Bang the Bore VII – In Praise of Instrument Builders
6pm – 10pm, Halloween, Sunday 31st October 2010
The Hobbit, 134 Bevois Valley Road, Southampton, SO14 0JZ
Free entry/donations to pay the bands gratefully accepted
As its Halloween there’ll be bonus points for people who come as Michael Bertiaux inspired were-spiders.
Noise mainstay Mark Durgan – otherwise known as Putrefier and associated with Nihilist Assault Group and Olympic Shit Man – is the kind of publicity resistant figure who may still require some introduction. His modus operandi currently consists of improvisations made using his self-built pressure-sensitive piezo disc synthesizer, although his repertoire has run the gamut from field recordings to circuit bending and pedal abuse. As described by Wire journalist Dave Keenan’s Volcanic Tongue imprint, “For the past twenty years, Mark Durgan, known under the Putrefier moniker and his label Birthbiter (1986), is one of the few genuinely curious anomalies operating today. Disassociated with a lot of noise, he is more of a true outsider of this scene, somewhat akin to the older sound poets.”
We’ve been careful to schedule our October concert for a time that doesn’t conflict with London’s Lowest Form of Music Festival, at which Mr. Durgan is collaborating with Bang the Bore favourites Spoils & Relics and playing alongside the legendary Smegma, Hijokaidan and Incapacitants. It’s an astonishingly good line-up and we really think you should go if you can.
Bang the Bore would like to know where Ryan Jordan gets his energy from. His Sensory Response Systems elegantly combine showmanship with conceptual rigour and highly musical results; a mix of custom built electronics, virtual instruments, innovative physical controllers and dramatic lighting. But he’s also a concert promoter in London under the self-explanatory name Noise=Noise and finds time to tutor in the use of open source music software and circuit bending via the Openlab Workshops collective. He’s an exemplar of the DIY ethos and he’ll have quietly influenced hundreds of instrument builders before our less manoeuvrable musical institutions realise they should have been paying attention.
Tim Drage is my kind of circuit bender… someone who does it himself, videos it, shows his working and provides an exhaustive and exhausting number of links so that anyone can get involved and learn to do it themselves. His process: 1. Bend – 2. Make a racket – 3. Smash to pieces – 4. If repairable, go to 2; if beyond repair, go to 1. He also likes his anime, and given that it’s Halloween we have high hopes that he’ll turn up dressed like Nnoitra Jiruga (i.e. with six arms and the number ‘5’ tattooed on his tongue).
There are too many people called Richard Thomas making weird music. This one is an ex-pat Southamptoner turned Londoner, used to play in Ignacio Agrimbau’s sonically omnivorous ensemble The Hola and is locally memorable as the terror of the open mic scene, whose repertoire of extended cello techniques involved something most guys leave in their trousers. These days he performs pieces by John Cage, Iannis Xenakis and Michael Finnissy and is a regular fixture in The A Band. As Magnus Spectrum he controls his vocalisations via a laptop, Nintendo Wii remote and self-written Max MSP patches that are so complex that he’s not totally sure how they work.
Otherwise known as the bass player from Quack Quack (who share their extraordinary drummer Neil Turpin with Bilge Pump and Polaris), Stuart Bannister is also a sound technician who performs solo shows using no-input mixing boards and audio equipment that he’s recycled/repurposed. Other related activities include an interest in the works of Alvin Lucier; he’ll be staging Music On A Long Thin Wire at Light Night in Leeds on 8th October 2010 and joining Bang the Bore again to stage I Am Sitting In A Room in Southampton’s medieval vaults in early 2011.
Dan Bennett’s Skjølbrot project has already produced Maersk, one of 2010’s essential albums, in which field recordings and gathered resonance are ingeniously used as a structural framework for his peculiarly personal alternative histories, gestalt locations and unreliable travelogues. His modus operandi includes building deliberately contaminated reverbs that not only model physical spaces but also contain traces of the people that frequent them and the events that take place there. Dan also plays guitar in Skjølbat with percussionist and cymbal maker Matt Nolan and is a long standing member of Southampton’s damaged art funk trio Hunting Lodge.