Borderline Ballroom

BB #17 Radio Acoustic

bb17Sunday, September 21, 2008
8:00pm until 12:00am


the BORDERLINE BALLROOM casts out live into the electromagnetic spectrum this month with a focus on experimental radio, broadcast as art, and artists engaging with the technology of radio. Fusing radio broadcast and live performance, the Borderline Ballroom #17 incorporates three live solo performers and the radio programmes Borderline Radio and A’Sides for Betaville, in a live to air collaboration with Lyttelton community broadcast station Volcano Radio 88:5FM, which has been operating in the port town just outside Christchurch since February 2008, and whose transmission area is locally bounded by the crater rim. The Borderline Ballroom #17 will be on-site at the Wunderbar in Lyttelton and simulcast live on the station’s airwaves from 8pm.

Sunday 21 September 2008
the Wunderbar, Lyttelton
8:00pm – $5, doorsales only



Adam Willetts is a musician and artist whose practice shifts casually between hi-tech and handcrafted as he explores relationships and interfaces between people, technology and popular culture. His use of DIY electronics, radio, computers and game controllers creates dynamic and surprising live performances that carefully balance elements of fragile beauty with violent eruptions of static, electromagnetic interference and feedback.

Adam has been performing and exhibiting throughout New Zealand and internationally since the late 1990s featuring at numerous festivals and exhibitions including Lines of Flight 2006 (Dunedin), TASIE 2006 (Beijing), S3D 2007 (Auckland), and Cloudland at ISEA 2008 (Singapore).

For September’s Borderline Ballroom Adam will be performing new work for synthesizers and electrosmog.

MELA (Lytn)

Mela is Helen Greenfield (Barnard’s Star, the LEDs, Miss Mercury)’s experimental audio/visual project which focuses on (revels in) the medium specific properties of a variety of obsolete media, and within which “layers of repeating melodies, gradually effected drones, and suitably unrecognisable beats create an imperfect but mellifluous musical microclimate.”

For this Borderline Ballroom performance Mela will be eschewing the seamless translation of digital imagery to debut her OHP-projected, hand-coloured, hand-made slides, layering them in vibrant colour fields which recall the exuberant, colour saturated direct-film paintings of Len Lye, and sonically and visually investigating the aesthetics of the constrained gesture and broken things, saying “maybe Mela more closely resembles her equipment at the moment… but who copies who?”

I-RORY (Chch)

I-Rory is an eclectic multi-instrumentalist, “a… dilettante, percussionist and improvising musician who plays the stereo.” Last seen supporting Philip Jeck at the Borderline Ballroom #13, for September’s performance he is promising to celebrate the politer pursuits of the season, to take listeners on “a sunday walk” and will be contemplating a “pitch invasion” with semi-automatic percussion, obstructed field recordings and attack, sustain, decay, feedback.

“Was a delight to absorb self in the digi-soup of I-rory. Using crude objects of both home-made and exotic qualities, I-rory evoked the sound plethorae of Zoviet France.”
-Matt Middleton


a radio show hosted by Peter Kirk every Sunday on Volcano Radio 88.5FM from 10pm – 12am, A’sides is radio in the classic tradition of late night experimental collage soundscape, a maverick creative broadcast practice begun on US college radio in the late 1970s, with precursors in earlier music/audio/collage works and sound experiments, whose prior local manifestations include Rotate Your State (RDU, 1991-2003), as well as various programs on the original Radio Lyttelton.

A’sides rides the drift of the late night dial toward a poetics of the medium, becoming a framework through which to listen in to listening, playing with radio as-playback, making audible the sound of broadcast and its sonic storage media. In its collaged craftings, found-cultural detritus jams with precious artifacts of high culture, the mp3 speaks to the tape loop and the gramophone, hand-manipulated op shop records of Russian folk songs and sea shanties (the record as readymade… the medium as the massage) bump tactilities and temporalities with recordings of historic avant-gardists speaking on the creative process, and live streaming of internet radio art projects.

for the Borderline Ballroom, A’sides promises as much de-mystification of its process as it promises further inscrutability, staging radio art as Dj set and live event, while retaining its intimacy of late night listening for those who understand that “the ears don’t have eyelids”

with many thanks to Volcano Radio, and to Matthew Ayton for technical support.