Please join us to mark the opening of Woodburner, a new installation by Colin Woods based on materials sourced during a house-sit at Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula.
Woodburner is an audio and video installation by Colin James Woods, based on materials sourced during a house-sit at Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula. Using sound as a class of found object, he has enhanced and transformed the recordings and diffuses them using his newly upgraded Programmable Interactive Speaker array (PiSA) to create an enveloping soundscape over 12 channels with video created from images of the flames. Inspiration for the piece comes from Colin’s visceral enjoyment of the ritual of lighting and tending the wood burning stove, and how it reminded him of lighting the open fire in his parents’ home back in Belfast. It also references Iannis Xenakis’ influential 1958 work Concrét PH.
My Programmable Interactive Speaker Array featured in the last day of the fantastic A Room That Echoes festival organised by the Audio Foundation. Works were diffused on this 12-channel apparatus by Malcolm Riddoch (Christchurch) and Andrew McMillan (Auckland) and the event closed with a performance of my own semi-aleatoric piece Pentatonix.
Everybody’s plans and habits have been chewed up and spat out by Covid19.
For artist Colin Woods that means completely reassessing his work I Just Called.
“It’s no longer feasible to have visitors to an exhibition pick up a handset and listen to the pieces,” he says, “because the handsets are potentially vectors for transmission of pathogenic organisms, particularly as they involve hand contact and are then brought into close proximity to the face.
“At the same time, the pandemic has made us more aware of the importance of communication and connectedness, so I feel that the work is more important than ever.”
Woods’ solution has been to move the work online, as a browser-based interface that is optimised for smartphones. [see ijustcalled.online]
I Just Called is a series of voice recordings, of people pretending to make a phone call to a loved one. The anonymous callers’ words are unscripted and devoid of context, but the result is very affecting for the listener.
“This piece plays with the dynamic between intimacy and voyeurism,” Woods says. “We hear people saying heartfelt and private things to ones they love. By agreeing to be recorded for the work, they have given us permission to listen, but still there is a sense that we might be intruding – and that’s both delicious and slightly uncomfortable!
“I’m fascinated by humans and the theatre we perform as we all go about our daily activities.”
Colin will still be seeking to collect more content for the work – with strict social distancing measures to protect himself and participants.
That Which Separates is a collection of the soundtracks from three recent video works by the composer which respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on those of us in Aotearoa New Zealand. References include the spooky paucity of activity on his local streets, the increased pain of separation from loved ones, and a meditation on our heightened sense of mortality.
The EP is available for purchase on Bandcamp or can be streamed on all the major platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal.
The album is available for download or streaming from Bandcamp for $5 and marks the second phase of my library music project of short pieces which span through-composed conventional works, electronica, and ambient soundscapes.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of Kete Aronui. It’s an amazing facility which is cheap to access and worth supporting. So, if you’re looking for meeting rooms or rehearsal space for a theatre production, chamber ensemble, dance project, or just want to rent a hot desk for a few days to work on a project then you should definitely check it out. a big Ka Pai to Richard Green and his team for making this happen.
“These are the trees that touched the sun, Winter trees with leaves undone.”
At last, a little piece of work inspired by the recent trip to Ireland. I was on the bus from Belfast to Dublin Airport on my way to catch my flight back to New Zealand. I was mentally exhausted and drifting in and out of that hypnagogic liminal space between awake and dozing. Gazing out the dirty window, I saw the winter tress silhouetted against the setting sun. They looked burnt – semi vaporised by the solar onslaught. I pressed my phone against the window and recorded a snatch of video to remind me. This is the result. Soundtrack is processed saxophone against stacked sine tones and the original video sound of the bus.