Alan Lamb: The Music of Chaos Exhibition

August 25–31, 2015
Rear Window Contemporary
267 Hay Street, Subiaco

Opening night artist talk + demonstration

August 25, 2015
6pm–9pm / Talk commences at 7pm
Free entry

Tura New Music, Serve Service and Rear Window Contemporary present composer Alan Lamb’s The Music of Chaos, a sound installation and exhibition.

Alan Lamb began exploring unconventional sounds made by wires in the early 1970s while he was studying for his PhD in neuroscience in Edinburgh. He had previously graduated in Medicine at the University of Western Australia. As a medical student and intern he began building kinetic sculptures, an art which he further developed in the UK whilst waiting in London to move to Edinburgh. His interest in sound emerged from his perception that his kinetic art was incomplete without an accompanying sound. After much experimenting he stumbled across the natural sounds, in Western Scotland, of telephone wires singing in the wind by the the aeolian effect. On his return to Western Australia to continue academic research in brain development, he found and bought from Telecom for $10 a one kilometre span of abandoned telephone wires in the great southern outback. By 1980 he was composing his first full length compositions from his recordings. These were quickly recognised in Australia, and later internationally for their exceptional grandeur and mix of cacophony and beauty.

While experimenting with sound in Edinburgh, Lamb discovered a method of “strumming” instrument length wires using pulsed and fluctuating magnetic fields. Recently in the last few years he has returned to

exploring further the potential of those methods. He has built many variations which he calls music machines (also infinity machines, chaos machines, etc). The machine seen here is his most recent construction. It has been used by the new music group Decibel Ensemble in recent concerts on tour in Australia and overseas, played by Stuart James.

Lamb is now retired after a spell of general practice at the end of his career, but he continues to experiment and compose with sound and music.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Serve Service has published a small edition containing a discussion between Alan Lamb, Henry Andersen and Traianos Pakioufakis, available from Apropos Provisional bookstore.

The exhibition runs August 25–31, 2015, concluding with special live performances at Club Zho 120 from Alan Lamb and L.S Rosenberg.