Mountains and Tides by Pitch Feather

(from the press release)

Pitch Feather is an indie rock band piloted by Chuan and Alberta – a husband-and-wife duo with a keen DIY spirit and eagerness for artistic collaboration. Their self-produced debut full-length album “Mountains and Tides” was independently released online on 28th October.

Thematically, the 12-track album contemplates life, death, kinship, hope and love – the things that make us human. The album title represents the struggles and hardships of a journey in search of freedom, and the album is dedicated to every free spirit pursuing his/her dreams.

Elements of folk, baroque pop and almost everything in between can be heard in this album. Songs like “Painter’s Symphony” and “Lavender Girl” illustrate the band’s explorative and artistic approach to music – a principle that no two songs should ever be alike. On the album, each song is written like a soundtrack to a story, evoking vivid images in the listener’s mind.

Pitch Feather believes that people have the power to take charge of their own lives and be free. This album is a reflection of their freedom. The band writes, records, produces and promotes their own music from their home studio, remaining fully involved in the entire process of album production.

“Mountains and Tides” is available online in physical CD and digital download format.

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New Release! Ava by Awk Wah

I think we can all agree that holding vinyl in your hands is very satisfying, and this translucent redwood is an absolute beauty. That sense is further enhanced and sits together well with the vibes of Ava, a new album by avant-noise and experimental electronics artist, Awk Wah.

Awk Wah’s music is based on manipulated samples and beats, and augmented by ritualistic live percussion, charting the meeting points of avant-garde, experimental, and techno music …

(from the press release)

Leaping away from the twisted monolithic vision forged in his noisy 2011 debut Opera Box, Awk Wah returns with an exquisite new work. Listening to Ava is akin to trekking through unknown territory, each track a different region of alien environment, like a grittier, more turbulent version of the Future of Sound of London’s 1994 ambient classic, Lifeforms. There is a sense of sonic adventurism that charts the meeting points of avant-garde, experimental, and techno music – comparable to what contemporary artist-producers like Raime, Helm, Lee Gamble and Jar Moff are doing.

On Ava, tracks like “Rhea”, “Oneiros”, and “Dazzling Spinoza” evoke ceremonial drums in a dark, primordial jungle; “Spineless”, “Hello On-tik”, and “Thex” raise the spectre of a dystopian industrial landscape littered with roaring furnaces; “Making Happy” and “Ominhex” are weirder still, their electronic beats an uneasy sort of dance, marking an ambiguous space between the pleasure of a groove and the ticking of a bomb. The big shifts in sound can be attributed to Awk Wah’s newfound use of the Roland SP-555 sampler in addition to his, by now, signature spider-like percussion work. Sound elements both synthetic and organic are sparsely overlaid; free rolling percussion, clangorous cymbals, nihilistic techno beats are used to compelling effect. At times, Awk Wah’s use of repetition in electronic beats, acoustic percussion – even the rhythmic feedback of a sampled radio in “Thex” – has the curious similarity to the echolocation function of sonar systems in search of an invisible intruder; there is something hypnotic about it, but equally a sense of imminent danger.

Conceptually, the album is named after Avalokitasvara – the Sanskrit form of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy – and a word that literally means ‘perceiver of the sounds (cries) of the world’. What on a mytho-spiritual level evokes the compassion of a deity for humankind, is transposed in Ava into the sensitive act of keen listening to create vast and looming sound worlds – ones of ritualistic beats, distressed squelches, and powerful distortion. With his second album, Awk Wah cements his place as an outsider music genius, with rich insights to share with those willing to listen in to the cosmos with him.

The album is available in digital and vinyl format.

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Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century

(from the press release)

Entitled Ghost: The Body at the Turn of the Century, Sculpture Square‘s sixty-nine-day multi-disciplinary exhibition showcases seminal moments at the turn of the century, and looks at how representations of the Body in the arts and other burgeoning counterculture movements reflect new cultural moments in Singapore. From photography, films, music to performance arts, the Body becomes a central artistic medium.

