Brendon Bussy

Sounding Out: Tracking Secret Sounds of the City

Posted in Art, Sound, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on July 10, 2012

On Saturday I ran a workshop as part of the ongoing exhibition Sounding Out. The workshop was also inspired by the upcoming World Listening Day.

A nice sized group of enthusiastic sound-ista’s turned up – thank you Bag Factory :).

I introduced the group to a range of simple listening tools such as bottles to use as resonators for listening to vibration. Then we set off to explore the surrounding Fordsburg neighbourhood to search for hidden and unexpected sounds.

tapping a tree branch and listening for vibrations

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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….

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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…)