LIVE: Shelley Parker, Tom Richards, Leslie Deere, Tom Mudd, Graham Dunning.
If producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry once described the space-defying echoes emerging from his Black Ark Studios as a 'ghost in me coming out', where are we to seek out the spectral presences haunting today’s music machines? Ghost in the Machine Music presents five sound artists working in a variety of media, from digital synthesis to custom-built music boxes, each creating new forms of dialogue with their respective apparatus. Between them they advance a radical vision of the relationship between music and technology, in which the latter becomes not just control interface or passive tool, but something more like an active partner with its own quirks and peccadilloes.
Electronic sequencers homemade from scratch, records stacked up on a single turntable appended by junk electronics and school science lab equipment – instruments like these are inherently unstable, forever threatening to teeter out of sync, react unpredictably, or collapse altogether. But such instability can produce musically fascinating results (not to mention a dramatic live spectacle). Graham Dunning, Leslie Deere, Tom Mudd, Shelley Parker, and Tom Richards share a sculptural approach to sound in which conceptual rigour is married to results both highly plastic and profoundly engaging. Favouring a set up in the round, at audience level, unmediated by stage or proscenium, the event becomes less a traditional concert than a temporary installation, a shamanic ritual – or a sťance.