Ambarchi and Ng - Fateless DVD
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Asphodel’s premiere DVD release features the Australian duo, turntablist MARTIN NG and guitarist OREN AMBARCHI in collaboration with visual artists TINA FRANK and ROBIN FOX for an AV expedition into the sublime and fascinating worlds of Fateless. . . . . .
Since their teens, the Australian electronic composers have produced with congruent obsessions in mind. After AMBARCHI crashed one of NG’s experimental basement jams with other local improvisers, they discovered their unique love for buddhist harmonics and harmonic sound phenomenology. Their convergent interest in weird sound lead to a long-lasting, musically productive friendship. In the summer of 2000 after AMBARCHI’s own “What is Music” Festival, the two began formally producing together as respite from what they refer to as “a particularly long hot summer of antipodean improv noise fests.” Commonly containing improvisational chaos with contemporary computer music’s standards of pulses and glitches, the duo maintains balance of consonance and dissonance. Like the harmonic meditations, space is filled with bold resonance, expanding and contracting in tandem with TINA FRANK and ROBIN FOX’s visual experiments.
Since the duo’s first release, NG and AMBARCHI have worked very closely with TINA FRANK (house artist of the Mego label). Tina has designed the artwork of both “Reconnaissance” and “Vigil”, NG and AMBARCHI’s previous 2 CD/CD-rom releases on Staubgold. The precursor to Fateless, TINA FRANK’s illusory creation of destabilized and flickering lines on indiscernible planes, was built for a performance at Mutek. The live performance was a premeditated concept. AMBARCHI and NG sent FRANK ‚Vigliance’ demos for her to visually adapt and play with in her visual vocabulary, and as a result she created a library with which the audio output would be digitally generated into visual output in a live context. The collaboration is described by Res magazine’s SANDY HUNTER as “Tron-like grids that slowly morphed into more distinct forms to fluidly flowing motion graphic moments which perfectly reflected the otherworldly tones filling the space. The performance, focusing on the interplay between sound and image, left a packed house glued to the mats scattered across the floor. These moments were the `tough act to follow’ of the Mutek festival.” For those who weren’t at Mutek for the performance, ‚Vigilance’ has a similar effect.
Overlapping modular harmonic geometries articulate the visual artist’s hesitant back and forth, a common visual element for FRANK, known for her sleeve-designs for Mego and video works with SKOT, FLORIAN HECKER, and CHICKS ON SPEED. FRANK’s luminous pixels leak in carousel structures around an imagined axis, subtly introducing interfering waves of color and distorted currents of digital flourishes. The optical interaction with the eye comes as a challenge to one’s persistence of vision, furthering the notion of the work’s harmony, through the speed of pixels across the screen, the tension and release of kaleidoscopic color and the masterfully controlled sound.
8 Seconds of Weightlessness’, a studio project with ROBIN FOX, was composed and recorded by AMBARCHI and NG in the summer of 2005 at NG’s studio, araçá azul, in Sydney, Australia. Fox, a manipulator of currents, lasers, and the senses, presents his unique evolution of an ancient analogue tool, the cathode ray oscilloscope. Using his mastery of signal trickery, FOX programmed a computer algorithm to analyze the sound from the composition and processed it to excite the oscilloscope, resulting in a vision of bright green light photons across a phosphorous screen. ‚8 Seconds of Weightlessness’ provides a frantic, yet contained, perspective to the harmonic shimmers and shifts. Creeping frequencies mesmerize and entrance as the viewer transitions from familiar geometries to restless rays and jumping digital graffiti from one coordinate to another, returning to less foreign geometric landscapes.
The two visual works mediate NG and AMBARCHI’s resonating tones with mathematical light patterns, playing with dimensionality and the cloudless unnerving consonance of sensory activity. Each work is informed by the composers’ vision, creatively engaging sonic electricity with iridescent shards of spectral light, color, and movement. The combination of guitar and turntable remains mysteriously uncharacteristic of their sources, but this package of optical and sonic apparitions provides an eloquent passage into the realms of a separate reality.
Music: OREN AMBARCHI AND MARTIN NG
Visuals: TINA FRANK, ROBIN FOX.
“Many artists with or without electronic backgrounds have tried similar things, but rarely have they created a piece that is an object of such plastic beauty, such raw post-modern aestheticism. Every gesture counts in this endeavour.” - François Couture, All Music Guide (Paris) regarding the Fateless performance at MUTEK 2003 in Montreal, Canada
Catalog Number: ASP 3009
Release Date: October 10, 2006
- Vigilance 40:28 (Visuals by Tina Frank)
- 8 Seconds of Weightlessness 43:51 (Visuals by Robin Fox)