The recipients of DEV RES VI are Lauren Irwin-Ray and Mel O'Neill with 'Sirens', and Mick Meagher. These projects were selected by a panel comprised of previous residency recipients Emily Bennett and Shaun Rammers, and Lebowskis director Joel Trigg.
The performances for DEV RES VI will take place 5-7pm, at the Moreland City Band Hall (AKA "Cross Street"), on the following dates:
1. August 26th
2. October 28th
3. December 16th
Lauren Irwin-Ray - vocals, percussion, bass and electronic manipulation
Mel O'Neill - vocals, percussion, guitar and electronics
with collaborators Livv Bishop (performance movements artist), Immy Ch (writer) and TBC (visual artist)
Sirens is the brainchild of two improvising musicians, taking inspiration from anything and everything. Voices, electronic manipulation, loops, bass, guitar and percussion. Their aim during the residency is to expand their conversational improvisation through engaging with artists of other disciplines.
DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT: Sirens wants to explore cross-medium-improvisation with artists from alternative fields (other than sound/music), to create a multi-disciplinary exploration of conversation. Each performance would involve collaborating with an artist of a different medium, allowing us to discover a new dimension of improvisation, whilst realising the variance, limitations and possibilities each art form presents when engaging in a multi-sensory way. Our intention is for the collaborating artists to have their own creative input into their performance concept, therefore current concepts are subject to potential alteration or expansion.
Our concept involves the following three performances:
First performance; collaboration with performance movement artist, Livv Bishop
Materials: musical instruments, potentially objects to incorporate into movement, rug to delineate individual's performance space.
Concept: the collaborating performer and musicians would begin and end their collective improvisation together as a unit. Livv would be designated a floor space in which to express herself through physical movement (soundless). The audience would experience human movement and vocal sound, the most natural forms of expression, accompanied by improvised music. We would strive for a conversation which is full circle, having both movement and sonic ideas affecting each other concurrently. We hope to create a space where both mediums develop a reactionary language to each other, with an aim to achieve one or more climactic moments where both physical and visual movement combine with sound to say the same thing and develop a shared idea.
Second performance; collaboration with writer, Immy Ch
Materials: musical instruments, laptop for typing or whiteboard marker, projector and/or whiteboard (allowing musicians and audience a comfortable view of the written improvised words).
Concept: we have chosen the method of writing/reading words in a silent mode, to eliminate the sonic presence of spoken language in this performance. The audience would observe Immy’s writing in real-time on a large projection (e.g. from laptop via projector) whilst hearing and seeing the musicians react and vise-versa. This leaves space for the musicians to translate the written text into improvised music and sound, with the writer subsequently reacting to their musical interpretation, creating an organic space where both mediums are leading but also following the other in conversation. This would be a big exploration of limitation in improvisation in terms of lyrical expression and the writer’s inability to communicate her words vocally.
Third performance; collaboration with visual artist (TBC)
Materials: musical instruments, whiteboard for either projections for lightbox/laptop camera or to attach canvas to, artist's tools.
Concept: artist illustrates a graphic score live, within the limitations of a pre-drawn graph, with the x-axis showing time that has past. The artist would illustrate an improvised work into each vertical column, one at a time, moving from left to right along the graph every 5/10 minutes. The musicians would simultaneously perform to the graphic score, while the visual artist's work is reactionary to the sound played. We hypothesise that the art forms would gradually be more and more influenced by one another as the audience watches them perform further along the graphic score.
Mick Meagher - electric bass, electronic manipulation
Mick Meagher is a graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts Improvisation degree (Bachelor of Music 2005, with Honours 2016), and is currently undertaking a Master of Arts (Music performance) degree at Monash University, under the supervision of Professor Cat Hope. As a working musician, on the electric and double bass, Mick has enjoyed a diverse and active career. He currently works with notable groups and artists, including, Emma Donovan, The Putbacks, The Eugene Ball 4tet, Andrea Keller’s 5 Below, Jenny Barnes, as well as a new pursuit in solo electric bass performance, which coincides with his current Masters Research.
DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT: My concept for this creative development opportunity is to perform a series of three solo electric bass concerts. Each concert I will present a single, improvised piece of music that draws from textural approaches of electric bass playing that I have been developing over the past five years, which involve drone, low frequency resonance, feedback, slow tempi and minimalism. Although my performance will be largely improvised, I will include pre-composed material to enhance textural elements and guide the structure.
My performance set up will include: electric bass, 2 x bass amplifiers, effects pedals, and sampler.
I will use the August 26 and October 28 performances to trial, test and navigate technical set ups. These concerts will be recorded (using my own personal Zoom recorder, as well as GoPro to capture visual footage), allowing me to reflect and prepare the delivery of a focused conceptual performance for the December 16 date. I would accept the opportunity to record the December 16 concert, and I envisage to release this recording on my personal Bandcamp page as a digital release, adding to my discography of solo bass records. I have released two solo electric bass albums, Droning Bells (2016), and Shudder (2017), which reflect my growing interest and explorations in low frequency sound, drone, solo improvised performance, and long form improvisation.
In addition to the sound-art elements of my performance, I will use this platform as an opportunity to experiment with staging and set design, by devising concepts for lighting, added visuals and props to enhance the performance space. I am driven to deliver appealing and engaging performances of improvised music, and I see the consideration of stage craft and stage design as a key factor in manipulating the performance space to maximize the full potential of the soloist’s impact.
I am excited to pursue this opportunity with Dev Res to broaden my scope and experience as a solo performing musician who works with improvisation and contemporary approaches to instrumental playing.