VOLUME is incredibly pleased to host Lawrence English, Robert Crouch, and Ashley Bellouin. English will be performing new work off of his recently-released record Cruel Optimism. Crouch will also present new material in collaboration with visual artist Joel Westendorf. Bellouin, accompanied by Ben Bracken on guitar and visuals, joins us from Oakland – fresh off of her 2016 release Ballads on Drawing Room Records.
Ashley Bellouin’s work explores the merging of sound art, electro-acoustic composition, and instrument building. She focuses on the studies of sonology, psychoacoustics, and the interaction between sound and architecture. Her compositions emphasize and exploit the sonic potential contained within a single musical gesture, regularly using electronics to develop latent qualities. Spatialization, beat frequencies, auditory illusions, and microtonal tunings are frequent compositional tools.
Ashley holds an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media from Mills College. She has performed extensively throughout the west coast and has held residencies at the Paul Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency Center, the UC Berkeley Center for New Media, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and EMS in Stockholm, Sweden. In the Fall of 2016 her debut solo LP, Ballads, was released on Drawing Room Records.
Professionally, Ashley has worked for synth pioneers Don Buchla, as his assistant in research and development, and Dave Smith, as a technician at Dave Smith Instruments. She currently serves as Visiting Faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and resides in Oakland, CA.
Robert Crouch is an artist and curator whose work encompasses sound, performance, and technology. As an artist, he locates his work with the intersection of post-phenomenological listening practices, conceptual sound art, and contemporary electronic music. At its core, his work can be understood as a conversation between tonality, context, history and subjectivities. Similarly, Crouch’s curatorial work focuses on the overlapping disciplines of sound, technology, movement, and performance.
In 2014 he organized the North American premiere of Sphæræ, a large-scale inflatable performance space and public artwork by Dutch artist Cocky Eek. He is currently co-curating Juan Downey: Radiant Nature, a survey of early interactive and performance work of the late Chilean artist as part of the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
Crouch is the former Associate Director/Curator at LACE, where he curated solo exhibitions with artists Karen Lofgren, Gina Osterloh, Steve Roden, Sean Sullivan, and Margo Victor, and performances with artists including William Basinski, Celer, Lawrence English, Dominick Fernow, and Yann Marussich. He is also the founding partner of VOLUME, a curatorial project that functions as a catalyst for interdisciplinary new media work through exhibitions, performances, events, lectures, and publications, and has worked with a wide range of artists including William Basinski, Nate Boyce, Frank Bretschneider, Richard Chartier, Heather Cassils, Celer, Loren Chasse, William Fowler Collins, Tim Hecker, Isis, France Jobin, Kadet Kuhne, Lucky Dragons, Mamiffer, Carsten Nicolai, Yann Novak, taisha paggett, Steve Roden, Terre Thaemlitz, Julie Tolentino, and Christopher Willits.
Crouch is currently the Executive and Artistic Director for Pasadena Arts Council and the Artistic Director for the AxS Festival.
Lawrence English is composer, artist and curator based in Australia. Working across an array of aesthetic investigations, English’s work explores the politics of perception and prompts questions of field, perception and memory. English utilises a variety of approaches including visceral live performance and installation to create works that ask participants to consider their relationship to place and embodiment.
Over the past decade, English’s sonic investigations have traversed a divergent path within which musical languages and environmental sources are granted equal value. His work calls into question the established relationships of sound, harmony, distortion and structure and is sculpted, colliding overwhelmingly intricacy with roaring waves of low vibration. The music is evocative and invites the listener to explore their own narratives and impressions shaped by their subjective histories and experiences. His recent albums Cruel Optimism and Wilderness Of Mirrors revel in ‘extreme dynamics and densities’ and resolve into an ‘overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion’. He is one half of HEXA with Jamie Stewart, who recently collaborated with David Lynch on the Factory Photographs project and enjoys ongoing collaborations with John Chantler (as Holy Family), Liz Harris (as Slow Walkers), Stephen Vitiello, Werner Dafeldecker and others.
As a producer, English has undertaken projects with artists including Blank Realm (Illegals In Heaven), Tujiko Noriko (U, Blurred In My Mirror) and Tenniscoats (Totemo Aimasho, Temporacha). His work in a post-production capacity includes albums for Ben Frost (Aurora, By The Throat, Theory Of Machines), Thor And Friends (In C), Norman Westberg (13, MRI), Tim Hecker (sequence editor, Virgins) and David Toop (sequence editor, Lost Shadows) amongst others. He has been awarded commissions from acclaimed performance troupe Circa as well as theatrical productions for The Barbican and the Queensland Theatre Company. In 2015 and 2016 he composed scores for cinema including the award winning Greek film Limbo and the Australian southern gothic thriller Down River.
English’s installation and gallery practice is concerned predominately with exploring the agency of perception. In 2015, he presented two works as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial at Gallery Of Modern Art. The first, Audition, featured a pair of lacquered 2.5 metre parabolic sculptures with subsonic custom sound, whilst Everyday Whispers collected the voices of over 150,000 visitors to the gallery and distributed them into a computer controlled multi-channel speaker monolith. His 2013 work Heavy Nothing/I’ll Be Your Mirror used ‘no input’ lathe cutting as the foundation for a series of iteration copper and mirror acrylic records. The repeated iterations exponentially revealing layers of audio artifact. The work was accompanied by a series of ‘iterative visual scores’ exploring the historical instances of absence and presence in sound across the 20th century. His triptych video installation Ghost Towns, sought to create an abstract ‘virtual map’ of remote Australian spaces, and in 2006 he produced a series of sound art works specifically for the deaf and hearing impaired under the title ‘Silence Listening’. These works were amongst the first of their kind in the world, exploring and examining the notions of isolation and sonic interaction within these oft-marginalized communities.
Outside of his recording and art commissions, Lawrence English curates a number of ongoing sound and media programs including Mono at the Institute Of Modern Art. He produces Room40’s bi-annual Open Frame Festival and has acted as a director on other festivals including Sound Polaroids, Liquid Architecture and Frankly!. He continues to curate conceptually driven exhibition programs including Melatonin – Meditations On Sound In Sleep (for Next Wave Festival), Airport Symphony (Queensland Music Festival), Small Scores (Valley Fiesta) and Audible Geography (University Of Tasmania). He developed Site Listening, a methodology for site-specific audition and has presented radiophonic works with the ABC, Deutschland Radio, ORF (Austria’s National Broadcaster), Radio Belgrade and the BBC’s World Service. He has written extensively on listening, sonic affect and popular culture for publications, catalogues and online outlets including Tiny Mixtapes, Playboy, Fact Magazine, The Conversation and others.
English’s imprint and multi-arts organisation Room40, dubbed by Pitchfork as “the foremost purveyor of experimental music in the southern hemisphere”, maintains an eclectic schedule of Australian and international artists.