|Autoharp, Tim Bruniges, Drones|
photo Galerie pompom
This extended tone-cluster is emanating from an autoharp propped on a small shelf to the right of the entrance. (An autoharp is not a harp but a zither-like instrument designed so that certain strings will be damped to produce chords.) Bruniges has placed electromagnets over the strings (as with an EBow) to keep them continuously vibrating, creating a potentially endless chord. This first sonic zone is like an aural-cleanser—the sonic equivalent of a tall glass of cool water.
You don’t really need to stay with this work, rather it stays with you as you move through the gallery, its harmonic concentrations shifting subtly according to the mysteries of architectural acoustics. I think of it as a ‘cool’ sound (in terms of temperature, not fashion) because of the way it underpins Bruniges’ second piece, a video work titled Horses.
|Horses, Tim Bruniges, Drones|
photo courtesy Galerie pompom
After a few minutes contemplation, you begin to realise that the gallery is actually getting quite noisy. At the far end, the loading bay roller door is open, letting in a not insignificant swathe of real world noise—a garbage truck, impact drilling, shouts from the multiple surrounding construction sites. Facing the opening is a small bench which allows you to sit between two treble speakers with a sub woofer. Suspended above, a microphone connects with a discrete, yet aesthetically pleasing, triode vacuum tube amplifier and audio workstation.
|Wall, Tim Bruniges, Drones|
photo Galerie pompom
The open door not only lets in sound but also affords a theatrically framed view of the brick wall on the other side of the narrow lane. The work is titled Wall and this is clearly one reason why, but Bruniges’ sonic treatment also makes a wall of sound. Not in an ‘epic noise’ sense but rather via a fascinating flattening effect, the background and foreground brought into the one sonic plane. Actually, it’s perhaps not so much a wall of sound; rather the processing forms a screen or scrim, through which real world sounds are sieved to create a sense of flatness or uniformity.
Drones are generally associated with extended time frames and a certain thickness or density, yet each of Tim Bruniges’ works offers a surprising succinctness, lightness and clarity in their articulation of the concept. However, the real strength of the exhibition lies in the ways in which the three pieces literally resonate, bringing together internal and external sites in an all-encompassing cross-sensory drone that induces a state of nuanced awareness of both time and space.
Tim Bruniges, Drones, Galerie pompom, Sydney, 2 March-3 April
Sydney based visual artist and musician Tim Bruniges works across installation, sound and video, centring on notions of perception, the fallibility of memory and our relationship with time. Often taking the form of site-specific installations, the works attempt to create immersive spaces that allow for a disruption of expected experience. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from COFA, University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts (Mus) with distinction from the University of Western Sydney. He has exhibited works nationally and in the USA, Germany, France, Iceland and Russia and recently has been based in New York following completion of the Greene St Studio artist residency in 2013 awarded by the Australia Council for the Arts (from his website).
RealTime issue #131 Feb-March 2016 pg. web
© Gail Priest; for permission to reproduce apply to email@example.com