Reside Music & Movie with Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra


The 18-piece band — Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra — is the musical accompaniment to the lyrical Slovakian documentary Traces 2021 on Sunday 26 March in our subsequent ‘Metropolis Symphony’ Reside Music & Movie collection.

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Whereas the Metropolis Symphony movie motion started within the Twenties, this up to date movie, launched 100 years after the motion started, speaks to our ongoing fascination with our city areas and a want to discover how we stay collectively.

Director: Barbora Sliepková ‘Traces’ 2021 

Manufacturing nonetheless from Traces 2021 / Director: Barbora Sliepková / Picture courtesy: Hitchhiker Cinema

Traces is a pleasant portrait of the post-communist metropolis Bratislava. Director Barbora Sliepková crafts a loving tribute to town surrounds, its idiosyncratic inhabitants, and their beloved pets. The movie focuses on the human expertise of a metropolis, following all kinds of individuals all through their lives. One particular person stayed with me lengthy after the movie ended. He’s a musician who’s a bit melancholy in his loneliness yet one more side of his character is a curiosity for metropolis sounds. He strikes by means of the movie with an openness and vitality that’s inspiring. The one character embodies how the movie views its topics.

I needed to pair Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra with Traces as a result of each the band and the movie have a powerful sense of play and what I see as an expansive and heat view of humanity.

Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra

Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra / {Photograph}: Rod Pilbeam

We requested Matt Hsu concerning the forthcoming occasion and his method to creating music.

Rosie Hays / I like the ethos of the Obscure Orchestra that celebrates inclusion and variety. I’d love to listen to extra about your intentions, what this implies for the Orchestra, its musicians, and the music you make. 

Matt Hsu / Thanks! I’m actually happy with the neighborhood we’ve constructed and so glad the spirit of inclusion is caught there because the core kernel. I really feel like that ethos is a pure extension of sharply experiencing not belonging, the aid of feeling accepted, after which past that the pure consolation of distinction not mattering in any respect. Consciously and unconsciously, individuals who share these emotions have been swept into the orbit of Obscure Orchestra, and I’m in awe of the BIPOC, First Nations, disabled, queer, trans and non-binary artists who’re on this with me.

I’ve discovered that arts and neighborhood initiatives about ‘variety’ however not led by that neighborhood are inclined to, with the most effective intentions, veer towards the adverse, to trauma and racism and many others. As a BIPOC-led undertaking, I’m concerned about celebrating id and discovering the goofy, shiny, nuanced experiences of people who isn’t nearly our worst day.

RH / Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra performs in several iterations from a solo musician to larger configurations. What number of musicians can we anticipate at your Australian Cinémathèque efficiency on the Gallery of Trendy Artwork (GOMA) and what sort of devices can be performed?

MH / Sure! Obscure Orchestra started as an exhaust valve for my solo multi-instrumental tinkerings, however it’s effectively and really grown past that to a Huge Ass Band. I’m so fortunate to gang up with of us that geek out on those self same issues. We’ll have 18 musicians for this present at GOMA, from all completely different musical backgrounds; self-taught multi-instrumentalists, indie children, queer noise music, younger folks preserving non-Western music traditions alive, discovered object experimenters, and renegade ex-classical prodigies.

We’ll have discovered objects and percussion, double bass, harp, hulusi, mbira, gamelan, vibraphone, horns, strings, woodwind and musical noticed.

Matt Hsu / {Photograph}: Rod Pilbeam

RH The method for accompanying a movie will not be normally one thing {that a} band or musician is requested to do. What had been your preliminary ideas on viewing the movie ‘Traces’?

MH / I believed it was stunning. It’s an honour to be making music for such a considerate and gorgeously shot movie that exhibits the unassuming complexity of on a regular basis life, and the little joys and heartaches present in it. Individuals navigating the constructed design of structured and typically stark environments however making an attempt to forge significant relationships and lives in them, is so attention-grabbing to me.

I’ve been step by step dipping increasingly more toes into composing (I’ll be composing for La Boite’s manufacturing Poison of Polygamy subsequent), so it’s an absolute honour to be composing for GOMA, an area I like and such shining beacon of artwork in Meanjin’s cultural panorama.

RH / How do you reply to the movie, what emotional parts would you want to focus on within the music you’ll craft?

MH / I feel we’ll actually take pleasure in taking discover of the unstated kinship between folks and that lovely relationship to put, moments the place music punctuate on a regular basis life within the narrative.

RH / Lastly, I’d love to listen to concerning the musical kinds we must always anticipate to listen to in your efficiency.

MH / It’ll be eclectic and a whole lot of enjoyable! We’ll be bringing a few of that Obscure Orchestra sound however repurposing it for some nuanced, contemplative, experimental feels, with orchestra associates freed as much as strive completely different timbres. There’ll be some discovered object sounds, experimental orchestral flavours, noise music moments, shimmering mallets and held drones, a little bit of ethereal harp and woodwinds, a contact of bossa, woodwind and bamboo textures. It’ll be enjoyable and thrilling for us!

Rosie Hays is Affiliate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA

Upcoming stay music & movie

Reside Music & Movie: Traces 2021
Reside Music & Movie: Harlem Streets to Stockholm Symphony 1937
Reside Music & Movie: Metropolis Visions, Cairo to New York 1930–2019
Reside Music & Movie: Individuals on Sunday 1930
Reside Music & Movie: The Poetic Cities of Joris Ivens 1929
Reside Music & Movie: Calcutta 1969
Reside Music & Movie: Berlin, Symphony of a Nice Metropolis 1927
Reside Music & Movie: Nothing However Time 1921–2012
Reside Music & Movie: Man With a Film Digital camera (with violin) 1929

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