Michael Morley: Music for the Never Quartet
Michael Morley is a sound artist and visual artist from New Zealand, best known as 1/3 of the Dead C, an enduring free rock unit that has pushed the proto- and post-punk templates to exhilarating points of disintegration for the past three decades. Responsible for over 100 audio releases from 1985 to the present day, Morley has also created music under the names Gate, the Righteous Yeah, the Fuck Chairs, Sun Valley, and under his own name. His work across a range of genres confirms his abilities as an artist, composer, improvisor, performer, and producer.
'Music for The Never Quartet' explores the sonic possibilities of the acoustic guitar as a pure resonant amplifier of sound. Four acoustic guitars are placed on solid wooden furniture, with electronic bows are placed upon the strings of each guitar. The guitar bodies amplify the bowed strings, which the furniture further amplifies, creating a lush and generous sound field. The addition of various wooden blocks, bowls, and rods placed atop and underneath the instruments modifies the collective sound. These tonal drones reveal connections between time and space, sonically activating the instruments and the other wooden objects within architectural structures.
The audience is encouraged to move around the space so they can experience the sound from multiple vantage points. However, Morley explains that remaining in one place allows for the shifting time signatures of the different vibrating strings to wash over the listener. Concert-goers are also welcome to record the performance on their mobile devices to be played back as loops during the installation.
The development of 'Music for The Never Quartet' comes from Morley's thirty year exploration of the guitar and of sound as art. The focus of the acoustic guitar as the nexus of an examination of sound stems from a desire to provoke and create experimental music that challenges the status quo of the hierarchy of rock and popular musics, and allows for a reimagining of the idea of performance and composition.
Detroit, MI 48207
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