Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fierce Throat remembered...

I've made limited posts over the past week because I spent time visiting friends and handing them a copy of my little book called Strange Blood Sport. However in order to do this I had to photocopy, fold, paste and then stitch each copy together with a cover. That, plus traveling each day to a different location around Melbourne ~ Prahran to see my sister, Federation Square to see Leonie and Frank Osowski, Collected Works Bookshop to see Kris Hemensley and then Thursday at Steve's place, meant that almost all of the week disappeared. Yesterday I began transcribing an interview I undertook in 1996 with Andrew Garton, Australian composer and multi-media artist. Andrew has contributed to several international and Australian collaborations with artists such as Stelarc, Ludwig Zeininger, Kazayuki Null, Hank Bull, Ollie Olsen, Brian Eno, Tetsuo Kogawa, Martin Breindl and Jimi Chen. He has performed with the International Theremin Orchestra and continues to be commissioned to produce sound works for both radio and Internet. However, when I interviewed him back then he was involved with Toy Satellite. 
Publicity still for Fierce Throat, A Screaming Choir (1996). Fierce Throat was founded by Garton in 1994 performing at the Brisbane Powerhouse prior to its renovation. It's final performances were at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 1996. More information and photos from various performances:
I was prompted to interview him because I'd seen him perform a piece called Fierce Throat (with Justina Curtis and a friend of mine Joe Stojsic) at Southbank in Melbourne, which I found absolutely compelling. Just an aside before I continue so that you know at least part of the connection. In 1996 I was invited to do the visuals for the Melbourne techno band Signal to Noise for their gig at The Punters Club, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I was a friend of Joe Stozic, computer programmer and keyboard player who was one of the band-members. Anyway, back to talking about Andrew and the Fierce Throat performance. I remember being struck by the fact that each of the performers who had blond (or near enough to blond) hair and  dressed totally in black, presented a totalizing Aryan  or Teutonic aesthetic, and I wondered what meaning may be ascribed to this. The controlled nature of their performance (I watched them prepare in advance to remain as still as possible, whilst projecting their voices) and the fact that the words they were singing were in German, rendered to me as least the notion that the words were pure sound (since I could not understand them). It was a powerful performance that has stayed in my mind to this day. My interview with Andrew consisted mainly of asking him questions about the performance, his obvious interest in language and culture and his childhood background. I hope to finish listening to and writing up the interview soon and  when completed I will post on this blog.

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