Extended Bio & CV
I grew up on a small farm on a hill outside of Bacchus Marsh in Victoria, Australia. My earliest sonic memory is lying in bed at night listening to a massive wind storm buffet our house and the surrounding trees. Years later, a friend living on a nearby property was given a lavish gift from his father, a Roland Juno 60 synthesiser. In 1982 at the age of 8 I sat behind this machine wearing a set of headphones, exploring how I could create amazing new sounds and radically change them (along with my mood) by altering the controls. This galvanising moment was the catalyst for my artistic career and a life-defining moment. I have dedicated both my professional and personal time to my obsession with the nature of aural experience and the intersection of sound and technology. It has taken me more than 20 years of consistent effort and application to develop my craft and creative philosophy. I am now at a point where I feel confident in my standing as an artist who is capable of using sound as a medium to create artworks that are innovative, daring and unique. I use technology to explore the boundaries of sound as a medium. I seek to reawaken audiences to the simple beauty and power that lies in their physical experience of sound. I hope to create rituals centred on aural experiences that explore the intersection of music, sound and noise to create lasting sonic memories. My work is an attempt to make audible that which is felt, yet unheard. To hear the unhearable.
I have always sought out unique sonic experiences and collected them in my memory. My early obsessions were listening to the music in my parents’ record collection and the sounds of nature around me. Once I discovered that I could manipulate sound using the limited controls of our family Hi-Fi system I have worked consistently to gather the experience, skills and knowledge to become highly proficient in using all forms of technology to realise creative ideas. During my secondary school education I was very fortunate to have access to instrumental training from professional musicians and exposure to western avant-garde music. I desired to attain a musician’s facility, to use an instrument to turn any musical thought into sound. Rather than pursue traditional methods of musical training, throughout my career I have focused on applying the structure, discipline and rigour found in this tradition to achieve a comparable level of expressive fluidity using technology. In these formative years I was exposed to the works of composers such as Pierre Schaeffer and John Cage, among others. It was the work of these two composers that had a profound and lasting effect on my creative philosophy; Schaeffer for his use of technology in developing a new vocabulary in which any audio that may be recorded can be formed and applied to render a music of ‘absolute’ sound, and Cage for the conceptual basis at the heart of much of his work, where any sound that occurs in the universe can be viewed as composed music if we choose to see it that way.
I briefly attended University to study as an instrumental performer and music teacher. This decision was partly due to my ignorance of the range of tertiary degrees available, and to temper my parents’ concerns about the stability of a career in music. I found this experience to be mundane and I quickly abandoned my instrumental practice and coursework to spend time working and experimenting in the University’s recording and electronic music studio. Unlike traditional musical training, there was (and continues to be) no clear method, training or lineage to follow in pursuit of the desire to be an artist who uses technology to work with sound. My experience as a tertiary student made it clear that I had to grasp my medium via application of technique, and so I left my studies to pursue opportunities to learn directly from practitioners. Until recent years, the bulk of my career has served as an extended and thorough artistic apprenticeship of my own design.
Since my departure from University in 1995 to the current day I have maintained my living by trading on the skills and abilities I have gained over the past 23 years of development. Time and again my desire to gather and pursue creative opportunities has been tied to my need to generate a living income. I have attempted, to varying levels of success, the difficult position of seeking out situations where both my creative and technical skills could be applied. This had led to a highly eclectic career that touches upon almost every contemporary application of audio technology to a creative end. This process has taken many years as I have sought to develop myself as an artist and practitioner who is both capable with the tools and literate in the various aspects of creation, from realising another artist’s vision, to collaborating with other artists, to creating work in my own right. I have worked as a composer, performer, sound designer, producer, audio engineer, live sound operator, sound system designer, University lecturer, creative director, production manager, board member, and arts administrator. Some of the mediums and contexts I have worked across include live music, museums, galleries, theatres, contemporary dance, experimental performance, national and international touring, installation, feature film, television, advertising, VR experiences, education, planetariums, site-specific works, radio, podcasting, small- and medium-sector arts organisations, and education. You can find a close to full account of the details of my career in the attached support materials.
Across these manifold experiences and situations, my preoccupation with the nature of sonic experience has remained consistent and forms the metaphysical basis for my work. While I believe that being highly skilled with sound and technology is critical to my desire for fluid self-expression, more important is the observation and recording of aural situations. It is here where the material coincides with context and emotion to create a distinct physical experience, constrained within our perception of time and left to imprint itself on our memory. It is core to my identity as an artist to question these observations and memories, and explore how I might edit, combine and enhance them to create new configurations. I’m also interested in exploring the use of tools and technology to extend human capability beyond our physical constraints. This line of enquiry has led me to several key concepts that I explore in my work.
These concepts include (in no particular order):
the nature of pure electrical waveforms expressed as (highly) amplified sound.
the impact of soundwaves on the body and human perception and physical space.
the use of the human voice as a universal sonic symbol and a medium for interconnecting listeners,
the use and exploration of audio technology to render radical changes in sonic scale.
the cosmological and spiritual nature of noise as an expression of universal chaotic energy, and also as an expression of perception and intelligence that lies beyond human understanding.
sound and music as a critical binding agent in transformative acts of mass gathering, ritual, and spiritual experience.
the interaction of distributed amplified sound with large scale architecture and natural landscapes.
the representation and reinforcement of social and political power through the development and use of audio technology.