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DEV RES V: Sirens // Mick Meagher

Doors at 5pm
$10 full // $5 concession

The DEV(elopment) RES(idency) program is an initiative from Lebowskis, designed and presented in the spirit of fostering creative growth in new and established ensembles and individual artists. Now in its sixth series, this residency is available to two applicants and comprises three performances over a six-month season. The intent of the program is to allow ensembles to develop a creative concept and showcase its growth with a performance every two months.

The recipients of DEV RES VI are Loz 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.


5:15pm - Sirens

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.

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.

Mick Meagher.jpg

6:15pm - Mick Meagher

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.

This event will take place on the lands of the Wurundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation, and we pay our respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Earlier Event: October 21
Line 3
Later Event: November 4
O'Brien/Trigg/Bakker/Finch // The Salt