Extravagant feather displays are the lure of many a bird, while other winged-ones rely on the timbre of their voices, the qualities of their song. Western Australia’s most famous bird, the emu however, is a really, really fast runner. Much faster than Ol’ Roly Skender, but then his kicking audiovisual butt over in Perth is probably as good an evolutionary strategy as any. No need to run when you can make music and cinema out of Bob Hawke, bicycle bells, emus themselves, and the homo-eroticism latent within aussie rules. A quite cool audio+video-CD is available for the non-believers through www.rawbone.tv, and Roly heads East for Electrofringe in October.
How’s the Perth multimedia massive these days?
Perth definitely has a growing scene in terms of VJs and Audiovisuals but it’s still pretty small. Crew like the Semikazi Collective are some of the only people getting it out there at the moment with events such as the recent AV showcase as part of the Kiss my WAMi Festival.
And London & Paris? How’d you end up gigging there?
I went on a 7 week pilgrimage to try and find out where the action is I suppose. I was lucky to meet some nice people that ran clubs in Paris that were putting on AV/film nights and using the term ‘micro-cinema’ which really appealed to me. In the UK I stayed with the VJamm programmers in Brighton who really dug my stuff and introduced me to Matt Black (Coldcut/Ninja Tune) in London, plus there was a night called Vectors I played at which is run by a Canadian guy I met on the net. London has a very healthy AV scene but you still have to know where to look.
Breakin’ it down – what are the live audiovisual processes for the Rawbone Duo?
I play pre-rendered AV sequences off laptop and use VJamm to drop in samples and mess around with effects while Jo19 beatmixes with an 808, sh-101, live congas and percussion.
How do you work together composing and songwriting across sound and video?
I wrote most of the older stuff myself, but since I’ve been working with Jo19 we also have an act called The Rawbone Trio which is more collaborative. We also have a great double bass player called Pete Jeavons and it’s more of a downbeat vocal vibe. I’m still doing the video side of things myself but we’re always throwing different ideas at eachother. The Rawbone Trio is a live act and is my main focus at the moment. We’ve only done 2 shows but the audience response has been fantastic.
What do you like / dislike about your live flexibility with AV material?
I like creating stuff on the fly / I dislike people thinking I’m a DJ. It’s sometimes tough for electronic musicians to come to terms with the fact that no one gives a fuck if they’re performing live or just playing a CD or record, so to me electronic music ‘performance’ is really more like a ‘presentation’ in a lot of cases.
Electronic musicians gigging live you’ve enjoyed?
Definitely Coldcut because of the visual aspect, when I saw Biftek a couple of years ago they had a great live energy and the Kruder & Dorfmeister show this year was also a highlight.
What’s good & bad about video when people are dancing?
Depending on the positioning of screens it can be bad for your neck. Otherwise I just see lots of screens as an elaborate light show which is all good.
An ideal Rawbone performance venue would be?
An outdoor cinema on a beautiful night with the audience surrounded by huge screens on every side.
What have you planned for your Electrofringe performance?
I’ll be speaking on a panel and discussing the process, why I do what I do and how political it is (or isn’t). I’m not sure if I’ll be performing yet. ( see www.electrofringe.org for more details )