Pendulum was conceived while Ricochet was going through a transition period. After performing together for 6 months and exclusively playing openly free improvised music, we were beginning to experience creative dissatisfaction within unrestricted freedom. We started to explore improvising with overall concepts that limited what we could do in performance. Some of these ideas were quite specific and some were more abstract; some were brief, while others affected an entire piece. We always intended to stay strictly within the limits we set ourselves, expanding our collective imagination as much as possible.
For Pendulum, we developed a concept based on Steve Reich’s “Pendulum Music”, in which four microphones are suspended above four speakers and swung in a pendulum motion, achieving momentary feedback every time they reach their equilibrium. As the piece progresses, the phasing feedback becomes lengthened and more frequent, ending in a state of constant noise. In Ricochet’s Pendulum, each musician represents a microphone, executing an idea each time we reached our imagined equilibrium. Our aim was to do this for 20 minutes, unfolding into 20 minutes of unrestricted improvisation. For the final 20 minutes, we concluded with a “reverse pendulum”, which emerged from the density of the middle section and slowly dissipated into silence.
This work was recorded in February 2015, in an Australia increasingly divided by the policies of a regressive right wing government. Everyday it became more and more apparent that we were being steered towards a culture of exclusion and aggression. We asked ourselves, ‘In an increasingly divided society, how can we bring people together through our art?’
We removed ourselves from the usual format of presenting an improvised gig in Melbourne and we hosted an event at Joel’s home. We personally invited close friends and family to share this experience with us and spent the day shopping at a local market, cooking and preparing the room for the performance. We had our friend Callum Edwards, a talented emerging sound engineer, setup for a live recording in the living room, while Joel and Josh wandered down to the local bottle shop. In the evening, we were joined by some 60 members of our community for dinner, wine and conversation. Our intention was to connect with our audience on a personal level to give greater context to our music.
The result is captured on this record. We hope that the music moves you in some way, and that you will hear in it the virtues of a good community–openness and kindness through a balance of intellect and emotion. Overall, we hope that you hear a communication between band and audience, us and you, and something that reflects the unique experience of a live performance.
released April 24, 2016
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Callum Edwards of Sloth Studios
Design by Swoop + Melodie
Original artwork created by Deams in collaboration with Ricochet
Ricochet investigates the concept of performance-based composition, where music is constructed and arranged in the context
of a live performance. Compositional elements such as rhythmic cycles, functional harmony, atonality and abstractionism are used to blend the group's influences (contemporary minimalism, free jazz, hip hop, rock and other world folk musics) into a cohesive musical experience....more