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Junk music performance
PAUL Rogers’ music is ‘rubbish’ – but he won’t mind if you say so.
The Associate Lecturer at MMU Cheshire’s department of contemporary arts, in Crewe, will be performing his sound installation, The Media Machine, as part of the Cheshire centenary celebrations.
The 44 year-old plays junk instruments including a broken zither, and even uses old plastic bottles to make music.
As part of his PhD at the University, Paul is currently looking for a way of combining junk music with the latest technology, to create ‘sound sculptures’ - a new body of work which aims to push the concept of music making into new territories.
The Media Machine will be open to the public in one of the university’s drama studios on Monday, September 10 and Tuesday, September 11.
Paul started playing the guitar as a teenager. His interest in junk developed from a 10-year stint with the theatre company, Pickle Herring.
He is also informed by his own taste in music - which includes the German industrial group Einstürzende Neubauten, and experimental krautrockers, Faust.
When it comes to finding instruments, Paul often recycles items which would otherwise be thrown out.
He said: “It comes from various places – junk that’s been thrown away and makes a noise, whether that’s hitting a broken wheelbarrow or something more refined, there are endless possibilities.
“I also use junk sounds from our environment – for example noise pollution from excessive traffic or industry. I have been collecting field recordings of those sounds.”
Paul is also combing junk instruments with the latest technology, by attaching electronics to become an interface to trigger sounds through a computer. He combines this with ambient noise created by old technologies, such as tape players and reel to reels.
“I am building a range of things which connect to the junk to allow further sound manipulations beyond its basic acoustic properties,” he said.
“For example, an old bicycle wheel can be played acoustically, but I can now also trigger sounds through speakers by turning the wheel - and the faster the wheel spins the faster the sound plays back.”
For more information on The Media Machine performance, see www.cheshire.mmu.ac.uk/centenary