Those with a penchant for experimental sound and vision are in for a treat this coming Thursday, November the 8th as The Meteor plays host to Floris Vanhoof, a Belgian filmmaker, musician, instrument builder, performer and visual artist based in Antwerp. A multidisciplinary artist working with hybrid forms of music, photography, and film, he builds audiovisual installations, creates expanded cinema performances, and releases his own music. In this performance he will use a brainwave-controlled film projector and homemade musical circuits to create a mind-blowing hypersensory experience of flickering colour and synthetic sound.
Joining Floris will be Kraus, a key figure in contemporary New Zealand underground music. His singular and eclectic work encompasses a wide range of influences, from Golden Age electronics and psychedelic rock to Eastern folk Floris Vanhoof and pre-modern Western musics. Since 2002 he has released 15 albums, and presented his powerful and endlessly evolving live performances throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe.
HUP caught up with the pair to discover a little more about what lies in store for the shows, and how the tour came about.
HUP: How did the show come to be?
Kraus: In 2015 and 2017 I toured with Floris in Europe. His live performances are so mind-blowing that I really wanted to bring him to New Zealand! But Floris and I were in touch through mutual friends for about ten years. We both built our own synthesizers, which are of similar design - they are Serge machines, which is a very strange and wonderful kind of modular synth from the 70s. I believe the sound potential of these instruments is infinite, and even though the technology is considered obsolete, there are many unknown worlds still to explore with them.
Are you touring Aotearoa or is this a one off show?
Kraus: Yup this is a full NZ tour (see details at the end of this article), Floris has come such a long way so we wanted to do as much as possible. We have shows in Auckland, New Plymouth, Palmerston Nth, Wellington, Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin. Floris also has two sound works at Audio Foundation opening on Weds 7th Nov. They are "Talking Gongs", which has two gongs with speaker drivers attached, so they act as speakers playing electronic music, but they colour the sound with their own resonance. The other work "The Fluid Computer" uses a Leslie speaker to spin computer code sound around a room. There are also sculptures made of peas and toothpicks and slide projection.
What kind of stuff can we expect at the show?
Floris: I present a brainwave controlled 16mm film projector: an EEG sensor on my head captures the electromagnetic currents inside my brain. These tiny electronic voltages control the speed of the 16mm film projector. The projector goes faster when I'm focused and slows down when my concentration level drops.
Kraus: Floris's film work is intense and mesmerising, you feel like you are falling into the screen. I will do a performance with my synth, which will sound like: if you described techno music to an intelligent ape, and then gave them a futuristic digital-analogue hybrid synth to play with, and said go for it.
What would you consider the perfect outcome for the show?
Floris: Bring your friends.
Kraus: Yeah I just really want cool people in Hamilton to see Floris because his work is amazing and hypnotic and joyful!
Floris, have you visited NZ before to play shows?
Floris: Only in my imagination. But after the Nowhere Festival at Audio Foundation we had time for a few amazing trips in Auckland and around.
Kraus, what else have you got going on at the moment, any more Pouffe shows/releases on the horizon?
Kraus: More Pouffe yes! Me and Matt are recording over Christmas when he comes to Auckland. We only ever seem to record around Christmas time. Maybe we will do another Christmas song.
Those not able to get to The Meteor this coming Thursday, 8th November, can catch Floris and Kraus performing at the following whare around Aotearoa...
Wednesday 7th November - Auckland, Audio Foundation w/ Kraus
Friday 9th November - Palmerston North, Snails w/ Kraus and Oona Verse
Saturday 10th November - Wellington, Pyramid Club w/ Kraus and Oona Verse
Thursday 15th November - Christchurch, Space Academy w/ Kraus
Friday 16th November - Dunedin, New Athenaeum Theatre w/ Kraus
Saturday 17th November - Oamaru house show