Brendon Bussy

Sounding Out: João Orecchia and other notable works

Posted in Art, Design, Electronics, Exhibitions, Invention, Music, Sound by Brendon Bussy on July 10, 2012

A few works which stood out for me at the (still ongoing) Sounding Out exhibition …

João Orecchia’s Small Worlds was a quiet contemplative work . A collaboration with pianist Jill Richards, the work consisted of three simple objects in a darkened room, each emitting a recording of a minimal piano work. Barely audible, it forced me to listen and imagine.

object 1

The darkened setting  reminded me of the slightly musty and intriguing interior of an aging local history museum, and the sound treatment of that process where homeopaths serially dilute a substance until very little of the original agent is left. A filtering where only a memory of the original remains. (more…)

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Sounding Out: Ear Shell Enthusiasts at the Exhibition

Posted in Art, Design, Exhibitions, Invention, Music, Sound by Brendon Bussy on July 10, 2012

Well I’m back home in Cape Town from big city, Johannesburg. The Sounding Out opening at the Bag Factory was great with a good turn out.

Some of the Ear Shell enthusiasts at play….

(more…)

Ear Shells at Sounding Out

Posted in Art, Design, Events, Invention, Materials, Research, Sound, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on June 30, 2012

This coming week I’m going up to Johannesburg to take part in an exhibition at the Bag Factory. It opens on Wednesday night(4th July). And I’ll also be running a workshop on the 7th July (details here).

Sounding Out deals with contemporary music and visual art. A rarity on the South African experimental scene, I’m looking forward to this gathering of sound artists and sound thinking people.

When the show’s curator Kim Gurney approached me in March of this year, I considered a number of ideas which I’ve been experimenting with, but each seemed too noisy. An odd thing for a sound artist to say you might wonder? Well my thinking was that any idea worth pursuing would need to take into consideration the possibility of there being a number of  noisy artists in one room.

So I decided to take a silent approach and create something which could be used to listen with – to the works on the show as well as other sounds in the building.

Eventually I came up with a modified hearing instrument, in some ways similar to my Kone Phones, but durable and much more useful.  I’m very happy with the resulting Ear Shells.

Ear Shells

Here’s me sporting the first model I made.

Me with Ear Shells

The listening experience is something like covering your ears with shells, (more…)

Noisemakers Workshop at Vrygrond

Posted in Invention, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on March 20, 2012

I’m running a Noisemakers Workshops this weekend and early next week as part of Assitej and Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Family Season.

These particular workshops are aimed at parents with children, and focus on making and using unique and quirky musical instruments made from the stuff we normally throw away.

Have a look here and here to get an idea of the kinds of things we make at Noisemakers workshops.

bucket broom bass montage

A noisemaker

Read on for details… (more…)

How to build a People’s Harp (was Top Secret)

Posted in Design, Invention, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on February 10, 2012

In the spirit of freeing the People from the hegenomy of low quality  industrially extruded musical instruments, I’ve decided to fully disclose and publicly release instructions for assembling a People’s Harp.

My invention is vaguely based on a Congolese Kundi harp. The reason I say ‘vaguely’, is that the Kundi normally has at least five strings, whereas mine has one. However my harp is held and played in a similar manner. Some may say that that is where the resemblance ends. However, I can persuasively argue that my harp is in spirit a Kundi harp 🙂 And that despite being made of plastic bottles, it is surprisingly loud and sonorous (posts on how to play the harp will follow).

Let the People walk the streets with a harp in hand, rhythm in heart and happiness in head!

assembled Harp with People

a close up

Sound of People playing a harp:

Here we have the method: (more…)

How to make a Wind Harp on a Sunday

Posted in Invention, Recording, Sound, Wind by Brendon Bussy on October 28, 2011

It’s spring here in Cape Town, so the wind is back  (winter wind normally means freezing rain as well!). So recently we headed to the Rondebosch common to play with wind harps amongst the flowering fynbos.

