blog for Australian artist and musician Matt Warren

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Crossed over (June 25, 2017)

Crossed over, a last bastion and a new apocalypse.
Sounds and visions of the sullun and a small black box.
There is something important to be said

Crossing (June 13-18, 2017)
MattCrossingByWayneChappell
image by Wayne Chappell

As part of the Dark Mofo festival my cohorts in the Unconscious Collective along with lighting and video designer Matt Adey/House Of Vnholy, olfactory artist Shay Xianyi and I in collaboration with Gail Priest creating soundscapes, altered enhanced and transformed a series of Uniting Churches, in Launceston, Cleveland, Ross, Oatlands, Kempton and Hobart, along a 201 km span through the Tasmanian midlands one night after the other. These installed churches also housed live performances by Melbourne based Thereminist Miles Brown and organist J.P. Shilo. Pretty much full houses each night and many favourable responses, (as well as a couple of not so favourable ones). I performed some twangy, Cooder-inspired guitar in Cleveland, live fiery and friction based foley in Ross, watery textures in Oatlands and minimalist drums in Kempton. All the while Gail mixed, manipulated and occasionally vocalised along with hers and my soundscape material. Was wonder to work with Gail in this way and hope to do it some more in the future. I also got the opportunity to play cymbals and percussion with Miles and J.P. during their set on the final night in Hobart, which was a lot of fun. A great project to have been part of and I must again reiterate my thanks to each and every person I worked with on this. At some point Gail and I may release the soundscapes we created in some form, but in the meantime a photo album I created can be viewed here:
http://www.facebook.com/pg/mattwarrenartist/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1789484611298155
There are also some videos to be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/pg/mattwarrenartist/videos/
If you are on Instagram, consider following:
https://www.instagram.com/un_collective/
and
https://www.instagram.com/houseofvnholy/
to see more images.

The Last Bastion (Long Gallery, June 18, 2017)
Following on from that last performance and installations at Scots Church in Hobart, I snuck down to the Long Gallery at Salamanca Arts Centre to play a 30 minute set, closing off Brendan Wall’s curated series of performances called ‘The Last Bastion’. I presented a new piece called “A New Redemptive Apocalypse”. Folks seemed to like it. Thanks for asking and having me Brendan.

A New Redemptive Apocalypse (in 4 parts) – new release
ANewApocalype

And with the above in mind, I’ve made available for a paltry amount of $2, a live in the studio version of the piece that I performed at The Last Bastion.
It’s available here:
https://roomofsilencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-new-redemptive-apocalypse-in-4-parts

Sullun
For a group exhibition curated by Colin Langridge coming up at Contemporary Art Tasmania, opens 21st of July, I’ve created a video and sound work. Here’s a still:
Crazy_master4_still1

“Sullun explores “blackening the world” as a lifestyle choice; done with noise, metal, screaming death, hate, drone, violence, anti-sentiment, anachronism and, of course the colour black.”
I’m in pretty amazing company and there will be performances at the opening.
More info here:
http://www.contemporaryarttasmania.org

Small Black Box – gig
Coming up on Sunday 6th of August, I’m scheduled to perform as part of the Small Black Box series, presented at East Brisbane Bowls Club, 38 Lyton Road, East Brisbane, Queensland.
Not entirely sure what my set will encompass as yet, but it will likely be droney, glitchy and include some home made instruments I call ‘Twangs’. More details here as it gets closer:
https://www.facebook.com/smallblackbox/

That’s about it for now, thanks for reading and be good to one and other.

 

Prompted by the passing of Chris Cornell

It seems to me when someone who could be considered a ‘celebrity’ passes away, in a world full of social media, many opinions, judgements and expressions gush forth. I often see cynicism around those who mourn for a stranger, like mourning has a set of rules.

Chris Cornell’s music, lyrics and the voice that expressed them had quite an affect on me in some of my formative years. I don’t expect anyone else to agree or share that sense of empathy. You may have been too old, too young, or simply and more likely, his music, his words, his lyrics just may not have resonated with you. It’s not for everyone of course, but others obviously felt a similar way to me as well.

