Every year, MESS hosts two extraordinary Melbourne-based artists in a residency program supported by City of Melbourne. Throughout 2022, Sara Retallick and Vijay Thillaimuthu spent time unearthing new sonic explorations using the vast MESS collection.
The annual Residents Reveal sees the residents unveil what they’ve been working on. The show was followed by a Q&A with the artists hosted by Robin Fox.
Sara’s new work explores the possibilities of texture, timbre and space and new combinations of these things in composition. Interested in the physical interactions that happen between waveforms, she has experimented with phasing, sonic beating and microtonal frictions in this work.
Vijay’s performance was a culmination of the synthesis techniques he has developed over the course of his career, including polymetric, generative and probabilistic approaches to rhythmicality and composition. The performance will be driven by theremin controller and utilise MESS’s Buchla 200/200e synthesiser interfaced with Vijay’s own systems.
The MESS local residency program is supported by the City of Melbourne’s Annual Arts Grants Program.
Sara Retallick is an artist who lives, works and makes sound and music on unceded Wurundjeri land in Naarm (Melbourne). Her work explores multisensory listening as a core concern by creating tactile sonic encounters in audio and object-based installation, multichannel sound system arrangements, and performance. Currently, she is working with vocal compositions presented in underwater environments to expand sonic, physical and material possibilities in sound explorations.
Sara also records and performs music as Golden Syrup using exploratory electronics, bass and voice to meld a range of sonic approaches from beat-driven music, improvisation, soundscape, noise, sound collage, and folk. GS released a debut album in 2018 on Nice Music label, with a second album planned for release in 2023.
Sara has presented installations and performances nationally and internationally including Shepparton Art Museum (2022); RISING, Melbourne (2021); Melbourne Music Week (2021); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain (2020); CAMP Mountain Music Festival, France (2019); BLINDESIDE (2019); UNSW Gallery, Sydney (2019); I.S.E.A. Durban, South Africa (2018); Bus Projects (2017); and Dark MOFO, Hobart (2016). She has attended multiple artist residencies, most recently Eco-Acoustics with Annea Lockwood / Leah Barclay at CAMP France (2019), and Sonic Mmabolela with Francisco Lopez / Barbara Ellison in South Africa (2018).
Listen: Sound Cloud + Bandcamp
IG: @sararetallick + @goldensyrupmusic
FB: sara.retallick + goldensyrupmusic
Vijay Thillaimuthu is a Tamil-Australian electronic musician and audio-visual artist. Predominantly known under the moniker Xenosine, his work explores electromagnetic waves as the basis for expression through synergistic approaches with technology. This is largely enabled through the open ended architecture of modular synthesizers. For two decades he has developed comprehensive, often radical, experimental processes exploring electricity as a means to elicit visceral, sublime experiences through expression as sound, vibration and light.
Vijay has performed alongside Suzanne Ciani, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Robin Fox, Richard Devine, Atom™ and Dasha Rush. Amongst a range of diverse outcomes, Vijay Thillaimuthu has presented work for Unsound, the Melbourne International Film Festival, Liquid Architecture, Red Bull Music Festival, Arts House, The Banff Centre - Canada, Subliminal Impulse Manchester and the Tokyo Festival of Modular. In 2022 Vijay was invited to be a guest composer at EMS Stockholm and an artist in residence at the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio.