My next performance is at an event I’ve also created: Ghost in the Machine Music takes place on Saturday 6th June at Reactor Halls, Primary, Nottingham.
For the event I’ve invited four other artists working with sound to present work considering Nottingham and its cultural heritage, the space itself, and broader themes of obsolescence and the role of the machine in creative practice. Full details below.
Advance tickets come with an exclusive cassette, featuring tracks by all the artists involved: Leslie Deere, Tom Mudd, Tom Richards, Shelley Parker and myself.
Ghost in The Machine Music - mixed by Shelley Parker & Tom Richards by Graham Dunning on Mixcloud
Reactor Halls E16: Ghost in the Machine Music
Saturday 6 June
£7 advance tickets (includes limited edition mixtape)
£3 on the door
Electronic music as machine music – the ghost in the machine – rhythm and drone – the traces left behind – Stone Tapes – planned obsolescence
Electronic music as shamanic music – subsonic frequencies – peripheral hearing as hallucination – polydrone and polyrhythm – stacks of white labels dumped in a skip
Five experimental artists explore the ingrained social, physical and sonic resonances of Primary and Nottingham through the prism of DIY electronic music. With installations and performances from Leslie Deere, Graham Dunning, Tom Mudd, Shelley Parker and Tom Richards.
Get a limited edition mixtape produced by the artists with an advance ticket here
Originally from Tennessee, Leslie moved to the UK to study Sonic Art, continuing from a performing arts dance back ground in NYC. Her recent eight channel sound installation for Air Space Gallery in Stoke drew on the city’s history of rave culture and industrialisation. Leslie’s live performances use analogue and digital audio equipment alongside field recordings and her lo-fi video projections, to make abstract and absorbing drone collages. Leslie has exhibited internationally with shows in Italy and Switzerland, and has a permanently installed sculpture in Geneva. Commissions include sound installations for Kew Gardens, Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art and London Fashion Week SS15. She is represented by Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva / Paris.
Graham Dunning’s solo project, Mechanical Techno: Ghost in the Machine Music, is a live-dubbed rhythmical collage made of record crackle, analogue synthesizer, dubplates and clumsily triggered drum machines.
Originally a studio project for making recordings, this method it is now also performed live. Several looping records spin on the same axle which ensures they stay approximately in time with each other. Graham layers up locked groove records, audio triggers to analogue synths, mechanically played percussion such as a cowbell or a cymbal, and mechanically triggered drum machines. The artist takes all these inputs and performs a live dub, mixing it down to two channels live in one take. Each set-up is unique. The technique is inherently clumsy and delicate, leading to frequent and multiple mistakes and accidents. The chance elements and unpredictable aspects lead to compositions the artist would never think to deliberately make.
Lee Scratch Perry described Dub as “the ghost in me coming out” – Using the Mechanical Techno set-up Graham aims to release the Ghost in the Machine. Graham Dunning is self-taught as an artist and musician having studied neither discipline academically. He has performed solo and in ensembles across the UK, Switzerland and Norway, and shown solo sound installations in the UK, New Zealand and USA. He teaches Experimental Sound Art at the Mary Ward Centre in London and also gives various independent workshops. Dunning has releases on Entr’acte, Linear Obsessional, Raw Tonk and other DIY labels.
Tom Mudd is a musician and programmer interested in relationships between software, composition and improvisation. His current work explores new synthesis methods through the use of Duffing oscillators coupled with banks of resonant filters. The resultant systems have many properties in common with acoustic systems found in reed or bowed instruments. Tom’s other works include Nonlinear Dynamical Systems – a research project investigating the use of nonlinear dynamical systems in digital musical interfaces; Porcelain Music – An ongoing project exploring the sounds of Walther Stürmer’s porcelain sculptures. With Tobias Stürmer and Akāshamitra; and Haptic Interfaces – a research project investigating haptic interfaces for new musical instruments stemming from a STEIM residency.
“There are musical ideas built in to all sounding technologies on some level – whether intentionally or not. That seems to relate to the ‘ghost in the machine’ – the creative input from the tool itself.”
Shelley Parker is an artist based in London. Live audio feeds, bass frequencies and found sounds are recurring themes within her performance, installation and music production. In 2003 she joined the Haywire DJ roster alongside Andrew Weatherall, Radioactive Man and Magda. Her distinctive bass driven sets, encompassing elements of old school hardcore, techno and electro led to regular DJ sets at Fabric, The End and the T Bar where she became resident. Since 2008, she has performed her bass heavy hypnotic live sets alongside artists such as Zoviet France, Roly Porter and Aleksi Perala. Her site specific live sets include: Beachy Head for the Cerith Wynn Evans’ programme incorporating a live audio feed from nearby Beachy Head and for her residency at Space Studios in London, a live performance at the White Building employing sounds of the static hiss of pylons and electricity hum recorded at Dungeness Power Station. In May 2013 she also contributed to the Hydroacoustics event with a performance inside the hull of the MS Stubnitz constructed entirely from audio samples of the ship itself.
Tom Richards uses re-purposed and outmoded electronic technologies to create abstract sound works, referencing shamanic music, rave culture, and minimalist composition. Richards has developed his own idiosyncratic modular electronic music system, with which he creates slowly evolving and heavily textured polyrhythmic improvisations. His individual approach and reductive palette lead to a taut rhythmically focused sonic experience. Tom has been walking the line between Sonic Art, Sculpture and Music since graduating with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in 2004. He has exhibited and performed widely in the UK, as well as internationally in the US, Germany and Sweden. Selected works and live performances have taken place at Tate Britain, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Science Museum, Spike Island, Cafe Oto, MK Gallery, Bold Tendencies, Soundfjord, and Resonance FM.