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Experimental music artists to perform at gallery

MEDIA RELEASE – Monday 25 September

Experimental music artists to perform at gallery

Five of Auckland’s top experimental music artists reassemble for an eagerly awaited performance at Auckland Art Gallery this Sunday at 1pm. Plains is an improvisational group who use electronic devices to process sound, creating a transcendent world of shivering ambience, distant ruptures and warm washes of analog sheen.

Formed by Richard Francis in 2004 for the Version Electronic Music Festival, Plains features Rosy Parlane, Richard Francis, Tim Coster, Paul Winstanley and Clinton Watkins. This fourth meeting will be keenly anticipated by fans of their solo practices. Each player is a prolific composer, performer and recording artist in their own right. Three run their own independent record labels and all five have released sound work on international labels to critical acclaim.

The performance project is one of a series in the exhibition 5 4 3 2 1: Auckland Artist Projects. Richard Francis says the ensemble are motivated by a desire to pioneer new frontiers in sound.

“It’s all about creating new sounds or altering existing ones to create something that’s never been heard before.” Most have a history of tinkering with electronics, taking things apart and rebuilding them in different ways. Many collect sounds from outdoors – trees rustling, motorway drone – or from acoustic instruments and process them through homemade electronic equipment. Francis says Auckland’s underground experimental music scene has undergone a boom in recent years.

He says Auckland audiences now feel comfortable sitting back and closing their eyes to listen – something not so common 10 years ago. Many find particular sounds trigger powerful memories of past emotions. Plains take an informed approach to improvisation.

Ideas relating to sound generation, timbre, volume and duration are discussed before each player interprets their own understanding. For this performance, Plains will be joined by Auckland sound composer and installation artist Lovely Midget (Rachel Shearer).


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