Friday 23 January 2015, 8pm
In 2015, the great Australian label Room40 celebrates 15 years of activities with a series of curated evenings across the globe. Tonight sees three artists from the label, with American ambient artist Rafael Anton Irisarri, modular synthesist John Chantler, and Room40 label founder and composer Lawrence English.
Lawrence English is composer, media artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work explores the politics of perception and prompts questions of field, perception and memory. English utilises a variety of approaches including visceral live performance and installation to create works that ask audiences to consider the relationship to space, place and experiential embodiment.
Over the past decade, English’s sonic investigations have traversed a divergent path through which musical languages and environmental sources are granted equal focus. His work calls into question the established relationships of sound, harmony, distortion and structure. His sound work is evocative and invites the listener to explore their own narratives and impressions informed by personal histories and experiences. Published widely on respected imprints including Important Records, Touch, 12K, Taiga, and Winds Measure, English’s work is sculpted, colliding overwhelmingly intricacy with roaring waves of low vibration. His latest solo album Wilderness Of Mirrors revels in ‘extreme dynamics and densities’ and resolves into an ‘overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion’. He is one half of Slow Walkers with musician Liz Harris and enjoys ongoing collaborations with John Chantler (as Holy Family), Jamie Stewart, Stephen Vitiello, Werner Dafeldecker, David Toop, Akio Suzuki and others.
"Irisarri embodies the hybrid genre…the new kind of composer, who exists in an undifferentiated welter of pop, techno, and classical." - Pitchfork (USA)
Rafael Anton Irisarri is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer, interdisciplinary artist and curator. Predominantly associated with ambient, drone, post-minimalist, and modern classical music, Irisarri’s recorded output captures an essential vision of floating tones, deep pulsing bass and textural electronics. His use of ostinato phrases taps into minimalist ideals while atmospheric layers of effects suggests a more cinematic quality in his productions. In all, Irisarri’s compositions are deeply emotive and epic to the point of being symphonic.
John Chantler is a musician and organiser living in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 2016 Chantler released 'Which way to leave?’, his latest LP for Lawrence English’s ROOM40 label.
The self-reflexive sequencing that tracks the sub-harmonic series in the opening blast of 'Falling Forward' positions the record as Chantler's most explicitly melodic. These melodies however do not exist in a mono-dimensional vacuum, rather they co-exist in a meshed framework of dynamic timbral layers.
The record’s abrupt cuts, deft variations of density and unexpected diversions are happily explored with headlong dives into ravishing texture and extended stretches of surface stasis. The music draws on a domestic reimagining of the traditions of studio based electronic music/musique concrete and 20th century minimalism and delivers this with brash revitalized energy.
This new LP follows ‘Still Light, Outside’ an extended suite that combines passages of stark minimalism centred at the bodily invasive extremes of the pipe organ’s register with striking explosions of colour; massed chords shot through with heavy distortion and electronics that operate according to their own dream logic. It was described as ‘strikingly beautiful’ by The Guardian.