blog for Australian artist and musician Matt Warren

And then there were three

And then there were three
Steam on the lens.
Near and dear, good and bad and a colony of bats,
Machines and G.O.D
There is something important to be said.

So it’s been a busy couple of months since the last post, hence the delay. Here’s a catchup!

Arthur David Warren was born at approximately 12:30am on May 8, 2010.
Suffice to say, we are very happy, he is very kind to us newbie parents and seems to be a very happy chap most of the time despite the couple of bouts of ill health.
I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent, but it’s pretty damned good, especially the hidden smile beneath the horizon of a blanket upon his waking. That’s a bit of a heart melter.
He has slotted into our lives very well, we enjoy his company, he enjoys ours, what more can you say? Cliches like, ‘children change your life’ are a cliche because they are true. I would think that’s fairly obvious. But having said that, (perhaps we are lucky) it doesn’t feel like he’s disrupted our lives too much. Certainly when not in a gallery or performing we are homebodies for the most part anyway and although as he gets older there will be more socialising to be done (as far as school and so forth), at the moment we are content to all hang out together and get on with stuff, Sally and I take turns with duties, (though I probably owe her quite a few more nappy changes). We are under no illusions that it will be like this forever, but right now it feels very natural. Who da thunk it?
Speaking of socialising, those near and dear to us would have noticed a very minimal amount of images of Arthur online. This is deliberate. As adults we make our own choices to show ourselves on the web, kids can’t. This is not really a PC-fearing reaction to online predators or anything like that, though of course like any parent we are concerned about that. And it’s not that we aren’t proud of our little boy. It is simply a clean slate that allows Arthur anonymity until he’s old enough to put himself out there (if he chooses). Who knows what online social networking will be like in 12-14 years?

And with all good intentions comes the possibility of something not going to plan.
The planned homebirth was, let’s say 90% successful. A relatively short 9 hour labor (easy for me to say) ended up with the final stage (about 45 minutes from arrival) at the Royal Hobart Hospital, where Arthur’s arrival was assisted with a ventouse. I still maintain, you go to hospital when you are sick, childbirth is not an illness. The risk to mother and child’s health was mounting at that stage and so it became health issue. Again this would’ve happened in hospital anyway and in fact may have been worse or happened sooner due to the stress of being there.
Sound a bit defensive maybe? Possibly. The subject of homebirthing was recently in the media because of Danni Minogue’s recent homebirth drama, with a lot of folk (medicos) talking about how it’s not a good idea, and speaking as if mothers are just there at home doing it themselves with out experiences midwives supervising. Not surprisingly, TV-medical expert Dr Penny Adams took a typically traditional ‘I do not support home-births’ stance. But to give her props, she at least pointed out that hospitals and hospital staff should consider the fact that women are not wanting to give birth in hospital and are choosing to have home births, many times because a hospital is not a nurturing, comfortable or friendly place and this should be looked at. Perhaps there’s hope.

On May 5: Save 10 Murray Street Presets: ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Understood’
So being at the time, kind of on stand-by for the impending birth, I did not attend the opening of the this show. By all accounts it was well attended. My work didn’t sell, but there is to be a second round of selling so maybe then. The work I created was the 2010 version of ‘Exhalation’ and I performed this work in my studio (Dead Letter Office) and on the final breath took a photo, with lens steamed up with breath. The physical work I donated to the exhibition is a print (the only one apart from the artist’s proof) and a CD of the performance recording (again only one apart from the artist archive copy). The A4 print looks like this:

On Saturday May 29, M.0.1.0 played along with AXXONN, Traitor and my other duo Untermorast for Thrall‘s ‘Antipodean Homecoming’ show. Was a cool night, enjoyed both my sets and everyone else’s. Mr Hall borrowed my fog machine for his AXXONN set and this was the result!:

AXXONN (photo by Matt Warren)
Untermorast (photo by Tom Hall)

M.0.1.0 debuted a couple of new songs End Credits and Idiom Grim which will form part of a new EP we are doing pre-production on right now. Word of warning, when using a digital sound recorder to record your loud set, make sure you keep the recording levels relatively low otherwise this will happen:

M.0.1.0 (Photo by Tom Hall)

June 16 – 27: mumble(speak) – the good and bad people and things tour.
Supported by Sound Travellers on their final funding round.
When I put this tour together, I knew I was due to be a father. It was important to me to be not away from home too much, so I planned it basically around two weekends. Last year’s TRIAD tour, as great fun as it was, sometimes felt like there was a bit too much downtime between gigs (especially with the cancelled show in Sydney). So it was my plan with this one to compact it by flying in, playing a show and flying out the next morning, this would also help with the being at home sooner plan. As it happened, somewhere between the too scenarios would be the best as sometimes this was slightly manic. No complaints though, here’s what happened.

