SOUND: composition, installations, performance, releases

credit: Doreen Kennedy (design)

Strange Attractor


Improvisation with Danny Mc Carthy, Irene Murphy and Mick O'Shea, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland. 20 April 2011.


Strange Attractor was a durational project initiated by Anthony Kelly, David Stalling, Danny McCarthy, Irene Murphy, and Mick O'Shea in November 2010. It ran as a residency at the Crawford Gallery, curated by Dawn Williams. The exhibition was comprised, in a refreshingly unorthodox fashion, of two galleries of visual art (some of these being the traces of past performances) and a series of sonic events. Throughout the first four months of 2011 various artists -- international and local, famous and not -- were invited to improvise with the core group.

I was honoured to be one of those artists. On Wednesday 20 April I played for an hour in the beautiful upstairs gallery at Crawford, a place of natural wood and light, non-parallel lines and random seating.

My notes say that I planned to "use the hidden sounds implicit in the gallery, creating structures in time that play with ideas of memory and forgetting".

The project was documented in a lovely tactile book, launched with another performance 12 November 2011. The catalogue contains essays by some of the guests (David Toop, Steve Roden, Steven Vitiello, etc.) but no analysis from the core performers. In fact, O'Shea has described their communal sonic acts as "conversation without words". From this I judge their silence on this level to be a deliberate strategy, in order to keep open various non-linguistic opportunities.

See also

Photos and full appreciation are available on Theatre of Noise.