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Event Spotlight: Pieces for cars, tunnel and hexagonal vents

April 16, 2016

On Sunday, experience Rabaul Lane in a whole new way with experimental music event, Pieces for cars, tunnel and hexagonal vents.

We caught up with Ben Drury to find out more:


Hi Ben, tell us a bit about yourself and your practice!

Hi, I am currently a composition major at the ANU School of Music working with experimental and improvisatory sound production methods and unconventional venues and distribution methods.


What inspired Pieces for cars, tunnel and hexagonal vents?

The idea for pieces for cars tunnel and hexagonal vents came when I was trying to find a park to play a gig at transit bar. I drove through Rabaul Lane and on the other side I found a park, and a staircase which lead to the terrace above. I hadn’t seen anything like it in canberra before and I wanted other people to see the space and I also noticed the vents leading to the tunnel I had just driven through. I had previously made a piece of music by recording 4 cars in an underground car park so I thought a sound installation would be the perfect way to bring people to the space as well as to highlight the uniqueness of the space.


This work is presented as a collaboration between yourself and several other artists, can you talk a little about the creative processes that took place in the making of the work?

In order to realise the installation I wanted to have a variety of different compositions and approaches in order to explore the space in different ways, so I asked some of my friends who make music to contribute some of the audio. Other then some basic considerations of the space I let them have total control over there part of the piece and they came up with some great work.


How can sound influence an audiences’ perception of a space?

This is interesting because sound needs space to exist but by existing changes the space that it’s in. There is a piece by Alvin Lucier that is inspired by bats, 4 performers are blindfolded and given echo location devices and then asked to find their way around a space. This in tern changes the audiences’ perception of the space physically. My hope is that pieces for cars tunnel and hexagonal vents is that the music will effect the audience in a different way, but will invoke a sense of exploration and will show them something new about the necessary relationship between sound and space.


For those unfamiliar with Rabaul Lane, what’s so unique about it?

Rabaul lane is a space unlike any other I know of in Canberra. Architecturally it is a series of interlocking hexagons, some of which are vents that lead to a tunnel below the terrace. The interlocking shapes create new patterns and shapes from every angle, like the sounds change and shift as the audience listens from different positions.


What can audiences expect from the work?

The audience can expect a series of pieces of music that will interact with the space to create a unique experience out of the prerecorded audio. The pieces are quite static so the audience can appreciate subtle changes and reflect on the interaction of space and sound.


What other events have you seen, or are looking forward to seeing, at YAH 2016?

I went to the opening night and saw Happy Axe and Ghost Noises [there’s a Sunday show!] which was a lot of fun and Reuben Ingall’s Sittin’ Sidewayz, another car stereo based piece. Thursday and Friday I was playing bass for Shoeb and Kate Ahmed’s Twin Pedals which I really enjoyed though it was very tiring. And tonight I played with the ANU experimental music studio at Let’s Stay In Tonight making music with found objects [see the Let’s Stay in Tonight’s Sunday event].