SIS & JOLT PRESENT:

(((SAFE IN SOUND)))

2023

24–26 NOVEMBER

JOLTED ARTS SPACE – 342 HIGH ST NORTHCOTE – MELBOURNE

We respectfully acknowledge the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin nation.

Art by Ray Ahn

Legendary WHAT IS MUSIC? Festival organiser Robbie Avenaim returns to refresh and reshape the frontiers of Australian sound art performance with his new music festival effort: SAFE IN SOUND! Avenaim’s ability to conjure up the most profoundly uncomfortable, and uncomfortably profound, often wildly unhinged live experiences has created countless mythical moments still discussed decades later in the Aussie underground – and he now turns his unparalleled creative gaze to a new, relatively untapped, reserve of genius potentialities. For over five years, the Safe in Sound program has made experimental music accessible to people with disability via in-home concerts. Now, several of those participant-performers are eager to share their unbridled creativity, freedom and joy with the wider world. Across November 24–26, JOLT Arts (jolted.art) Northcote will host three days of truly liberated sonic generation, featuring these relatively new improvisers paired with some of Australia’s greatest musical explorers – as well as divergent dancers, iconoclastic kids and other uniquely skilled audial creators with disability from throughout the local community. The festival will culminate in a symposium featuring performers of all experience levels, and the curators openly discussing and detailing the benefits and broken boundaries of this work. The Safe In Sound festival promises to help reinvigorate the Australian avant-garde at large, shaking loose many of the unspoken limitations on a music that takes pride in calling itself free and providing all new mythical musical moments for eons to come.

FESTIVAL PROGRAM

FRIDAY 24th November Afternoon

12:00pm – Free entry
Melton specialist school workshop and performance

The festival kicks off with an intimate look into the heart of the Safe In Sound program: six of our most experienced established improvisers, Alon Ilsar [NSW] (Airsticks), Nat Grant (Percussion), Dale Gorfinkel (pump horns), Laura Altman and Jim Denley (flutes), Dj Paul Wain (Turntables), and Robbie Avenaim, introducing their singular sonic realms to hungry young minds from Melton Specialist School, directly demonstrating how their instruments work and what they’re capable of – both separately and all together as a collaborative group. We invite you to come witness the pure distilled joy of musical exploration not just without rules, but where rules are actively discouraged!

FRIDAY 24th November Evening


Doors open 6:00pm – $10 entry
6:30 – 8:00pm
Sonic Flock

Feat: Carolyn Connors, Jim Denley [NSW], Laura Altman [NSW], Erick Mitsak, Max Cheevers, Teagan Connor, Kathryn Sutherland, Daniel Munnery
The intimacy of improvised music is cranked up to eleven in this collective work created by JOLT mastermind, James Hullick, as eight extraordinary extemporaneous artists take up temporary residence in their own teepees, then invite in audience members one-by-one for a cozy and confidential three-minute performance. Tiny textural offerings of voice, woodwind, percussion and electronics transport the two participants to their own micro-sonoverse, where the outside gaze is eliminated – and all that matters is the direct exchange of communal contact and visceral experience of the sublime.

8:15 – 8:45pm
Melinda Smith and Dave Brown

Melinda Smith and Dave Brown can boast a cumulative eighty years of honing their respective crafts, so this first-time collaboration possesses more potential than it is perhaps wise to predict! Melinda’s divergent dance practice wholeheartedly embraces and interrogates her corporeality, constantly teetering between expressive spheres that are variously unexplored and bordered by the unexplorable. Dave’s guitar occupies a similar space, interrogating the liminal resonance of excited strings in sympathy with extraneous things, always seeking a newer flavour of beauty.

9:00 – 9:30pm
Natalie Walters with Michael Hewes

One of the most gorgeously ethereal sound artists in the JOLT family, Natalie Walters has forged a stunningly spectral style of mellifluous digital music-making, spinning dense webs of waveforms that wash over the collective audial cortex of audiences in sweet, slow-motion swells – but as her work with the Amplified Elephants attests, she very much knows how to get a musical motor revving. On this night she will be joined by mentor and world-renowned sound designer/engineer Michael Hewes for maximal immersion, helping to facilitate a surround sound quadraphonic diffusion.

9:45 – 10:15 pm
Mia Alexander and Levi Liauw

In the ecstatically liberated and enduringly radical tradition of Coltrane & Ali / Ornette & Denardo / Lyons & Graves et al, these two teenaged shredders skronk their way from (kick drum)-pedal-to-the-(brass)-metal intensities to crystalline fragilities and back again with the sort of ease that youthful neuroplasticity so staunchly conjures. If you’ve ever been kept awake wondering what Brötzmann and Bennink would sound like with the added existential dread bestowed by growing up in the age of social media then wonder no longer…and also rest assured that you’ve found your tribe now, because us too!