This year I’ve been experimenting with using disposable bottles to make simple plucked harps based on Congolese harps. Recently I discovered that they sound great when played by the wind and listened to whilst being held like  an 80’s radio cassette boom box 🙂

Jessica listening to and jamming on a portable boombox harp

These harps sing with a high pitched and ethereal voice. And if you feel inspired you can add rhythms by plucking as well. (I’ll soon be posting DIY instructions on how to make one of these).

Justin at the helm with (from left), Trevor, Jessica and myself.

We also made a long string harp. Read on for pics, diy instructions and a recording…. (more…)

Land of the Underneath

Posted in Invention, Mandolin, Music, Soundtracks, Theatre by Brendon Bussy on September 30, 2011

After seeing our performance workshop at Out The Box, Caroline Calburn approached Jori Snell and myself to present a full length version of Land of the Underneath at the Inside Out festival(4-8 Oct in Observatory Cape Town). We agreed and Caroline also offered to help us a little by casting a critical directorial eye  (which turned out to be a real life saver!).

So after many late nights and bumping into tin cans (intentionally and unintentionally), Baba Yaga Theatre and Brendon Bussy are proud to present the new, fully enhanced, deliciously noisy and sensory adventure:

Land of the Underneath!

Suitable for 3 years to 100 🙂

Jori’s crown is played in Land of the Underneath

In ´Land of the Underneath’ a girl wakes up in a land where nothing is as it appears to be. In this land the not quite ordinary Noise Maker plays his instruments made of what we call ‘trash’, but for him they are magical objects. Together they discover a room full of delicious imagination where stories are born through objects and sounds come alive through playful movement. An interactive play inviting children of all ages to join the two characters on a journey of discovery.

Performance details (more…)

How We Made Noise at Out The Box

Posted in Design, Events, Invention, Music, Soundtracks, Theatre, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on September 15, 2011

Noise was prevalent at last week’s Out the Box festival, and I made some of it.

I created original music and sound design using a table lamp amongst things, for Ubom! Theater’s Door and sound design for Kim Kerfoot’s hilariously dark Guillotine – part of Iqonga, Handspring Puppet Company’s experimental platform at the festival.

And I also found ample opportunity to test drive one of my new instruments, a perishable harp made from a 5 litre bottle and bamboo rod. Nicknamed ‘the Stick Insect’ I played it at the festival launch and garnered some favourable astonished responses (“What’s That?”). Then I used it as part of a performance workshop which Jori Snell and I ran called ‘Land of the Underneath‘.  Here’s a dramatic picture:

Playing the Stick Insect

And here’s a close up: (more…)

How to Create Noise Makers with Personality

Posted in Design, Invention, Music, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on August 3, 2011

In early September Cape Town’s Out The Box festival comes to life. Its focus is ‘puppetry and visual theatre’ and presents quite an eclectic mix of performance media – the traditional plus all of the newer stuff (video, installation etc).

I’ll be presenting two workshops, one with Jori Snell – which explores sound and movement (read more about it here). And one solo which focuses on the nitty gritty of building and playing unusual string instruments, or more broadly speaking, ‘noise makers’ for use in theatre and life.  See below for the detailed info.  And if you need to know more, you can contact me directly.

Water Bottle & Sardine Can Segankuru (Zulu fiddle)

How to Create Noise Makers with Personality
Date:
Sunday 11 September
Time:
10h00 to 16h00 (6 hours)
Venue: Cape Town, venue to be confirmed
Price:
R250

This workshop focuses on making and using unique and quirky musical instruments. (more…)

Open Studio & DIY Konis Phonis Exploratika

Posted in Design, Events, Invention, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on July 13, 2011

This Saturday my studio workshop will be open to anyone interested to see what I’ve been up to.

I’ll show you a few of the musical instruments I’ve made and you’ll also be able to make yourself a personalised set of Kone Phones (Konis Phonis Exploratika).

Or just have a cup of tea and chat 🙂

when:  This Saturday 16 July 2011
time:  10 – 3 (but we’ll probably run later)
place:  12A Chamberlain Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
directions: Drive down Roedebloem Rd and turn right into Chamberlain just after the Woodstock Lounge. It’s the pink house on the left.  Google Map

If you know that you’re coming drop me a line if you have a chance. Or just rock up.

See you 🙂

A satisfied KonePhone - ista