Infuser @ The Art of Tea

Infuser (2007-2009) - Tristan Louth-Robins
Infuser (2007-2009) - Tristan Louth-Robins

At long last, my ‘teapot work’ Infuser is finally being exhibited.  Somewhat conveniently (and appropriately) it is being exhibited as part of the Helpmann Academy’s ‘Art of Tea’ exhibition which is being held at the ARIspace, 209 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide from the 19th to 26th of October.  Infuser has been a two year labour of love, going through several variations before reaching its final form a couple of months ago.  Aside from being an installation work in its own right, it will also serve as part of the creative portfolio for my masters thesis which is nearing completion.

How does it work/what does it do? Essentially, a pre-recorded sound of reinforced resonances from each teapot is played back into that teapot on a three minute loop.  What the listener hears is the sound of the teapot playing itself,  in essence responding to the sound of itself.  More conceptually, Infuser speculates the re-contextualising of domestic objects, in this case the teapot reconfigured as a sound object.  The title is also a slightly punning reference to the process of infusing tea, wherein the case of the work, sound had essentially been ‘infused’ (had its resonances reinforced) to create each sound recording.

I’m hoping it will be a nice addition to the exhibition.

Where: ARIspace, 209 Melbourne  Street North Adelaide, South Australia

Exhibition dates: 19-26th October 2009

Exhibition opening: 6pm, Tuesday 20th October


OSC (stopgap post) – OS/iTunes issues/rant

No update on the previous post yet I’m afraid – my ipod touch freaked out rather violently last night and I place the blame firmly on the unstable iTunes Version 9 which seems to have given my beloved device a temporary personality disorder.  Thankfully, by updating the touch OS to the latest version it seemed to resolve the issue.  On that note, beware of the latest Mac updates – if other updates are out of synch it’s going to create a number of issues for you, iTunes v9 is a case in point -> you can’t access the iTunes Store if you don’t have Safari V4 installed, and Safari requires the latest security update.  *sigh*

Anyway, it’s all good now after dl-ing a quarter of a gigabyte of updates and I’ve finally been able to get my mits on the new Eno/Chivers app Trope, which ironically is sorely underwhelming.  *long sigh*

Not much of a trope
Not much of a trope

More here:

Another OSC post will be coming soon, and I’ll be going over some non-Touch OSC interfaces soon as well.

OSC Revisited


With an upcoming performance in mind I thought I’d return to working with OSC (Open Sound Control.)  At the start of the year I started experimenting with Hexler’s iPhone app Touch OSC which basically operates as a wireless interface which I used as a control device for Max/MSP.  It worked OK, but there was no foreseeable application for it in a compositional or performative context.  Since I acquired Ableton Live and started using it in live performance (most recently on tour with Panoptique Electrical) I’d become interested in controlling parameters in Live over a wireless network.

Around this time, Hexler released the Touch OSC Editor which allows the user to create their own patches, and recently incorporated a label feature which is very handy for identifying faders, buttons, X/Y grids, etc.   This certainly piqued my interest in working with OSC once again since I would be able to customise my own patches which could be specific to parameters in Live.

One of the issues I’d been encountering when I started working with OSC and Max/MSP was the absence of a reliable protocol for sending and receiving messages between the app and computer.   OSCulator is an ideal solution – a fantastic piece of software developed by Camille Troillard which identifies a variety of control devices – Lemur, Wii, Wacom and of course the iPod Touch/Phone – has minimal latency and is very user friendly.


With this in mind, I’ve spent the day designing a template for Touch OSC and assigning parameters to an Ableton performance session.  Basically, it will enable me to control faders, track panning, activation/soloing, triggering samples and controlling a four band EQ.  Simple stuff at the moment, but I will incorporate some more sophisticated functionality shortly and provide some video documentation as well.

Resonate Review: Panoptique Electrical in Sydney

via Resonate, a review of Panoptique Electrical’s performance in Sydney.  Review by Geoffrey Gartner.

Jason Sweeney, the brains behind Panoptique Electrical, has spent August on the road promoting the release of his album Yes to Fear, Yes to Desire. Joined by cellist Zoë Barry, electric guitarist Jed Palmer and Tristan Louth-Robins on electronics, the group’s tour has taken in Adelaide, Mt Gambier, Melbourne and Canberra, with this Sydney gig the last stop on their travels.

The venue for the Sydney performance was the unbelievably tiny Don’t Look Gallery in Dulwich Hill, a space devoted to experimental New Media. A small but appreciative audience filled the space to capacity, yet despite the cramped confines there was a general atmosphere of bonhomie amongst the attendees. With no room for seats people either stood or sat against the walls. Fortunately there was a fine selection of colourful pillows at hand to ease discomfort. I perched on a pillow covered with manga imagery and waited for the show to begin.

First up was a performance by Catfingers (Ashley Scott). His short set was mostly comprised of sample-based material overlaid with occasional, discrete beats. Unfortunately, with the gallery door left open, his pleasantly innocuous soundscapes came off second best to the continual barrage of traffic noise from New Canterbury Road.

Thankfully, once the Panoptique Electrical quartet began their performance the door was firmly shut and stayed so. Surrounded by a goodly variety of laptops and other electronic impedimenta, the four performers set themselves up in a tight-knit little unit, with the cello and electric guitar players seated behind their colleagues on a small dais in the gallery window.

Using the rich, open C-string of the cello as a tonal basis, the Panoptique quartet slowly established a thick wash of pulsating, reverb-drenched sound. In this near beatless sonic environment, the melodic content was the controlling element, with Jason Sweeney dictating the musical flow with mellifluous dyads from his MIDI keyboard. These melodic droplets fell on an undercurrent of elongated instrumental samples and processed cello and electric guitar tones. There was a real sense of cohesion to Panoptique’s sense of ensemble, aided by an implicit sense of communication amongst the four players. However, it would have been nice if there was less dependence on pre-recorded cello samples at the outset, especially with the real thing at hand.

The live mix was quite something, and enveloped the Don’t Look Gallery in a treacly morass of sound. Although this occasionally swamped some of the finer effects, such as the cello pizzicato, the Panoptique quartet displayed a fine sense of control, pulling back the volume and intensity whenever things threatened to get overwhelming. However, this proved to be something of a double-edged sword, with each new iteration of melodic material from Sweeney heralding a predictably long sustained build-up followed by an equally long release. The entire set became rather episodic as a result.

That aside, the Panoptique Electrical experience was a gratifying one, the environs of the Don’t Look Gallery adding to the overall feeling of being immersed in an intimate sonic installation. This was a musical experience in which to wallow.

RIP Linda Lou Murphy


Linda Lou Murphy - un/gather (image: Artlink)
Linda Lou Murphy - un/gather (image: Artlink)



Linda Lou Murphy was an Adelaide based media artist who was highly respected locally, nationally and internationally as a visual artist and performer. I worked with her on two occasions (both at the EAF) at a workshop in 2007 and a sound collaboration/commission for her work “un/gather” in 2008. It is a great loss to the arts community as she was one of those rare artists with such a clarity of vision and was ultimately a wonderful person.