Jun 4, 2009

string chamber static...

collaborative improvisational activities with Japanese born, Dunedin based violinist Motoko Kikkawa, involving transmitter, hand held radios, violin, and voice are proving fertile ground, and bouncing fruitfully off my solo 'bowed airwaves' violin/radio experiments.

As with the latter, I am finding with this as yet unnamed duo that the tonal similarities between violin and radio static, and/or violin-broadcast-through-radio-static can be breathtaking. Woven in with Mo's vocal range and her violin (as opposed to what should probably be called my "anti-violin" in this context) things become more interesting still.

Mo was involved in the Tokyo Grand Guignol group (which included Yasunao Tone, Otomo Yoshihide, et al) as a teenager, and is now a dynamic part of many NONE associated bands including the duo Tsunami No Orikata (with Toki Wilson), The Readytronics (with Toki Wilson, ISO12, and Rachel Blackburn) and the wonderful Piano Queen Rainbow Star Telephone (with pretty much everyone).

For the purposes of this particular project, she plays Suzuki-trained strings and vocalises (both in Japanese and in some unearthly ur-language), and I call up the ghostly debris of signal from the aether, transmit various instrumental field recordings, and sympathetically scratch away on the 'deconstructed' violin at points.

There's an interesting interplay, almost a call and response, between her all-acoustic input and my end of things, which is mainly lo-fi electronics. Sometimes a creakily noise-infused signal of a radiophonic voice or a theremin sound will act as catalyst for a live vocal equivalent, and transmission of violin sounds will mingle with live violin. We have hit some great synchronicities and disjunctures in this manner.


Our second event/experiment/broadcast with this instrumental setup was conducted in the stairwell of NONE on the afternoon of June 4. more than the usual amount of thanks to Toki Wilson, who was drawn out of his fever-dreaming sickbed to take the following roving video footage...

video