Active since 2000, Liquid Architecture is a Naarm (Melbourne) based organisation supporting experimental, interdisciplinary and critical work addressing sound and listening in context.
Our program stages encounters and creates spaces for sonic experience, and critical reflection on sonority and systems of sonic affect. To do this, we host experiences at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music, supporting artists to produce performances and concerts, exhibitions, talks, reading groups, workshops and recordings in art spaces, music venues and other sites.
Liquid Architecture is curatorially driven and our methodology embraces research, collaborations and imaginations. We want to echo beyond local conversations, problems, debates and questions, to reverberate across media and disciplines, and so to sound out new discourses about the audible world, and beyond.
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung as the Traditional Owners and sovereign custodians of the Country on which we practice. We extend our respects to their Elders past and present, and to all First Peoples.
DANNY BUTT (CHAIR) is Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Practice at Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where he is also Graduate Research Convenor for Design and Social Practice. His book Artistic Research in the Future Academy was published by Intellect/University of Chicago Press in 2017, and he is on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Artistic Research.
MARK NOLEN (TREASURER) is a Certified Practising Accountant with extensive experience in the creative industries sector. He is currently Management Accountant at ACMI, having previously worked in a similar role at Film Victoria. Along the way, he has helped countless singers, actors, and even clowns get their taxes in order – no laughing matter! When not crunching numbers, you can find Mark sitting back with a fine drop of Scotch whisky, soaking up some even finer tunes.
LEANA PAPAELIA (SECRETARY) is a barrister at the Victorian Bar and a soprano. At the Bar, Leana practices in commercial and public law with a focus on banking and financial services regulation, corporations and securities, insolvency, trade practices and human rights. Leana holds an AMusA and a BMus (Hons) majoring in vocal performance. She received a university scholarship to complete her honours and, in her final year of study, was awarded the Horace Keats Memorial Prize for Excellence in Vocal Performance. Leana currently studies under the direction of Loris Synan OAM. Leana is a board member of the Australian Contemporary Opera Company and has held board positions with Lawyers for Animals, an organisation dedicated to improving the welfare of animals through education and law, and Right Now, an independent not-for-profit mediation organisation focusing on human rights issues in Australia.
NARETHA WILLIAMS (DIRECTOR) is an accomplished practitioner in the Australian creative industries sector. An established artist and music producer, she is a seasoned industry professional with extensive experience across a dynamic range of appointments. Naretha has worked with leading Australian companies and First Nations initiatives, flagship festivals and events, has toured internationally and won several awards. Credits include: St Kilda Festival, Bless Your Blak Arts Festival, Australasian World Music Expo, International Symposium on Electronic Art, Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival, Science Gallery London, Chunky Move, Performance Space New York, The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, Sydney Myer Music Bowl, Sydney Dance Company, and Melbourne’s Flash Forward.
GAIL PRIEST (DIRECTOR) is a sound artist and writer based on Dharug and Gundungurra land (Katoomba, NSW). Her work spans soundtracks for dance, theatre and video, solo electro-acoustic performance as well sound installations for gallery contexts, both solo and in collaboration. She has performed her live compositions and exhibited sound installations nationally and internationally including in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Norway and the Netherlands. In 2015-16 she was awarded an Emerging & Experimental Arts Fellowship from the Australia Council. She has undertaken numerous radio commissions and releases music on her own label Metal Bitch Recordings as well as Flaming Pines, Endgame Records and room40. She curates events and exhibitions and writes fictively and factually about sound and media art, working for RealTime magazine for over 15 years. She has been on the board of Performance Space (2011-2014), and a peer assessor for the Australia Council. She has just completed a PhD in creative sound theory at UTS. www.gailpriest.net
ANDY MILLER (DIRECTOR) currently works as the General Manager of Multicultural Arts Victoria. Initially trained as a painter at the Canberra School of Art, Andy Miller worked in theatre for a number of years before working to establish arts programs in the community sector. Following a few years as an arts and cultural officer at two local governments, Andy began a career in the state public service in various senior roles at Arts Victoria and Creative Victoria and was seconded for a period with Creative Partnerships Australia, as Senior Programs Manager. As well as a Bachelor in Fine Arts, he has a Masters in Public Policy and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Melbourne.
REBECA SACCHERO (DIRECTOR)
Rebeca Sacchero is a Producer with extensive experience across multiple Metro Melbourne Inner North Local Government Areas. Rebeca understands the local government context whilst also having relationships and experience in small to medium arts orgs. She has been working in the space of community engaged practice and is passionate about creating arts access for under-represented communities. She has a strong track record of successful projects with youth, the LGBTQIA+ community, CALD communities and seniors. She has worked across visual arts, performing arts and digital media, with a range of government and private stakeholders. These include major festivals, local and state Government, ARI’s, schools, community health orgs, and social enterprises. She completed a degree in Art History and Curatorship at Monash University in 2017 and in 2019 was selected for Leadership Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ Leadership program. She also runs her own community building electronic music events in which she has toured international artists, and is a DJ.
