TRISTAN LOUTH-ROBINS

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Installation Works

2016 Orbits - commissioned work for Adelaide City Council
2015 New Wave - Transfiguring
2015 Stranger - commisioned work for Climate Century 2015
2015 gesto, afectará - ciudad imaginada 6.0 (Colombia)
2015 Re imagining the mother - with Simone Kennedy
2015 Five Voices - forWARDback
2014 Free Flight - with Simone Kennedy
2013 Wentworth Visitation - commissioned work for 2013 Mildura-Wentworth Arts Festival
2012 Echocline - commisioned work for Southern Encounter
2012 Corner & Shadow (After Minard) - 3D Play
2012 The Roil - Objectified
2010 Stitchsound - with Ryan Sims
2009 Infuser
2009 Tensions - with Shoot Collective and Lauren Playfair
2008 un/gather - with Linda Lou Murphy
2007 Sumi
2006 Sounds From Level Four - with Shoot Collective - 2006 Adelaide Festival of Arts
2005 Pink Twine


Orbits (2016)
Sound installation commisioned by Adelaide City Council.

Orbits is a sound work developed specifically for the Adelaide City Council walkthrough. The sonic material is drawn from two cyclical chord sequences played on a 1950’s reed organ routed to a harmonic modulator. Since the two chord sequences are of different lengths, the sequences slip out of phase with each other (a phase relation) and – in conjunction with the harmonic modulator – result in complex harmonies and textures.

Installation preview:

In-situ audio recordings:




New Wave (2015)
Sound installation/sculptural work exhibited as part of FELT Space group exhibition, Transfiguring.

Description coming soon




Stranger (2015)
Sound installation/sculptural work exhibited as part of Climate Century 2015.



Stranger is a response to research and discussions concerning the impact of climate change in the Port District, and its likely affect on local ecosystems, inhabitants and man-made infrastructure. This work presents the listener with an auditory landscape from a hypothesised future, whereby a single entity remains with its lonely utterance; projecting its transmuted voice (derived from a now disappeared organism) into an empty field.

The work consists of a four-channel sound installation, comprising of small loudspeakers positioned in the stairwell and upstairs area leading to the Weiman Room. The sound material is derived from a single source - that of Snapping Shrimp, which were recorded in the Port Inlet using hydrophones (underwater microphones). The sound that Snapping Shrimp generate is distinct: consisting of loud crackles and pops, not too dissimilar to the sound of electrical interference or the frying of seeds or nuts. For the purpose of this work, the sound material has been resynthesised to generate new sound textures, which are intended to be evocative of certain sounds, yet remain perceptively dislocated from their original sound source.




gesto, afectará (2015)
Sound composition for installation at ciudad imaginada 6.0 (Cali, Colombia) in collaboration with Mario Ortiz Ossa and Lara Merrington.

Description coming soon


Re imagining the mother (2015)
Sound composition and installation for an exhibition by artist Simone Kennedy.

This exhibition presents the reconstruction of an 'imagined' mother that interprets expressions of loss, joy, ambivalence and horror.

Notes on the sound installation: The source material for the composition is derived from the "Coronation Street" theme - originally composed by Eric Spear. The theme has been digitally processed so that tones are extended, whilst original pitch is maintained. The harmonic structure and texture of this rendered theme is extrapolated over four repetitions, affecting aspects of timbre and spatial quality.

Within the SASA space the composition is played back on continous loop and broadcast from two mounted speakers at a moderate volume so that it is acoustically confined to a specific area of SASA space, but yet is able to gently reverberate and diffuse through the entirety of the main space.






Five Voices (2015)
Sound installation for group exhibition, forWARDback at Unley Museum.

Exhibited as part of the SALA Festival group exhibition, forWARDback - curated by Karen Paris.

Five Voices utilises five glass bottles and vials from the Unley Museum collection. Prior to installation, the acoustic response of these objects were recorded in a manner so as to reveal their unique sonic properties. This was done through an iterative process of reinforcing the resonant frequencies of each of the five objects. Five Voices is presented as a short audio composition, which presents each of these five 'voices' at various stages of their iterative process - varying from soft to strong frequency response.






Free Flight (2014)
Sound installation for Simone Kennedy's cross-media work.

Artist's description: Exhibiting the final three elements of her PhD studio project, Kennedy extends the imaginary fusion of mother, daughter and fly. Taken from actual experiments by graduates (from the school of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo) a housefly's trajectory is recorded showing a distinct thread of pattern making produced prior to 'feeding' (low) on a sugar solution and (high) 'post feeding'. Kennedy presents the exploratory behaviour of the fly revealing an unexpected representation of self. Free Flight sound composition in three parts by sound artist Tristan Louth-Robins.



