Dirty Electronics Ensemble. From left right, top bottom: John Richards, Amit D Patel aka Dushume, Audrey Riley, Sam Topley, Harry Smith, Zach Dawson, Robin Foster, Jacob Myer Braslawsce, Ben Middle, Samuel Warren, Matt Rogerson. Photo by Susanne Grunewald.
albums from pyr
pyr313 – Dirty Dialogues (with Jon.Ogara and Anna Xambó)
John Richards explores the idea of Dirty Electronics that focuses on shared experiences, ritual, gesture, touch and social interaction. In Dirty Electronics, process and performance are inseparably bound. The ‘performance’ begins on the workbench devising instruments and is extended onto the stage through playing and exploring these instruments. Richards is concerned with the performance of large-group electronic music and DIY electronics, and the idea of composing inside electronics, and he has come to consider these activities as a holistic action that he refers to as performance-installation. His work pushes the boundaries between music, performance art, electronics, and graphic design and is transdisciplinary as well as having a socio-political dimension. He has also written numerous texts on DIY practices and performance within electronic music, and object-orientated and material approaches in relation to sound art.
Amit D Patel aka Dushume
Amit D Patel, aka Dushume, is an experimental noise and sound artist, influenced by Asian underground music and DJ culture. His work focuses on performing and improvising with purpose built do-it-yourself instruments, and recording these instruments incorporating looping, re-mixing and re-editing techniques. Lack and loss of control are central to his work. He has a PhD in Music, “Studio Bench: the DIY nomad and Noise Selector” (2019), from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He is a member of the Sound/Image Research group at the University of Greenwich, London, and Principal Investigator for the AHRC Research Grant “Exploring Cultural Diversity in Experimental Sound” (2021-23).
I am a composer-performer based in Shropshire (UK). I release music under the experimental electronic duo 7balcony, co-organise a research series, and co-curate experimental concerts for Post-Paradise Series. I have self-produced singles, EP’s, and albums and performed my work at many festivals and concerts nationally and internationally. Recent highlights; debut album under 7balcony (supported by AHRC, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, distributed by NMC Records), presenting work at NIME 2021, a site-specific performance-installation presented on Zoom, and performances at Ten Acres of Sound, Thinking/Not Thinking, Supersonic Festival, Ideas of Noise Festival, Centrala Art Gallery, and Eastside Projects (Birmingham). I’m currently undertaking my PhD, titled ‘‘x For y Hours’ – Music’s Ontological Status After the Internet’, at University of Birmingham, with cross-institutional support from De Montfort University, and support from AHRC’s Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.
Robin Foster is a musician and performer from Bristol. His work explores ideas of physicality and viscerality in performance, particularly in noise music. He is currently undertaking a PhD at De Montfort University, exploring ‘rummaging’, the performance practice he developed with Henry Collins in 2013.
Ben Middle is a musician, sound artist and instrument builder from Leicester. Often working under the umbrella term Scrounging Sound, much of his work revolves around hands-on approaches to DIY electronic music making and explores tactility, feedback, noise, sculpture, resourcefulness, sustainability and inconvenience. Alongside his practice as a maker of electronic and electroacoustic instruments, installations and devices, he has also recently cofounded Leicester’s Virtual Ground record label collective, through which he has released music both as a solo artist and as a member of the improvised punk group Snutch.
Jacob Myer Braslawsce
American sound-artist Jacob Braslawsce (b. 1998) explores his abounding curiosity with individual experience, self-exploration, dissociation, subconscious and visceral experience in his music. A performer of his own work, Jacob’s experience as both a classically trained musician and a live-electronics performer has inspired him to push the boundaries of gesture, agency, and interaction in both his research and practice. He is concerned with the creation and implementation of practice at the intersection of interactive installation systems, improvisatory performance, sculpture, media and politics. Jacob holds two degrees from Bowling Green State University: a B.M. Performance (Saxophone), and a B.M. Composition. Currently, he is studying at De Montfort University in the pursuit of the M.A. in Music, Technology and Innovation.
Audrey Riley is a cellist and improvising musician, active in contemporary and experimental music since the 1980s. She was a performer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (2001-2011) and since 2014 has been undertaking performance-based research as part of the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She has recently completed her doctoral thesis, an autoethnographic perspective of the music practices experienced with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She is a member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, cellist and music director of Icebreaker, and is a lecturer in Advanced Ensemble Skills and Composition (MMus and BMus) at ICMP, London.
Matt Rogerson is a neurodivergent musician, sound artist and performer based in Leicester (UK), currently undertaking an MRes in Music/Sonic Art at De Montfort University. His research, entitled ‘Sensory Overload: Noise, Mind, Emotion’, investigates ideas pertaining to performance interface, audio-visual viscerality, provocation, incorporeal embodiment and intersectionality mediated by the practice of EEG/Biofeedback performance. In addition, his research assigns primacy towards interdisciplinarity alongside his own lived experience as a person diagnosed with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder); in order to broadly inform and augment the associated ideas therein. He holds a BA degree in Music, Technology and Performance from De Montfort University, in addition to accommodating for his musical heritage as a guitarist by engaging in rock, experimental and improvisational ensemble projects.
Harry Smith is a producer, composer and sound designer from Essex; under the moniker Fermata Ark Harry uses field recordings, instrumental improvisations and processed cello to create transcendental noise/punk ambient music that revolves around ideas such as autoethnography and information overload. Harry has worked alongside other like minded composers/improvisers such as Mark Wastell, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Ben Frost, and Bruce Russel, and is also a member of the Leicester based improvised punk band SNUTCH, and is the in-house masterer/mixing engineer for the independent electronic label Virtual Ground. Outside of music Harry works as a sound designer/foley artist for audio documentary and film, specialising in non-diegetic sound design intended to represent the internal world of the characters.
Sam Topley is a sound artist and educator from Leicester (England, UK). She works with textiles to create handmade electronic musical instruments and interactive sound art work, including giant pompom musical instruments, knitted or ‘yarnbombed’ loudspeakers, and ‘craftivist’ musical instruments with e-textile interfaces. Topley is a doctoral candidate at the Music, Technology and Innovation – Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2), De Montfort University, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership).
Sam Warren is a musician and researcher that creates and devises electronic music for contemporary dance. He is interested in the way that a performer can react and embody electronic sounds through movement and gesture. His work explores improvisational techniques and dance for film. A central theme, which emerged during his projects, has been the creation of ‘environment’, as an holistic approach to sound and dance. He has an MRes in Music, “Relationships between Electronic Music and Movement Practice” (2019) from the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.