Wednesday June 16: Stutter, Melbourne (played with: Heilbron, Hansen, McLean)
Flew into Melbourne on the day of the gig. Is always good to catch up with brother Nick and my old friends Jenny and Ted. Stutter, a weekly experimental music night is held at Horse Bazaar, a fantastic venue and same place TRIAD played at last year. HHM were a trio of two prepared double basses and drums/percussion. They were very cool, angular and spiky with odd moments of calm. My set went off reasonably well, though being the first night there were some audio levels I had to work on in regards to the mix. Small but pretty appreciative crowd.

Heilbron, Hansen, McLean (photo by Matt Warren)
mumble(speak) (photo by Nick Warren)

Friday June 18: 6a, Hobart (played at Pip Stafford’s exhibition opening)
This was the largest audience of the tour, but I must say I cannot really take credit for that. Pip’s show was great and I think it was a pretty good combo letting me play at her show. Some of the rough edges (where not required) were ironed out by this show. I looked up a couple of times to see both Josh and Tim seated on the floor taking it all in. Thanks guys, hope it was good for you.

mumble(speak) (photo by Sally Rees)

Saturday June 19: Kurongkurl Katitjin Art Gallery , ECU, Perth (played with: Joel Ong and Candied Limbs [Cat Hope and Lindsay Vickery])
Next morning I flew to Perth, it’s a long flight, especially considering there seem to be no direct flights from Hobart. Was met by my lovely friends and hosts Susie and Dale (with their kids Charlotte and Edward) and had a nice lunch at there place. Went to the venue which was a very cool gallery space with a curved roof perfect for the projection. Caught up with Cat who sorted the gig for me and who was to be playing that night as one half of Candied Limbs (with Lindsay Vickery). We had a brief chat about our mutual love of Scott Walker and then I met Joel. He had set up a kind of interactive sound work consisting of drones and other sounds enclosed in a wooden wall, exploring it’s acoustic properties, where the audience would take turns listening via stethoscopes. Up next was Candied Limbs and I must say I was completely daunted to play afterwards. At this point feeling like my set was very ‘easy listening’, I nevertheless performed an okay set and the reasonable sized crowd seemed to like it. Dale and I went to get something to eat afterwards and then went back to his and Susie’s place.

Joel Ong (photo by Matt Warren)
Candied Limbs (photo by Matt Warren)
mumble(speak) (photo by Dale Lewis)

Sunday June 20: Serial Space, Sydney (played with: P>A)
Next morning I got an early morning flight to Sydney and caught up with my mate and host Deb. When I arrived at her place she was 10 minutes from the end of ‘Blue Velvet’ she being as am I, a confirmed Lynch fan. She had a guest over watching the film too. He had never seen the film and I was amazed at that, not sure why I thought everyone had seen it.
Got cab to the funky little warehouse gallery space, caught up with Pia who booked the show for me who I met years ago in Hobart when she was part of the trio Conductor. Soon after I arrived in came the two guys who make up P.>A (Phil Williams and Andreww Gadow). Lovely fellas. Got to see my dear friend Felix, Cy (another Conductor almuni) and Justin (who I used to be on the Gallery Dunce ARI board with at least 12 years earlier and who I hadn’t seen for about that long). P>A played a very cool set of no-input low frequency feedback drones with video projection made up of lo-tech digital visual response to the sound, lots of interference lines and noisy textures. My set, again pretty easy listening in comparison was not bad. A very small crowd, I think due to me being a bit of an unknown as mumble(speak) it being a Sunday night and the fact that Serial Space is unable to do major promo because they have variously had gigs shut down. Still it was a very nice room to play in. Late night pizza and catchup with Felix in Enmore and some needed correspondence via web and som time in my two favourite New Town record shops Egg Records and Repressed the next day, before flying home to the family.

