22 November – 3 December 2023
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Opening Night & Immersive Sound Experience
Wednesday 22nd November, 6 – 8pm
Immersive Sound Experience:
Saturday 25th November, 3:30 – 4:30pm
Immerse in the unique rhythms of vibrating colour whilst viewing the works on Opening Night and Saturday afternoon only. Don’t miss this very special presentation by Daniel – an extraordinary sound performance using his new instrument, ‘The Particle Plate’.
Saint Cloche takes great pleasure in revealing Australian multi-media artist, Daniel O’Toole, whose work spans the mediums of painting, video, sound, and installation. Daniel blurs the boundaries between disciplines yet strives to unify and synchronise the different aspects of his practice.
‘EYE MUSIC’ represents two different sensory modes of communication; visual works and sound works – the ‘viewing’ and ‘hearing’ of which is an interconnected and active encounter, rather than a passive, lifeless receiving.
The Particle plate is an instrument designed for play and chance.
Having spent the last year focussed on explorations of granular synthesis, (A way of affecting audio where a sample is divided into small fragments called ‘grains’ that are played back at various pitches/speeds and processed through effects in combination with the original signal.) I realised what I really love about it, is the element of chance and the organic qualities of sound that remain present in an otherwise very abstract effect.
I saw a video of someone pouring sand over guitar strings and was amazing how similar it sounded to granular synthesis. so, I began to think about how this process of pouring grains could be used to play electronic music.
The Particle plate is surface intended to have things dropped on it, resulting in musical notes being triggered at random. Gravity and chance remove some level of our control over the rhythmic outcomes of how the instrument is played, while even the notes themselves are unpredictable.
The pitch of each triggered sound is selected at random, and with the use of pitch quantisation, a limited scale set can be used to tame the chaos.
Through practice and play, I found that changing the rate of the LFO (modulator that scans through the pitch range), I can find a speed that suits my project or way of playing.
So, at slower speeds, it can sound very musical as we hear the notes playing through ascending or descending order, and unpredictable melodic ideas are created within a scale.
At higher speeds the notes are scattered so randomly that it becomes less musical and much more abstract and textural.
– Daniel O’Toole
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Daniel O’Toole, born in Sydney, Australia in 1984, is a Naarm (Melbourne)-based artist known for his multimedia works, including sculptural colour-field paintings, video art, and sound installations.
Daniel grew up in an artistic household where everyone played multiple instruments and painting and music were encouraged. Having studied classical violin and shown an aptitude for drawing from a young age, O’Toole was obsessively focused on making both art and music from an early age.
O’Toole has studied at National Art School; completed a Diploma at SAE (School of Audio Engineering); and has held roles as the gallery director at ‘Oh Really gallery’ (Newtown/Syd), Soldiers Rd gallery (Surry Hills/Syd), and Alpha house gallery (Newtown/Syd).
Integrating experimental electronic music/soundscapes into his exhibitions and video works, he designs environments for sensory engagement. He has curated community-driven electronic music compilations/events and participated in artist residencies in Germany and France. His video work was shown at the Lyon Biennale and recent notable commissions include a custom video piece for Sydney Fashion Week and paintings for the Louis Vuitton store in Sydney International Airport.
O’Toole has staged numerous solo exhibitions and been featured in curated group shows both in Australia and internationally. In 2023, O’Toole achieved a significant milestone with his first institutional exhibition at Benalla Art Gallery. The immersive and interactive sound installation Voices from the void attracted over 3000 unique visitors, showcasing his ability to engage audiences on a larger scale.
Eye music is another term for Graphic notation which dates to around the 15th Century with the piece ‘Belle, bonne, sage’, by Renaissance composer Baude Cordier being one of the earliest known versions of this abstract visual mode of notating music, which was written in the shape of a heart; intended to enhance the meaning of the song.
Using forms found within traditional sheet music and reflecting on the traditions of Eye music, and Indeterminacy (pioneered by John Cage), I have looked to the common structures, and geometric components of notation to form a system of drawing that is playful and improvised as music is, yet organised in a way that relates to the rhythmic foundations of music.
Grids of circles within circles, orientated with horizontal spaces to imply a linear reading of the ‘notes’ these works are simplified, organised sets of colour studies.
Each circle becomes its own harmonic segment or chord, made up of different frequencies that harmonise and interact. They form part of a whole image which is pattern-like, yet organic.
– Daniel O’Toole