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    Contact Mic Workshop with Victoria Shen

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    Event description

    Contact microphones are commonly utilised in experimental music to capture vibrations from solid surfaces and objects, rather than airborne sounds. This allows us to hear subtle phenomena such as insect footsteps or the melting of ice.

    In this workshop, you'll learn the fundamentals of contact microphones, including their construction and optimal usage techniques. This workshop requires no previous audio experience but involves some soldering so is suitable for ages 10 and up.

    Please bring objects you'd like to deeply listen to and work with.

    All other materials will be supplied. You may want to bring your own soldering iron if you have one.

    Don't miss a live performance by Victoria later that night 7.30pm, Miscellania, 2/401 Swanston St, Melbourne.

    This workshop is strictly limited to 25 spots.

    Victoria Shen is a sound artist, experimental music performer, and instrument-maker based in San Francisco.

    Shen's sound practice is concerned with the spatiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Her music features analog modular synthesizers, vinyl/resin records, and self-built electronics. Eschewing conventions in harmony and rhythm in favour of extreme textures and gestural tones, Shen uses what she calls 'chaotic sound' to oppose signal and information, eluding traditionally embedded meaning.

    Shen’s multimedia practice extends beyond musical composition and performance to include installation and non-traditional methods of distribution. Her DIY approach to deconstructing the concepts of 'materiality, value and mass production' both integrate and re-contextualise the formats of the readymade and assemblage techniques. For example, the album art for her debut LP, Hair Birth, utilises copper to transform the cover into a loudspeaker through which the record can be played. In 2021, Shen produced a series of cut-up records in cast resin embedded with found materials, functioning not only as playable music media but as unique art objects. For recent performances, she pioneered the use of Needle Nails, acrylic nails with embedded turntable styluses, which allow her to play up to 5 tracks of a record at once. Needle Nails, Levitating speaker, and her Noise Combs are some of the objects created by her as part of an extensive repertoire of innovations in the design of sound augmentation. These sculptural elements invite the viewer to unpack one’s relationship with the material possibilities for creating sound.

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