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Experimental Musicians Seeks Any Suggestions?

NZFA Media Release For Immediate Release

Experimental Musicians Seeks Any Suggestions?

Being told to “stop singing stop playing stop living” via a feedback form is something experimental musician Greg Malcolm has become quite used to while on the road. He’s bravely courted audience reactions to his music over the past ten years.

Now, to celebrate the opening of his exhibition Malcontent which runs at the Film Archive mediagallery from 9 – 24 November, on Friday 9 November Malcolm presents Any Suggestions – a live interactive performance by Malcolm and friends, based on audience suggestions gathered from at live gigs which range from the offensive to the absurd.

At concerts over the years Malcolm has passed around a suggestion box for people to write on Big Fresh supermarket customer suggestion forms which asks questions such as: "Did you enjoy shopping with us here today?" and "Is there any thing we can improve on to make shopping easier for you?” This rich source material ranges from the absurd to the offensive and is incorporated in Malcolm’s sound work as text and as a conceptual source for sound design.

Originally started as “a way to shut up hecklers” Malcolm has discovered cultural differences feed into the process rather interestingly. “Germans are generally much more earnest while Kiwis are pretty rude if it’s anonymous. I have 420 forms and they fit roughly into categories: Abuse – ie, “Hurry up and die”, Drugs – ie, “I want what you’re on”, Singers and Songs – ie, “get some better lyrics” and Stylistic – ie, “play more Death Metal”.

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Musicians Reuben Derrick (sax, miscellaneous ), Mike Kime (bass), Sum Suraweera (drums) and Jenny Ward ( vocals and toys) will assist Greg Malcolm to create irresistible customer designed music. Matthew Ayton will be creating the visual ambience and projecting the suggestions.

Malcolm’s premise is that the sheer economics of survival force musicians to operate in the same customer friendly way as supermarkets, CD super stores and fast food franchises. Experimental music has often been labeled as self-indulgent of difficult for audiences - what Malcolm is trying to create is an experimental piece (as the outcome or finished product is yet unknown) with 'a customer friendly slant'.

The exhibition Malcontent comes from Malcolm’s exploration of trying to place seminal sound art pieces in a visual context. In his mind sound art is a poorer cousin to the visual arts. “I have been a traveling musician for many years, playing in various inappropriate places to get my music to people. Over this time I have had many extra musical ideas which had to be translated visually so I could get them out of my system.”

These include artworks such as ‘I am Sitting on a Photocopier’ – “the white trash equivalent of Alvin Luicer’ famous sound work ‘I am sitting in a room’ and ‘Any Suggestions’ – a collection of the suggestion forms Malcolm has gathered over the past 10 years from various concerts. http://www.myspace.com/gregmalcolm http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~malcolmg

Opening performance Any Suggestions 7pm Friday 9 November, Film Archive cinema $5 entry Malcontent runs 9 – 24 November 2007


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