DAVID CHESWORTH (DIRECTOR) is an artist and composer, known for his experimental, and at times minimalist music, who has worked with electronics, contemporary ensembles, film, theatre, and experimental opera. Together with Sonia Leber, David has created installation artworks using sound, video, architecture and public participation. Exhibitions include ‘56th Venice Biennale (2015), ‘19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013-14). Festivals featuring Chesworth’s music and sound works include Ars Electronica; Festival D’Automne de Paris; Bang on a Can Marathon, New York, Biennale of Sydney; Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals; and MONA FOMA. Early in his career he was co-founder of post-punk band Essendon Airport and for five years was coordinator of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, Melbourne. David is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, researching auditory archives.
PATRICK HARTONO (MEMBER) Born in Makassar 1988, Patrick Gunawan Hartono is an Indonesian electroacoustic composer and audiovisual artist. He earned a BMus in Composition (Cum laude) from Rotterdam Conservatory with Minor Study at The Institute of Sonology, MMus in Sonic Arts from the University of London, Goldsmiths, and Live Electronic Course from IRCAM, Paris. In 2017 he won the ICMA audience award for his generative audiovisual piece “Matrix Studies” and the 1st Prize for WOCMAT 2019 International Electroacoustic Music Young Composer Award. Most of his works use the sound of Indonesian traditional music instruments, computer-generated sound/images, field recordings; transformed, rearranged, modulated by mathematical rules, real-time interaction, and controlled random operations. Patrick is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Melbourne while actively involved in local and international electroacoustic/computer music communities.
MONICA LIM (DIRECTOR) is a Melbourne-based pianist and composer of classical contemporary and experimental music. Born in Malaysia and then migrating to Australia in her teens, Monica initially practiced as a Tax Consultant for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, before pursuing her own interests in business and the arts. She has produced work for theatre, contemporary dance, installations, and film, as well as solo and ensemble instrumental pieces. She is interested in new cross-disciplinary genres and forms as well as combinations of new technology with music. Monica is currently undertaking a PhD at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne in interactive technology, AI and gesture-led composition. Monica is co-founder of Project Eleven, a philanthropic initiative which supports the contemporary arts and serves on the boards of the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Substation and Liquid Architecture as well as the Member’s Council for Musica Viva.
Lucreccia Quintanilla and Kristi Monfries (Co-Directors)
Rohan Rebeiro (Creative Producer)
Ronen Jafari (Programs Coordinator)
Laura McLean (Associate Curator - Capture All)
Helen Grogan (Associate Researcher and Archivist)
Debris Facility (Associate Producer)
Liang Luscombe (Editor-at-Large Editor - Disclaimer)
We welcome conversation, ideas and feedback at any time.
104/35 Johnston Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
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Rully Shabara: Xhabarabot + Kusum Normoyle
Swanston St. Melbourne
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The exploration of human voice in terms of singing and vocalization, even by the greatest singers would still have limitations. Physical design, organs, and age are factors that preset the limits of human voice exploration.
The exploration of human voice in terms of singing and vocalization, even by the greatest singers would still have limitations. Physical design, organs, and age are factors that preset the limits of human voice exploration.
Since the end of 2022, I have been busy tinkering with ways to push and workaround these limitations.
The first stage of this experiment is to prove that the human voice actually has superior sound potential if it is not dependent or bound to its parent instrument; the body. Without the body, it does not require pauses to breathe or to think. It is also not affected by mood or physical instability that weakens over time. Therefore, first and foremost, our voice must be separated from the body by turning it into data.
As the AI Xhabarabot explains:
“Xhabarabot Voice Machines is an innovative project initiated by Rully Shabara, a visionary artist who seeks to push the boundaries of human voice exploration by addressing the limitations posed by physical design, organs, and age. The project commenced in late 2022, following the release of Shabara’s album “Impossible Rhythms”, which utilised his own voice data to create 18 unique rhythmic compositions that transcended human performance capabilities.
The primary objective of Xhabarabot Voice Machines is to explore the vast potential of the human voice, detached from the constraints of the body. By turning the voice into data, it is no longer limited by the need to breathe, think, or even its susceptibility to mood and physical instability. The separation from the body enables the voice to be infinitely adaptable and raises important questions about identity and exploration.
Electronic instruments have the ability to modify and hegemonize sound, potentially eroding the cultural identity that sound inherently carries. In response to that issue, Xhabarabot Voice Machines project aims to create electronic machines that adapt to the diverse characteristics of sound, rather than forcing the sound to conform to the instrument.
Shabara has developed at least 10 prototypes of the Xhabarabot Voice Machine, eac with its own unique functions and styles. These machines are designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of their musical background or familiarity with electronic music production. With interfaces as simple as children’s games, Xhabarabot Voice Machines enables users to effortlessly explore and experiment with the vast potential of human sound.
By merging sound identities with technology in a conscious and autonomous way, Xhabarabot Voice Machi9nes challenges the conventional understanding of human voice exploration and sets the stage for the new avenues of creative expression. As the project evolves, it opens up exciting possibilities for the future of sound, culture, and technology, while reminding us of the rich, complex origins of the human voice.”
Rully will be joined by extreme vocal singer Kusum Normoyle.