The sound composition can be listened to at the artist's website:

Audio Gallery 1: Link
Audio Gallery 2: Link
Audio Gallery 3: Link



Wentworth Visitation (2013)
Installation for the Old Wentworth Gaol as part of the 2013 Mildura-Wentworth Arts Festival.

Wentworth Visitation is an audio installation for the Old Wentworth Gaol wherein composed sounds from the gaol and the wider Wentworth area are broadcast through loudspeakers into a gaol cell, with the intention of evoking an imagined visitation of the natural world as experienced by the former inmates of the gaol.







Echocline (2012)
Commissioned audio work for headphone installation aboard the Steam Ranger's Centenary Class carriage.



Echocline is a commissioned work for Southern Encounter (curated by Sarah Last/WIRED LAB) as part of the Regional Arts Australia National Conference (Kumuwuki) - Goolwa, South Australia - October 2012.

Echocline is a three-part audio work composed from field recordings made around the Fleurieu and Alexandrina regions - from the coastal areas of Victor Harbor, Granite Island, Port Elliot and Goolwa, the lake settlements - Clayton and Milang and the inland regions of Cox Scrub, Finniss and Sandergrove.

The concept of Echocline is to evoke the landscape that one observes (and might imagine) along the historic Victor Harbor to Strathalbyn rail journey. Along with the changing visage of the ocean, creeks, rivers, estuaries, wetlands and paddocks, there is also a noticeable change in the sonic landscape. This work essentially brings a composite 'sound image' of the sonic landscapes outside the carriage into the auditory realm of the passenger, emphasising some of the unique sonic characteristics of the coastal and inland environment and its non-human inhabitants (specifically birds.) The title of the work is derived from the term ecocline, which is used to denote the transition between one ecosystem and another, where there is no sharp boundary or distinction between the two.

I. On Water (13'16")



"On Water" begins on Granite Island overlooking Seal Rocks. A low booming resonance radiates across the water and arcs along the southern edges of the island, that are exposed to the elemental force of the ocean. Gradually the spray of crashing waves colliding with huge granite boulders comes into relief, and the tide makes its way into the calmer environs of the bay. The water then recedes and the underwater environment is revealed: substrates of sand, shell and organic detritus shift and groan and are pulled into deeper currents. The underwater journey continues through the Goolwa Barrages and resurfaces in a bed of reeds, amongst nesting birds and a cacophony of frogs. The composition comes to an end on a long sandbar near the Murray Mouth. Gulls, pelicans, terns, cormorants and finches soar through the air and gather on the sandbar as the Murray Mouth - the transition point between the lower lakes and the greater ocean - thunders in the background.

II. Flux (10'51")



"Flux" begins at dawn as the sound of Lake Alexandrina comes into relief from a small jetty near the Milang Shacks. The sound of finches, gulls, magpies and starlings can be heard singing in the background. The birds eventually become the focal point of attention, amongst the shacks the starlings voice their high pitch calls from hanging electrical wires. The tall grasses of Clayton Bay are then heard as water birds call discreetly in a nearby lagoon. We move towards the reed beds, and for the remainder of the composition - as night falls - insects dominate the sonic environment with their loud clicks, trills and insistent rhythms.

III. On Land (11'05")



"On Land" begins in the late morning near a flooded a paddock a kilometre south of Finniss. Correllas, cockatoos, gallahs and the occasional Australian Hobby (similar to a Falcon) perch on partially submerged trees and circle through the air. The wind picks up suddenly and the sound of crickets, frogs and the birds of Cox Scrub come into relief near a flooded fire track where a large expanse of dark water has extended into a shallow depression of thick scrub. A second more violent series of wind gusts appears and we are transported to the northern perimeter of the scrub. A group of finches sound in the foreground whilst the Finniss River - acting as a natural division between the scrub and a paddock - is heard in the distance, gradually becoming louder. The strong current of the Finniss River carries us southwards and the composition ends by a small marsh as crickets and nesting birds sound out the early evening.


Corner & Shadow (After Minard) (2012)
For fifty small loudspeakers, one large high power loudspeaker and amplifier, visible wires and seven-channel audio.



