Collage of sounds
Considering the energetic panoply of sounds they create, it's no wonder that the duo-couple of Beatrix*JAR sound absolutely effusive about their work-play.
Place: The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.
Time: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $8 advance, $10 at the door
Call: 550-8457 or online, honoluluboxoffice.com
With both of them bantering via speaker phone from their home city of Minneapolis, sound artists Bianca Pettis (she's Beatrix) and Jacob Aaron Roske (JAR) are the prime progenitors of what they call "fuzzy sound collage," a "circuit bending" both literally and figuratively of "old kids' toys to release their hidden organic sounds," said Roske.
Besides performing at the ARTS at Marks Garage Saturday night, the two also will lead a workshop at 2 p.m. Sunday at downtown's Ong King Art Center, teaching their technique of getting into the electronic innards of toys and such, "to get people excited by different kinds of sounds.
"Machines of the past can make sounds of future," Roske added, with a ready-made soundbite.
Performing with the addition of a laptop creating (with the multi-track Soundtrack program) a "hallucinogenic soundtrack with a found-sound, beat-based element to it," it's up to Pettis and Roske to playfully improvise on top of all that.
"We play as a musical act more so than a noise one," Pettis said. "It's just that we use things like a Speak & Spell, not a guitar," added Roske.
"We first take any samples from say a CD," he said, "and manipulate them as we set up a layer of prerecorded sounds, plus using traditional sounds from guitars and drums. We treat all of that like a road map, as we play our sounds that can lead to any indeterminate combination.
"It's like doing audio potluck," said Pettis.
In a free-wheeling, name-check blurb from the Pittsburgh City Paper, the writer claims that Beatrix*JAR's style stretches "far back, from 1950s musique concrete to Kraftwerk's 'Numbers,' from Negativland and MC 900 Foot Jesus to today's mash-up artists, such as Girl Talk."
"It's pretty right on," said Pettis, "although I would add the names of some influential punk rock bands who've affected our music making."
"We've been inspired by the sonic pioneers that have come before us," Roske said. "It's an exciting time to make acoustic and electronic music, with the surge of the non-traditional.
"We've always been an experimental team," he said. "Both of us have artistic backgrounds, and movements like Fluxus, Dada, and the Futurists have definitely influenced the way the music is made."
Beatrix*JAR claim to be pretty interactive with each other and entertaining to watch.
"We definitely want to give the energy we create back to the audience," Roske said. "We want it to feel like it's a club-by dance party, where the audience can come close to our machinery and get into the whole sound collage."