One of the nicest concerts/gatherings I've been to in yonks happened last Saturday at Clinton and Jenny Green's lovely house in West Footscray. Clinton calls these backyard concerts Quiet Noise. The practicality is he can't use amplification because that might disturb his neighbours. The delightful spin-off of this is that the music is mostly acoustic and very convivial and friendly. Tim Catlin and I have been wanting to do a duet with my tuning forks and his Vibrissae since early last year. Finally the opportunity presented itself. I did a solo - or a duet for Quarter-Tone Baritone Ukulele and iPad, using the iPad's internal speaker so that the electronics were considerably softer than the uke itself. The iPad(using Thumbjam) was playing ukulele timbres in quarter-tones, controlled by two different sequencer programs at once, each in a different tempo. (One of the delights of the iOS routing is that you can route multiple control signals to a single sound producer.) So that was a quiet duet between live uke and machine uke. Then Tim and I did our duet.
Also on the concert was a delightful performance by Ernie Althoff with one of his inimitable machines. Ernie's strength as an improvising percussionist impresses me more and more each time I see him. And there was a duet between Clinton Green and Barnaby Oliver. Clinton played turntables, percussion, and his house as an instrument. Barnaby did absolutely marvelous "violin as an extended noisemaker" music. Both were very theatrical, and totally natural. For me, their performance was very happiness making.
As you'll see from the photos, Clinton and Jenny's living room, which opens out onto his backyard, is just a wonderful place to do a concert. I hope more of these events start happening around the town. It's a wonderful addition to the many other kinds of venues we have in Melbourne.
Here's the poster for the event:
And here's a photo of me playing Quarter-tone Baritone Ukulele looking out into the backyard:
That photo is by Clinton. Here's one by Ernie Althoff:
Here's an overall shot (by Peter James) of me and Tim playing our instruments:
And from the other angle, here's me and Tim playing(this one's by Clinton):
Ernie snapped this wonderful portrait of Tim with his Vibrissae:
and finally, here's a lovely shot by Peter James of me playing tuning forks, shot through the grapes.
Clinton recorded both pieces. Here's the recording of my Improvisation for Quartet-Tone Baritone Ukulele and iPad, Those of you on iPads or similar non-Flash supporting devices, just click HERE:
And here's the recording of the Duet for Tuning Forks and Vibrissae by Tim and me. I think the persistent thumping in this recording is people walking around on the hardwood floor in the living room. Well, it WAS a Sunday afternoon informal event, so people aren't going to just sit still in one place.... (Again, if your on an iPad or similar non-Flash supporting device, just click HERE. )
I had a great time at the concert and hanging out afterwards. It was quite a nice gathering of the Melbourne (and interstate!) new music tribes. I hope to have many occasions to play at similar events in the future.