P>A (photo by Matt Warren)

mumble(speak) Sydney (photos by Felix Ratcliff)

Friday June 25: DVVA, Darwin
Uh oh. Not a disaster by any means, but, well this was funny ol’ gig. Primarily I wanted to stretch out venue and city-wise with this tour and really wanted to include Darwin. Firstly I had never been there, secondly I suspect my kind of music didn’t happen up there much. Flew up via Melbourne (I didn’t realise there was a Terminal 4 at Tullamarine) on Thursday afternoon/evening arriving at just on 12:00am Friday morning. The heat was intense, sweating in an air conditioned airport at 1:00am waiting to board the shuttle to the hotel was a test after a long flight. I won’t name the hotel, but suffice to say they should update their website to mention that the price per night had gone up $20. Even at the previous price it wasn’t worth it, plus being that I arrived at 1:00am I had to pay for two nights…
At least, it turned out, that it was a five minute sweaty stroll from the venue, Darwin Visual Arts Association, run by Lisa Wolfgramm who was very helpful and understanding after an email to her had gone missing and she assumed I had cancelled on her. This meant missing out on a promo opportunity, but Lisa was still happy to have me. Ahh the trials and tribulations of booking tours…The day of the gig, I was told by a few local that it was unusual hot that day, oh good, I thought, it’s not just me. It was sweltering. It’s been a long time since (read never) I’ve been in Australia in June and wanted to go to the beach. I wandered around a small section of Darwin, went down to Bicentennial Park and Lameroo Beach (didn’t swim though, got some photos and field recordings). And so the gig on the back verandah of the art centre, first mumble(speak) show I’ve performed in shorts, was to the crew of 3, one punter and a colony of bats. At least there was some good one on one discussion about the state of the arts, experimental music and so on. Thanks anyway guys, a new experience is worth the undertaking.

Bicentennial Park, Darwin
Lameroo Beach, Darwin
Lameroo Beach (with giant ants)
mumble(speak) Darwin (photo by Lisa Wolfgramm)

June 26: Browning Street Studios, Brisbane (Almost Invisible #4 night 2 with Geese, Restream and Tom Hall)
Due to my 6:00am flight to Brisbane, I needed to be in the hotel foyer to be picked up by the bus at 4:30, so I set my alarm for 4:00. Not that I needed it. Stifling heat, coupled with the delightful sound through the thin walls of my neighbour bringing up something or other for a good 20 minutes, well you get the picture. Flight from Darwin to Brisbane was fine and arrived around 10:00am and was picked up at the airport by the ever lovely Tom Hall, who always knows about good coffee and food (what was the name of that superb coffee place we went to Tom?), so apart from being a great bloke, he’s awesome to hang out and eat with! A partial eclipse and a lovely evening. The venue was funky little building that looked to be a converted house that is used for rehearsals, recording exhibitions and live recitals. A nice guy named Cam along with some assistance (I believe) from Ian Rogers (ex-AXXONN, current Ambrose Chapel and fellow JK Broadrick fan) had organised this two night mini-fest and this was night 2. Tiny crowd again, I think most folks who were going to come, came the night before. Geese were a kind of loose, noisy garagey band that had a nice feel. Restream did a kind of chaos dj set that really had its moments, was a bit of an ear opener. Tom did a lovely set with some jittery projection as only he can. My set felt a little rushed as I was aware we had a curfew so some sections were shortened. For some reason, my recordercrapped out just as I started the set, so I have no recording of this set, but Tome great some great images and the small audience, seemed very blissy at the end of it, lying on the floor, Cam was laying under the moon projection. I hope that was good sign!

Geese (photo by Matt Warren)
Restream (photo by Matt Warren)
Tom Hall (photo by Matt Warren)

mumble(speak) Brisbane (photos by Tom Hall)

Sunday June 27: Feltspace ARI, Adelaide.
First time to Adelaide and I was astonished to discover how cold it was. I realise it’s pretty far south, but, twas chilly, especially after Darwin and Brisbane. Very flat, but very nice place. My old mate and fellow VOIVOD fan Leo picked me up at the airport and we went back to his place, a veritable library of old school metal. We listened to a lot of NWOBHM and then went to the gallery, a fantastic space and met up with board member Logan. He was very helpful and couldn’t do enough for me, even suggesting some vegetarian eating spots nearby after I set up the PA and did a soundcheck. Alas it was another small turnout…the unknown factor again? Maybe the cold? Pity, as it was the best set I played on the tour, well balanced and flowed really well. But the few that turned up were full of praise and such an amount allows for good intimate discussion. Sold a CD and chatted with one punter about what software I use and so on. I’d play there or exhibit there again in a flash. Later that night Leo and I listened to more oldschool metal and watched the World Cup (he’s mad into sport), which I actually quite enjoyed. Next day, tried to go the Samstag Museum only to discover it’s closed on Mondays and Leo showed me around Adelaides glut of good record shops.

