Mulch @ Kent on Smith

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A small band of AudioMulch composers performed at Kent St Cafe/Bar on Smith St, Fitzroy. We didn’t get a lot of documentation, but there was a video camera and some sound was recorded direct to it.


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Andrew Sargeant (aka Future Eater) cranked up the evening with his crunchy monkey beats, pitch-shifted and filtered. The change-over from his piece to Ross’s was seamless…

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Ross performed a beautiful piece comprised of Asiastic sounds and voices. I was sitting outside as the piece commenced and it was a most appropriate sound for Smith Street, blending into its complex social structures and mixed cultural heritage.

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I played two pieces, but I could barely hear above the noise of the bar to make sense of what I was doing. Both pieces were delicately arranged, the first composed entirely of two vocal samples from a Vietnamese language CD.

The second was a response to the rise of “New Rome” (the US of bloody A of course) and how much more fucked up the world has become since. It commenced with a stand-up piece by George Carlin, bleeding into a subtle, but strong set of twisting kicks overshadowed by guitar chords that were processed through a kind of chord generator. The generator was derived from a Max patch I’d seen a flow-chart for, but I prefer the more eclectic results achieved via Mulch.

There were, however, a couple of things about this evening that were disappointing.

Firstly, I didn’t really know who the other Mulch composers were and no one made much of an effort to introduce themselves… Perhaps something for the organisers to keep in mind next time. I tried to strike up a conversation with the chap who followed my performance, he too used a guitar, but that was about it.

It’s quite rare to convene such events and as such, it would have been great to have met everyone, shared a drink or two and crap on about AudioMulch, etc…

Secondly, the bar noise was really really off-putting. I don’t think I’m going to do another one of these again unless the venue is better prepared for such performances. For the effort I know people would have made, the results were, to my precious little ears, less than satisfying.

Keen to hear from anyone else should they have had an entirely different perspective…

6 thoughts on “Mulch @ Kent on Smith”

  1. I had a really good time, playing as half of Montano after Rafael (the second guitarist, working with Ross B).

    I can understand your comments, Andrew, wrt people not introducing each other. I spoke briefly to Andrew S who opened the night, but otherwise if I didn’t know someone already I didn’t know if they were performer or audience.

    Our last Mulch gig was at the Nextwave Festival Club, and I was pleasantly surprised how quiet the bar was last night in comparison! I’m not sure how to get around this issue. I do hope to hear you again, because (like yourself) I couldn’t get a clear picture of what you were up to. And now I know what you look like I’ll say hi. 🙂

  2. Not having attended can’t really comment except i would have liked some friends of mine in melb to have been there…. ’cause proud of my brother! i.e andrew g. In one way am glad they were not there because of the noise factor but would like to see you guys in a more ‘gig friendly’ venue so we can see AND hear! Good luck and let me know when and where!

  3. Hey, I’m the chap you tried to chat to, and if we didn’t have a chance to talk I didn’t mean to be rude but probably it was environment that was putting me a bit off.

    Anyway, on my way home from the gig, I was thinking about the fact that the AudioMulchers in Melbourne don’t get together very often or seem to be happy doing their stuff on their own… I mean, I’ve been living in this city for more than a year now, and all that happened during this time was one Mulch Meeting organized by Ross Healy and this gig. Sometimes, I feel understimulated… I’m sure we could organize stuff every couple of months and chat properly, swap CDs, show each other what we’ve doing…

    What are your thoughts on that?

  4. hi Rafael … thanks for your comments…

    there were actually two mulch events in melbourne last year, but the earlier one, which i’d organised was in february… perhaps before you arrived here.

    the interesting thing about that event was that people were meeting up and talking well before anyone facilitated it! having the space to sit around tables, in a lounge style of setting, helped i guess…

    i’ve also tried to organise workshops, not only on mulch, but PD as well. the trouble has always been finding a suitable venue that’s both cheap and resourced to support such activities.

    i’d put a proposal to ACMI last year to host such events, but some people weren’t that interested in being associated with ACMI, and ACMI couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to be involved in such an activity despite promoting itself as a venue for “the community”.

    my partner and i eventually opened up our home for one day a week soirees which have been underway for about a year, although not every friday… the problem with this is that we’ve had to do this as a kind of invitation only scenario for security reasons. we’ve had books, CDs and other pocketable items go missing after some of these sessions, when they were more open house…

    i’d be happy to organise a mulch, or even broader software-specific series at our place… we’d do it RSVP style and just invite people to chip in for food, wine etc. we’ve got the net accessible throughout the house via wireless and ethernet and it’s pretty cosy here too…

    anyway, just some thoughts to add to the flow…

    -ag.

  5. FU*K! i wished i lived in OZ to go to that show.
    Mulch is the best, would be wicked to jibber with other mulchers

    i just played a gig in lithuania using only mulch, the best tool for making live electronic madness

    happy mulching !

    B|ºXLAT

  6. ross’s gigs are allways great i was at the kent st one where he played the glove, and where i2pi and dave did the visuals it was a really lovely relaxed evening very nice vibe , just chillin out drinking some beer listening and looking.

    wh0rd

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