A Synthesized Universe in Otago, Two Free Hands Single and Extended Player
I'm beyond excited to announce A Synthesized Universe - my collaboration with the Digital Creative Team at The Perpetual Guardian Planetarium of Otago Museum.
We've been working to create a 360 degree, immersive show that uses the possibilities of the planetarium and its map of the known universe.
The team and I will perform this feat five times over three days during Science Week in Dunedin: Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 12-14th.
The show started as an invitation by Dr Ian Griffin, director of the Otago Museum, to explore the idea of a show in one of their spaces. Little did I know, he had more in mind than a change of venue. But as soon as I set up my gear in the Planetarium and we started tinkering, we knew we had the ingredients for something quite transformative.
Creating A Synthesized Universe has become a full artistic and technological collaboration with the digital creative team of Oana Jones, Andrew Charlton and Nick Yeats. We've been grappling with questions like - ‘How do we perform to people sitting at a 30° angle?' 'How can we use celestial bodies as stage lighting?' and of course, 'Which area of the known universe goes with this song?'”
The opportunity comes just as I've shrunk my performance rig to be focused on just my Synthstrom Deluge (a new sequencer, sampler and synthesizer designed in Wellington) and my 1968 semi-hollow body guitar. The technical possibilities and small footprint of the Deluge make the music possible in such a unique space, while the surround sound of the planetarium means that, unlike any regular gig I've done, I'll be hearing the same thing as the audience.
A Synthesized Universe - July 2018
Perpetual Guardian Planetarium, Otago Museum, Dunedin
Note: Doors open 30 minutes before each show. Shows are all ages but also have a fully licensed bar.
Thu, Jul 12: 7pm
Fri, Jul 13: 7pm and 9pm
Sat, Jul 14: 7pm and 9pm
I'm also happy to introduce new audiences to Two Free Hands - a song and an Extended Player that has come out of two years of international touring and experiments with new technology.
The song was produced and recorded by Jonathan Pearce and myself, and features Anna Coddington on vocals, Stu Harwood on percussion and Octatrack, and Elizabeth Stokes on French Horn. Daniel Blackball Alexander has made the artwork.
The EP includes a remix and collaboration with Jet Jaguar - the moniker of Wellington electronic producer Michael Upton, and a reworking of a song from Successor which has changed shape in my live set. This is an EP in the orginal, 'Extended Player' sense - a collection of songs that expand on a single song, rather than the modern, mini-album sense. More info about all that here.
For those who haven't seen the set in the last year - the song, 'Two Free Hands,' and the recent RNZ live session below plant the flag in the ground for what the approach is.
Above - Two Free Hands in session on RNZ
The new music has partially developed out of touring overseas as a solo performer, and looking for ways to expand the sound with strange and wonderful technology.
In this new music, I've been trying hard to play with electronic elements the way I feel an instrumentalist should - in way that is fragile, different every time, and takes repetitive practice and concentration to keep together.
I've taken the opportunity of the release to launch this website. You can now buy tickets and merchandise directly from me, with no middle people. You can buy some things you'll find nowhere else - like the instrumental tracks to Successor. As time goes by, I'll be populating these pages with lines of communication that feel true and necessary, while my social media presence becomes all the more dedicated to short, practical news and updates.