In late 2005 I approached a local composer to see if he would be interested in hosting a concert series from his gallery/performance space that would feature local experimental music, consisting of both original and historic works. My friend, the artist Michael Yuen had prompted me to start something like this, which he envisaged would fill a gap in Adelaide's local music scene. Michael had already hosted a couple of successful concert series during the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Project 1 , Project 2 ) which featured important works by experimental composers (Steve Reich, Alvin Lucier, Georgi Ligeti) whilst also accomodating new works by emerging local composers (Yuen, Luke Harrald).
Operating from a virtually non-existent budget and meagre resources, the Tyndall Assembly attempted to provide a continuation of the Project series’ conceptual scope, whilst providing audiences with an opportunity to hear experimental work throughout the year, once Adelaide's Summer festival period had tapered off.
The CBD-centric section of Waymouth Street in the mid-noughts was quite different to the polished strip it resembles today. Before the old Advertiser building was overhauled for the 21st Century and the street took on a decidedly expensive (read: gentrified) look, it was a relatively quiet business area with cheap rents and a few venues, including the Gallery Delacatessen.
The venue had been operated since 2004 by Adelaide composer Luke Altmann and hosted a variety of exhibitions and small-scale contemporary music performances. Originally a butchers shop (hence 'Delacatessen') the two-story building had a bright orange facade with an open ground floor space for performances and exhibitions; the upstairs space was where Luke resided.
In 2006 I was commencing my masters research in sound art and experimental music, so I thought that curating a concert series as an extra-curricular activity would work to my advantage. I envisaged that the concert series would provide an opportunity to research historic works, whilst providing a platform to road test some sketchy versions of my own work-in-development. Where it did work, worked really well; where it didn't work, turned out to be a complete disaster for my academic career at the time. Since I was running the series with next to no experience, this drew heavily upon my time, energy and (occasionally) the patience of my friends and colleagues.
In spite of these initial and ongoing challenges, Luke and I adopted a mentality of dogged perseverance until the first 2006 season - almost literally - ran itself into the ground after nine concerts. By the time the 2007 season began we were more experienced and seasoned for the endeavour. In addition to this, we were funded by the Helpmann Academy and sensibly limited the season to only four concerts.
TLR, March 2018.
2006: Season 1
Local composers/artists: Hidden Village, Vinny Bhagat, TLR, Christian Haines, Alex Waite-Mitchell w/ Alison Currie, Patrick McCarthy, Adam Page, Andrew Georg, Derek Pascoe, Paul Backman.
John Cage - Imaginary Landscape #4
Alvin Lucier - Opera For Objects
Steve Reich - Clapping Music
Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt - Oblique Strategies
2007: Season 2
Local composers/artists: Sanad, Mychorriza, TLR, Sebastian Tomczak, Luke Harrald, Derek Pascoe, Hidden Village, Vinny Bhagat, Poppi Doser, Darren Curtis, Jason Sweeney, Edward Kelly.
Alvin Lucier - I am sitting in a room.