Corner & Shadow resembles the converging lines of a corner - two lines at ground level separated at a 90 degree angle, and a line extending upwards from where the two ground level lines intersect. The ground level lines are constructed from an arrangement of 50 small loudspeakers (25 on either side) on the gallery floor which broadcast three specific mid to high frequency bands of a discreet audio signal. The two lines of loudspeakers intersect at the base of a wall in the gallery and two black audio cables are run up the wall to the ceiling in a straight line, resembling the third line extending upwards. This completes the corner of the work. In addition to the corner, a large single loudspeaker is suspended from the ceiling above the corner's interior space broadcasting a low frequency audio signal - this is the shadow. The shadow audio signal is intended to create a low frequency 'interior' sonic presence, in contrast to the high frequencies broadcast from the small loudspeakers on the floor rendering the 'walls' of sound. It is anticipated that audience members (upon entering the corner) will distinguish from the 'walls' and 'interior' aspects of the installation, hence creating a unique three dimensional sonic experience.


The Roil (2012)
For forty loudspeakers, visible wires, iron bars and eight-channel audio.



The word 'roil' pertains to a state of turbulence, specifically with reference to water and its chaotic energy, witnessed in phenomena such as crashing surf, churning swells and rough currents. The Roil is intended to evoke a space that I visited frequently during my childhood and have returned to occasionally in later life. I have a mysterious attachment to this space, strengthened by some of the most profound and curious memories of my early life. Memories of happiness, unease, fear, boredom and fantasy coalesce with the space's geographic and sensory qualities: rolling hills, waving grasses, a southwesterly breeze, the smell of seaweed, sand between toes, the myriad sounds of the ocean and distant drones. Luis Bunuel once remarked that our memories are forever being invaded by our imagination and dreams: 'since we are apt to believe in the reality of our fantasies, we end up transforming our lies into truths.' [1] I wonder how accurate my memories are. Why do they evade distinction and appear so unfixed, disturbed and superimposed? What does it matter? It's a beautiful mess.

[1] Bunuel, Luis. My Last Breath. (London: Jonathan Cape, 1983), p. 12.




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Stitchsound (2010)
Collaboration with Ryan Sims.

Stitchsound comprised of three performances by Ryan and myself as well as an installation within the performance site for the duration of the 2010 SALA Moving Image program at the Queens Theatre, Adelaide, South Australia. For the performances Ryan and I engaged in a performative ‘dialogue’, whereby the sounds that I generated from a turntable/laptop set-up were interpreted by Ryan and transcribed into stitches on fabric records, thus creating a visual representation of the sonic process and (in the form of the fabric records) evoking a symbolic relationship to the medium from which the sounds were being generated. Furthering this relationship, three customised and motorised turntables were installed during the performance and were also displayed for the purposes of the installation as well.


Stitchsound performance, 31st July 2010 (TLR: left, R.Sims: right). Image: Lauren Playfair

Video documentation of rehearsals and performance - 31st July, 5th & 7th August 2010


Image and video credits: TLR, Lauren Playfair, Edward James and Emma Warneke. Video compiled and edited by TLR


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Infuser (2009)
For teapots, loudspeakers and audio.


Video documentation of Infuser at the 2011 Format Festival; Adelaide, South Australia - February 2011.

Installations:
September 2007 (early version): Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
October 2009: ARI Space (Art of Tea group exhibition), North Adelaide, South Australia.
February 2011: Format Zine Store (2011 Format Festival), Adelaide, South Australia.
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A pre-recorded sound of reinforced resonances from each teapot is played back into that teapot on a three minute loop. What the listener hears is the sound of the teapot playing itself, in essence responding to the sound of itself. More conceptually, Infuser speculates the re-contextualising of domestic objects, in this case the teapot reconfigured as a sound object.

The title is also a slightly punning reference to the process of infusing tea, wherein the case of the work, sound had essentially been ‘infused’ (had its resonances reinforced) to create each sound recording.

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Tensions (2009)
Collaboration with Shoot Collective and Lauren Playfair.


Tensions artist talk - July 2009. Image: Edward James

Below is a video slideshow of the aEAF installation of Tensions (June-July 2009)



The following text by Lauren Tomczak is from the Tensions programme note.

There is a new architecture governing the private homes and public spaces of the world. It is invisible and ever changing, and dependent on a constantly moving infrastructure of mobile signals, wireless connections and transmissions. We are each a light house protecting our private piece of coast, connected by the oceans that crash between us and communicated by a dialogue of signals and beams that radiate all throughout the night.

We make these homes in representation of ourselves, replete with intricate patterns of zeros and ones, radiation that hangs around us like delicate lace and conversations that stutter and stop in private parcels of abbreviated text. We are like a meme, splitting and multiplying in bits and bytes across networks and through cables. We exist here and there as mirrors of our ourselves, cementing our real and virtual existences and bearing equal weight to both forms of being. But our accounts of the world - recorded sounds, photographs and film - are in a constant state of degeneration. Every time a sound is re-recorded it becomes an echo of it's former self, slowly consumed by the frequencies of it's environment. Every time an image is copied it slides further away into contrast and grain. Every time we copy ourselves across the internet we, too, become more abstract, less defined; a product of shallow layers of data spread thin across the airwaves.

