Blog Open Frame: Room 40 Festival

Open Frame: Room 40 Festival

Posted July 9, 2017, 8:12 a.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground

Open Frame: Room 40 Festival

Carriageworks

Sydney

June 30. 2017

Carriageworks, Sydney’s largest and one of its more eclective multi-arts centres, is stoically following its ambitious mission which is informed by a commitment to reflect social and cultural diversity by presenting the 2017 incarnation of Open Frame: Room40.

Being a biannual experimental music festival, curated by composer and artist Lawrence English, it features a geschmâcklerisches line-up of artists operating at the edge of contemporary sound practice, with emergent voices in electronic music such as Elysia Crampton, Sarah Davachi and Klara Lewis colliding head on with artists such as Xiu Xiu and Alessandro Cortini who are responsible for a take on music that is aesthetically more on the provocative end of the spectrum.

Your humble narrator saw the second night of the two-day festival, which included Swedish musician, Klara Lewis, known as a sculptor of dreamlike sounds rich in texture, which finds an aesthetic charge in the mundane – be it the hum of a fridge or distant laughter – and results in experimental sounds that on the surface might sound comforting, yet upon closer inspection show a distressing quality skirting the edge of the familiar.

Lewis does not overly rely on repeating loops but prefers a fluid, stream-of-consciousness open framework, with distant, swooning, watery climaxes drowned out by muffled drones and unintelligible voices while percussion taps ominously down below, creating a mélange that is strangely blissful and unnerving at the same time.

Sarah Davachi’s work belongs to a tradition of deep, shimmering drone music reminiscent of the likes of Kevin Drumm, and Marian Zazeela. 

What appears to be simple on the surface with not a whole lot happening in terms of melodic or rhythmic arrangements, her emissions work on a more subtle level combining long held tones and microtonal variations with a wealth of overtones, harmonics, and ghostly pulses produced by the friction between them.

What does not sound overly engaging and rather static on paper, unfolded its expressiveness in a live environment with Davachi’s carefully orchestrated tidal acoustic and electronic arrangements that sneak in, weaving themselves in and out of your head and taking you on a journey with the imperative being to keep moving and embracing disorientation.

Nine Inch Nails collaborator, Alessandro Cortini’s meditatively cohesive audio-visual work Avanti, was presented with cinematic fluidity, acquainting music with memory, i.e. (re-)living memory through sound. Using his family’s vintage Super 8 films, shot by his grandfather as an accompaniment to his music, Avanti created a dynamic self-portrait refracted by memory and the melancholy of remembrance.

A nostalgic requiem with fuzzy synths and melancholic drone textures against the backdrop of childhood memories that unfolds a very distinctive, emotive, poignant and melancholic narrative that was permeated with a sense of loss in combination with the sound eventually culminated in reaching a cathartic conclusion.

Carriageworks proved again to be an ideal venue that offered ample space for an eclectic evening with experimental and at times deliberately challenging sounds.

---

Photos from Carriageworks

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Water of Life – Rest and Be Thankful

Posted by T
Jan. 20, 2020, 12:47 p.m.

Water of Life – Rest and Be Thankful   So far we have our focus mainly set on covering distilleries, which makes sense as they make the spirit. However, given ... read more

Tim and Eric @ Enmore Theatre

Posted by T
Jan. 19, 2020, 9:24 a.m.

Tim and Eric Enmore Theatre Sydney, Australia January 15, 2020 For the uninitiated, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, “Tim & Eric” is a comedy duo that has garnered a cult ... read more

Life – The Show

Posted by T
Jan. 18, 2020, 8:56 a.m.

Life – The Show Spiegeltent Sydney, Australia January 9, 2020 Given that the creative entity that is Strut & Fret is known for assembling superbly talented performers for their productions ... read more

Mclusky @ Oxford Art Factory

Posted by T
Jan. 16, 2020, 10:11 p.m.

Mclusky Oxford Art Factory Sydney, Australia January 12, 2020   Mclusky…rings a bell, huh? I remembered that they were one of the better bands in the 1990s that emerged out ... read more

Gotta Get Theroux This book review

Posted by T
Jan. 13, 2020, 6:19 p.m.

Gotta Get Theroux This Louis Theroux Macmillan   Louis Theroux and his documentaries are known the world over due to two things: Theroux’s idiosyncratic, self-deprecating approach to journalism and unique ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.