The Circuits of Happyness

At Happy tomorrow night you can hear three of New Zealand’s rising stars of minimalist electronic music:

  • Sam Hamilton
  • Angeline Chirnside aka Jane Austen
  • Nigel Wright

These artists are described in the media release as “wonderful and amazing; think the magnificent beauty of Rosy Parlane, Minit, and Rachel Shearer’s Lovely Midget project. Hell, think of the internationally reknowned Fennesz, Tim Hecker or Keith Fullerton Whitman, if you like.”

Musique Non Stop

While you were sleeping poster, 05/08/06(right, that’s the obligatory Kraftwerk reference out of the way)

This weekend’s a busy one for followers of electronic and dance music. Tomorrow night, Module‘s live band (including Rhian Sheehan and Raashi Malik) plays the late set at Cabaret. From there, it’s just a quick jaunt along Courtenay Place to Sandwiches for Rhombus, who will be starting at about … oh, whenever gigs start at Sandwiches these days.

After a late night like that, on Saturday you might be in the mood for something more laid-back, so try out While_you_were_sleeping‘s explorations of ambient and experimental sounds at Room 101 (under Bar Bodega) from 8pm. To get a preview of the sounds on offer, listen to The Session on Radio Active tonight, featuring tracks and interviews from some of the artists involved (inclding Pang, Panoramica and Anaesthesia Associates).

So So Modern, Disasteradio and Chairman Miaow, will be playing an Amnesty International benefit show at Indigo The San Francisco Bathouse from 9:30. And if you’ve any pills energy left, Concord Dawn and Minuit are playing not one but two gigs at Subnine: all-ages from 7pm to 10pm, and grown-ups only from 11pm.


circuit bendingThe next installment in the “bleep” series takes a kind of DIY mad-scientist approach to making music. Bleep #2 is all about “circuit bending“: the art of torturing, transplanting, and grafting electronic sound-making devices so that they make more interesting sounds. Start with some mass-produced techno-toy from the Warehouse, the sort of thing that make irritating electronic noises, and attack it with screwdrivers and soldering irons to coax more interesting (and yes, probably more irritating) noises from its innards. The street finds its own uses for technology, indeed!

It is a two-part event, consisting of an interactive worshop this Sunday afternoon, followed by a gig at Happy next Wednesday. Full details are on the bleep website.

Happy bleepings

BleepThis Wednesday night at Happy, a diverse bunch of musicians will get together for a live collaborative performance called “Bleep”. They’ve all got one thing in common: they make music with machines.

And by “machines”, they don’t just mean computers. Sure, there’s the usual brace of laptops and MPCs, but the preliminary workshop also included an electric violin, an op-shop omnichord, electronic drums, analogue tape-delays, an ancient Casiotone and what looked like a genetically engineerd hybrid between a chinese stringed instrument and a mechanical typewriter. The resulting sounds ranged from delicate to frantic, but as this is an improvised collaboration, no-one (least of all us) will know quite what to expect.

Eclectic Electric

Here are a few things to keep your mind off the weather this weekend.

The World Press Photo ’06 exhibition kicks off at Shed 11 today. It’s been interesting to see that the publicity around town has taken a very political angle this year.

Just along the waterfront at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea (I wish they’d find a shorter name!), they’re already two weeks into the month-long Wellingtonia LIVE event. The word “eclectic” doesn’t even begin to describe the range of things going on there: there’s a performances from the Tinakori Handbell Association, a Matariki celebration with Toni Huata, hurdy-gurdies, shanty singers, ghost tours, kete weaving and a debate on the controversial Marine Education Centre. My main interest will be in the series of talks organised by the Architectural Centre entitled “Why I do architecture”. These kick off at 1pm tomorrow with Anna Kemble-Walsh and Martin Hanley of Red Design and John Mills of John Mills Architects.

Poster for debut gig by The Blush ResponseFrom eclectic to electric: new synth-pop band The Blush Response have their debut gig at Sandwiches tomorrow night. The band may be new, but the musicians will be very familiar to Wellingtonians: Jeramiah Ross (aka Module), Rhian Sheehan, Raashi Malik (of Rhombus, among others) and Paul McLaney of Gramsci.

Finally, you could always try to figure out the location of the current Mystery Bar. If you do, you’d better get looking tonight because it’s closed on Saturday nights (that’s a clue). It also has something in common with Sandwiches.



Well, the flyer tells the story, really – if you want to participate in some fun electronic music-making, head along to the Wellington Arts Centre this Sunday (June 11).

Brought to you by our favourite Wellingtonian electronic music-making blogger: Frey.