Electroluminescence was an immersive multimedia concert of works for electric guitar, electronics, and visual projections. The program featured world premiere performances of three new commissions from Australian and international composers, including two-time Aria Award-winning composer James Ledger (WA), Gulli Bjornsson (Iceland), and emerging composer Victor Arul (WA), alongside the Australian premiere of works by Eve Beglarian (USA), Alison Isadora (NZ), and Jacob TV (Netherlands).
Presented by Tura New Music as part of the 2022 Fringe World Festival, Electroluminescence premiered at Lyric's Underground on January 19 2022. Awarded a 9/10, X-Press Magazine hailed Electroluminescence as "nothing less than heroic in proportion…and an important contribution to the repertoire of audio-visual works for electric guitar." View the program. Read the review.
About the Works
Svart Hvít Sky á Himni (2019) - Gulli Bjornsson (b. 1991)
One common feature among many of Gulli’s compositions is the use of complex preprogrammed live processing effects which play an integral role in creating the form and structure of the piece. This work is no exception - the effects transform over the course of the piece, with the work’s overall dramatic trajectory directly linked to the audio processing. One of the most aurally prominent effects is the rhythmic envelope generator, which utilises a step sequencer to create rhythmic patterns out of sound disappearing from the texture.
Gulli has also developed the visuals for this work, which feature real-time audio reactive manipulations of a short 30 second stock footage clip of moving clouds. Using Max MSP, Gulli has created swirling ominous dark grey cloud formations that emerge and decay against a black backdrop and respond to the sounds of the live performance.
Overgrown Towers (2021) - James Ledger (b. 1966)
Inspired by the return of flora and fauna to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Overgrown Towers is a work for solo electric guitar. Heavily influenced by rock music, the piece features driving rhythms, dissonance, and grungy distortion throughout. It begins with a study of the open strings of the instrument, exploring the timbral differences that result from playing the same pitch on different strings, before moving on to a harmonic language permeated by crunchy dissonance.
While Ledger conceived Overgrown Towers as an abstract instrumental work without a visual component, I have collaborated with Perth-based photographic artist Lyle Branson to develop a series of still images to accompany the piece. The images are in the style of Branson's recent exhibition A Makeshift World, which featured dioramas constructed from reject photos and other materials and objects lying around his studio. Through this process, Branson creates dystopian landscapes with surreal figures in the foreground. The images for Overgrown Towers have been crafted to match the character of the piece, changing at various points as the work unfolds.
Akrasia (2021) - Victor Arul (b. 2000)
Victor also developed the visuals for this work, which are randomly generated interactive three dimensional objects in black space. The shapes respond in real-time to the sounds of the live performance, and are directly correlated to the input amplitude - the louder the sound, the bigger and more opaque the object.