1 September 2011
Ribbons of Rust
When I discussed an idea with my co-artistic director of ensemble fabrique, Braxton Neate, for a concert incorporating new music written for flute, violin, cello, piano and percussion, paired with four (rather archaic) reel-to-reel players/recorders, there was certainly a lot of explaining to do. Ribbons of Rust is not your typical concert. It showcases and stretches the role of both the composer and performer to create a performance which revels in the hybrid of ¼-inch magnetic audio tape and live instrumentalists.
This is because the musicians don't just perform with their instruments alongside audio tape, they both play and manipulate recorded versions of themselves on ¼-inch magnetic tape, or they perform on the tape player as their 'instrument' for a given composition. With an ever-growing discourse of electronic music and readily available technology for recording and performance, specifically that of live laptop music, Ribbons of Rust challenges the way how electronic music is performed both as a medium by itself but also as a hybrid musical art form with acoustic instruments.
To bring this project to life, ensemble fabrique has engaged three Brisbane composers, Lisa Cheney, Christopher Healey, and Samantha Wolf, to write new works for the project, as well as drawing upon some new compositions by myself, and other works I have used in my solo live tape performances.
By asking for new works from these composers, the rehearsal process has been dramatically altered. In past projects, the score has always been received with enough time to rehearse and for the composer to make a revision or two. Yet, for this project there are many unknowns, when performing with tape and live instrumentalists, and it is because of this that a substantial amount of the composition has taken place with the performers present to explore all ideas and directions.
To this point, the composers are still exploring avenues that are appearing as the ensemble keeps rehearsing their works. Overcoming technical difficulties of the temperamental tape players, and the warbling, breaking and strange nature of tape loops, has been nothing but fun for the ensemble and composers. Emerging from this marriage of tape and live performers, the Brisbane venue 'the Shopfront Space' at the Judith Wright Centre, will be taken over by a tape and light installation which reveals itself during the course of the performance.
Just to give you a hint of what is to come on 23rd September at 7pm, here is a brief summary:
ribbons of rust is a concert incorporating the whirring, spinning, sighing and clanking of reel-to-reel tape machines, found objects, several broken skylark violins, acoustic instruments and ¼-inch magnetic tape. Works are composed and semi-improvised by the ensemble and four composers with reel-to-reel machines weaving tape loops around the ensemble, piano, the support structure of the building and the performance space, with each installation whirring to life during the performance.
Ensemble fabrique gratefully acknowledges the New Music Network's support of this event as part of their Mini Series.
Ribbons of Rust
Friday 23 September 2011 at 7pm, pre-concert talk 6.30pm
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane
Installations open to public at 6pm
All event details: AMC Calendar
Ensemble fabrique (www.ensemblefabrique.com.au)
© Australian Music Centre (2011) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
Timothy Tate (b. 1989 United Kingdom) emigrated to Australia in 1997 and is currently living in Brisbane. In 2010 Timothy graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) in composition. Recent commissions include works for Sarah Curro, Alpha Crusis Ensemble, ensemble fabrique, Chronology Arts and ensemble chronophonie. In 2009 and 2010 Timothy attended the composition program at the AYO National Music Camp. He has also won several awards, including the Barbara Blackman Song Composing Competition (2007), MTAQ Gold Coast Composing Competition (2009) and the Harris Peck Composition Prize (2010). Timothy is also an active violist and co-founder of ensemble fabrique and SOUNDING OUT Composers’ Collective.
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