Black Zenith – Guest Lecture/Performance

11th Guest Lecture in Creative Media Colloquium this semester with:

Black Zenith – Brian O’Reilly and Darren Moore

Date: Monday April 27, 2015
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Venue: 1/F Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre M1060 Multimedia Theatre

Black Zenith poster

Title: “Systems and Structures for Intermedia Improvisation”


This workshop will address the aesthetic and technical concerns related to the performance techniques of the group Black Zenith. The performance/presentation will place their work within the greater historical and technological context of the intersecting points of video art and abstract electronic music.

Black Zenith is an audio-visual duo comprised of Darren Moore and Brian O’Reilly. Their work investigates the interconnections between electronic music, improvisation and abstract moving images. Integral to their work is the use analog modular synthesizers that generate live visuals through the transformation of audio signals into images. They investigate the symbiotic relationship between sound and image considering each element as of equal importance in the output. Black Zenith draws as much influence from noise music & the electroacoustic music tradition as they do from the foundations of abstract video art.

About the speakers:

Brian O’Reilly works within the fields of electro-acoustic composition, sound installations, moving images and noise music. Also he is a contrabassist focusing on uncovering the inaudible textures and hidden acoustic microsounds of his instrument through the integration of electronic treatments and extended playing techniques.

He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a scholarship for sculpture during which time he focused on sonic art, kinetic sculpture and analog video synthesis utilizing the Sandin Image Processor. He also at this time was engaged in independent studies in music improvisation and composition with various members of Chicago’s AACM. He relocated to Paris to research the composition methods of the composer and architect Iannis Xenakis. During this time he worked extensively with Xenakis’ electronic music system utilizing graphic sonic synthesis the UPIC. After a time of research at Les Ateliers UPIC, he received an appointment as the studio’s Musical Assistant, during which he also worked as music assistant for Luc Ferrari on his audio & video installation “Cycle Des Souvenirs” and Eliane Radigue on her electroacoustic work “L’Ile Re-sonante”.

He pursued graduate studies in Electronic Music Composition at the University of California Santa Barbara’s Media Arts and Technology program, where his collaborations with Curtis Roads began with the project “Point Line Cloud” which won an Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica in 2002.

As Operations Manager of Recombinant Media Labs in San Francisco He worked on many project for the Asphodel record label & recording studio, and has received several international residencies/commissions including invitations to work as a guest artist at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Germany, LUFF: Lausanne Underground Film Music Festival in Switzerland, Kuala Lumpur Underground Film Festival, the SH Festival in Shanghai and All Tomorrow Parties festival curated by Autechre in the UK. He has performed with and worked on projects with Eliane Radigue, Luc Ferrari, Curtis Roads, Zbigniew Karkowski, Otomo Yoshihide, Matmos, Maryanne Amacher, Zeitkratzer, Dennis Wong, Christian Marclay, Toshimaru Nakamura, William Basinski, Yong Yandsen, Fe-Mail, Yasunao Tone, Darren Moore, George Chaua, Anla Courtis, Bani Haykal, Francisco López, The Observatory, Dharma, Garth Knox, Steina and Woody Vasulka, amongst others.

He is currently performing solo audio, moving images and modular analog synthesizer with Black Zenith and contrabass & electronics with Game of Patience. He also is a lecturer at LASALLE’s College of the Arts School of Contemporary Music, focusing on electronic music composition, creative music making techniques through the use of improvisation and visual music.

Born in Scotland, raised in Australia and based in Singapore, Darren Moore (b. 1974) is a drummer and electronic musician who is always moving forward. Driven by his passion for artistic expression, Darren is continually challenging himself to explore new territory.

Creative improvisation is central to his practice maintaining a through-line in his approach to varying projects and activities. His current projects include free-improv group Game of Patience, audio-visual duo Black Zenith, Carnatic rhythm based percussion duo of Darren Moore/Suresh Vaidyanathan, Greg Lyons’ Omniform and small groups, free jazz unit the Tim O’Dwyer Trio as well as bio-art project ‘cellF’.

Darren’s musical journey began when he starting playing drums at 14 years old in his hometown of Perth, Australia. His early musical experiences where playing rock music in the underground local music scene before entering the Western Australian Conservatorium where he completed a Certificate in Classical Percussion in 1993 and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Drumming in 1997.

After graduating from university, Darren moved to London which proved to very formative to his development as musician having exposure to the broad range of musical experiences. Darren returned to Australia in 2002 where he lived in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney collaborating with musicians such as Lindsay Vickery, Cat Hope, Tim O’Dwyer, Scott Tinkler, Tom Fryer, Will Guthrie, Clayton Thomas, Dale Gorfinkel, Peter Farrar, Jon Rose and Chris Abrahams to name a few.

In 2006 Darren moved to Singapore to become a Lecture in Music at Lasalle College of the Arts. The move to Singapore saw him expand his activities and network becoming active on the jazz and experimental music scenes in South East Asia and Japan as well as Europe.

In Singapore, Darren is a driving force in the jazz and experimental music scenes performing regularly and organizing events with under the banner of the C.H.O.P.P.A. Experimental Music Series. In 2014 he was the artistic director for the Singapore leg of the Australian sound art festival Liquid Architecture and was also the artistic director for the 2008 and 2010 C.H.O.P.P.A. Experimental Music Festivals.

Regular visits to Japan from 2007 has made the Tokyo underground music scene a second home to Darren where he collaborates with musicians such as Toshimaru Nakamura, Uchihashi Kazuhisa, Takaoka Daisuke, Suga Dairo, Murata Naoya, Umezu Kazutoki, Tanaka Kunikazu, Yumihara Cawkwell, Sakaguchi Mitsuhisa, Yutaka Kaido and Fujiwara Daisuke amongst others.

Darren is also a passionate teacher who believes strongly in nurturing the next generation of musicians. He contributes to the Singapore music scene through his position as lecturer in music at Lasalle College of the Arts where he teaches drum set, popular music studies and creative improvisation. His commitment to education saw Darren complete a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2013 which looked at the adaptation of Carnatic Indian rhythms to the drum set.


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