DJs – Arjan Abel with Paul Wain

Sonic selections in between acts on the night will be provided by Arjan Abel, age 12 – and Arjan is here to prove that all music is world music. Arjan will be plundering the record collection and manic mentorship of the mythical master of the 1s and 2s and 1/2s and 3/8ths and other fractured fractions Paul Wain, aka DJ2 of illustrious technically-chillout- but-mainly-just-anti-copyright collective Antediluvian Rocking Horse, so effusive everythingcore is very much on the menu!

Master of Ceremonies – Marlo Mitsak

MC Marlo Mitsak: The child of an enfant terrible is officially unleashed upon the sound art world! Marlo is a bright young man of 13 years, obsessed with basketball, basketball culture, teasing his sister, & 2-minute noodles with spinach. His father, MC Erick Mitsak, is a name that strikes fear into the heart of any gig attendant with an aversion to aggressively interventionist forced crowd participation. Though we are not suggesting that the sins of the father shall befall the son, charisma definitely has a level of heredity so we were hard-pressed to think of a more appropriate host for Whatismusic’s smaller sibling festival than…SON OF ‘SAK.

SATURDAY 25th November


Doors open 6:00pm – $10 entry
6:30pm
Alice Hui-Sheng Chang [TWN] and Esme Brown [TWN]

Alice Hui-Sheng Chang’s piercingly provocative vocal stylings are probably well-known to long-standing Melbournian improv aficionados, and now she’s back in town from Taiwan with a very special little collaborator. Esme has been studying with Alice for at least five and a half years – her entire life thus far – and was no doubt absorbing textural complexities even before then, as she toured Japan, Korea and Singapore in utero. Their duo is the maternal bond made manifest – an audial amalgamation of carings, questionings, caperings, contradictions and cacophonies.

7:00pm
Alessio and Danilo Dilettoso

Alessio and Danilo Dilettoso are two long-time Safe In Sound alumni, embodying the true heart of the program. Well-known for revelling in the intuitively expressive wielding of the Airsticks, on this occasion Alessio will be invoking percussive pandemonium via the quadruple-bass-drum brutality of the SARPS (Semi Automated Robotic Percussion System), with the fraternal furtherance of Danilo’s vocal provocations evoking energetic feedback structures that induce both artists to ever more eminent emanations that inevitably spill over into shrieks of musical mirth.

7:45pm
Ernie Althoff

Ernie Althoff has been birthing sui generis sonic contraptions for over four decades at this point; gestating wood, metal, glass and plastic into seemingly self-aware sources of functional malfunctionalities – his charming little chittering electroacoustic motorik-robotic children. This performance will see Ernie corral several of his audial offspring into harmolodic homeostasis with one another, setting loose the logic of the machines to stutter and splutter and spring and ring their electric sheep into existence with delightful disregard and cordial consideration in equal measure.

8:30pm
Jay Euesden, Teagan Connor, Kathryn Sutherland, Laura Altman [NSW], Nick Ashwood, Dale Gorfinkel

Jay Euesden, Teagan Connor and Kathryn Sutherland are profoundly familiar with one another’s percussive prowesses after years working together in JOLT’s flagship collective the Amplified Elephants; similarly, Laura Altman (clarinet/feedback/tape), Dale Gorfinkel (prepared vibraphone) and Nick Ashwood (organ) all flourished parallelistically through the Sydney improvised scene, crossing audial paths in countless configurations. All together, they will demonstrate the delightful relational skills that improvised music fosters: deep listening, considered creation, and intermutual frequential inductions of sonic forms heretofore unimaginable, and certainly unplannable.

9:15 – 9:45pm
Final Wire – Brendan Walls [TAS] feat. Alisa Chu, Stuart Flenley, Esther Tuddenham

Brendan Walls is infamous as a psychoacoustic provocateur, and the ‘high tension’ label applied to his Cableworks, a deceptively simple suspended cymbal instrument, doesn’t just refer to how taut his wires are. This anarchic assemblage has been installed in contexts as wildly different as children’s events and violent endurance-noise performances with Daniel Menche, Marco Fusinato and Oren Ambarchi. In a rare re-emergence from the Tasmanian wilderness, Walls will string up his rarefied resonators for one last time, inviting three more of JOLT’s fostered free-frequency makers – namely Alisa Chu, Stuart Flenley and Esther Tuddenham – to embark upon another neoteric sonic adventure, one that the audience will be fortunate enough to be allowed to tag along on for each and every feedback groan, sympathetic reverberance, metallic crash and chaotically creative confluence.

