Monday, 26 November 2007

Maximum Arousal Sun Dec 2

Sun Dec 2

The Toff
Level 2
252 Swanston St

Maximum Arousal presents:



Pikelet is Evelyn Morris, a 24 year old musical
wunderkind from the outer suburbs of Melbourne who
began life as a hardcore-obsessed drummer, and still
currently serves on sticks in such heavy-hitting
Melbourne institutions as Baseball and True Radical
Miracle. But a couple of years ago, something tickled
Evelyn’s brain in a funny way and she felt compelled
to grab an old accordion, a guitar and a delay pedal,
and launch a decidedly un-hardcore solo career as
Evelyn's music is a gorgeous, multi-tiered work of
swirling and shifting melody, layered harmonies and
charming story-telling, uniquely assured and highly

The return of Melbourne's amazing power trio!
'Power Trio.' Say the phrase to any long-hair since
its conception some 40 years ago and they'll
immediately know what to expect. Blistering leads,
power-house drumming, heavy bass lines and bluesy
vocals. Sounds like a formula, yes? Well, it is. Many
have stepped up to the plate, attempting to make their
1+1+1=3 but few dare be mentioned in the same breath
as legends like the Groundhogs, Grand Funk, Sleep, Sir
Lord Baltimore and the almighty Cream. But who among
us will take this hard rock to a new place? Enter
Super Stupid: three dudes from the burbs of Melbourne
each with degrees in Cactology and a Masters in
Riff-ality. Let the throb fest begin!

Thembi Soddell is a Melbourne sound artist who works
primarily with the sampler to manipulate and abstract
the external world into both a vicious and alluring
sonic experience. With a focus on texture and depth,
she plays with the extremes of dynamics, pushing the
threshold of both silence and noise, toying with the
listener’s sense of expectation. For this performance
she will be joined by Melbourne drummer supremo Joe Talia.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Zac Keiller @ The Afterdark

Friday November 16th
Featuring: The Ship has Sunk 9-9:30pm
Zac Keiller 10-10:30pm
@ The Afterdark 565 High St.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

20.11.2007 - Sound (and screen) - RMIT Sound Graduates

Sound (and screen)
Live experimental soundscapes, and soundtrack projections
from the 2007 Sound graduates
School of Art RMIT

Tuesday 20 November
Doors 8pm, performance 8:30pm

at the Toff In Town
Second Floor Curtin House
252 Swanston Street

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Maximum Arousal Sun Nov 18

Sun Nov 18

Maximum Arousal presents:


The Toff
Level 2
252 Swanston St


Maximum Arousal presents a killer night of outre rock & strange sounds from the extreme underground

PUMICE (New Zealand)

Stirring & shambolic downer hymns from New Zealand. With songs nestled halfway between Xpressway's searing static and Flying Nun's dark jangle, Stefan Neville aka PUMICE has quietly created a unique brand of fractured pop since 1991. Despite (or because of) his activity in New Zealand's cassette underground for the past 15 years, Neville has only recently begun to crawl into the consciousness of outsider music fans. His recordings are indebted to Austrian beer, unspeakable horror and wild dogs & are precariously arranged using an arsenal of cassettes, chord organ, vocals, drums and guitar yielding a fragile and fractured masterwork of sound. Stark and melancholic, calling to mind Alastair Galbraith, Sun City Girls and Supreme Dicks. Through Neville's layers of hiss and murk lie harrowing and beautiful songs. Auckland's Pumice is part of a New Zealand musical lineage that includes Dead C, Tall Dwarfs, The Pin Group, This Kind of Punishment, and contemporary acts like Armpit, Birchville Cat Motel, Witcyst, Antony Milton & Lovely Midget. His ballads & experiments encompass the aural oeuvre of the aforementioned acts delivered with a truly distinct vision

WOG (Sydney)

WOG is Ray Ahn of the Hard Ons and Robbie Avenaim. Their chemistry is undeniable: an avant-garde free-jazz improviser of the highest order dabbling in punk and a punk-rock fiend of distortion dabbling in avant-garde and improvisation joining forces to unleash an infectious yet brutal alternative to the current chart fodder!!!!!!!


Melbourne's very own bloody & brutal grind legends!


