Polyphony is a state in which we hear many different voices, in their full texture, simultaneously (poly=many + phonos=voices). It is a sonic concept with much artistic and social potential; to make difference audible, to choreograph dissonance, and to explore the harmonies produced when we bring voices together (and apart) in shared space.
Polyphonic Social 2019 brings experimental sound, performance and installation to the Convent’s historic North Magdalen Laundry across two consecutive nights.At the heart of the program is a powerful eight-speaker sound system, deployed by artists to articulate the cavernous acoustic space of the building in uncanny, immersive, and unexpected ways.
Friday 18 October, 8 – 11pm
Friday evening’s concert features legendary Japanese electro-punk auteur Phew making her Australian debut more than 40 years after arriving on the Osaka scene as the singer in avant-noise band Aunt Sally. Australian composer, pianist and electronic musician Anthony Pateras and French experimentalist eRikm will collaborate on a set of ‘free concrète music inscribed firmly in the present’. Melbourne-based electronic artist Nina Buchanan’s new performance will explore queer, feminist methodologies through the prism of deep listening. Salvadoran Australian sound artist Lucrecia Quintanilla and Chilean Australian musician Bryan Phillips will band together to present an experimental audio essay exploring multiple histories of protest and noise.
Saturday 19 October, 2 – 6pm
Saturday afternoon’s performance program features Indonesian artist, coder and horror-aficionado Natasha Tontey, whose work uses shift-jis images (an early-internet Japanese graphic prototype of the emoji) as scores for improvisation. Chinese Singaporean artist Zou Zhao will perform a new work, continuing her investigation into the role of language in the neo-colonial distribution of knowledge today. British Australian artist Sarah crowEST will present the first experimental showing of her text-score project for multiple performers, Sound Seen. Sage Pbbbt’s extra-normal vocal techniques will conjure chaos magick via feminist, queer and trans praxis.
Polyphonic Social is an annual Liquid Architecture project presented by Abbotsford Convent Foundation. It is framed by the proposition that artists practice polyphony in vastly expanded and experimental ways.
ARTISTS: Phew, Anthony Pateras and erikM, Nina Buchanon, Lucrecia Quintanilla and Bryan Phillips, Zou Zhao, Natasha Tontey, Sarah CrowEST, Sage Pbbbt
LIQUID ARCHITECTURE: Joel Stern, Georgia Hutchison, Debris Facility
PRODUCTION: Lauren Squire MOTION DESIGN: Benjamin Portas
Polyphonic Social is supported by City of Yarra. Liquid Architecture is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, City of Melbourne and City of Yarra.