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Music that melts in your mind . . . science as nature didn't intend

Air Shower - new video!

With rising population, water resources under increasing pressure and the ever pressing need not to stink too much, we invite you to join us for an ‘Air Shower’.

In the Heart of the Hunter

Novocastrians unite - at the Wicko! It has taken us far too long, but we’re coming to Newcastle, Australia’s 7th largest city and one of our great live music cities. We’re only in town for one show, but it is free. Come on down and help us rock the Wickham Park Hotel on Tuesday 21 October from 8pm

Do something special

Australia is awash with festivals – Wikipedia lists more than 350. Festivals offer excitement and information, sometimes intrigue and possibly inspiration. They are a gathering point for expression, expertise and entertainment. Really good festival moments bring something else, too, genuineness and a welcoming quality. These are moments where expression is embraced without judgement. The result can look strange from the outside, but is stimulating and affirming for those involved, and why stay on the outside anyway? Great festival experiences often happen away from large cities, away from huge crowds and corporate sponsorship. There is something wonderfully and appropriately earthy about festivals that stay close to the grass roots. image

So we are very pleased to announce that we will be performing at one such festival, the biennial Nati Frinj. We’re playing on the Saturday night, 2 November, but Nati Frinj kicks off with the Hay and Thespian Parade the day before and runs right through the weekend.

If you’re in Melbourne, this is the weekend before the Melbourne Cup holiday and we highly recommend making the trip up to Natimuk.

If you’re in Victoria on holiday, take the chance to come and see a part of the state (and the country) that tourists visit all too rarely. You can drive to Natimuk in just a few hours or catch the train/bus.

If Wikipedia is right, then there is a festival for every 65,000 Australians. Make yours special, do something unusual, go (north) west and we’ll see you at the Natimuk Bowls Club.

You can check out the whole program here: 2013 Nati Frinj program.

Parkes Life

The idea of doing a gig at the Dish was pretty exciting since it was first suggested late last year, and the doing was even more ace than we had imagined. From the first moment we saw the edge of the Dish appear from across fields of red earth and green crops bathed in morning light, we could sense that this was probably going to be special.

We watched as people arrived in cars, buses and campervans, explored the visitor centre, chatted excitedly and spent moments of silence just looking up at this majestic piece of infrastructure. Over the next few days we, too, would spend many moments (often stretching to minutes) to simply look and wonder. A dish 64 metres in diameter looks a lot bigger when you’re underneath it, yet it is an infinitesimally small speck in the universe gathering cosmic secrets day and night.

We were granted permission to do a short web-streamed gig in front of the Dish. This was a rare opportunity, because the entire site is a transmitting device-free area. You can watch a recording of the gig here.

Immediately prior to doing this short gig we were taken on a tour inside the telescope and met a couple of the scientists who were preparing to begin that night’s observations. This whole thing was great, from the internal décor (much of it wonderfully retro) to the very wide range of computing technology, to the internal mechanism and outside deck/gantry.

The web gig went well, but there was more in store. We spent the next day shooting a music video clip. We can’t tell you how entirely awesome it was to be up on the dish playing music (even if it was the same song over and over again). It was also pretty damned hot on a big white surface with next to no shade, but it was worth every drop of sweat and every patch of slightly sun-burned skin. We hope to have the video finished in a few months.

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We were fortunate to enjoy a “hayride” on and off the dish, which was good fun in itself and a lot easier than the stairs. Until that point we hadn’t seen the Dish move much and certainly not from so close. Such a display of grace and power.

That night we performed at the Dish Café with a great audience and the magnificent, flood-lit Dish overlooking our efforts.

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The next morning was our last at Parkes (this visit). As wrens hopped through the bushes and kangaroos sparred on the lawn, we indulged in one last glimpse of Dish painted by the sunrise.

We have many people to thank including Chris for showing us everything, keeping us safe, being good fun and embracing Ologism-ness; Mal for letting us on site in the first place and indulging our technical needs with good humour; Craig for lending us his cafe and providing great food; Shirley for taking care of our accommodation needs and cooking yummy things; and David and Dan for letting us poke about while they were at work and telling us about their research.

It all seemed to happen very quickly and we were reminded that Einstein’s thoughts on relativity support the notion that time flies when you’re having fun.

At some point late last year we had a thought about having an Auslan signer at an Ologism gig. It seemed both intriguing and a bit silly at the same time. Ologism performances are set in a rock music setting and it might be easy to assume that deaf and hearing-impaired people might be less likely to attend a live music event. In reality many deaf and hearing-impaired people enjoy music (live and recorded). We were arrogant enough to hope that some of them might enjoy Ologism.

It took us a while to act on the idea, but we eventually contacted Deaf Can Do, who were very friendly and helpful. The process of interpreting our lyrics and translating them for signing was fascinating from both an artistic and general interest point of view. The photo (above) shows both the original Ologism lyrics for one of our songs, ‘Ant Establishmentism’ and the written Auslan interpretation. Zoom in on the image if it’s hard to read.

This written interpretation formed the basis of our interpreters’ signing. If you don’t know the song, it’s pretty energetic and was even more so with an enthusiastic Auslan signer on stage. In a live gig, the song has an explanatory introduction (which was also translated and signed). We’re not sure how our interpreters managed to keep up with the rest of show, but I guess that’s their genius.

The show itself went really well and we’d recommend it for any performer. We had a ball with our interpreters Jade and Sarah and if you are working in Adelaide we highly recommend Deaf Can Do.

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