Somewhat unwittingly, Avant Gardening's first show of 2012 mirrors the last of 2011 : what is it about Dunedin's underground sonic milieux that sees us forever celebrating the talents of local under-the-radar wunderkinds and organisational forces just as they are about to fly to other, balmier climes? I'll leave that question hanging in the rhetorical for the moment, as we shift our attention to the work of Edie Stevens.
Emerging from the atmosphere of collective improvisational experimentalism and general art/life blur which has long been a feature of Dunedin's warehouse-situated creative communities, Edie's work as a solo electro-acoustic performing/recording artist, under the moniker of Eves (and previously and slightly differently, Ms. Morse) crafts a patient, dark and gritty minimalism that seems to reflect the harsh beauty and thoughtful, wintry, wandering aloneness of her home town, in quietly austere, slowly evolving soundfields full of rich tonal beauty and peripheral-vision detail, fragile and unrepeatable architectures built from the connections between rooms, resonances, drones, hums, samples, tape-machine warble, laptop, oscilloscope, pedals and field recordings, sometimes coupled live with equally austere lens-flared video washes.
Behind such sounds is a life, spent, as she says in this interview, mostly in Dunedin, and specifically at None gallery, a place that permitted Edie, from the very first contact walking in the door at 18 years old (and seeing no less a figure than Matt Middleton blowing a saxophone), to imagine a creative life, to the extent that she has lived and organised events at the space for much of the time after. Avant Gardening talks to Edie about None, her various collaborations, playing bass in Thee Aesthetics, her collaborative audio-visual installation work, reflections on gender and sound culture, listening to the sonic spaces of warehouse rooms, and speculations on why Dunedin permits a certain type of music to happen.
Many of the tracks on this show are unheard jams, untitled events & other relative ephemera. Sound quality will vary! Podcast up soon...
1. Eves, 'City Mimicry' from Visual Substitutions tape, 2011
2. Eves, 'Aves', unreleased, undated track
3. Eves, 'Lead Noi', unreleased, undated track
4. Eves & Disco Medusae, live at None Gallery, November 2011
5. Ms. Morse, (Track 9) from Driver & Utilities
6. interview with Edie Stevens, 12th January 2012 (backed with Eves, 'Octagon Mower Environ Tone', manipulated field recording)
7. IDM (with Oliver Van der Lugt), 'Take Nothing', recorded at None, 2008
8. MegaKipple (with Beth from the Futurians), live in None gallery basement, 2009
9. Not Even Owls (with Toki Wilson), Live at Refuel, 2011
these beautiful images were all taken by Markus Gradwohl, at various gigs at None gallery, Records Records, Dunedin Community Gallery, and Chicks Hotel between 2009-11, a fuller selection of which can be seen on his site, noise redux