MESS supports artists in realising ambitious creative visions, providing access to our world-class collection of electronic instruments, and connecting them with new audiences. We do this through our international, national and local residency programs, presenting live performances, and commissioning new work by Australian artists. Below is video and photo documentation of a small selection of these programs, which provide crucial support for emerging and established electronic sound artists and help foster a thriving artistic community.
Video Documentation – 10 minutes
MESS’s residency programs support artists of all stages of their careers with access to the collection and studio to develop new work and push their practice to new heights. Video: 2021 residents Nina Buchanan and Nick Roux performing at the MESS-presented ‘Residents Reveal’ show at Meat Market as part of Melbourne Music Week.
MESS commissions extraordinary Australian artists to create new multichannel works. Artists are given full access to the studio and collection to develop their compositions which are then presented at the ‘Sonorous’ series of octophonic showcases. Video: eves and Benjamin Carey at Sonorous V at The Substation.
MESS Synthesiser Orchestra
The MESS Synthesiser Orchestra was a mass activation of the MESS collection involving 16 artists and 40 instruments in a world-first performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to +1200 people. MESS commissioned Mat Watson for the composition of the orchestral score and curated a showcase of Victorian electronic artists for this collaboration with Arts Centre Melbourne.
Images – 10 photographs
Residencies and Commissions
Gail Priest – National Artist in Residence, November 2022
Gail is a Sydney/Katoomba-based artist with a multi-faceted practice in which sound is the key material of communication and investigation. During her residency, Gail used the vast MESS collection of instruments to gather sounds for an upcoming release.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – International Artist in Residence, January 2023
Acclaimed US-based artist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith engaged with MESS as an artist in residence during her Australian tour in January 2023. In addition to recording new sounds in the studio, MESS hosted an intimate Q&A with Kaitlyn attended by over 50 people.
Sabine Brix – Commissioned Artist 2022
Artist and MESS Professional Development Course alumni, Sabine was commissioned to create a soundtrack to score the Summer/Autumn seasonal brand reel for ACMI. This commission program is part of a collaboration between MESS and ACMI.
Vijay Thillaimuthu – Local Artist in Residence 2022
Vijay is a Tamil-Australian electronic musician and audio-visual artist. During his residency, Vijay composed new work using some of MESS’s most rare and iconic instruments in a culmination of synthesis techniques developed over the course of his career. This work was performed live at a MESS show.
Naretha Williams – MESS at the Bowl, March 2021
A First Nations Wiradjuri woman of mixed lineage, Naretha works across contemporary music, composition and sound design. A MESS artist in residence during 2020-21, Naretha performed her newly developed work at MESS’s electronic sound showcase at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
MESS Synthesiser Orchestra – MESS at the Bowl, March 2021
Three members of the MESS Synthesiser Orchestra, ĀN JÍ, Romy Fox and Justin Ashworth, performing live for a 1200+ strong audience at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
Erkki Veltheim – Sonorous III, November 2021
MESS commissioned artist Erkki Veltheim performs his new multichannel work for violin and electronics for a sold-out audience at The Substation.
e fishpool – VOLTAGE Live, May 2023
Budawang artist e fishpool (NSW) performs at VOLTAGE Live at the Former Richmond Power Station in Cremorne. MESS produced and presented VOLTAGE – a weekend of electronic sound performances and community events – with the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.
MESS Artist Talk in Perth, February 2023
MESS co-founder and co-artistic director, Robin Fox spoke about MESS, the collection and his 25-year artistic career at Wireless Hill Museum in Perth through a collaboration with Signals Sound Laboratory. MESS presents and facilitates talks and Q&As on electronic sound to various institutions, venues and community groups.
MESS Exhibition at the Australian Music Vault, April 2022-June 2023
MESS was engaged by the AMV to curate a case that explores the history of electronic music in Australia. The exhibition shares just some of the incredible electronic sound stories, artists, works and inventions to come out of Australia and included a live and live-streamed talk from MESS artists.
Photos by: Ben Willis, Keelan O’Hehir, Prudence Rees-Lee and Jason Lau
Videos by: Ben Willis and Alan Erpi