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flugelhornWe all know it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n’roll, and if you’re true to your art, forget about it. Many creatives face the problem of whether and how to promote unpopular culture. But is there more to promo than getting bums onto seats? Can the marketing extend the message? Our panelists are all experienced in the subtle art of leading people to music’s fringes; from running record shops specialising in musical oddities, to curating sound art festivals, and straddling the barbed-wire fence between comedy and indie pop. They offer wisdom about the dos and don’ts of selling the unsellable.



Philip Samartzis (lecturer in sound culture at RMIT, organizer of festivals)
Pat O’Brien (3RRR, Sunshine and Grease label/shop)
Justin Heazlewood (The Bedroom Philosopher, author of Funemployed)

moderated by Greg Wadley

Thursday 2nd October from 7:30pm sharpish

West Space gallery, 225 Bourke st, Melbourne

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Episode One of More Talk 2014 was a gas and you can experience it vicariously via our Archive page.

the panel at More Talk 1 for 2014

the panel at More Talk 1 for 2014

Cat Hope, Ross Bencina and Clinton Green joined Julian Day on New Music Up Late on Saturday 2nd August to preview Episode One of More Talk.

I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard – John Cage (1937)

I do not hesitate to write…without bashful hypocrisy and pointless melancholy: SCHOENBERG IS DEAD – Pierre Boulez (1951)

Schoenberg’s great achievement…was to claim freedom for composers…He was a composer who made it clear to society that he would not allow himself to be kicked about – Karlheinz Stockhausen (2000)

What is, or seems to be, new in this music? One finds a concern for a kind of objectivity, almost anonymity – sound come into its own. The “music” is a resultant existing simply in the sounds we hear, given no impulse by expression of self or personality…For at least some of these [experimental] composers, then, the final intention is to be free of artistry and taste. – Christian Wolff (1958)

How can a composer truly reflect society if he ignores the lessons of that society? – Cornelius Cardew (1974)

I think of composition as referring to the act of creating music and of improvisation as being one means to bring that about – Richard Barrett

I am a musician, but I am another type of musician  – Sun Ra

I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to – Elvis Presley

I’ve often found the obligation to use all twelve tones to be unbearable – Boulez (1999)

Composition is Dead: writing music in the 21st century
Cat Hope, Ross Bencina, Warren Burt (with Callum G’Froerer and Cathexis performing works by Hope)

Thursday 7 August 2014, 7:30pm – $10 entry (Facebook event)

West Space, Level 1, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne

The twentieth century saw a series of musical upheavals, from modernism and atonality to chance composition, electronic music and rock’n’roll. The status of ‘composer’ has been continuously challenged, discarded and re-imagined. Our panelists work has addressed the ‘composer problem’ in the 21st Century, employing strategies as varied as graphic/generative scores, the revolutionary Audio Mulch software, and the use of pre-existing formats (such as DNA mapping) as compositional material. Callum G’Froerer and Cathexis will perform scores composed by Cat Hope, including Black Disciples.


Black Disciples (2013) score from cat hope on Vimeo.

Greg spoke with with Jeff Sparrow on 3RRR about this year’s More Talk Less Action events.

includes music by Cat Hope, Warren Burt and The Bedroom Philosopher

MTLA2-A6-1-screenHello again, we’re back in 2014 with More Talk!

The 2013 series was a resounding success, so we’re keeping the same format for 2014 – short performance + panel/audience discussion + short performance. All events will again take place at West Space, whose generous support makes More Talk, Less Action possible.

What’s in store for 2014?

Thursday 7 August 2014 (7:30pm) – $10 entry
Composition is Dead: writing music in the 21st century
Cat Hope, Ross Bencina, Warren Burt (with Callum G’Froerer and Cathexis performing works by Hope)

Thursday 2 October 2014 (7:30pm) – $10 entry
Promoting Unpopular Music: how and why
Philip Samartzis, Justin Heazlewood, Patrick O’Brien

Thursday 20 November 2014 (7:30pm) – $10 entry
Improvisation: how to win
Lloyd Honeybrook, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Adam Simmons


To see what happened last year, don’t forget our archive page with video, audio and photos of every event. See you in a few weeks …   -Clinton and Greg


We’re done talking for 2013! Thanks to all the speakers, performers and audiences for making the series so successful. We especially thank West Space for hosting these events in a hugely supportive way, and our friends at 3RRR, 3PBS, 3CR, ABC Classic FM, Cyclic Defrost, Resonate and The Thousands for helping us get the word out. This website is now an archive of the series to date. Go to the Archives for recordings of all the discussions plus audio and video of some of the performances. See the Photos page for a pictorial account.
“More Talk” will return to West Space in 2014. We’d like to hear what topics and people you’d like to see featured. Email cdgsham AT gmail DOT com what you’d like to talk about, and who you’d like to hear talking about it.
Danny Lacy and Stelarc

Danny Lacy and Stelarc, photo by Catherine Schieve

Thursday 5th December at 7:30pm at West Space.

Featuring: Stelarc, Warren Burt, and Paul Doornbusch

Moderated by Greg Wadley

West Space presents the sixth installment of More Talk, Less Action, a series of events incorporating performance and discussion about music.

The ‘problem-seeking’ methods of experimental music practitioners have much in common with scientific inquiry, and our panel of artists and composers have all worked with the scientific community on sound-related projects involving computer music, robotics, biofeedback systems and more. Stelarc and composer Warren Burt will give performances demonstrating work that has crossed over into the design of cutting edge technologies.

This will be the final More Talk for 2013!

Follow these links to read more about
Warren Burt, and
Paul Doornbusch.

Click to join the Facebook event, or reserve your seat.

Wednesday 23 October

7:30pm at West Space

Featuring: Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Helen Grogan and Rosalind Hall

Moderated by Rowan McNaught and Kelly Fliedner.

West Space presents the fifth installment of More Talk, Less Action, a series of events incorporating performance and discussion about music.

“Our ears are now in excellent condition — sound in the gallery and online” features Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Helen Grogan and Rosalind Hall and is moderated by Rowan McNaught and Kelly Fliedner, co-editors of the West Space Journal.

Please join us as we attempt to discuss some very low-level, unfixed (and kind of daunting) themes: curating sound art in the gallery, the perceived shifts in value of ‘uprooted’ documentation of sound art in comparison to live physical performance, migrating and exchanging sound art online, and the relationship between the internet and sound art culture. Ok!

Rosalind Hall and Alice Hui-Sheng will perform as a duo on the night, followed by a secret experiment in documentation/reproduction.

The Participants

Alice Hui-Sheng

Helen Grogan

Rosalind Hall

Rowan McNaught

Kelly Fliedner

Facebook event