Last post – new site!

6 10 2008

This is the last post to this site… I have a new one, a new domain and whole heap of new stuff online including videos from the Toy Satellite archive, archived recordings of various collaborations, open licensed content and a project wiki, largely dedicated to my various compositions and sound works.

New site:

New rss feed:

Under the hood I’m running WordPress, Mediawiki and Darwin streaming server.

My podcasts are now on their own site and Secession has a wiki to. We are now an entirely virtual company.


Secession wiki:

See you there :)


Nothing known and forgotten

2 10 2008

Arrived in Vienna this morning stiff and achy. There’s far too little leg room in Austria Airlines flights. I’d promised myself I’d not fly with them any more, but hard to tell who’s flying who with all the carrier deals going. I thought I’d be on Thai Air, but they took me from Melbourne to Bangkok only.

I’ll be based in Graz for at least a couple of months with plans for a white Christmas, the first ever, with family here. It’s been a long while since I’ve worked on a gallery piece. The ESC Gallery is giving me that opportunity with my new installation, Nothing Known. When I think about it, I’ve had more invitations like this from Austria than any other country and certainly far more than at home.

Bakun elder, Sarawak

Kenyah elder, Sarawak

I want to put the faces of indigenous Sarawak on large screens, the larger the better. At very slow frame rates one will see the faces shown in detail, in close up with the camera tracking over contours of skin, facial outlines, eyes…

I’d learnt in Sarawak that archiving cultural knowledge, indigenous cultural knowledge does little to protect it. It becomes remembered in research, coffee table chatter, gossip… the deepest transmission occurs through presence… physical, immediate presence. The songs, the dances, hunting, farming, the stuff of life, accumulated generational knowledge, wisdom… from what I’d seen, from the interviews we had with the eldest people in one of the Bidayuh Kampongs, one generation is all it takes to lose their story-tellers and musicians.

The story was the same in South Africa. Meeting the anthropologist Barbera Tyrrell (on her 94th birthday!) it was clear her attempt to record traditional and ceremonial garments from many African tribes was but a drop in the proverbial ocean. She’d told me that there were few people in the various Diaspora on the continent that could remember what their own people had worn let alone danced in at least one to two generations past.

More when I’m less tired and a charged laptop…

Secession is 10!

22 09 2008

Today Secession Records is 10 years old. The 22nd of September 1998 Secession launch was a lively event hosted by Toy Satellite on Smith Street, Fitzroy with a cast of firsts under that hood.

Founder of Synesthesia Records, Mark Harwood, played his first gig there and John Power lit up the venue with his first projected, live video mix.

The launch was video streamed to an international audience of enthusiasts and I was engrossed in a generative Lost Time Accident performance that kicked off our first release, a series of generatively composed works titled, Age to Wonder At.

From 1999 to 2000 Secession ran the ESC experimental sound and music series and produced the Unseen / Unheard interactive audio visual sessions in Melbourne.

We co-produced the Return to Timor millennium eve concert in Aliu, East Timor and contributed to the formative years of the This Is Not Art Festival.

In 2001 Secession artists performed Undercurrents at the opening of the Taipei International Arts Festival. Undercurrents was also performed at the Fringe Fashion Awards, Melbourne International Film Festival, Multimedia Asia Pacific Festival and This is Not Art.

We believe we may have even published the first podcast out of Australia. In November 2004 we commenced Sound Information with the release of Some Rights Reserved works destined for use by podcast producers the world over. We had also been a Creative Commons early adopter.

In 2004 Ollie Olsen and Steve Law joined me at the helm… we released some works online, but joint releases are yet to come – personal stuff, 21st century stuff… the stuff of life hindered and expanded us.

Secession has consistently applied itself to music and sound works that extend the capabilities of our artists, that challenges and excites, that inspires and reflects the common attributes of diversity in a world suffering the dynamics of economies that deplete natural resources and enclose creative and cultural endeavour in protections that stifle innovation, breeding sameness and a dangerously dull, careless society.

