While Mandurah might be known for being a welcome home of chilled-out acoustic music – being a sunny coastal town – Mandurah local and sound composer Rhys Channing is trying to buck that trend.
Performing under the name tilde~, Mr Channing has made a name for himself in a relatively short time locally for pushing the boundaries when it comes to experimental music and sound.
Tilde~ shows usually incorporate a weird and wonderful array of instruments, including the Garrahands, a set of electro-acoustic steel drums that can produce a wide array of sounds.
Mr Channing said his setup, which will be on display during his Aesthesis Stretch Festival performance, is aimed at providing something tactile for audiences to connect to, while still creating something they’ve never heard or seen before.
“I’ve been listening to ambient music, and really getting into that,” Mr Channing said when asked what has fuelled the creation of Aesthesis.
“I’ve also been getting into a music program called Max MSP, and through that I just got really interested in bringing these elements together.
“I’ve noticed that no-one has really used this Garrahands before in this type of music, so that’s kind of my edge.
“I don’t want to try and be these other musicians, but I do want to make that sort of music in my own way.”
Aesthesis also incorporates a strong visual aspect, with Mr Channing’s counterpart Callum Carty mixing live visuals to match the sounds being produced.
“I wanted a strong visual aspect, because ambient music… people sometimes find its meditative, it can put you to sleep,” Mr Channing said.
“So I thought having that visual aspect gives you something else to focus on, and puts you in a trance, sort of; you’re able to be fully absorbed in the experience, I think.”
As part of Mr Channing’s Aesthesis show, the City of Mandurah have given him the opportunity to run a series of workshops for interested locals.
Called Acousmatic, the workshops build skills in sound recording and composition, which Mr Channing studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Mark Jones has brought his three children to the workshops, with the four all learning new skills in sound recording.
“The kids really had the best school holidays ever,” he said.
“We were pretty much out every day. We went to the beach, out into the bush, the kids recorded the Anzac day march – it’s been great.”
Mr Channing said being able to share his skills with people from the community has broadened the horizons of what he does, and increased his hope that more weird and wonderful music can find a foothold in Mandurah.
“You know, things like this do fly under the radar a bit, so It’s great to see people actually coming along and getting something out of it,” he said.
“Mandurah has a lot of room for this kind of thing, so now it’s just about letting people know they can do something out of the ordinary.”
tilde- performs Aesthesis at Make Place on Saturday, May 21 from 7.30pm.