DTKs 8th September 2013
Outback and Beyond
Mike Cooper and Grayson Cooke
The ‘outback’ refers to the vast and remote land which stretches almost from coast to coast on the continent of Australia. This performance explores the adventures and misadventures of Charles Todd, the man who built the Australian Overland Telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin in the 1870s.
This is an award winning electronic opera performed live by Cooper and Cooke. The blistering soundtrack, freely improvised, consists of lap-steel guitar, deconstructed Blues and electronics, meanwhile Cooke performs a live video remix of archival footage from the Australian Film Archive.
A road-movie soundtrack, using footage from docu-dramas and feature films from the 1920s to the ‘50s, “Outback and Beyond” presents the audience with a series of micro-narratives exploring themes and aesthetics of Australia’s own relationship to its land, its history and its peoples.
It explores key elements such as the exploration of a supposedly empty land, the coming of transport and telecommunication technologies, conflict between settlers and native peoples, and the sublime and brutal nature of the land.
This project won a “New Face” award at the Japan Media Arts Festival, 2013.
Cooke has exhibited works of new media and photography in Australia and Canada, and performed live audio-visual works in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Spain and the UK,. He is also an associate editor for the online journal Transformations and new media editor for the Intellect journal Somatechnics.
MIKE COOPER plays lap steel guitar / electronics and sings. For the past 40 years he has been an international musical explorer pushing the boundaries of his music. Initially a folk-blues guitarist he is as responsible as anyone else — and more so than many — for ushering in the blues boom in the U.K. in the late ’60s. He appears on more than 80 records to date and runs his own HIPSHOT record label on which he publishes most of his solo work.