GRIT #02 concept notes

1 09 2008

Proposed for book launch presentation at The MAK (Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst / Museum for Applied Arts), Vienna, 21 October 2008. Commissioned by KunstRadio.

GRIT #02 – Illusions of Homogeneity / Illusionen von Homogenität

Performance for solo voice, oral microphone, hard curve saturation and open licensed visuals.

Homogeneity means “being similar throughout”. What homogeneity brings to societies is an illusion. Sameness is celebrated. Difference is discarded. It is a monoculture, a folly. Sameness will be our undoing.

  • Reference: (Homogeneity)
  • GRIT #01 – open licensed photo, video and sound collage by Andrew Garton

20080808 – SOS Tokyo

11 08 2008
My largely voice orientated rig at launch of Son of Science CD.

Garton @ Soup

On the eighth day of the eighth month of two thousand and eight I performed an entirely new solo set to mark the launch of my new album, Son of Science.

At 11 pm I stepped into one of the simplest set up’s I’ve used in years, tipping into the unknown at Soup, the undisputed underground venue for Tokyo’s noise and ambient scene. The ideas for the piece were first formulated in Brisbane when working on the recent Terminal Quartet piece, Licht Drift.

The delivery was more in keeping with my former Fierce Throat pieces and was an entirely enjoyable, if but intense experience to realise! I was to play some acoustic guitar treatments, but couldn’t stop the PA from feeding back… I was perched just above the sub! Guitar will have to wait!

Listen to Tokyo Lagoon.

The entire evening was a splendid, reverberant evening of new, fresh and solid sound works from the crew at Soup, including the delightful Paul(ie) Dunphy (aka Evil Penguin).

iSummit Day 01

30 07 2008
Shot Bar

Shot Bar

Japanese service staff are so eager to assist, to ensure one is more than adequately served that it is a wonder, in their exuberance, they do not break! It has been said many many times that the Japanese are efficient. Today, Day 01 of the iSummit, I could do with a healthy dose of efficiency to bolster the headache incurred at the hand of the Shot Bar’s skilled shaker of an 800 Yen Martini.

The iSummit kicked off with a pro-active presentation and welcome introduction from Heather Ford, diving straight into global issues and the scope, the urgent need for open strategies to address them.

Heather was also quite direct about the global instrumentalities and institutions that have been largely ineffective in dealing with the very real problems we face… climate change, poverty, land use. Heather points to the need for open commons frameworks, open commons innovations, broad open commons protections to not only provide solutions to our problems, but to support ongoing development in general. Perhaps we need to understand what we mean by development in the context of global and local crisis? If we are to tackle climate change for instance, we need to address consumption and excess… but I digress.

Today Pavel Antenov and I begin work on the Identifying the Commons video. Unfortunately, one of the two camera’s I came here with has not lasted the distance. So, we’re down to one camera and a lot of people to interview… in essence, we are seeking to know what people at the iSummit understand as the commons, what they feel constitutes an information commons and finally, what are the concerns of developing countries in relation to the information/knowledge commons?

A generation gone…

21 07 2008
Kampong Danu Elder

One of 2 remaining elders

Eighty three year old elder, one of two remaining in Kampong Danu, under an hours drive west of Kuching… regrettably, many of the Kampongs have lost their last generation of story tellers and musicians. He could recall only one folk tale, that of a village that had entirely vanished leaving only a stone that is said to be a woman that had turned to stone.

He could, however, remember, as a very young man, seeing deer eat flower buds from his house of an evening… shine a torch out the door and animals would be every where… The land was abundant then. He had also worked for the Japanese, building an airstrip for a few cents a day.

He also remembered playing in the caves as a child. There are large caves in that area, within an hours walk or so from Kampong Danu, some of which take one from one side of the mountain, visible from the Kampong, to the other.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.