Brendon Bussy

Paarden Eiland Makes Noise (first two events)

Posted in Art, Electronics, Events, Music, Sound by Brendon Bussy on October 27, 2013

Earlier this year Rowan Smith contacted me to say that he and Ingrid Lee would be coming to SA. They had been collaborating on works such as their piano transcription of a smashed guitar and wanted to make something happen experimental sound wise in Cape Town.

The result has so far been two really cool November events comprising chest rattling exercises in feedback, through deep immersion sound bathing. I was fortunate enough to be part of the launch event and happily subjected the audience to a participative Silent Noise performance, a technique I’ve been using in my teaching.

For upcoming events and video and pics see the Paarden Eiland Concerts website.

Image

For the launch event Ingrid created two feedback experiences, one of them by causing multiple snare drums to sympathetically feed off each other. A deep textural experience which made my chest feel as though it were a snare drum itself. Here Ingrid uses a pair of my Earshells to listen to Dean Henning’s feedback installation Frequency Lumens Place.

(more…)

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*G Force* make Normal Noise at Edge of Wrong

Posted in Sound, Theatre, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on March 9, 2013

Last weekend at the Edge of Wrong four young deaf performers known as G Force presented Normal Noise. A performance resulting from a workshop I’d run with them.

Their mission: to present their full sensory experience of a ‘normally noisy’ world.  So that a hearing audience might think again about the sensation of hearing.

And they were a hit which made me very (very) happy. And proud 🙂

Applause for G Force at Edge Of Wrong. On left is Tshepiso Betty Mokoena - our amazing Sign Language interpreter for the evening.

Applause for G Force at Edge Of Wrong. On the left is Tshepiso Betty Mokoena – our extraordinary Sign Language interpreter for the evening. (pic: Niklas Zimmer)

At some point a video will hopefully become available. In the mean time, here is an account in words with pictures by the versatile Niklas Zimmer. (more…)

Normal Noise without Ears. And Marshmallows.

Posted in Events, Sound, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on February 25, 2013

I was recently approached to run a workshop and develop a performance for this year’s Edge of Wrong festival (a cross-continental festival of exploratory arts and music).

As result I’ve been running a running a series of exploration sessions with four deaf students from Cape Town’s Dominican school for the deaf (Wittebome). And it will all culminate with a performance called Normal Noise this Saturday evening as part of this weekend’s festival events.

essential listening technique: listening with your toes

essential listening technique: listening with your toes

So what have we been doing in the sessions? Basically we’re exploring sensation using everyday objects. With sound as our focus.

But what is sound to someone who does not have fully functioning ears? (more…)

Edge of Wrong: 3 acts, 3 drawings

Posted in Events, Music, Sound by Brendon Bussy on February 24, 2013

I took my sketchbook along to the Edge of Wrong experimental music festival last night.

So three drawings in response to three acts…

Paul Opie & Alex Bozas' performance combined drum machine, guitar and bass to create a crunchy and immersive experience

Performance 1: Paul Opie & Alex Bozas’ performance combined nostalgic drum machine, melodic overdriven guitar and rattling bass to create a crunchy and immersive experience

(more…)

Shower Songs Relaunches with a Splash

Posted in Events, Mandolin, Music by Brendon Bussy on August 27, 2012

After a protracted break from stage and stardom, Shower Songs, my duo with Masha du Toit will relaunch this weekend at the fabulous Voorkamer festival in Darling, South Africa.

Shower Songs (pic: Niklas Zimmer)

Voorkamer is Afrikaans for ‘front – room’, and the performances literally take place there –  in private homes in a variety of locations from the dorp (town) centre to township locations. A really nice community integrated project which brings high class performances (including ours 🙂 into interesting locations. Read more about the festival here.

Masha and I perform a very eclectic set – everything from pop to folk with some real oddness-es thrown in (blues, ancient song, funk anyone?) – all arranged for just mandolin and voice. Read more about us on Masha’s blog.

A New Adventure – Hearing with Touch

Posted in Sound, Theatre, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on June 30, 2012

The ‘new adventure’ in this blog title refers to the excitement I felt and encountered during a sound workshop I recently ran for deaf theater makers.

Sometime back, somewhat inspired by the deaf musician Evelyn Glennie,  I approached Jayne Batzofin from the theater group FTH:K with the idea of creating a soundtrack for a deaf audience. In the process of discussion she invited me to run a workshop for the group’s deaf trainees.

Well the workshop ran well. Very well. One of those really amazing paradigm shifting moments in life where you realise that things are not as you thought they were!

The workshop in pictures:

We each take a turn having our heads buzzed whilst wearing the hard hat – trust me it feels great!

Playing circular saw blades which have very long and powerful sustain – you can feel the vibration from several centimeters away

(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…)

Ulrich Müller (Interview Part 2) – A Long Tradition of Skeptics and Inventors

Posted in Interview, Music, Sound by Brendon Bussy on December 6, 2011

[This is a continuation of an interview – read part one here.]

Cape and the Eternity: 48nord - Ulrich Müller (e-guit, laptop, devices) & Sigi Rössert (e-bass, laptop, devices) with Patrick Schimanski (drums, voice, laptop, devices) pic Franz Kimmel

Part 2 – A Long Tradition of Skeptics and Inventors
In which Ulrich describes the technological development of his practice as well as the future of music.

BB: I’m most intrigued by the evolution of your performance set up. I find it interesting that set ups ‘settle down’ after much change and experimentation into something which feels like a complete ‘system’ or instrument. Being that this isn’t the first setup you’ve worked with, what would you regard as the elements crucial to a useful setup?

UM: It was constant change over many years that led me to the point at which I now consider my setup as a complex instrument which I constantly develop.

A journey from guitar and back
It all began when I was a rock musician. This meant heavy amplification, a set of nice guitars and a couple of standard stomp boxes such as phaser, flanger, vibrato, wah wah… and a great sound. Then I stepped into this strange world of experimental music which actually brought me far away from playing guitar for a couple of years. (more…)

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If Walls Could Talk Would They Sing?

Posted in Art, Mandolin, Music, Research, Soundtracks by Brendon Bussy on September 30, 2011

In June this year I was approached by Renée Holleman to collaborate on a soundtrack for her upcoming show ‘A Novel in Parts’ at WhatIfTheWorld’s new premises in Woodstock, Cape Town.

The brief she gave me proved to be a great opportunity to explore Woodstock, the neighbourhood Masha and I had just moved into, as well as a useful challenge for my compositional techniques.

This is the final soundtrack:

Woodstock  is today primarily a Moslem community with a growing immigrant population from other parts of Africa, but up until the 1940’s it was a Jewish neighbourhood of Lithuanian decent. Renee explained that the show would touch on specific and tangential references to this context, especially as the exhibition was to take place in the old Woodstock Salt River Synagogue complex – the Hebrew Community Hall having been converted into the new gallery premises.

A detail from a work on the show ‘A Novel In Parts’

[See more images from the show here.]

She also explained that the soundtrack would need to have a clear link to the current context but also in some way evoke the past – and use sound to achieve this.  The starting point would be the location of the exhibition – the Synagogue complex, which had been de-consecrated in the late 1950’s, and had seen a number of other occupants, including a bicycle repair shop and a furniture manufacturer. (more…)