Bit Symphony – Liam O’Callaghan

Preview and record launch: Thursday 15 December, 6 -8pm
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios

Bit Symphony is an audio-visual installation consisting of an assemblage of turntables, amplifiers and speakers, reconfigured and manipulated so as to autonomously perform a complex musical composition of looping records.Liam O’Callaghan creates the sound by forcing loops, changing speeds, warping and physically scratching records, fading volume in and out and altering tones. Through these simple techniques the original sound is altered to be unrecognisable from it’s source and transformed into something new entirely; a series of unique sonic/music compostions.

As is the case with most of O’Callaghan’s work, the aesthetic of Bit Symphony is led by necessity. The function of each component of the installation is clear, and no attempt has been made to hide the basic methods and materials that make the work operate in the way O’Callaghan desires. With no auto tuner or auto timer in sight, the music cracks, clicks and creeks it way along with it’s own interior sense of purpose, in and out of time, through noise, sound and music and those moments inbetween, wherever they may lie. All the work’s blemishes are there to be heard and deployed as the players, independent of a performer, spin into action and work to find and maintain their own harmony.

O’Callaghan’s starting point was the desire to make music, and how, as an object-making artist and as a non musician, to achieve this aim. The resulting work borrows some of the musical vocabulary of early tape loops technics from the mid 60’,s and sampling technics of the 70’s onwards. While it is difficult to classify the compositions into any one type or genre of music, it is clear that O’Callaghan has achived his aim of making music while also creating a hypnotic and engaging art work.