In the age of social media, we have the means to express our sadness at the passing of someone who created something that meant or continues to mean something to us.
When anyone like this passes and there is an outpouring of grief from strangers around the world, who didn’t personally know the person in question, it shows me again and again the value of art and music to humanity. It’s not just ‘celebrity’. If someone creates something and it manages to get out there and move someone in some way, provokes an emotional response…that is a wonderful thing. That has some real value. We feel something, it touches us. And so when a creator of that something is removed from the world, I think we feel a genuine sadness. Of course, I don’t think anyone is pretending to feel the same sadness as the loss of a loved one or the loss that the celebrity’s family or friends feel. Very simply, the relationship to them is different. But if we feel connected to a person, even abstractly, via a song, a piece of art, a film, some text and that person is removed, that felt sadness or loss is only as superficial as one’s own cynicism deems it. Personally, the response to art can be profound, I’m glad it is.

I understand the cynicism. In a world of sound bites and untruths presented as news, opinions sprouted as facts, it’s not surprising there is plenty of cynicism around. But if it is a ‘blanket’ point of view, it’s actually kind of lazy and leaves little room for the nuances of the world and of humanity. And if it causes overtly judgemental attitudes, it’s not that constructive.

There is no one way to mourn and no specific rules to who one should mourn for or in what way. I’m sad Chris Cornell is dead.


Regularly scheduled program (Jan 16, 2017)

Some conclusions, a house move and some upcoming stuff.
Regularly scheduled program.
There is something important to be said.

Happy new year folks, it’s 2017 and the first couple of months bring with it some activities for interested parties to check out.

First up; this coming Sunday the 22nd of January at 8:45pm I’ll be playing drums and percussion as part of No Mates Ensemble with Mat, Dani and Dylan for the live soundtrack to Man With A Movie Camera on the Main Stage at MONA. Really looking forward to it.
nomates
More info here: http://mofo.net.au/man-with-a-movie-camera-mat-ward-no-mates-ensemble

Details and passes/access can be found here:
http://tickets.mofo.net.au/single/EventListing.aspx?k=115&_ga=1.98335071.1354251609.1477468440

The Unconscious Collective are presenting our next iteration of Hypnapod for M*Sync at the MPavilion at the Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne. This participatory installation will run from 9-14 February 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm daily.
hypnapdmpav2017
Here is the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/1871822879730411/

In addition, on Saturday 11th of February, we are presenting a ritual/performance/cardiophonic symphony that will include multi-voice sampled sound clustering, a drone guitar soundscape and live voice performance from our special guest artist Gail Priest.
msynch
Here is the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/242656146160683/

Finally, just to add, the Unconscious Collective’s project for the Menzies Centre was completed in December. It will be launched soon, stay tuned for details.

That’s it for now, hope you are all well. Be good.


Time and words escape me (Oct 6, 2016)

To tap into that dormant spirit.
Catch a breath between the outrages.
To try and fix many things may lead to burn out.
Relative to me. Still, I mustn’t grumble.
I’m coming through, we have reception.
There is something important to be said.

It’s been a while between posts. That is often a sign I’ve had a lot on. It’s seems rather daunting to try and catch you up to date with what’s been happening, so instead, maybe go check out my Facebook artist page and ‘Like’ it, if in fact you do. It is set to ‘Public’ so I believe that means even if you aren’t on Facebook you should be able to view it. I can quickly and easily do updates on there, though with a little less elegance than the newsletter or a blog post, but the info and often an image or two.
It’s at: http://www.facebook.com/mattwarrenartist/

So in the meantime a number of things have been keeping me busy and creative.
I’ve been doing multiple things with the Unconscious Collective.

7unlogo
The most urgent to mention perhaps is our work for the upcoming festival in Queenstown, Tasmania next week called The Unconformity.
We have created a pop up radio station called 7UN which will be broadcast in glorious mono on the AM band, 1485 on your dial within quite a few kms of downtown Queenstown. For those of you not so close, it will also be streamed live online in crystal clear stereo via: http://www.7un.co/
You can also find the schedule there and all the info you should need there as well.
We are happy to officially announce that our studio will be based at the wonderful Paragon Theatre, which was the original home of local station 7QT many years ago.
paragonexterior
paragoninterior
Also part of Unconformity, myself with Unconscious Collective have been co-producing with the good folks at Liquid Architecture something called Flux, a live sound environment in the old limestone Quarry.
I’ve done some minor, co-curating and co-ordinating of some of the live performers in Flux, but also creating some sound design that contributes to the aural environment of the space. Along with performing a live installed sound work, Brendan Walls has also contributed to the sound design.
With Unconscious Collective’s Michelle Boyde & David Patman physical design, Jason James’ lighting design, my sound design and the live performances and interventions overseen by Liquid Architecture, Flux should really be something.
http://theunconformity.com.au/events/flux/
Speaking of Queenstown, what’s going on here?(!)

Another ongoing project with the Unconscious Collective has been Hypnapod.
It’s seen a couple iterations so far, including one at the M-Pavillion in Melbourne, but we are currently working on a version called Colloquy Of Hearts for the Menzies Institute in Hobart. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to finishing.

Also coming up:
Tidal
I’m very pleased to be included as a finalist with such good company in Devonport Regional Gallery‘s biennial “Tidal: City Of Devonport National Art Award”. The exhibition of works opens on November 25 at 6:30pm and continues until January 29, 2017
“The Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award is a biennial, acquisitive award. Artists residing in Australia are invited to submit 2-dimensional artworks that reflect on tidal – the natural, cultural, personal or political concerns related to the sea and coastal regions.”
storminteacupstill1

Digital Portraiture.
I’ve recently submitted an entry into the Digital Portraiture Award.
As of this writing I don’t know if I’ve been accepted, but thought I’d show a couple of stills from the video, self portrait called The Blind Constitution.
digiportrait1
digiportrait2
digiportrait3

That’s it for now. Take care all, see you around.


Some kind of vertigo – (Jan 6, 2016)

Some kind of brave new world, to take care of the vessel.
Standing on the edge of the lookout, resisting the urge. Is it some kind of vertigo?
There is something important to be said.

I say this all the time, but I do plan on making posts a little more regularly. So for my first post for 2016, I’ll start with this.

mumble(speak) – I mumble goodbye (to 2015)
As I mentioned last post, the plan is to put to rest the solo projects under other names and concentrate on my own. It’s not that I dislike anything I’ve done under those names, but I don’t like clutter. So as a farewell, both to 2015 and to mumble(speak); here is a final track.

Other mumble(speak) material can be found here:
http://mumblespeak.bandcamp.com/
and
http://terraneanrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/run


So January
is going to be a pretty busy month and here’s what’s happening.

Art practice:

My friend and sometime collaborator Amanda Shone  is creating a work called Viewpoint appearing at MONA FOMA in conjunction with Salamanca Art Centre’s Situate: Art In Festivals.
I created some sound design in collaboration with her for the piece. I really like what I created and can’t wait to experience it in situ.
Fri 15 & Sat 16 Jan: 10am – 9pm
Sun 17 Jan: 10am – 7pm at Mona
http://mofo.net.au/lineup/mona-pass/amanda-shone/

Speaking of Situate, I’ve been invited to be a guest provocateur for
https://www.situate.org.au/
I will be presenting a workshop on called: Finding new experiences through sound: the difference between hearing and listening on the 19th. Thanks to Situate and SAC for asking me.

M*SYNC – on and off for most of 2015 The Unconscious Collective has worked on a project called Hypnapod and has thus far seen a couple of test iterations. We will present another version at M*Sync: a one-off full-moon party at M Pavilion using moonage beanbags in collaboration with Jonnine Standish (HTRK) on 24 January. http://www.mpavilion.org/program/msync

Haunts – the irregular live video and sound collaboration project with Scot Cotterell and Andrew Harper will be performing in support of Omahara at new Hobart Artist Run Initiative  Visual Bulk on January 30. Here’s what happened last time we did something.

Forest Of Dreams my public art project made with the Unconscious Collective at Dunalley Primary School is due to be completed this month. Here’s the plaque (image David Patman):
UnCoForestOfDream_Plaque

Music:
Machines Of Indeterminate Origin continue to arrange and record for our next release.
Our studio diaries can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/MOIOHobart
Here’s the latest one:

Also to ring in the new year M010 did an imaginary ‘Rage’ programming playlist on Mixcloud.

M010 haven’t gigged much in 2015. We released our single with an intimate show back in April and have been writing, arranging and recording on and off since then. We thought we’d end the year with a playlist of what we like, what we listen to regularly and things that have influenced us.
It’s bookended with the A and B side of our last single

moio.bandcamp.com/album/meat-dog-calculator

Somewhere in the middle is a couple of rarer or exclusive cover tracks we did. The Godflesh cover appears on the fantastic Godflesh tribute record ‘Doing God’s Work’ –
doinggodswork.bandcamp.com/releases
The Danzig cover appeared as a ‘hidden’ track (# 66) on the now virtually out of print CD version of our second EP ‘0.5 – ASSUMPT10N’ from 2011.
The playlist is:
01. Machines Of Indeterminate Origin – Calculator
02. Hawkwind – Born To Go
03. Bomb The Bass featuring Justin Warfield – Bug Powder Dust
04. The Saints – Erotic Neurotic
05. Roky Erickson and The Aliens – Night Of The Vampire
06. Killing Joke – Asteroid
07. Machines Of Indeterminate Origin – Mighty Trust Krusher
08. Machines Of Indeterminate Origin – Twist Of Cain
09. Voivod – The Prow
10. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Sweet Hitchhiker
11. Battle Of Mice – Yellow And Black
12. Scott Walker & Sunn – Bull
13. Kate Bush – Violin
14. Machines Of Indeterminate Origin – Meat Dog

www.mixcloud.com/MattWarren/m010-program-their-own-rage/

The Lucky Dips
I’m still rather new to this outfit, but have been enjoying the experience and the other guys seem pretty happy with my contribution. We have a couple of gigs this month. Keep an eye out for announcements:
http://www.facebook.com/Lucky-Dips-383218440389


Wish me luck, be good to each other.


Recent activities – November 26, 2015

When you decide your priorities, you can set yourself free. I’m an artist, this is what I do, this is what I contribute to the world. But it’s not all that I do, I’m a partner, I’m a father and in my own very small way, I’m an activist. The balance between all these facets can be balanced, but it’s a struggle sometime. So much time can be spent worry about what others will think, what can go wrong, rather than what can go right. It may in fact stop you doing anything at all and then worrying about not getting anything done…well you get the picture. I do not take my ‘lot in life’ for granted, nor do I wish this to come across as complaining. When you decide what you do is important to you, you need to figure out how it best can be done and this may well be a life-long, ongoing process. Making adjustments along the way.
Shout your mantra from the rooftops.
There’s something important to be said.

It’s been a long time between teetotaling drinks, it was May 30 since last time I posted about my activities. Here’s an update of what I’ve done and what’s to come.

Art practice:
envlopefirstpage
Envelop(e)
My third major curatorial project of which I’m particularly proud, exhibited the following amazing artists:
Julian Day, Mick Harris/Lull, Jason James, Christina Kubisch and Elizabeth Veldon. It was an honour to curate them into this show that was presented at the ever-wonderful Contemporary Art Tasmania Gallery and was included in the program of Dark Mofo festival.
CATenvelope1
CATenvelope2
CATenvelope3Images: Jan Dallas.

Here are a collection of relevant links to info, reviews and related podcasts.

“Envelop(e)” – exhibition slideshow with in situ sound. from Matt Warren on Vimeo.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-04/tasmanian-arts-community-launches-contemporary-podcast/6522086
http://www.realtimearts.net/article/128/12029
https://soundcloud.com/whatareyoulookingat-3/episode-2-sound-art

The Unconscious Collective: As some of you would know, since ‘Motel Dreaming’ at last year’s Dark Mofo festival, I’ve worked as part of The Unconscious Collective and have a number of current projects underway (and some future ones) in collaboration with them.

Sound/video for Wild At Heart
The Unconscious Collective were invited to curate a winter road trip, art event and wilderness sleepover experience, presented by Cradle Mountain Hotel and Dark Mofo in June 2015. As well as some smaller video elements, I did some extensive sound design throughout the project. This is an 8 minute walk-through in approximate chronology of the sound design I composed and created for the event called Wild At Heart.

 

Also with The Unconscious Collective: I’ve been working on an R&D project called Hypnapod. “HYPNAPOD is a live audio-visual artwork generated by the collective biorhythms of sleeping audience members.
Audience members are invited to doze in self-contained cocoon-like pods, connected via Wifi, which monitor their biorhythms to produce a resonant dream-like soundscape.”
It’s had a couple of experimental iterations so far. We are looking at further experiments in the future with a major iteration in the new year to be announced.
More info: http://www.hypnapod.com/

Forest Of Dreams. On 4 January 2013, a bushfire swept through the coastal town of Dunalley, destroying many houses and public buildings, including the local primary school. In 2014, David Patman, Michelle Boyde, Matt Warren and Gerhard Mausz were commissioned to undertake a public artwork to be installed in the new Dunalley Primary School.
We will create a ‘Forest of Dreams’: a collection of tree-like sculptures located in front of the main school building, and network of concealed speakers located in the school grounds, which provide a subtle and engaging soundscape of stories and dreams from Dunalley children and the local community. This due to be completed in late 2015 in time for term 1 2016. Here is some images of me collecting material:
MattDunalley1
MattDunalley2
Images: David Patman.
More info here: http://www.unconsciouscollective.org/forest-of-dreams/

As far as my own personal art practice goes, the next major thing is a planned artist residency in Santiago and Valdivia, Chile. It is part of an overall project called ‘Black Matter’ as curated and overseen by Francisca Moenne and I am one of three Tasmanian artists due to travel. I’m looking at going over in early March and returning early May. I have a number of aesthetic experiments I intend to undertake and I hope to explore notions of place, memory, sonic histories and hauntology. It will be supported in-kind by MAC (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo) and Galeria Metropolitana and financially by Arts Tasmania and (hopefully) Tas Regional Arts.

Some video work, sketches, in progress and tying up some loose ends.

Sound and Music:
Solo stuff –
The Non-Compliant Airmen; released the debut album of protest noise/power electronics known as “The 1st” on August 22, in the form of download and a very limited edition (of 9 numbered copies) of hand CD-Rs with individual, handcrafted collage covers. This was launched at a Sound Klub gig. Not the most successful set, but it was what it was. The album is available from:
https://thenon-compliantairmen.bandcamp.com
Here is a clip for the track “When The Boat Is Turned Back, Make Sure You Are On It”

This leads me to the following as it’s an interesting time. After a number of comments bringing to focus the number of solo projects I have (or have had in the past) under a number of names other than my own, I’ve been wondering something. Although the comments have not been in any way negative, they have bought up some personal questions. After some consideration, I’m thinking about laying to rest the monikers such as mumble(speak), The Non-Compliant Airmen, Broken Tiny…time to grow up? Be myself? I’ve had some conceptual and aesthetic reasons to give these solo recordings and performances their own names rather than my own, but why not just accept they are all part of my own creative makeup? You’ll likely see future releases that may previously have been aesthetically related to another name, simply be under my own. Nothing definitive, I suppose, maybe I’m just thinking out loud.

Following on from our collaborative performance at Sound Klub 13, Pip Stafford and I performed together again, this time at Nancy Mauro-Flude’s event: ‘Core Litany: gnostic computing transformation furnaces, calcite field divination & crystallography.’ – Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart on Aug 28, 2015. We are talking about doing some kind of release of a studio recording. Stay tuned.
PipMatt_atNancysClosing

PipMatt_atNancysClosingIIImages by Nick Smithies.

TRIAD – the trio with Scot Cotterell and Tom Hall is still on hiatus, but there is some vague talk of future work together. In the meantime I’ve put our 2009 album ‘Skullscratch’ up on my archive page
a0151697980_16
http://dustanddata.bandcamp.com/album/skullscratch

 

Machines Of Indeterminate Origin –  as stated last post, M010 released a single ‘Meat Dog’/’Calculator’ with a launch gig and to date this has been the last thing we’ve done, publicly at least. We’ve continued to workshed, compose and plan. As I write this we are in pre-production mode and have started a studio diary for the recording process. No firm dates for the release as yet, but likely to be early in the new year. Here are the diary entries and for those interested keep an eye out for updates on the youtube page:

The Lucky Dips
In my time as a practicing musician, I can’t recall a time when I’ve actually JOINED a band. I’ve often started a project or formed something with other people. Chatting to Adam one day recently in his shop we got to talking about his band The Lucky Dips who I’d seen live a number of time and even shared some bills with. Discussion turned to current status and talk of an interest in expanding the sound to incorporate more ‘space rock’ kind of jams and looking at incorporating a keyboard. I offered my services. A couple weeks later we all jammed and it seemed to work. So I ‘joined’ my first band. I kind of double as a kind of artificial bassist and droney atmospherics maker. I have my first gig with them on Saturday at the Brisbane Hotel opening for
Sparkspitter, Milkk and Spiral Kites. Here’s the Facebook event:
http://www.facebook.com/events/1645324179069938/

And here’s the Lucky Dips Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/Lucky-Dips-383218440389

Wish me luck!
Thanks for your attention, be good to each other.


“The collection of recent thoughts” blog post – November 26, 2015

Primarily I use this blog as a bit of a promo/info/art project device. But very occasionally I’ll post some thoughts because although my work is not overtly political or a societal statement, my mood and state of mind whilst making this work is invariably informed by what’s going on around me. If you are just interested in my art and music practice, feel free to skip this post, no problem. If you are interested in just one man’s opinions, read on.

Political Correctness.
Often I hear the phrase “Political Correctness gone mad/out of control”. It kind of bugs me. Not always of course, but it seems to me a lot of folks use it when they are trying to defend their own bigoted views that someone has called them on. The beauty of freedom of speech is that it can only work if it goes both ways. If you say something offensive to someone, they have the right to call you on it. I do really feel that as far as ‘Political Correctness’ goes, we are all still learning how to use it, it’s a work in progress. Of course, some will likely take it too far, look to be offended and forget that their own sense of humour is not the same as someone else’s. However, I have noticed some general improvements to the way we interact with each other as a result of Political Correctness. We are not always going to get it right, but like a tighter gun control in the US (another rant for another time), why not give it a go? I recently came across this excellent little bit by UK comedian Stewart Lee that sums it up.

 

The need to be right/correct.
As in above, being that we are still a work in progress, I think it’s totally fair for people to make mistakes, be allowed to learn, be corrected and have their minds changed without being shamed, bullied or overtly embarrassed into it. Not everyone is on top of every gender, social, religious or political iteration. We are a complex bunch and although I really urge people to see as many shades of grey as you can, you are not always able to ‘get’ something straight away…maybe never. Ignorance is not bliss and if you say something uninformed or in a knee-jerk way please expect to be questioned, possibly factually corrected and called on. But I find it unfortunate that in a time when information is easy to access, misinformation or disinformation is just as easy to find. Be patient with people…I think most of us want to be the best we can be and most of us want to just get along with our fellow humans. Take some time to explain, not to attack or ridicule when someone gets something wrong. We can’t all be right all the time. If you think you are righteous, I suspect you aren’t looking at yourself hard enough.

Terrorism.
With the advent of recent terrorist attacks around the world, inevitably emotions are heightened. Due to certain posts on social media, I am privy to attitudes from certain folks that surprise me. I guess the onus is on me to never assume the progressiveness (or conservative-ness for that matter) of any individual, especially based on their non-meat facade. Some of the war-mongering and xenophobia that has emerged in the wake of these attacks has alarmed me. So with this in mind, here is this; Terror is a state of mind, induced by terrorists with a specific ideology, which in itself is a belief, another state of mind. As far as I can figure out, you can’t eradicate a state of mind by dropping bombs on it or shooting it. Yes terrorists can be destroyed as they PHYSICALLY exist, terror and ideology do not.
One needs to consider a way to change these minds. And I have no idea what the answer or solution to that is, but I don’t think killing folks for killing folks will fix it. It may in fact make it worse.
As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as a ‘war on terror’. It seems like nonsense, like something George Bush Jr would have come up with.
And while I’m at it, I’m not sure guilting people and judging them for where their apparent sympathies and empathy lay is at all useful. Sometimes ignorance is not malicious or willful, it’s just ignorance. Draw people to others plights with respect and simplicity, not from an ivory tower of superiority.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.