Daniel Blinkhorn - frostbYte
Daniel is an Australian composer, sound and new media artist currently residing in Sydney.
He has worked in a variety of creative, academic, research and teaching contexts, and is currently lecturer in composition and music technology at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. He is an ardent location field recordist, where he has embarked upon a growing number of recording expeditions throughout Africa, Alaska, Amazon, Australia, Cuba, West Indies, Mexico, Madagascar, Middle East, Northern Europe, and the high Arctic/ North
Pole region of Svalbard.
His creative works have received over 40 citations at prestigious international and national composition awards, and whilst self-taught in electroacoustic music, Daniel has formally studied composition and the creative arts at a number of Australian universities. More information about Daniel, as well as samples of his work can be found www.danielblinkhorn.com
valiha is named after a zither I encountered in the small seaside fishing village of Ifaty, in the Mozambique channel of Madagascar.
The instrument is entirely cylindrical in design, reflecting the primary material from which it is constructed, bamboo. I found instrumentalising the zither in a conventional sense to be uniquely challenging, so I decided to attempt to unlock its richly evocative potentiality by transforming 5 simple, plucked, pizzicato gestures into a piece that extends well beyond the physical confines of the zither. In doing so the work evokes the natural elements and energies embedded within the origins of bamboo (water, grass, wind) and recycled telephone wires and discarded bicycle brake cables that are repurposed as strings. Timbres redolent of steel, bamboo and liquid jostle and collide amongst windswept textures, creating a biomimetic soundscape recounting the life force of the instrument itself.
Off the coast of Tanzania, on the small island of Zanzibar I happened upon a bazaar in Stonetown with all manner of beautiful African instruments. I found myself drawn to a small, hand made kibuyu. This humble instrument buzzed and creaked and was far from perfect, yet striking a tine was instantly so musically agreeable.
Kibuyu in Swahili translates to ‘Calabash’ and is the box resonator used in the construction of the instrument. I wanted to use the term as a metaphor similar to the phenomenon of seashell resonance, except in this instance, as one holds the kibuyu against their ear they don’t hear sound redolent of the ocean, but rather a more dynamic abstraction of sonic imagery resounding well beyond the instrument itself and deep into the island of Zanzibar and the many evocative soundscapes it contains. All the material within the composition comes from the striking of three tines of the kibuyu, with no additional sonic material employed within the piece. Zanibar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.