DJs Saskia Mitsak and Elke Jai with Paul Wain

Consummate vibes in between other acts on the night will be provided by Saskia Mitsak and Elke Jai, both aged 11 – two mavens of modern popular culture and BFFs specialised in cuttin’ sick and gettin’ silly! They will be deciding on the fly whether to heed or discard the sagely advice of the mythical master of the 1s and 2s and 1/2s and 3/8ths and other fractured fractions Paul Wain, aka DJ2 of illustrious technically-chillout-but-mainly-just-anti- copyright collective Antediluvian Rocking Horse, so unexpect the expected and prepare to allegorically dance!

Master of Ceremonies – Marlo Mitsak

MC Marlo Mitsak: The child of an enfant terrible is officially unleashed upon the sound art world! Marlo is a bright young man of 13 years obsessed with basketball, basketball
culture, teasing his sister, & 2-minute noodles with spinach. His father, MC Erick Mitsak, is a name that strikes fear into the heart of any gig attendant with an aversion to aggressively interventionist forced crowd participation. Though we are not suggesting
that the sins of the father shall befall the son, charisma definitely has a level of heredity so we were hard-pressed to think of a more appropriate host for Whatismusic’s smaller sibling festival than…SON OF ‘SAK.

SUNDAY 26th November


Doors open 12:30pm – $10 entry
1:00pm

DJs – Lakshan Standke Jain with Paul Wain

Supreme selecta for this afternoon will be the cryptic hero and contentious master of ceremonies himself – Lakshan Standke Jain, age 11 – invoking inevitably impetuous and crucially captivating media mélanges of audial anarchy. A well-seasoned Safe In Sound program participant, Lakshan has graciously agreed to share the stage with mythical master Paul Wain, aka DJ2 of illustrious technically-chillout-but-mainly-just-anti-copyright collective Antediluvian Rocking Horse, but Paul will mainly be there just to bask in the peachy pastichey collagecore glory.

1:30pm
Antony Riddell with Jim Denley [NSW]

Two of Australia’s most priceless national treasures reconvene on a stage for the first time in far too long – and our excitement is palpable! Antony Riddell is synonymous with nonlinear genius, disordered delightfulness and larrikin surrealism – in a world filled with hollow contrived pseudo-weirdness, Riddell is the real deal. And to say that Jim Denley is a key progenitor of the modern face of this country’s audial experimentation would be selling him short – nobody has managed to directly foster so much grassroots musical culture as he, while remaining an ever-flowing source of genuinely innovative sonic techniques, texturalities and tastiness alike. Together? Well, suffice to say – you’re welcome

2:15pm Mathew Larsen

Mathew is a relatively new Safe In Sound participant who occupies the same sonoverse as the most thrillingly titillating and wildly bewildering outsiders with whom What Is Music? forged its deservedly perilous reputational infamy, yet fashions his own musical sphere of existence entirely anew. Freewheeling rapturous rhythmelodics collide with thick textural intensities, punctuated by intermittent auditory absurdities – wielding low-tech acoustic miscellany to invoke pieces just as unrelenting, uncompromising and invigorating as the most fervently zealous harsh electro-noise purveyors. Supported by not-for-profit disability service providers Scope Australia, this will be Mat’s first foray into public performance – one that promises nostalgic arduousness to the seasoned cognoscenti, and a short-sharp-shock to both the neophyte and the contemporary avant-garde.

3 – 4 pm
SIS SYMPOSIUM
Moderated and led by Brendan Walls [TAS]
Featuring: Robbie Avenaim, James Hullick, Carolyn Connors, Jim Denley [NSW], Antony Riddell, Astrid Meurer and Max Cheevers
Just in case the experiential benefits and bounteous boundary-breaking of Safe in Sound wasn’t entirely clear at the end of this weekend, we offer a chance to hear all the wonderful intricacies of working in this realm directly from the artists themselves. Moderated and lead by the insightful and inquisitive Brendan Walls, festival curator Robbie Avenaim and JOLT curator James Hullick join virtuosic thinkers and makers Carolyn Connors, Jim Denley, Antony Riddell, Astrid Meurer and Max Cheevers to variously describe, dissect, debunk, revel, reveal, relish, unpack, unfurl and aid in understanding the magnitude of the magnificence for all stakeholders involved here.

(((SAFE IN SOUND)))
For more details about the Safe in Sound program please visit the website.
www.safeinsound.com.au

JAMES HULLICK\\\**(()(!!!((\\
CEO & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR\\\\^^(()\\
JOLT / )-(u||!c|< Studios
www.jolted.art
www.hullickstudios.com
https://www.facebook.com/JOLTsonicarts/
T: +61 (0) 431 678 164