Deep Listening

Deep Listening Performance Series 2009


John Wiese poster

John Wiese is a Californian artist and composer. Both a prolific collaborator and solo performer, Wiese has worked with the likes of Sunn O))), Merzbow, Wolf Eyes, Lasse Marhaug, and C. Spencer Yeh. Well known and highly respected in the ‘noise’ community, Wiese has performed across Europe, America, and Scandinavia at events such as Colour Out of Space (Brighton, UK), DEAF (Dublin Electronic Arts Festival) and the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Wiese’s tour of New Zealand and Australia at the end of 2009 came after the recent release of his solo album Circle Snare, described by one reviewer as ‘yet another stunning example of exacting noise construction’. Supported by Our Love Will Destroy the World, Wiese’s Wellington performance was a unique evening of disrupted musical forms.

Frederick Street Light and Sound Exploration Society
46 Frederick Street, Wellington
Wednesday 9 December 2009

with Our Love Will Destroy the World

John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.Our Love Will Destroy the World, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.Our Love Will Destroy the World, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.John Wiese performance, December 2009. Photograph: Sally McIntyre.


Chris Watson

Solo Performance
Adam Art Gallery
Saturday 10 October 2009

Field Recording Workshop
Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society
Saturday 10 October 2009

Chris Watson’s work as a wildlife and environmental sound recordist is unparalleled. He has worked with the BBC recording and editing sound for many of David Attenborough’s great wildlife series such as The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2001), Life in the Undergrowth (2005) and Talking with Animals (2001) and has won numerous awards for these and other TV and radio documentaries.

As well as his work as a documentary sound recordist, Chris Watson is an artist in his own right and has produced three solo albums and many collaborative sound works. He constructs collages of sounds, which evolve from a series of recordings made at the specific locations over varying periods of time. Watson’s exploration of sound environments has taken him all over the world and has led to many bizarre and unconventional recording situations. He has recorded glacial shifts in Iceland, massive storms in the Baltic Sea, the voices and rhythms of the Humboldt current around the Galapagos Islands. Chris Watson’s performances take listeners to places hidden and inaccessible. It is cinema for the ears.

Chris Watson’s visit was made possible by and kindly supported by Adam Art Gallery, New Zealand School of Music and Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society.

Master Drummer of Japan

Shoji Hano poster

Born in 1955, based in Tokyo, Shoji Hano is one of free-jazz, noise and psychedelic rock’s most preeminent percussionists and brilliant all-round sages. Widely regarded on the same consecrated plane as celebrated jazz heavyweights, the late Rashied Ali, Milford Graves, and his own mentors Max Roach and Art Blakey, Shoji’s solo drumming is a mesmerizing feat to witness, and displays a bewildering dexterity that’s both physically and psychically difficult to attribute to the motions of one individual player.

Sketching and tracing moiré-like patterns with his limbs, Shoji’s flurrying percussive vernacular is disciplined and virtuosic, while remaining spirited and idiosyncratic. Intricate cross-patterns and superimposed timings bubble up and collide with furious detail, subsiding in cyclical and funky grace before erupting again with colourful exuberance.

His adroit Octopus-like beats and fizzy punk rhythms have been heard in a countless array of collaborative recordings with the esteemed likes of late pioneering guitarist, Derek Bailey, Acid Mothers Temple’s Kawabata Makoto, Fushitsusha’s Keiji Haino, Eugene Chadbourne, and cult Japanese psychers High Rise. His work has also appeared on renowned labels, P.S.F. and Improvised Music from Japan.

Adam Art Gallery
Saturday 3 October 2009

118 Tory Street
Saturday 3 October 2009

with the Honkies and Secretaries on Standby

Frederick Street Sound and Light Exploration Society
46 Fredrick Street
Sunday 4 October 2009

with A Donaldson, D Beban, J Henderson and T Callwood

New Zealand School of Music
Concert Hall
Massey University
Wallace Street, Mt Cook
Monday 5 October 2009

[3] Two Trains of Thought
Lyttelton-based sound artists Stanier Black-Five and Mela


The audio work of Stanier Black-Five regularly fuses live electronics with environmental recordings and found sounds; from mesmerising aircraft drones to the pounding rhythms of trains. As well as having played throughout New Zealand, Stanier Black-Five has taken her visceral performances to the UK and Europe performing at events such as the London Musicians Collective’s annual festival of experimental music. For the Adam Art Gallery, Stanier Black-Five developed a dynamic work based on manipulations of port recordings made across the country, incorporating the sounds of Wellington’s docks into the mix.

Mela is an experimental audio/visual project which revels in the medium-specific properties of a variety of obsolete media. Mela’s performances combine an almost obsessive degree of preparation with random interjections from misbehaving equipment. She sonically and visually investigates the aesthetics of constrained gesture and broken things by layering repeating melodies, gradually effecting drones and suitably unrecognisable beats to create an imperfect but mellifluous musical microclimate.

Mela and Stanier Black-Five are both active members of the Borderline Ballroom, a collective providing a relaxed space for challenging listening and live sonic experimentation in the city of Christchurch.

Adam Art Gallery
Thursday 28 May 2009

[2] Silent Spring

Silent Spring

Silent Spring presented a roaming sound performance throughout the gallery spaces of the Adam Art Gallery to directly engage the audience in an alternative form of audience/performer dynamic within this setting. The audience sat within a murky forest of sound, built up by the orbiting performers, who in mapping out the site used acoustic sounds looped and layered to reflect the work’s accumulative state based on actions over time. By displacing the expected directional focus and continuity of the evening concert format, Silent Spring sidestepped the usual focus on the individual performer and tested the temporal nature of traditional sound performance in a collaborative project designed specifically for the critical forum of the Adam Art Gallery.

Silent Spring includes:

Tim Coster, Auckland sound artist and curator who works with installations, performances and audio releases.

Shannon O’Brien, artist and facilitator of sound and performance-related projects in Christchurch.

Joshua Rutter, artist, freelance dancer and choreographer from Auckland.

Adam Art Gallery
Friday 3 April 2009

[1] Live feed
Performance by Christine White and Chris Black

Live Feed Christopher Black 2009

Recent graduates of the Sonic Arts programme at the New Zealand School of Music, Chris Black and Christine White presented two new site-specific sound works at the Adam Art Gallery. Each work was designed to emphasise the unique acoustic properties of the gallery space through an intricate speaker arrangement. Using contact microphones attached to the internal fixtures and surfaces of the building, microscopic sounds within the walls, floors, stair railings, and air ducts were amplified, manipulated and used as raw compositional material. The compositions, built from both pre-existing and live sound material, was then played back to the gallery further amplifying the resonance of the architecture to produce a multi-layered feedback environment.

Adam Art Gallery
Tuesday 3 March 2009