mumble(speak) Adelaide (photos courtesy Feltspace)

One superb falafel later I was on the plane home (via Melbourne). There’s nothing like smiles from loved ones after such whirlwind travel. So of course I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by some of the turnouts, but I wasn’t entirely surprised. It isn’t always my first choice to go out and see some droney guy with projections of the moon, much less someone from out of town either. Was this a prog rock show? Some Pink Floyd tribute gig? Whose to really know. In the end, regardless of how much promo you do you can’t force people to attend. However attractive or unattractive the act is, you cannot second guess the numbers. But I do thank those who did turn up and especially the venues and the folks who hosted me. I enjoyed myself and it has taught me a lot and inspired new sounds and that can only be a good thing. Here’s to the next tour.

On Friday July 2: M.0.1.0 had the pleasure of playing a set on a bill opening for legendary experimentalist KK Null. We shared the bill with Oceans (Hob), Spheres (Lton) and Thrall now with the addition of Lee Ritson on Bass. We played a short compact set to keep the night flowing smoothly and it seemed to worked well. We played only one new (non EP) track this time (‘End Credits’) and as mentioned before it will be on the next recording and we will likely be revealing all new material (with some older ones) next gig, in early September. Again I underestimated the volume of our sound and blew out the levels on my recorder. Will get it right one day. Oceans were (was? – it’s one guy) great, a nice lofi set and Spheres filled the room with wonderful washes of sound. Thrall seemed a tad tentative at this gig, but it was the first gig with Lee. Still when it worked, it really had some guts. KK did an incredibly clean, crisp layered soundscape. It sounded like an 1980s computer game with some chaotic virus reeking havoc on it’s sound generating components, that’s compliment by the way.
BTW, M.0.1.0 now have a page on Facebook, come and say hello and ‘like’ us!


So the Hobart artist run initiative known as INFLIGHT, a well respected gallery/institution and my employer since January is moving. Our lease of 5 years ran out at the end of June and was suddenly not renewed for reasons not entirely clear to us. We were able to get an extension and fulfil our July show obligation. And as it happens, the August show was to be my Sönaris exhibition. Being that I’m local and the remainder of the program contains artists from interstate, it was easier for me to postpone my show until the new year, so that’s what’s happening. Our first show in the new space will be in September and the new space is at 100 Goulburn Street on the city edge of West Hobart. Exciting times ahead, we will now have street frontage, a good size but controllable room, no neighbouring sound of grounding marble and of course nearby Pigeonhole Cafe does pretty good coffee.

City of Hobart Art Prize – New Media.
I can announce (I think) that I’ve been chosen as one of the 8 contestants (is that the right word?) to exhibit and compete in the New Media section. Who da thunk it? Certainly not me! While I think that what I do is not bad and is known to move people in a way I find very satisfying, I never thought it was ‘competitive’ in relation to other respected New Media works. My piece is a digital video and audio work embedded into the top of a black plinth and is called Project Blue Book. The exhibition opens at on Friday July 23 and continues until August 29.
Two words: People’s Choice (wink)

‘Souvenirs /Cite 3’ at Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart.
Leigh Hobba has curated me into a group exhibition of people who have spent some time at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. I’m in great company (including my old buddy Sean Bacon, Jane Burton, Matt Calvert and more) and I will be presenting a slightly reworked version (no longer using headphones and some extended light play) of a 2005 installation called Les anges appellent (convocation). This work was last shown in late 2005 in Medium Rare artspace in Redfern, NSW as part of Gail Priest‘s one night event series called e)scapes. Images below courtesy of Gail Priest. The show opens at 6:00pm Friday July 30 and will run until August 27.

DJ Broken Tiny set.
The night after the above show opens, I’ll be doing another DJ set for Ben Crothers’ Brand New Second Hand DJ series. This month’s theme of ‘Drum Machine’ will hear me include Godflesh, Dälek, Kraftwerk and Donna Summer (!) in my set. Around 9:00 pm Saturday July 31, Front Bar at Brisbane Hotel, Hobart with DJ BTC and Cough Syrup.

Just to end this long post; I have been listening to the following track incessantly. Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls plus guests live at Sunbury 1973 (in the early hours of the morning) playing a piece called G.O.D. Heard this about 18 years ago, recently rediscovered it and cannot stop playing it. It has influenced me in so many ways. It’s hard to find just the track alone online so here is an excerpt (the full version is close to 18 mins) forming the soundtrack to a film about Melbourne Sharpies by Greg McCainsh of Skyhooks no less! Enjoy and take care of each other!


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