The Sound Gig#3: Acoustic Imaginature

14 04 2011

Rooted In The Ephemeral Speak (R.I.T.E.S) presents

The Sound Gig#3: Acoustic Imaginature

Performances by

Mike Cooper (IT/UK)

Under the Velvet Sky (SG)

Duke Wen (SG)

Singlish Punk (SG)


7:30pm, Saturday, 7th May 2011

Entry: $15 + 1 drink

Venue:  Night and Day Bar

139 A/C Selegie Road

Singapore 188309

Artists’ Biography:

Mike Cooper

“For the past 40 years Mike Cooper has traced a path completely his own as an international musical explorer, performing and recording, solo and in a number of inspired groupings and a variety of genres. With his roots lying in acoustic country blues he has, arguably, stretched the possibilities of the guitar even more than his better known contemporaries, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourne etc. by pursuing it into the more avant-garde musical areas also occupied by contemporary guitar innovators such as Elliott Sharp, Keith Rowe, Fred Frith and Marc Ribot, with an eclectic mix of the many styles Cooper has practiced over the years. Ranging freely through traditional country blues, folk, original songs, free improvisation, pop songs, exotica, electronic music, electro-acoustic music, and ‘sonic gestural’ playing utilising open tunings and extended techniques. He is also a soundscape artist and film and video maker and performs live music for silent classic and contemporary films. His favored instruments – a vintage 1930’s National tri-cone resophonic guitar played acoustically and/or ‘treated’ through a series of digital sampling and looping devices and his voice.

Under the Velvet Sky (UTVS) is a collective of multi-instrumentalists sharing a common passion for musical improvisation aspired by a diverse influence of music from Mozart to the avant-garde.  Sharing a common believe in expressive divinity, UTVS experiments music in altering spontaneity.

Under The Velvet Sky started out as a 3-piece jam band with Jordan, Reef & Din Morello in 1998. The band worked on a few things together; including an Electronic music project which carelessly went missing upon its completion sometimes in 2000. Having to go through their separate ways in life’s direction at some point, they disbanded.

Some years later, fate brought them back to making music together where they were occasionally joined by close friends and musicians sharing thoughts and ideas in music.

Though the band was actively playing music on their own at home, in studios, at haunted hospitals & houses, it took them quite a while before they came out with a demo CD (and this time making sure it doesn’t get lost!). In late 2008, they released a concept demo album, The Black Sea Sorcery (2008).

After the release of their debut demo album, UTVS have been actively performing live in Singapore. For their first live performance, they were chosen to close the Singapore Arts Festival 2009 open mic session at City Hall. UTVS gets regular invitation to perform at underground and alternative venues. They were invited by overseas artists as an opening act for their performances in Singapore. In 2010, UTVS performed in 2 music and arts festivals in Indonesia.

Early this year, UTVS has been selected to be an artist residency in Pulau Ubin, a project run by The Artist Village. UTVS proposed to release a music documentary about the residency with a soundtrack supporting the film. UTVS plans to collaborate with other musicians and artists in this project. To name a few of the artists that are invited for this collaboration are Lee Wen, Zai Kuning, Kai Lam, Jeremy Hiah, Zai Tang, B-Quartet (band), Observatory (band), I am David Sparkle (band), Mike Cooper, Mark Wong and other artists  under the Pulau Ubin residency project.

UTVS have been actively recording and been releasing new materials on MySpace.

Duke Wen (A.K.A Lee Wen) makes a full circle with a return to his earliest forays of poetry and singing. Besides the other influences it was through poetry reading and jamming at The Artists Village that started him on the road to performance art and other experimental practices. Duke Wen’s lyrics are gutsy and poignant, sometimes personal and other times more socially relating to current cultural climate both local and global. Songs like “Art is …Dead” deliver a punchy tune with simple lyrics warning us of the impending death trivializing our humanity by placing emphasis on market values and mindless consumer tastes for shameless repetition of tested formulas rather than research, innovations and explorations of new ideas or debate on social values.

Singlish Punk is a pseudonym started in 2005 by Kai Lam to conjugate

his sound projects and experimental music with his performance art practice.

Singlish Punk’s cross-disciplinary performances through electro-acoustic sets are made up of field recordings, an array of altered instruments and musical instruments, coupled with obsolete and hacked machines that are sampled and looped, manifesting into live improvised soundscapes. His deliberate alteration of the media technology is a means to re-examine consumerism and a challenge to the disposable nature of current media technology, re-utilising its limited shelf-life and intangibility as an alternative perspective towards our digital media-fixated society.




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