Bottled Up: Hearing the Unheard

Photo by Graham Meyer, via Unsplash
Saturday 17 April 2021
7.30 - 10.30pm

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East Sydney Community and Arts Centre
34 Burton St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010



The Living Room Theatre
City of Sydney

Delving into the dark recesses of violence that lives in plain sight, an evening of sonic explorations will interpret and reimagine academic research from criminologists and sociologists.

Hearing the Unheard, part of the Sites of Violence project, will merge artistic and academic understandings of human and non-human experiences of violence, and the processes, emotions, and meaning that this violence reveals. Over this concert event, enjoy three performances by leading Australian musicians. Please note tickets are $20.

Gothic Dislocation 

Heather Shannon is currently researching the Australian Gothic and is interested in issues of dislocation and alienation within the Australian environment. Her music seeks to examine the uncanny and dislocated nature of continuing the cultural narrative of classical music within Australian landscapes.

Day at the Beach and Strange Roses were developed in response to Christine Winter’s paper: “Does time colonise intergenerational environmental justice theory?”. Winter discusses the limitations of European ideas of time as linear, contrasting this with the grounding force of spirally bound time of the Māori people “for whom nonhuman and human are entangled within the spheres of justice.” There is a strong sense of sequential movement in the harmonic structures of classical music, of forward propulsion and linear direction. Development unfolds over time in a perfectly crafted musical world. Day at the Beach and Strange Roses resist forward motion in their ambience and stillness. They instead hang back, suspended by dislocation.

Heather Shannon is a composer, musician and teacher best known for her work as one quarter of the internationally renowned independent rock band, The Jezabels. Heather has spent most the past decade writing and recording award-winning albums and performing in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, The O2 Arena (London) Webster Hall (New York) and at festivals such as Glastonbury (UK). Heather’s other composition experiences include writing the score for two independent Australian Films Book Week and Broke with fellow bandmate and collaborator Samuel Lockwood and commissions from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and The Metropolitan Orchestra.

Christine Winter is a lecturer in the Department of Government & International Relations at the University of Sydney and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sydney Environment Institute. Her research focuses at the intersection of intergenerational, indigenous and environmental justice. She is the Research Lead on The Re-(E)mergence of Nature in Culture.


I Make What I Don’t Want to Hear

In this performance lecture to herself, Alexis explores the motives behind her own composing process. I Make What I Don’t Want to Hear will cover the relationship between sound art, childhood fears which carry into adulthood, the sounds we make and those we hear in nature. Alexis uses words as well as electronic and performed sound to share her findings with the audience.

Alexis Weaver is a composer, musician and researcher fascinated by everyday sounds. While her principal interest lies in composing fixed-media acousmatic music, she has composed soundtracks for animation, short film, radio, theatre, and dance. She completed a Master of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium, where she now teaches composition and music technology subjects. She was also co-founder of emerging composer collective lost+sound, who launched a concert series in 2017-19 celebrating the work of emerging experimental artists.


The Dream Test

The Dream Test text draws on Carolyn McKay’s criminological research into the cheap motel room as a site of crime, the subject of her draft book, The Crime Scene Motel Project. Carolyn has stayed in many decaying, suburban motels where crimes have been committed, to investigate these mundane sites through the lens of her visual arts practice and ‘ghost criminological’ imaginings. This performance is inspired by a mid-century artwork, designed by Tibor Reich, that Carolyn found hanging above the bed in one motel where a series of eerie, supernatural-inspired sexual assaults had occurred. McKay’s text will be augmented with live improvisations by a trio of experimental soundmakers: Jim Denley, Romy Caen, and Jacques Emery, creating an immersive, mysterious atmosphere.

Carolyn McKay is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney Law School where she teaches Criminal Law, Civil & Criminal Procedure and Digital Criminology. She is also a visual artist and curator and completed postgraduate studies at Sydney College of the Arts before her PhD at Sydney Law School. She has held solo exhibitions, been commissioned to create audio-video works for curated exhibitions, and an exhibition she curated was the recipient of a 2018 Museums & Galleries of New South Wales exhibitions project award. Her latest criminal law/criminological research examines motel crime scenes through the lens of ‘ghost criminology’.

Jim Denley has been active in experimental and improvised sound since the late 1970s, having played throughout Australia, Europe, Japan and the US. Wind instruments and electronics are core elements of his musical output. An emphasis on spontaneity, site-specific work and collaboration has been central to his work.

Romy Caen is an event organiser, studio manager and musician from Sydney. She plays harmonium in the Splinter Orchestra and electronics with musicians such as Jeremy Tatar and Melanie Herbert.

Jacques Emery is a musical performer and thinker based in Sydney. He is best known as a double bassist in Australia’s creative music community, especially as an improviser in jazz and experimental contexts.

This event is part of The Living Room Theatre’s Bottled Up Micro-festival curated by Michelle St Anne and Jacques Emery in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute and City of Sydney. A series of theatrical sound nights, academic panels and artist talks that explore themes of violence against women and the environment.