SUMMER FEST // 20-22 Feb

The /// /\/\ES/\/\ERIS/\/\ \\\ SUMMER FESTIVAL presents performance-installations full of vibrating, twitching, trembling performers and quadraphonic total-immersion amplification. Each night features one of Luke Jaaniste’s ongoing sound art projects, paired with a contribution by an invited artist.



a night of trembling and tremolo-ing performers, featuring:

  • INVOLUNTARY STRINGS by Sydney sound artist Michaela Davies, in which performers play super-human gestures on string instrument via electro-muscle-stimulation, and
  • TRANCE PIANO performed by Luke on amplified, super-resonant and thunderous grand

“Involuntary Strings” is composed by Sydney sound artist and performer Michaela Davies. She’s a recent recipient of a Creative Australia Fellowship from the Australia Council and very deserving of it – she has a bold practice of screwing with modes of performance to produce captivating performative tension – much of it informed by her training as a psychologist. Think: lab experiments on humans, often with music! So with this string work, she and another performer play violin and double bass instruments which are lying on the ground, using percussion beaters and bows, whilst their arms are being convulsed by electro-muscle-stimulus pads. Her score involves sending MIDI data into one of those medical machines that turn you into a human puppet and in doing so, performers can achieve super-human jitters, trembles and tremolos.

The extreme act of durational tremoloing is applied to the super resonate instrument of the sustain grand piano, amplified with a quadraphonic PA. Wherever you are in the room, it’s like you are inside the piano itself. So this will involve Luke Jaaniste in solo durational performance of “Trance Piano”, employing a full-handed (many fingered) tremoloing technique that works with symmetrical harmony, to generate a thunderous and timbrally fluctuating piano-scape that many have said makes the piano sound something like three times louder than they might have ever heard before. And due to the spatial layout of the night, it’s possible to take your cushion and lie right under the piano. Oh my gosh that is one amazing bodily experience. Something worth trying at least once in your life.


a night of full spectrum throbbing, featuring:

  • a TAM TAM SOLO by renowned percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson, exploding this ancient instrument into a kaleidoscope of harmonics, and
  • Luke’s hypnotic PORTAL project for many identical vintage keyboards which will be joined by a gang of throbbing of electric guitars and basses from local rock and experimental musicians Chris Perren (Nonsemble, Software of Seagulls, Mr Maps), Seamus Kirkpatrick (King Colossus), Adrian Mauro (Machine Age) and James Scott (Tesla Coils).

Vanessa Tomlinson one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary percussionists and a real energetic pillar of new music performance and teaching in Brisbane (with Clocked out Duo, Early Warning System, and at Queensland Conservatorium). In discussion with Luke about what aspects of her broad and intricate practice might connect with the MESMERISM theme (and there’s a range of ways) she offered to perform a tam tam solo. This a physical and sonic action like no other. And, we are going to attempt to light in such that the more she shimmers and activates the tam tam’s gleaming metal surface, the more various spotlight scatters all around the otherwise darkened room.

Luke Jaaniste’s “Portal” project is like droning, phasing minimalism but hyped up on some1980s synthy ecstasy. In the last four years, Luke has collected nearly one hundred Yamaha Portasound keyboards which, along with CasioTones, were the first battery-powered portable keyboards manufactured. What’s special about the Yamaha’s is Luke can activate the pre-set auto-chords and arpeggios with the drum beats turned down (most Casios don’t and Yamaha’s made after 1984 don’t; 1981-1984 was a golden period for what he is after). And what’s more, he collects dozens of the exact same model, so that when he triggers them all to do exactly the same auto-chord or arpeggio, they are ever so slightly out of time and out of tune, and suddenly we enter a world of densely interweaving micro-phasing. Drone-like throbbing, that continually shifts in subtle and spatially hocketing ways. Luke performs slowly and subtly with all the keyboards around him, changing a chord or pre-set pattern, or tweaking an EQ setting, ever half a minute or so, like a synth tea ceremony. With quad system and the kind of volume you can quickly and thoroughly get lost in.

And then half way through this 90mins version of PORTAL, a double duet of electric rock strings will enter the room — two electric guitars and two electric basses — adding their tremoloing and amplified grunt to the PORTAL scape. Which means the quad sound system that’s pumping out the PORTAL keyboards will be joined by a quartet of heavy duty guitar amps. Double quad. Bring it on.


Both nights at Judith Wright begin 7.30pm, and bar is open.
For TICKETS to Friday and Saturday night, visit:



** if you wish to attend please contact Luke directly at plusluke[dot]minusluke[at]gmail[dot]com

an extended after-party at DEPO warehouse bar in West End including:

  • an afternoon Around-The-Table discussion, exploring spatial sound and speaking from the body
  • an evening electronica lounge and dance party with Luke’s electronica HHAARRPP project with improvising musicians adding their organic energies, including Seamus Kirkpatrick (on clarinet, electric guitar and voice), James Scott (on electric bass) and Amanda Terry (on electric violin).

And thus the three-night Summer Festival ends with an extended-play after party, lounging and dancing the night away to some mesmerising electronica. Luke will get the night going with the chilled side of my “HHARRPP” project before it increasingly ramped up into the thrilled side of life. “HHAARRPP” is Luke’s take on EDM (electronic dance music), pursued with the provocation of only using arpeggios (thus it’s like his PORTAL project meets Techno). There’s a strong relationship to Philip Glass and also 1960s-1980s German synth rock and disco, yet Luke is bringing my own unique mesmerising ways to this. What’s more, he’s joined by some amazingly organic and even feral (wild) improvisors, who add layers of electro-acoustic texture to the laptop-generated sounds, all seeking to the intent of actually gett into a trance. Maybe you will too. Perhaps lying down and chilling. Or dancing about and thrilling.


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And stay tuned for/// /\/\ES/\/\ERIS/\/\ \\\ AUTUMN FESTIVAL in May.