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John Butcher holds and plays a saxophone

Self Cancellation – Asymptotic Freedom / Feedback Wire Drawing

Self Cancellation – Asymptotic Freedom / Feedback Wire Drawing

John Butcher plays and manipulates a feeding back saxophone. Benedict Drew on electronics, broken cables and standing waves. Two performanes that merge into each other during one event.

Can sound auto-destruct, can it cancel itself out in the process of it’s own creation? Society tends to cancel itself out: every new invention creates a new accident waiting to happen (e.g. before trains, derailment never existed). We asked Rhodri Davies, inspired by and in collaboration with Gustav Metzger, to bring together a collection of musicians to look at ways in which music/sound can cancel itself out, can auto-destruct during performance.

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Society tends to cancel itself out: every new invention creates a new accident waiting to happen (e.g. before trains, derailment never existed). Gustav Metzger was the first artist in the UK to really address this tendency via his Manifestos for Auto-Destructive Art in the late 50’s & early 60’s. We’ve asked Rhodri Davies, inspired by and in collaboration with Gustav, to bring together a collection of musicians to look at ways in which music and sound can cancel itself out, can auto-destruct during performance.

Maybe you think that sounds kinds dry, or theoretical, but it’s both real pertinent in today’s political climate and also a way of thinking about sound that could lead to some pretty spectacular performances. E.g: Mark & John Bain using oscillators to shake The Arches, seismographs to pick up the harmonics and a massive sub-bass PA to play that back to live, Michael Colligan pressing white hot metal into dry ice, causing the metal to sing and scream, Robin Hayward’s sand filled tuba solo.

The Self Cancellation project was co-produced with the London Musicians’ Collective.

Documentation

5 images, 1 video, 2 audio
John Butcher - Asymptotic Freedom
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Benedict Drew - Feedback Wire Drawing I
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
John Butcher holds and plays a saxophone with a guitar flat in the foreground

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

John Butcher holds and plays a saxophone, one shoulder hunched up

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

An audience in a dark arched performance space watch John Butcher

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

Ben Drew looks down at a table whilst performing in a dark space

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A piece of paper is connected with a contact microphone

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

John Butcher holds and plays a saxophone with a guitar flat in the foreground

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

John Butcher holds and plays a saxophone, one shoulder hunched up

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

An audience in a dark arched performance space watch John Butcher

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

Ben Drew looks down at a table whilst performing in a dark space

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre

A piece of paper is connected with a contact microphone

▴ Credit: Bryony McIntyre