Melbourne's Aeroflot duo was established to illuminate Cold War history by playing shabby grindcore.


Doors open 8pm



Sun Nov 25: You Don't Have To Call It Music: Music By Visual Artists
BUM CREEK (Trevelyan Clay : Kreme Karmel : Thug Quota)
DOWNTOWN (Harriet Kate Morgan : Harriet Susannah Hudson : Nisa Venerosa)

Monday, 12 November 2007

What is experimental music?

As one of the content restrictions on this blog is to include only experimental music, I thought it might be worthwhile dragging out the old chestnut for some fresh discussion.

Let’s start with a hypothetical:

A pop rock band is recording a new song. It is a pretty generic, standard 3 minute pop song, with a 4/4 beat, verse/chorus structure. One of the band members spies some bagpipes in the corner of the studio, tells his band mates he used to play them as a kid, picks them up and begins playing along with the song. The others like the effect and decide to include the bagpipes in part of the recording. The band have never used bagpipes before.

Is this experimental music?

Michael Nyman in his book on John Cage defined experimental music (in part) as, “an act where the outcome is unknown”. In our hypothetical, the outcome was unknown to our band, so perhaps their song is experimental music.

John Whiteoak, author of the book Playing Adlib, makes the division between problem solving and problem creating music. And Warren Burt has written that true experimental music seeks to create problems without expectation of success or failure. The use of bagpipes by our pop band was on the surface a case of momentary inspiration, but another way of looking at it was that the band asked the question, “what if we use bagpipes?” The band judged the inclusion of bagpipes to be successful to the song, but if it had not been successful, they would likely have discarded the overdub. In this case, that would fail the definition of experimental music. But what if they then tried a gamelan instead, or a mic’d up power tool or vacuum cleaner?

All of the aforementioned writers talk about the importance of cultural context in any definition of experimental music. Let’s assume our band have never heard AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Top”. If they haven’t, should they have? Is it the duty of the experimental musician to be culturally aware and knowledgeable in their chosen field. Should they know if bagpipes have been used in pop music before?

Or is experimental music now a genre of music, just like blues, rock, punk, heavy metal, jazz, etc. Are we kidding ourselves that there is anything more to it than that? John Whiteoak often uses the term “exploratory music” instead of “experimental music”. Is experimental music an ideal (perhaps a quaint one at that) as opposed to a contemporary reality?

Please add your comments here as to what you think defines experimental music. It may help further define what will be listed in this blog.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

18.11.2007 - Dulais Dusk - Barnaby Oliver & Simon Whitehead

Barnaby Oliver (Melbourne) and Simon Whitehead (Wales, UK) present Dulais Dusk.

Dulais Dusk consists of a video of Whitehead's guitar at 5-5.45pm GMT on November 8th on the banks of the river Dulais, West Wales. The video will be presented with live sound treatments at 5-5.45pm at Loop Bar (23 Meyers Place) as part of Electundra 2007, and as the first public manifestation of Oliver and Whitehead's next project, PINGS.

PINGS springs directly from the geographical distance between two collaborators. Working directly from their locales they will explore the physical space between them through rivers and air and a range of other terrains with their own qualities – communication links through the web, phone networks, postal, and the less tangible links of memory and synchronicity. The artists will begin an exchange of performance and materials through these various channels as a means of mapping these terrains. Over time this will create a continuous feedback system. As with any feedback system, artefacts (imperfections) are introduced that begin to give us information about the space it occupies – as a tree is bent to the wind or a pebble smoothed by the sea.

PINGS is funded by an artsadmin (UK) bursary.

Dulais Dusk is the latest in the Dulais strand. Dulais Wade and Duck (2006) were created from sound recordings of actions by Whitehead with electric guitar around the Dulais. The resulting recordings were processed and mixed by Oliver. They were originally published with Whitehead's book 'Walk to Work' (shoeless, 2006), and presented as part of a mixed-media installation at the Sonic Arts Network/I-DAT Expo festival (Plymouth 2007). An extract is also available on the String Theory compilation CD (Dreamland Recordings 2007).

Google Maps ref

Mash Out Nov 22nd: Essendon Airport, Free Choice, Bum Creek, DJ People.

