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The Rising Tides Experimental Music Festival Announced

The Rising Tides Experimental Music Festival Announced

Friday 23rd November, 2012 10:36AM

An orgy of sound exploration is to take place in Wellington next month as part of the new Rising Tides Festival. Dedicated to experimental audio and visual artists the festival will take place over four days in various venues and even a few outdoor locations. International acts include Alexander Tucker from the UK, as announced earlier in the week and Robbie Venaim who will be joined by a bevy of local talent including Bill Direen, The Futurians, Golden Axe, Badd Enery and many more. There's a lot to take in so peruse the information below and head over to the Sound Explorers site for the full schedule.

Here's Australian Robbie Venaim in action...

And likewise here's Dunedin's The Futurians.

Press Release:

Rising Tides Festival
5-8 December, Wellington

The Sound and Light Exploration Society welcome you to the Rising Tides Festival, four days of mind expanding music, psychedelic sound experiments, backyard electronics, kitchen sink improvisation, primitive rock, free noise, hypnotic projections, ethnographic films, invented instruments and more. Continuing in the tradition of the Wellington music festivals Bomb the Space and Fredstock, Rising Tides is a celebration of the unconventional within NZ’s creative music scene: the outsiders, the non-conformists and the eccentrics. We are very happy to bring to Wellington, artists from around NZ and several special international visitors. Puppies is the festival club, with shows on there every night. Early shows are at various locations around the city including The Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffalos, Thistle Hall, Garrett Street and at some special outdoor locations.

The festival is full of highlights... but some performances of note include:


UK. Hailed by The Wire as an ‘avant folk genius’, psychedelic outsider artist Alexander Tucker has been creating his distinctly British song cycles for many years, released firstly on ATP Records and more recently on Thrill Jockey. His music is an intensely personal world of dream-logic narratives and out-of-focus scenes, as much heavy and sonic as it is gentle and acoustic. Tucker collaborates regularly with members of Sunn O)))) and Circle and forms half of Imbogodom with NZ’s Daniel Beban. Equally active as a visual artist, Tucker’s drawings and films will be exhibited along with his partner Rhona Clews’ photography on Saturday. Obsessed with and heavily influenced by NZ psych and noise music, Tucker’s visit is an eagerly anticipated musical pilgrimage.


Australia’s Robbie Avenaim is an extraordinary percussionist, composer, improviser and instrument inventor. As well as his solo performances, he has played with a huge gamut of groups and artists including John Zorn, Keiji Haino, Dave Grohl, Oren Ambarchi, Mike Patton, Otomo Yoshihide, Fred Frith and many more. Robbie has developed mechanical and robotic extensions of the drum kit, namely S.A.R.P.S. (Semi Automated Robotic Percussion System) and EMS – Electronic Motorised Sticks which are akin to kinetic sound sculptures, rebounding off objects to create abnormally fast rhythms and textures. He is a founder of the long running What is Music? Festival.


France/NZ. Bill Direen is a New Zealand musician, poet and novelist based in Paris. His longstanding group The Bilders achieved legendary status both in NZ and abroad through their lo-fi recordings that showcased Direen’s unique take on songwriting: angular and unpredictable with electrifying lyrics. Some of these early 1980s DIY recordings have recently been re-released on Siltbreeze (USA) and Unwucht (Germany). He continues to record and release new material as a soloist and collaborator with musicians based in NZ and Europe.


Whakatane. A mesmerising musician and one of the world’s most unique guitarists, the current torchbearer along a continuum of solo guitar performers that includes John Fahey, Derek Bailey, Fred Frith and Eugene Chadbourne. Greg Malcolm is a one-man orchestra, simultaneously playing three guitars with hands and feet while incorporating bells, springs, gongs, rubber bands and more... his music is grounded in a rich melodic world, inspired by folk music as well as great jazz composers such as Steve Lacy and Eric Dolphy, all underpinned by Greg’s very individual surrealism.


Greg Malcolm’s story time session is a fun, musical, visual and dramatic journey through songs and stories. Beautiful melodies and nursery rhymes of the past are fused with contemporary fun songs. Felt boards and puppets make this a fun and visually entertaining performance and the children will become actively involved singing songs with actions and humour. Greg provides a fantastic opportunity for children to be involved in music encouraging them to be imaginative and creative thinkers. This show is aimed at babies to seven year olds and all those young at heart!


Dunedin/Auckland. Monsters interplanetary spacecraft commanding a drunk, covered in sap and molasses, pink and green. Messier lovers of film, music and comics, the collective New Zealand The Futurians. Its zonked clique of superheroes, consisting of Duckling Monster, CJA, Mandroid, and ISO12, comes to ninth years of life with a production-trash hardcore punk-sci-fi as unusual as unknown.

Also included in the programme are special outdoor events:

Christchurch sound artist Stanier Black-Five’s work is based on the manipulation of environmental recordings and found sounds, creating dense soundscapes out of aircraft drones, the pounding rhythms of trains and the sounds of the earthquakes that have shaken her city. For this performance, Stanier Black-Five will be sonically taking us inside huge grain silos.

Torben Tilly’s solo project, Droszkhi, follows in the spirit of his electronic duo Minit and sonic explorations with Full Fucking Moon. Field recordings, electronics, synths, percussion & other mixed-media produce a sound world of mind-expanding elliptical loops, discombobulated rhythms, electric pulses, and cosmic drones. Tonight Droszkhi will perform a special surround sound set at the psychedelic Christmas tree light sculpture at Waitangi (Chaffers) Park.

There is strong visual element to the festival, with psychedelic visual projections by Ducklingmonster, Erica Sklenars, Beth Hilton and Stephen Bain, and experimental films by Alexander Tucker, Rhona Clews, Bill Direen, Steve Wymzelico and an exhibition of drawings and photography by Tucker and Clews. There will also be a screening of the feature length ethnographic documentary ‘Stori Tumbuna’:


A feature length ethnographic documentary, Stori Tumbuna is set in the remote region of Southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, a region without roads, power or water supplies, and focuses on the lives, culture and mythology of the Lak people. This film is a collaboration between people of the Lak region and Wellington ethnomusicologist Paul Wolffram who lived there for two years... “I was to become enmeshed in events that resulted in bloodshed and death. What’s more, I was held responsible.” – Paul Wolffram


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