Vic McEwan, talks about the project.
“Today, as Bruce and I wondered off on a morning mission to find a waterhole and a grove of trees that Bruce had discovered on a previous day, we became distracted and we diverged form our path at the site of a large old rust metal box. On top of the box were a whole series of metal “fossils”, remains of past farming labour. Broken bits of early farm machinery. They were all arranged neatly on top of this large metal box as if they had been collected there long ago for a forgotten purpose that never eventuated.
They consisted of the blades from an old harvester all neatly lined up on a piece of wire so they sat like a spine of vertebrae. There were broken handles, rusty old hanging frames and other things (fossils). We played together on this box, made some recordings with these found prepared agricultural trinkets. And I thought that it seemed that someone had gathered these here for a purpose that was never fulfilled and we have came along and repurposed that intention.
The day before Bruce had arrived to commence his residency (which was 2 days after Victoria Hunt left from here), I had started clearing the land around the school house.
Whippersnippering, chainsawing, hauling, dragging and piling.
There were many reasons for this:
To prepare the space for having an audience here on November 19th.
To clear away potential homes for snakes.
To reclaim some of the land around us so we can start directing our activity towards the “outdoors”
To start inhabiting land so that when Holly (now 11 months old) is old enough to play outside, that she has some spaces that are safe.
There is a space at the school house where there is a small cluster of pepper trees (gnarled, interesting shapes, part dead, part alive), cypress pine, weeds, brush.
I started clearing this the day before Bruce arrived and have continued a little each day since. I had stopped on that first day because I had cleared into a part where I discovered a beautiful old hollowed out brach that hung down almost in an arch.
As Bruce came to watch and help me chipping away at the overgrowth the following day, he started tapping, playing the old cypress tree. Listening for resonance, listening for tone, listening for potential. Repurposing my task.
So, for a few days we have slowly cleared away the area, delicately and not delicately, trimming branches in order that we create a large harp like instrument out of it.
I had started this task before Bruce arrived and we continued it together toward another intention. This is a great beginning to a collaboration.
We were preparing the land together.
We were preparing our performance space together.
We were discovering.
We weren’t jamming, We were observing and finding and doing.
And slowly a sonic installation will unfold.
So, todays jam and recording on the large rusty metal box with farm trinkets, was another repurposing of someones previous collecting. And as Bruce peered inside the metal box with his video camera to discover a metal box full of thick cob webs, I realised that this hour or so of slow, soft focussing on gentle subtle movements and exploring the landscape through it’s sonic nature had cleared the cob webs inside of me.