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The Lilburn Loops

a sound installation

Year:  2015

Year:  2015

Composer:   Blake Johnston

Films, Audio & Samples

Blake Johnston: The Lilburn...

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Low Noise2 - VIDEO

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This installation includes a reel to reel tape machine, with a suspended pulley rig. The installation exposes the physicality of the lopping ideas that are present in many trends of current composition, by expanding the physical and visual entity of the loop, allowing it to be something that can be explored and affected.

The tape contains a piece by Douglas Lilburn, pioneer of electronic music in New Zealand, founder of the studios where this installation was born, and whose 100th anniversary is celebrated in 2015. The tape itself is spliced together to make a loop, travelling from the read head of the machine, up and along the suspended pulley rig, moving and looping upon itself. Over the time of the exhibition, the tape becomes worn through the exposure to the pulley rig, and as it physically deteriorates, the sonic result reveals these imperfections, glitching, and leaves a vestigial skeleton of its former self.

The Lilburn Loops is a manifestation of the cyclic ideas of time and ageing, where the imperfections and physical presence of sound is embraced, rather than avoided, and where the technological age of its components, and the historical context of the composition are physically, sonically, and visually represented.

Performance history

13 Feb 2015: Installed at the Low Noise2 exhibition, at Toi Poneke Arts Centre, in Wellington.