John Richards – Guest Lecture

To kick off the new semester, we are going to have the super awesome sound artist, John Richards join us for our Creative Media Colloquium session. The lecture will involve John speaking about his personal experiences in developing unique hardware synthesizers and interactive sound devices, as well as his work in leading the Dirty Electronics events. You will be able to find us in the M6094 Future Cinema on the 21st of January at 5:00pm.  

John Richards Web Poster

JOHN RICHARDS and “Dirty Electronics”

Since 2003, John Richards has been exploring the idea of “Dirty Electronics” that focuses on face-to-face 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.

The Dirty Electronics Ensemble is a large group that explore these ideas and whose members are often made-up of workshop participants. The workshop is central to the Ensemble in that all of the musicians have to build their own instrument for performance. The group have performed pieces specially written for the Ensemble by, amongst others, Japanese noise artists Merzbow, Pauline Oliveros, Howard Skempton (founder member of the Scratch Orchestra), Gabriel Prokofiev, Anna Meredith and Nicholas Bullen (ex-Napalm Death and Scorn). Other notable collaborations include working with Rolf Gehlhaar (original Stockhausen group), Chris Carter from Throbbing Gristle, Keith Rowe, Anat Ben-David (Chicks on Speed), Kei Miyata (Karas/Teshigawara) and STEIM (Amsterdam). In 2011 Dirty Electronics created a specially commissioned hand-held synth for Mute Records, and in 2013 produced the special commemoratory Sonar 20th Anniversary Synth for the electronic music festival Sonar. Workshops and performances with Dirty Electronics have taken place internationally including: the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (London), Sonar (Barcelona), FutureEverything (Manchester), Roundhouse (London), Bent Festival (Los Angeles), Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) (Germany), Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) (London), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham), Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan), University of the Arts (Berlin), and IRCAM (Paris). Significant contributors to Dirty Electronics have been Stu Smith (ASMO), Jim Frize, Steph Horak, Neal Spowage and Amit Patel.

If you would like to find out more about John Richards and Dirty Electronics, you can access their website here, as well as check out their Vimeo channel here!