Experiments in Real Time Audio Visual Performance 2002 – 2007
Another experimental DVD available for click-purr-chase, hailing from Sydney label DeMux. Label founder, Wade Marynowsky, is no stranger to the live manipulation of screen and sound. Way back in the twentieth century he used custom made applications built with macromedia director to bang out sets of speaker crunching live cinema – lo-fi graphic animations married fantastically to the language of layered audio loops. Future explorations using software such as NATO, Max/MSO and Jitter delivered ever more sophisticated processes and audiovisual relationships, but the Demented Australiana theme stayed with him : native flora and fauna reinterpreted through the noise of the digital.
It’s a disc of gorgeous stuff, and so even though the boy’s shunning the AV limelight for a while (to pursue an obsession with building robots), the disc neatly encapsulates his diverse mutant flavours spawned over the last 6 years. Rewinding to one of the earlier pieces, ‘Apocalypse Later’ feeds us Australia’s history of violence in a haze of abstraction and digital decay. Landscapes ebb and flow in and out of comprehension, close-up plant textures scratched up and layered as though to reveal their underbelly of corrupted data. The building sonic tension never relents, albeit in a Gameboy edition of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ kinda way. With the visual crackle of bush campfire, we are surrounded by flapping birds squawking to each other through vocoders. Convicts are lashed ( video footage from the now defunct convict theme park ‘Old Sydney Town’ ), stormy skies are mustered, and nature’s cruelty and splendour is displayed in equal measure.
The ‘Uranium Country’ and the ‘ISEA Baltic Sea’ performances document further interrogations of the above palette, as does ‘The Geek From Swampy Creek’ though attempting to transcend laptop performance limits by introducing live imagery of a costumed Wade into the mix. All three pieces exude Wade’s strong sense of both musical and visual composition, fluid manoeuvring providing ethereal transitions through his material. The boy has obviously mixed a lot of audio and video in his time ( and indeed, spotted some of my own footage in there from video jams with Mr.Wade ).
‘Autonomous Improvisation’ eliminates the performer entirely. First exhibited as an installation in Artspace in 2007, it exists as a stand-alone piano, which has been programmed to generate a random series of notes, each of which triggers a pre-recorded video of a Sydney artist playing their instrument. It’s a stellar cast of sonic freakery – featuring Singing Sadie, Toecutter, Wade, Lucas Abela, Shannon O Neill, clown turnablists, saxaphonists, celloists and a variety of surreally costumed performers. In other words – a ghost pianist in a saloon bar is triggering a fast sequence of holographic musical performers above the piano. Bring on the robots!
( see also review of : Peter Newman’s Demux DVD release )