and online with a focus on extracting/querying some of the new cultural models that we are making and using together now. In 2009, he completed his BFA (Painting) at VCA. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally (in China, Thailand, S. Korea & Netherlands).
Sean Baxter is an Australian improviser from Melbourne, who is interested in exploring the percussive possibilities of sound. Focusing on the use of extended techniques applied to the conventional drumkit (both acoustically and through the manipulation of membraphonic feedback), he utilises an arsenal of metallic junk and other percussive detritus to expand the sonic palette of the percussion tradition. His performance aesthetic evokes a variety of sonic practices, ranging from extreme metal and punishing noise to free jazz and the Modernist abstraction of the classical avant garde.
Stelarc is an Australian artist who has used prosthetics, robotics, VR systems, the Internet and biotechnology to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. He is interested in the evolutionary architecture of the body and possible ways of redesigning the human augmented by implants and exoskeletons. In 1997 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2003 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Monash University. In 2010 he was awarded the Hybrid Arts prize at Ars Electronica and has also a Special Projects Grant by the Australia Council. He is currently Chair in Performance Art at Brunel University London.
Warren Burt is a composer, performer, writer, video artist, instrument builder and a few other things. Born in the US, he moved to Australia in 1975 to assist with the founding of the Music Department at La Trobe University. While there, he was also instrumental in the founding of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, and the New Music program on Melbourne Community Radio 3CR. He was a freelance composer/musician from 1982-2001, during which time he performed his music all around the world, and won several awards and fellowships. In 2001-2, he taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and was at the University of Wollongong as a research fellow from 2004-2010. He has written over 100 published articles on music, and currently teaches at Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, and Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE.