Experimental Turntablism: James Kelly + Robert Curgenven
Wednesday March 15th, 7pm
Sue Townsend Theatre, 16 Upper Brown Street, Leicester
MTI PhD candidate James Kelly is presenting a concert at the Sue Townsend Theatre (old Phoenix). This will be an audio visual show with a headline performance from Australian composer Robert Curgenven.
Robert Curgenven: Speculative Pataphysics
Three turntables, custom-made oscillators, 1930s acetates, custom-cut dubplates and a whole lot of bass - polyrhythmic phasing in light and sound brings your whole body and the surrounding space into a face-melting physical constellation. Projections powered directly by the sound use Edwin Land's (inventor of Polaroid sunglasses and Polaroid photography) work with colour shadows to create a head-wrecking synaesthetic experience with the spontaneous production of colours and patterns which may or may not be there. Warning: flickering lights, loud sounds, strong low frequency pressure.
Robert Curgenven is an Australian artist living in Cork, Ireland who sculpts air with sound. His work uses sound as a physical field of perception to encourage us to consider our physical experience of sound through our bodies, the space they inhabit and also the psychological shaping of time and duration by the auditory. For him sound is weather and his work entreats us to feel and hear air. His live performances, installations and album releases span pipe organ through to feedback, immersive resonances via turntables and custom-made vinyl, as well as carefully detailed field recordings from remote areas in Australia where he lived for many years. The Wire surmises that “behind the music lurk such [disparate] presences as Alvin Lucier, King Tubby, Murray Schafer and Eliane Radigue.”
From beginnings 35 years ago as a classically trained organist the past ten years have seen him release work on labels such as LINE, The Tapeworm, Winds Measure and his own Recorded Fields Editions. Curgenven has performed extensively across Australia and Europe, including Maerzmusik festival (Berlin), TodaysArt festival (Den Haag), Ultrahang Festival (Budapest), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), Cork Film Festival, Lausanne Underground Film/Music Festival, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art (Gdansk), Leipzig Gallery for Cont. Art, Northern Territory Centre for Cont. Art (Darwin) as well as residencies in Milan (O’), Venice (Forte Marghera), Rotterdam (Worm), Berlin (Transit Lounge) and Alice Springs (Art/Land/Culture). He has presented sound, audiovisual and sculptural work in group exhibitions for Transmediale (Berlin), 10 Years of Microsound (Diapason Gallery, New York), National Film & Sound Archive (Australia) and galleries throughout Australia & Europe including National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) and a solo exhibition at Centre for Contemporary Art, Torun (Poland).
As a turntablist for the last 15 years, James Kelly's music explores the remixing of vinyl using DJ scratch techniques for the creation of new music. The project presented at the Sue Townsend Theatre takes his compositional approach in new directions by utilising a disc cutting lathe - a machine which is traditionally used in the manufacture of records. The mechanism and limitations of the lathe itself are used as an artistic tool to shape the music. The performance is created using three turntables to mix music which Kelly has cut to vinyl using a range of experimental disc cutting techniques that alter the timbre of sound recordings. Part performance, part exhibition, the work is presented is an audio visual performance in collaboration with The Lab Visuals. Live video feeds are mixed together making the compositional process accessible to the audience.
In 2009 Kelly was selected by UK Young Artists to represent the UK at the Young Artists Biennale in Skoje, Macedonia. Other notable performances include; Tate Modern, Modern Art Oxford, New Art Exchange, Nottingham and The Avenue Gallery, Northampton.