Curated by Sculpture Square’s Artistic Director, Alan Oei, this wide-ranging show draws a common thread through different art forms in the last twenty years. Alan says, “We tend to look at the life of different disciplines separately. Instead of looking at how each discipline evolved in relation to its predecessors, why not reframe that discourse and look at how our artists respond to the larger milieu. So much of their art uses the body as a medium or motif chafing against the paternal authority of the state. The representations of the body, both in popular media and in anti-establishment art forms – tell us so much about who we are, as individuals, as a nation.”

Ghost locates the artists’ practice within Singapore’s cultural representations of the Body, and how they use their bodies – unmediated, unscripted, ephemeral, and most of all, visceral – to counteract popular notions and stereotypes engendered by society. In addition, Ghost features new and younger artists, such as Choy Ka Fai who creates an almost sinister dance project to record and control the body, and Esther Lowless, whose music is driven heavily by her schizophrenia and the subjugation of her rational self to the body.

This exhibition is especially important as the Internet and global capitalism has brought about a paradigm shift of both physical and social relations. Oei suggests, “We can see a countervailing effort in this show. At the very moment where physical geography seems to matter less and less within the new global order, the Body emerges as a central artistic medium across different genres and art forms.”

The artists exhibiting are:

Singirl by Amanda Heng  at the Chapel Gallery – Project to amass a collection of women’s gluteus maximus, with a future view to a parade contingent. Singirl is an ongoing series on cultural commodification and national marketing. Prospectus for a Future Body by Choy Ka Fai at the Gallery Block – An installation that showcase a memory bank and system that duplicate, reproduce and control dance choreography. New Commission by Esther Lowless at the Gallery Block – Performance-sound installation to recreate the experience of hypochondriasis, anxiety disorder – the destabilization of the body. Mee Pok Man by Eric Khoo at the Chapel Gallery – Selected footage of the film, with original painted cinema banner and an installation of a scene. Street art on Chapel by Jahan Loh & Mazlan Ahmad at the Chapel Gallery (exterior) – Full building mural by street art pioneers incorporating SSQ and cultural history. New Presentation by John Clang at the Front Courtyard – A billboard and horizontal presentation of John Clang’s Beon’s series. New Commission by Lee Wen at the Chapel Gallery – A negative sculpture / cast of Lee Wen’s back. New Presentation by Li Xie at the Chapel Gallery – Approximation of The vaginaLOGUE through its set, objects, audience drawings, in addition to one to one encounters, in the form of an installation. Ray Langenbach’s Archive by Loo Zhihan at the Chapel Gallery – An archive presenting the 7 days of Artists General Assembly in 1993. Torso to Face (Female) by Ng Eng Teng (b. 1934 – d.2001) at the Gallery Block – An enclosed presentation to focus on the sensual, material presence of the sculpture. Stompin’ Ground by Suhaimi Subandie at the Chapel Gallery – The struggle of a Malay artist in Singapore presented through his music, memoirs and artifacts. The Professor Speaks by X’ Ho at the Chapel Gallery – Pseudo documentary account of Singapore and Woodstock.

Ghost: The Body at the turn of the Century opens today and runs until 31 December at Sculpture Square, 155 Middle Road. Opening hours: 11am – 7pm (closed on Mondays). Admission is free.

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The Lomography Blue Hour Sessions

The LOMOGRAPHY BLUE HOUR SESSIONS, is a six-part series featuring collaborations with a roster of local bands and graphic artists to press special edition, limited release EPs with live and unplugged recordings, culminating in a series of monthly Blue Hour gigs and exhibitions at the Lomography Gallery Store.

(from the press release)

Drawn from the French expression l’heure bleue, The Blue Hour refers to the time before nightfall when the sun slips from sight and the sky falls into a deep blue – this hour of day seen to hold special significance because of the possibilities for unexpected collisions, liaisons, delirium.

From November  2013 to April 2014, the Lomography Blue Hour Sessions runs every last Saturday of the month, with each session turning the spotlight on collaborative efforts between some of the most exciting bands and graphic artists of our generation. Expect live sets with visual and audio installations providing a sensory and sonic experience, as well as the launch of special edition EPs (limited to a first-run of 36 copies) featuring rough cuts, unreleased demos, analogue prints and zine artwork by the bands and graphic artists.

