Tra La La Blip – Powerhouse Museum Sydney

Story from Accessible Arts

Music technology links metro and regional arts & disability

17/06/2010 – AArts News

Lismore based music making collective Tra La La Blip brought a regional presence to the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney this month.

Collective member Mathew Daymond and founder/music producer Randolf Reimann presented two electronic music making workshops at the museum’s creative digital media precinct, Thinkspace.

Music makers from Centrecare and Inala Disability Services played an expanded range of electronic instruments from the Tra La La Blip set up including the new addition of Percussa Audio Cubes, a theramin interface played by artists like Bjork and designed in Belgium. Vocal improvisation was also facilitated by guest singer Jacqui O’Reilly.

Thinkspace staff and sound artists Kusum Normoyle and Finn O’Keefe also attended the sessions along with the museum’s Learning Technology Manager Peter Mahony who hosted the regional/metropolitan creative exchange.

Peter said, “The chance to have Tra La La Blip guest present our weekly ‘Special Access Kit’ program served as both inspiring variation for our clients and professional development for the Thinkspace team. Randolf, Matthew and Jacqui delivered the workshops with skill and enthusiasm, encouraging a number of small but significant moments and some personal best efforts from our participants. The technology provided a platform for capturing spontaneous improvised vocal and instrumental performances, and then blending both recorded and live musical elements into a great sounding contemporary musical structure.”

While in Sydney, Mathew and Randolf also attended NIME 2010, a conference on new interfaces for musical expression. They participated in tutorials with students and professional musicians from Australia and overseas, exploring ways to develop music making technology to suit the needs of the Tra La La Blip collective.

Tra La La Blip partners Multitask Human Resource Foundation funded the trip to Sydney, investing in the ongoing development of weekly Tra La La Blip soundbeam sessions at the service. Mathew has been involved in these sessions since their inception in 2008, as part of his community participation program.

“Supporting Mathew to develop his skills and presenting with him at the Powerhouse Museum will extend the parameters of what Tra La La Blip can achieve,” Randolf said.

Mathew takes back his experience in Sydney, with plans to co-facilitate editing and mixing the sound files recorded at the Powerhouse Museum’s workshops, in collaboration with Randolf and other Tra La La Blip members. The music produced from this process will be presented back to the disability services in Sydney, creating a virtual exchange of music production, originating at Australia’s largest museum.

This example of collaborative engagement between the arts and disability sectors, forging innovative and quality participation in the arts by a range of people, was initiated at Accessible Arts’ Arts Activated National Conference in March 2010. Thinkspace presented workshops at the conference, which Randolf attended as a regional artsworker. Sharing the modern synthesis techniques used by Tra La La Blip at the workshop inspired an invitation for the collective to demonstrate at the Powerhouse Museum.

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