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Warren Burt

(Rosalie Edith )

(b Geelong, Victoria, Aug 18, 1951). Australian composer, performer, installation and sound artist, instrument inventor, writer, educator, and researcher. Her early education consisted of high school in both Australia and Canada, followed by a BA (1971, Monash University), Dip Ed (1973, Monash), MA (1974, Monash), and PhD (1983, Monash). An interest in experimental music is apparent from her earliest compositions, many of which involve performance in specific places, improvisation, electronics, graphic notation, and the use of self-built and specially built instruments. These include Improvisations in Acoustic Chambers, 1981, and Soft and Fragile: Music in Glass and Clay, 1982. By 1977 an interest in sound installation and sound sculpture had become well established in her work (Winds and Circuits, Surfaces and Cavities), and is an area in which she has continued to the present day, having presented nearly 50 sound installations worldwide.

Bandt has also been involved in creating electro-acoustic works, often in collaboration with broadcasting organizations; work for or with radio forms a significant portion of her output. Many of these works, while using real-world elements, take a more narrative or illustrative approach to their material compared to the abstractionism of much electro-acoustic work. An electro-acoustic work such as ...

Article

Laurence Libin

(b Napier, New Zealand, May 14, 1946). Intermedia artist whose transdisciplinary practice includes video/sound work and installations, experimental instruments, graphic scores, and improvisation. He studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland (DipFA Hons, 1971) and the University of West Sydney, Nepean (MA Hons, 2000). Since the early 1970s his sound-based artworks have involved newly invented instruments. A member of the original Scratch Orchestra in London (1968–9), Dadson founded Scratch Orchestra (NZ) in 1970 and later From Scratch (1974–2004). A key part of From Scratch’s development was instrument invention, from using found objects to making unique, custom-designed devices. Tunings evolved from randomly pitched sounds to 12-note and microtonal tunings, and just intonation. Central to this development were tuned percussion stations composed of rack-supported, four-tiered assemblies of PVC pipes, tuned-tongue bamboos and bells (in which parallel slots cut in the materials produce a vibrating tongue matching the resonant frequency of the open or closed tubes), and roto-tom drums, combined with special methods of playing. These percussion stations, along with other novel struck and spun acoustic instruments, produced the characteristic From Scratch sound. More recent instruments include the Zitherum (long-stringed instruments that are drummed and bowed), the metal-pronged Nundrum, the stroked RodBaschet, the gong tree, Foley-trays, the Water Cooler Drumkit, water bells, the Gloop-spring-string-drum family, the Sprong family, and other fanciful types....

Article

Richard Toop

(b Maidstone, Feb 19, 1951). Australian violinist, improviser, composer, radical luthier, and Hörspiel maker, born in England. Despite gaining a music scholarship for secondary school study, from his mid-teens he was essentially self-taught. After a few years performing and composing in a variety of genres in England, as well as beginning to create experimental string instruments, mainly based on easily affordable Chinese violins, in the mid-seventies he moved to Australia, where he rapidly emerged as a leading figure in a thriving free improvisation scene. In the process, he adopted a notably critical, polemical stance vis-à-vis those fully notated compositions that left no scope for improvisation. In 1986 he moved to Berlin, partly to facilitate work on his project The Relative Violin, which takes a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk approach to the instrument (performing, composing, designing, constructing). He relocated to Australia in 2003.

While Rose’s work tends, understandably, to be assessed in terms of its most radical elements (he has performed with musicians such as Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, John Zorn, and Bob Ostertag) it is, in fact, very eclectic in orientation. As an improviser, he not only has access to the entire canon of virtuoso classical violin technique, but is also at home with its jazz practice from Stuff Smith onwards, as well as any number of regional (ethnic) practices....