We are looking to put the spotlight back on local bands and graphic artists with these Blue Hour Sessions and we’re setting out to:

Get Experimental

  • Bands and graphic artists are supplied a Lomography camera and films to experiment with and develop crazy new artwork, content for these one-off limited-run EPs, as well as music vids and collaterals – working with mind-bending multiple exposures, splitzer shots; think Gondry-esque juxtapositions
  • Bands are stripping tracks back and experimenting with acoustic percussive instruments at these Blue Hour Sessions for added edge or a whole new sound

Document groundbreaking work in the local music scene

  • Well it’s high time someone documented band activity in Singapore, especially seminal, cutting edge collaborations with graphic artists to renew and fuel interest in the local underground music scene
  • We’re resurrecting zines, EP sleeves and splashing fab artwork + photography across all covers
  • Building an archive/vault of zines documenting all groundbreaking work in the local music scene
  • And exhibiting all work at/after gigs
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Creative Destruction at the Peranakan Museum

(from the press release)

In conjunction with the museum’s first contemporary installation, Luminous Depths, by the international artist Lee Mingwei, the Peranakan Museum presents a multi-faceted campaign titled Creative Destruction, which will feature three prominent Singapore musicians creating brand new works and then performing live, along with public interaction through a music production competition.

Besides exploring the idea of collecting, Luminous Depths also raises questions about connoisseurship, memory, and rebirth. The artist invites visitors to participate in his work in a unique way, inspiring them to think about objects and memories, and how both are preserved. A key element of participation is the act of tossing out and breaking a ceramic work of art created by the artist; this act symbolically (and concretely) contributes to new art.

Creative Destruction mirrors this aspect of the installation, paying tribute to the phoenix rising out of the ashes, the creation of the new out of the broken. Each of the sounds created by the breaking of the five different ceramic designs were recorded, and along with Schubert’s lied “Nacht und Träume”, are presented as samples for the public to use in creating their own original musical piece.

To show how it is done, prominent Singapore musicians – Dharma and Bani Haykal of The Observatory, Kiat from audio-visual collective Syndicate, and AION, a brand new group comprising Nick Chan (MUON), Syairazi (Monster Cat) and Vijay Singh (aka SWTLKR) – have been invited to create the first tracks for Creative Destruction; they are all bound by the rules of the competition. Each track must be at least two minutes long, and must use at least one of the six samples provided. Samples may be sonically altered however contestants wish. Each of the three Singapore artists will perform their original composition, along with a selection of their own works, at a special presentation during Night Festival 2013 at the Peranakan Museum.

Online media will play a particularly important role in Creative Destruction. The campaign “HQ” will be hosted on a micro-site. Information about the commissioned artists, the competition, and the campaign will be stored on the site until October. In addition, the Peranakan Museum has partnered with Deezer – an online streaming service with 10 million users worldwide. For the duration of the campaign, Creative Destruction will have its own online radio station on Deezer, along with a featured artist banner space on its home page as the commissioned tracks are released.

Submissions for the music production competition will be uploaded to the Creative Destruction micro site. The public can log onto the site to vote for a maximum of three entries daily. The 10 submissions with the highest number of votes will be presented in a special listening party on Friday, 13 September, at the Peranakan Museum. The winner, chosen by the artist Lee Mingwei, will be announced that night.

Until then head over to www.creativedestruction.sg and check out the first commissioned track titled ‘Diminishing Heliographs’ by Dharma and Bani Haykal of The Observatory.

Plug these dates:

Creative Destruction Entry Submissions:
29 July to 8 September
Follow the link for details: www.creativedestruction.sg

Creative Destruction at Night Festival 2013
Friday 30 August and Saturday 31 August, 8pm onwards at the Peranakan Museum

After Hours at the Peranakan Museum: Creative Destruction
Friday 13 September 2013, 7.30pm at the Peranakan Museum

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