"Dark by 6" features five recordings of installations built in Melbourne, Australia by Ernie Althoff from 2000-2003. All tracks are digital on-site recordings and, combined with the booklet notes and images, attempt to give a representation of the works in an out-of-gallery timeframe. Most of the works feature Althoff’s favourite stripped-down 16 rpm turntables, along with a couple of oscillating electric fans and some converted cassette players, as the motive forces for the chance-based percussion compositions that perform themslves in the spaces. The final track uses an untrained, unforewarned audience to sound the devices following simple instructions on cards collected on entry to the space. Each track is at least 12-14 minutes duration for excellent opportunities to evaluate the textures, frequency bands, individual sound events and engaging rhythms that constitute these compositions. These five installations all dealt with the integration of acoustic, kinetically produced sounds into visually treated spaces. A low-budget ethic prevailed, and the motive forces came from readily recognised devices, albeit their new sonic roles. The music was 99% percussive, texure based, aleatoric and location dependent. The documentations presented here should not be seen as replacements for the realtime auditory experience.
Dark by 6 (July 2003, Rechabite Hall, Melbourne) took place at night, the installation inside a pool of light from a shaded, centrally located 100 watt bulb. Nine bamboo tripods made a circular perimeter. Two folded and sometines pop-rivetted tinplate &qu
Track 4 dal CD "dark by 6. Five installations by Ernie Althoifff" (T. T. 60' 12").
ERNIE ALTHOFF Ernie Althoff is a composer/performer/instrument builder/artist who has worked in Melbourne, Australia since the mid-1970s, when he bought his first vari-speed cassette recorder. During his years as one of the stalwarts of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre (see NMA website below), he pioneered an array of techniques for this device in the field of low-budget live electro-acoustic performance (see NMA website). His interests in chance-based compositional procedures were also kindled at this time, and when he built his first 'music machine' in 1980, many doors opened for him. Combining these machines with his collection of found objects, toys and home-built instruments, he performed many concerts over the following years titled either "Ernie builds a machine" or "Machines and me", depending on their format. In 1986, the machines finally appeared alone as real sound installations. Since then, their design and construction, as well as their compositional strategies, have become more and more sophisticated. However, their aims of recognising the relevance of site specificity and utilising a (probably now) political use of the recycled, home-built or reappropriated as a low-budget ethic remain constant. As well as this, he is still an avid performer (either solo or in ensembles of two or more) with the likes of Robbie Avenaim and Eamon Sprod (Tarab), and has also lectured, held workshops and written extensively on the subject. He has shown works in several major Australian cities and has sent work overseas to galleries, festivals and radio networks. "Dark by 6" is his third solo CD, following years of cassette releases. Several compilation CDs, both Australian and U.S., include his work. He has received commissions for compositions and installations, held artist-in-residence positions, participated in many festivals and conferences with both his installations and performances and has had several projects funded by the Australia Council. "Our culture, until relatively recently, has forgotten how to explore other musical landscapes. In Althoff's case, his machines are like surveying instruments which aid him in mapping out a section of this little-known land for himself. His wanderings are part of our own attempts to find a more resonant cultural centre through our art..." Larry Wendt, San Jose. 1994