Submerged in the basement vault of a pub in central London every Wednesday night in August, noises began to crackle, and light began to spark for noise=noise's The Basement Series. It featured over forty international and UK artists from a wide range of practices and backgrounds, and apart from a little moral support from Furthernoise.org, it was set up and run with absolutely no funding or money involved, what so ever.
Established by Ryan Jordan in 2006, noise=noise is a platform for live experimental audiovisual performance in London as regular performance events. Its foundations are built upon the raw, DIY, anarchic sound of Punk; the transgressive alienation and non-musical instrumentation of Industrial; the hypnotic intensity and autonomous nature of Rave; and the overpowering assault of noise. The purpose of noise=noise is to encourage the use and practice of DIY instruments, and experimentation not only as live music and sound but also sculpture and audio visual, dance performances. It also acts as a meeting point for artists and enthusiasts to share and develop ideas, techniques, projects and collaborations. The artists who have performed at the events range from internationally established artists to the novice beginner.
The first installment of the Basement Series saw varied performances of programming and analogue electronics from CHRIS WEAVER, JOHN MACEDO, ROB MUNRO, JOEL CAHEN, JOHN WALL, BERIT GREINKE, and CHEAPMACHINES, accompanied by live visuals from DAN TOMBS. Berit Greinke's piece was of particular interest as it was a textiles installation and used for the first time as a performance. The woven textiles were hung inside a makeshift metal frame with a moving beam positioned inside the frame and the textile passing through the middle of it. Inside the beam was an array of lights and light sensors connected to an Arduino micro-controller, which was programmed to act as a synthesizer. The amount of light which passed through the textile was determined by the physical properties of the fabric, which in turn dictated the sonic output.
In the second Basement Series the space was transformed from the previous week by the sheer amount of equipment filling the space. The impressive scrap metal, piano cadaver, and artillery shell set up of AMPERSAND occupied the back half of the basement, while the rest of the room had a chaotic mess of wires and cables, makeshift tables out of planks of wood and chairs. The other artists JAMKA, RENDERPLANT, DJ TENDRAW, DISINFORMATION, USURP, CHRIS MCCORMICK, TONE POEM, LEE GAMBLE and JULIEN OTTAVI contributed further flashing lights from the array of their various electronics. Performing remotely from the English countryside and Sydney were ALEX ANDERSON and ROGER MILLS and these were all accompanied by live interactive visuals of EVAN RASKOB, NEON EMTRZY and GRAZMASTER. The performances were again a very varied mixture of approaches ranging from modular analogue synths, circuit bent keyboards, Fluxus and Pure Data programming, and industrial metal and bicycle wheels. Interestingly Renderplant included a dancer who's movements were being tracked with a camera to control the Pure Data patch spewing out noise.
Photographs by da mad pixelist.
Basement Series number three saw the space once again reconfigured in appearance and featured CLAUDIUS MAXIMUS, KK/KK, JOHN BOWERS & LIAM WELLS, DUNCAN RAVENHALL, TOM MUDD, BBBLOOD, RYAN JORDAN, NOTEHEARDER & MCCLOUD, VLK, TANJA VOUJINOVIC, and ED KELLY demonstrating the breadth of audiovisual live performance. This is exemplified with the generative algorithms of Claudius Maximus, Pure Data programming of Ed Kelly, DIY and modular electronics of vlk and KK/KK, saxophone integrated with electronics of Notehearder & McCloud, and the guitar drones of John Bowers and Liam Wells. The performance space was altered half way through the evening with Ryan Jordan's performance experiment with DIY synths, stroboscopes and smoke. This event was also the first time Tanja Vujinovic's installation piece was used in a performative way with her sensing creatures nailed to the far wall, watching the audience who in turn affected the sound. Photograph by Vygandas Simbelis.
The final Basement Series again featured a very full line up, including CHARLES HUTCHINS, TERRY BURROWS, VASCO ALVO, RYO IKESHIRO, BARACLOUGH, ERROR, CEMENTIMENTAL, DARIO MORATILLA, and EQ-AV, with a live visual contribution from ODDSCENE. The night saw a very large modular synth performance from Charles Hutchins, a drone piece by Terry Burrows, Vasco Alvos intricate radio feedback, generative algorithms of Ryo Ikeshiro, Baracloughs noise trio, full on noise from Error, Cementimental, and Dario Moratilla, and to close the event and series was EQ-AV. EQ-AV's performance was an intricate audiovisual journey with well synced video, sound and light, which ranged from atmospheres and rhythmic noise to techno.
Audio Extracts from Performances
Claudius Maximus - Cathedral Algorithms
Jamka - Hlavy
Although the Basement Series has now finished there are plans afoot for future noise=noise events, so expect many more experiences and experiments from the noise=noise team in the future. Further information and details are available through the website.