February 25th, 2012 | Published in Blog
Bang the Bore XII: Coded Transmissions
Featuring: Tim Hodgkinson, Spoils & Relics, Joe Evans, Aghartha and Magical Parents
6pm – 9pm, Saturday 3rd March 2012
John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Free entry/donations gratefully accepted
Thematically coinciding with David Cotterell’s Monsters of the Id exhibition – which “explores the contradiction between the abstraction of experience and the literal nature of documentation” – Bang the Bore’s twelfth event examines various ways in which sonic representations of concepts, objects, processes, locations and phenomena become altered in the act of mediation.
The evening will include a sonic evocation of the otherworldly gestalt environments encountered in shamanic trance states (Tim Hodgkinson); a piano composition derived from the orbits of Trans-Neptunian Objects (Joe Evans); musical abstractions from data collated in x-ray crystallography experiments (Aghartha); an improvisation juxtaposing pure mathematical synthesis with found object percussion (Magical Parents); and a trio whose modus operandi includes twisting and reconfiguring field recordings and other source material in the act of live performance (Spoils & Relics).
Coded Transmissions is also part of Southampton’s Musical Alphabet – in conjunction with the Turner Sims concert hall, BBC Music Nation, the Cultural Olympiad and Art at the Heart – a city-wide series of concerts and workshops taking place 3rd and 4th March 2012, with concerts themed around letters of the alphabet. Accordingly, the first hour of Coded Transmissions (from 6pm) takes up the baton with the letter I, for Improvisation.
A founding member of the legendary Henry Cow, multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, ethnomusicologist and anthropologist Tim Hodgkinson has also rigorously integrated experimental and improvised music with shamanic practices as part of his Radical Transcultural Initiatives project and with his band K-Space (featuring Ken Hyder and Gendos Chamzyryn). For Coded Transmissions, we asked him to improvise live alongside a playback of the K-Space album Infinity – an album that never plays the same music twice, constructed using metacompositional software that models the group’s improvisational strategies. Every time the album is played, field recordings of the group playing at different times and locations are algorithmically reconfigured into new music, thereby representing the shifting liminal zones and temporal-spatial gestalts encountered by shamans in altered states of consciousness. The resulting music could be said to represent space, time, musical strategies, shamanic magic and absent friends – a veritable hall of mirrors in which Hodgkinson may even meet himself!
Spoils & Relics
A three piece consisting of Johnny Scarr, Kieron Piercy and Gary Myles, Spoils & Relics molest their homemade, repurposed and customised electronics with a grubby hands-on physicality, inserting their fingers into the guts of their machinery, beating, caressing or palpating its outer surfaces, and in some cases tugging fisted reels of tape through its spools or adding their own fitful current to the exposed circuits. One of their more consistent strategies involves detourning, disfiguring and disguising field recordings and other sonic material until the original points of reference are all but unrecognisable, with only trace impressions of the sources remaining.
Joe Evans is a composer of processed piano pieces constructed harmonically using pure – or otherwise – frequency ratios and microtonal scales including 19EDO (which is derived by dividing the octave into nineteen equally large steps). At Coded Transmissions he will be performing a piece comprised of two sections. The first is a semi improvised piano composition in which notes and rhythms are tuned or in time with the motion of the known Trans-Neptunian Objects (the host of dwarf planets with orbits synchronous to the planet Neptune, including the former planet Pluto); while the second section involves a gradual shift from musical form to rhythm using simple time and pitch shifting techniques. Evans also owns the Runningonair record label, which specialises in music that sonifies concepts and processes from the fields of science, mathematics and technology.
Aghartha is the solo project of Briony Yorke, who is currently researching x-ray crystallography and building scientific instruments for her PhD in Biophysics. Yorke’s programming assigns sound wave parameters to data according to scale and intensity, and her particular interest is in how an observer affects the purity of experimental data in the act of measurement and interpretation. Her work is partly inspired by the Pythagorean Music of the Spheres and is accompanied by live cello.
A duo consisting of Bang the Bore janitors Daniel Bennett and Seth Cooke, which juxtaposes the near-opposites of non-representational mathematical synthesis with found object percussion.