FREE CHOICE (Jarrod Zlatic, Fab Diamonds);

This month, MASH OUT presents seminal Australian post-punk legends ESSENDON AIRPORT, comprising founding members DAVID CHESWORTH and ROBERT GOODGE with GRAHAM LEE (ex-Triffids) in a rare Melbourne performance. Not to be missed!! Also perfoming will be FREE CHOICE, an analogue synth Terry Riley-esque psych-out brought to you be JARROD ZLATIC (Fabulous Diamonds), playing one of his much talked about solo shows; Finally, artschool-improv upstarts BUM CREEK will be kicking off precedings with freak-jam glory.

DJ PEOPLE will be playing appropriately excellent tunes throughout the evening.
Early show. Doors 8pm for 8:30 start.

On Essendon Airport:
“What initially seems perverse soon acquires a curious, bewitching logic…bringing up a vast underworld of glancing harmonies, melodic fragments and abstract estates” - The Wire, UK
On Free Choice:
"solo keyboard pieces whose nearest point of reference would be Cluster or Terry Riley if it weren't so unique. Its nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. Complex phrasing keeps splitting from the central mass, time lagging and shedding skin after skin" Biclops Blog.
On Bum Creek:
“We want the future in sound like a childish engagement with science fiction. We fear normality of the frontman…Freaky sonic freaks give you a musical play and some treasure…. We are Bum Creek” – Bum Creek.


MASH OUT creative music series combines experimental soundscapes, psych-folk, electroacoustica, new composition, jazz, media installation, avant pop, laptop exploration and contemporary improvisation. ENQUIRIES: Sophie Brous (Curator/Producer)

Saturday, 10 November 2007

18.11.2007 - Shimmersong - James Hullick

Footscray Community Arts Centre and JOLT present

Sun 18 Nov 3pm FREE entry,
Footscray Community Arts Centre, Basement Theatre.

“And the spectators could appreciate yet again the
benefits of instant
communication to be found in such a music making blend
of the prepared and the improvised.” Clive, O’Connell,
The Age 8 May 2007, regarding the Cranky Robotics

Following the roaring success of The Amplified
Elephants’ Cranky
Robotics performance in May, renowned composer,
pianist and electro
sound-artist James Hullick and the participants of the
ArtLife program
at Footscray Community Arts Centre are back with their
latest sonic art
installment – Shimmersong – a free concert at 3pm on
Sunday 18 November in the Basement Theatre, Footscray
Community Arts Centre.

Shimmersong is a lush audiovisual work stretching
across 40 minutes. A hypnotic orchestral and
electronic drone drifts beneath pools of
emanating pink and blue light. Abstract anatomical
moving images are
projected across large angled screens, framing the
musicians who are
nestled in the midst of the audience.

Sunday 18 November
Basement Theatre,
Footscray Community Arts Centre
45 Moreland Street, Footscray
Bookings advised. Phone 03 9362 8888 or email

Snawklor @ Utopian Slumps on Sunday 11th Nov

If you haven't visited this gallery in Collingwood, here's a good reason to check it out. Nathan Gray currently has a show there and his closoing party is tomorrow Sunday 11th. Snawklor ar playing (ie Nathan + Dylan of Hi God People doing ambient drones) and Jarrod from Fabulous Diamonds is playing too. It's in the same street as 3PBS, down a little lane, look out for party goers.

Sunday 11th Nov from 6pm at Utopian Slumps

Friday, 9 November 2007

Broken Signals @ Horse Bazaar

When: Wednesday November 21st.
Where: Horse Bazaar. 397 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
Cost: $5.00. Doors 8:30pm

Event: Broken Signals: an evening of visual instrumental music.


Chris Rainier / Chris Rainier is a lapsteel player. He has performed in various styles, from North Indian classical, and bluegrass to experimental and improvised music.

Zac Keiller & Emily Williams / Zac Keiller performs improvised guitar with a sound that travels between quiet instrumental, ambient swells of chords to buzzing drones. Emily Williams uses electronics and various machines to process her Cello. Compositions consist of repetition, vocals and various pedals and effects, layered creating works that are haunting and transcendent.

