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The Bent Leather Band (Stuart Favilla and Joanne Cannon) perform electro-acoustic music on spectacular and unusual leather instruments. Their work explores gestural control of sound and music, extended techniques for bassoon, experimental instruments, interactive and algorithmic composition for creative music making and very bent sounding music. Drawing upon Percy Grainger's 'Free Music' Joanne Cannon, one of Australia's leading bassoonists and experimental musicians, performed one of their remarkable Australian 'Free' music instruments, the serpentine bassoon, together with selected audio archives of Grainger's instruments, experiments and up late drinking song "The Big Green Tram".



16 Feb 2007 photos Karen Trist

Journey begins with playing an archival recorded interview with Percy Grainger speaking of his interest in 'gliding tones' and samples of his 'free music', then glides into an extraordinary range of sound produced via serpentine bassoon and its electronic manipulation. A traveling sound environment is underway, with tonal glides overlaying the tram's uphill climbs, downhill runs and staccato stops. This listener heard resonance to natural, electro-mechanical and street transport worlds that were both enthralling and with humorous asides. Roll toward journeys end with a rousing piano and vocal chorus of 'the big green tram' and a wound-down experimental electro-acoustic music making system: what a quintessentially focused Melbourne experience this was! (It's a pity Percy couldn't be there.)

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