The Instrument Builders Project Finale
I love a bit of noise me. Give me a beat and I go off like a spinning top. All twisted and writhing energy, woo-hooing at the end of a decent track and screaming ENCORE ENCORE! Some would say I’m a Groupie. I’d call me a music enthusiast who has accidently, but vigorously, bedded down with a marginally disproportionate number of musicians. Once you’ve been intimate with someone with rhythm, it’s hard to take anyone other than a sound artist seriously.
Green rooms and riders and back stage passes. Bar fridges to empty and (in Australia) indoor smoking as long as you open a window, blow the smoke outside and have a lookout stationed at the door for alerts about approaching bouncers.
The best demo I’ve been to in Melbourne was the Save Live Music one. The weather was perfect, we won, Live Music was saved and the Politicians marveled from the steps outside Parliament, at how many people believed in the power of music. My mate Jon spoke on behalf of the assembled throng and he did good. We were happy. Then everyone went to the pub together and listened to music.
On Sunday, as the Finale to the Instrument Builders Project, a performance of the new instruments demonstrated the musical genius of the artists involved. Wukir Suryadi played a tricked up table. We know Wukir from his work with our favourite Indonesian band Senyawa. With vocalist Rully Shabara, Wukir plays a tubular bamboo home made banjo kind of stringed instrument in the round kind thing. We were lucky enough to see them a couple of years back at MOFO, and it was a highlight of our festival that year.
Curators Kristi Monfries and Joel Stern admitted they often don’t have a clue what’s going on within their prolific Instrument Builders Project. It’s a strategy they pulled off with aplomb, the shrug and hope for the best approach takes confidence and trust. The results are a bit edgy, a bit oooh this is exciting. I’ve never heard a jungle of birdcages or a table, a spinning top, a mountain or a shell played so harmoniously. New sounds come from new instruments. For new audiences.
Congratulations to all involved with this wonderful ongoing project. I’m looking forward to the next Instrument Builders presentation.