Great Earthquake / Great Earthquake creates a mixture of guitars, accordion, organ, glock, bells, drums, violin, voice, & piano.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Posting Etiquette

Please try to follow these guidelines when posting/commenting here:

1 - Only post information about events occuring in Victoria, with emphasis placed in and around Melbourne. You can also promote new CDs, etc from Victorian artists. You can also post general discussion threads on subjects relevent to experimental music in Melbourne.

2 - The definition of "experimental music" is controversial and subjective, but I can tell you what I don't want to see here under the banner of "experimental music" - dance music, run-of-the-mill heavy metal/thrash, punk, mainstream music that's a bit quirky, jazz, dubstep, etc. What is acceptable includes electro-acoustic, sound art, sound-based installations, improvisation, noise, ambient, instrument builders, free jazz, some 20th century classical/New Music. Only send electronica if there is a significant experimental element to it; bascially, if you can describe it with a label or genre (i.e. - dubstep or IDM), it's not suitable for this blog. I realise it is questionable whether some of these genres are truly experimental music in the pure sense of the word, but for the purposes of this blog that's what's on and what's not. Basically, if I've invited you to post here, you'll know what I mean. Also have a look at this discussion on What is Experimental Music.

3 - Follow the following format in posting: put the date, name of the event and main artists in the subject field of the post; include details in the main body, including venue location, URL/street address, cost, contact details for further info.

4 - Please feel free to use the Comments function to add extra info on a posting, including reviews if you attended the event/purchased the CD.

5 - No personal abuse please. It is OK to say you hated a performance or CD, but leave the personal abuse out. Trolls and repeat offenders will be banned at my pleasure.

If you want to have posting rights, email me

(edited October 2013).

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

9-23 Nov 2007 "Vaucanson's Duck" - Ernie Althoff, Robbie Avenaim, Dale Gorfinkal and more.

*Vaucanson’s Duck*
Vaucanson’s Duck brings together, for the first time, three unique instrument builders and sonic thinkers to construct a special sound installation and a series of concerts at Bus.
Ernie Althoff, Robbie Avenaim and Dale Gorfinkel will provide a site-specific collaboration utilising their diverse array of wondrous automated music inventions, continuously challenging and mesmerising audiences both sonically and visually.

Evening concerts will feature Ernie, Robbie and Dale along
with guest performers:
9/11 Opening 7pm Dale Gorfinkel, Robbie Avenaim, Ernie Althoff
10/11 Dave Brown
11/11 Closed (S.S.L - Dale Gorfinkel and Robbie Avenaim @ the Toff 12/11 James Wilkinson & Rosalind Hall
13/11 Oren Ambarchi
14/11 Robin Fox
15/11 Erick Mitsak
16/11 Sean Baxter
17/11 Paul Wain
18/11 closed - (WOG - Ray Ahn & Robbie Avenaim @ the Toff)
19/11 Graeme Leak and Rod Cooper
20/11 Anthony Pateras
21/11 Dale Gorfinkel, Robbie Avenaim, Ernie Althoff
22/11 Natasha Anderson
23/11 Phillip Samartzis

*ALL performances (10/11 - 23/11) 8pm, $8* *The Gallery is open Wed-Fri 12-6 and Sat 12-5.*

Jacques Vaucanson (French, 1709-1782).Vaucanson’s Duck is perhaps the most famous automaton that has ever existed. Vaucanson wanted to construct moving anatomical figures which could be used by doctors and surgeons to demonstrate bodily operations. Arriving In Paris at age 26, he lacked money for these experiments and decided instead to produce “some machines that could excite public curiosity.” In 1738 he presented before the Academie Royale des Sciences three automata - a drummer, a flute player and the duck. They met with an immediate and enormous success - not only among the public but with savants as well.The duck was exhibited with great acclaim throughout Europe,fell
into ruins, was repaired, lost, and rediscovered, and was last sited in the 1860s.

Bus 117 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne 3000 Bus acknowledges the support of the Australia Council (the Federal Government's arts funding and advisory body), Arts Victoria & Troika

Welcome to Experimental Melbourne

This blog is designed to be a place where news accumulates about experimental music happenings located in and around Melbourne, Australia. Upcoming performances, releases and other news will be featured here.

Punters in Melbourne have long wanted a central location where they can find news about upcoming shows and other news. This blog aims to be such an animal.

I am keen to have this blog open to numerous people to post their news - if you want to have posting rights, drop me an email.