In describing this 'new architecture', Ryan Simms presents a series of light boxes strung and mounted throughout the space. Representing private homes, the boxes play on the concept of private versus public, with internal lights rendering visible intimate scenes from behind opaque walls. Ed James and Jen Brazier, alternatively, explore the invasive nature of technology and the role that it plays in presenting and re-presenting the echoes of ourselves. A dancer invents and reinvents herself throughout the space. Like the digital media that she exists in, the dancer becomes abstracted, moving and shifting in ways that are no longer analogous to nature. This sense of abstraction is also present in the photographic work of Charissa Davies. Through a pastiche of photocopy transfers, Davies creates a facsimile of a person: abstract, degraded and broken down into unintelligible pieces. But the being is not isolated. It is borne of cabled roots that spread across the gallery space, simultaneously asphyxiating and giving life to it's inhuman host. The cabled roots, too, spread into other works, finding connections amongst the technological waste of Tristan Louth-Robins and Lauren Playfair's sculptural accumulations. These collections - childhood boom boxes, old tapes and wires - grow across the gallery space, multiplying and attaching themselves to corners like mould on a damp wall. They are alive with sound, chirping and buzzing with the energy of insects in the night, but resin pools that form nearby lay testament to the dangerously inorganic nature of these electrified growths.

Carl Jung once wrote that there is a collective unconscious that binds us all as humans - a set of ideas and assumptions so ingrained within us that we are each drawn together by these hereditary, or instinctive, archetypes of being. Now, with the inception and proliferation of our own electronic presence, our bodies are constantly being infiltrated by a silent rush of waves - sound waves, microwaves and radiation - that vibrate through us every minute of the day. It could be said that, with these shared shifts in pressures, energies and frequencies, we have been drawn into a new kind of 'collective unconscious', passively immersed in the alluring omnipresence of technology. But so imperceptible is this constant atmosphere of electrical dialogue that it could also be seen to step into the dangerous territory of knowing no bounds, of being truly limitless and, as such, comes not without a following of apprehension and uncertainty. The public realm is forever being filtered into our private domains and, in return, we allow our intimate selves to be read by friends and strangers alike, forever connecting our private and public spheres in an allusive state of digital tension.

© Lauren Tomczak 2009

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un/gather (sound design) (2008)
A cross-media work by Linda Lou Murphy

Read about the work via aEAF's website here.

|| Exhibition documentation, June 2008.



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Sumi (2007)
For suspended prints and loudspeakers


Detail of 'hidden' loudspeaker, January 2009.

A description of Sumi can be found in the video documentation below.

| No audio currently available.
|| Video documentation of Sumi versions 1 and 2, November 2007 & November 2009




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Sounds From Level Four (sound design) (2006)
Intermedia colab with Adelaide based arts collective Shoot

Read more about the work here. (Shoot website)

| Video component with embedded audio.



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Pink Twine (2005)
For resonant space, four track tape machine and suspended loudspeakers


Installation of Pink Twine in Schultz Building stairwell, February 2005.

Pink Twine (2005) was the first of my works to bear the influence of Alvin Lucier's seminal work, I am sitting in a room (1970).

The work was realised as part of the Project 2 Sound Art Workshops held at the Electronic Music Unit (EMU) over a the course of a weekend in February 2005. The installation remained active for the duration of the following week.

Four loudspeakers are positioned on Level 5 of the Schultz Building (University of Adelaide) within the stairwell space with two microphones positioned on the 4th and 6th levels of the stairwell.

The microphones record the space for a duration of 45 minutes (the length of a cassette tape). This stereo recording is then played back into space through the loudspeakers, whilst being simultaneously re-recorded and manipulated using the EQ and pitch controls of the Tascam 424 Portastudio.

The overall sonic effect consists of a discrete reinforcement of resonant frequencies, whilst also featuring instances of feedback and the subsequent layering of activity in the space. At times, peripheral sounds such as voices, the sound of the lifts and a mobile phone (during Part 3) can be heard.

This cassette recording captures the end result of 7 days of re-recording, manipulation and countless actions within the space. I have remastered these edited recordings a little so as to balance the overall audio image, however I decided to retain the audible tape hiss as evidence of the technology in use at the time.



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e-mail: tristanlouthrobins[at]gmail[dot]com