Lawrence English is media artist, composer and curator based in Brisbane, Australia. Working across a broad range of aesthetic investigations, English’s work is eclectic characterised by long-term explorations into themes surrounding audio/visual environments, found sound/vision, subtle transformation of public space and sonic art works that exist at the very edge of perception.
For over a decade, English’s audio explorations have sprawled across a range of areas with editions published on respected labels such as Touch, 12K and Winds Measure. Sonically, his work calls into question the established relationships between sound and structure – traversing experimental soundscapes and free improvisation to sheering rhythmic works and concréte-influenced compositions, his published works span a dynamic array of fields. London’s Time Out referred to his output as ‘ambient twisted soundscapes and challenging sonic scree’, and U.S. sound journal, Signal To Noise described English’s work as ‘extraordinarily gorgeous modern music concréte’. In recent years English has recorded, performed and improvised with the likes of David Toop, Terry Riley, Keith Whitman, Damo Suzuki, DJ Olive, Philip Samartzis, Scanner, Janek Schaefer and KK Null amongst others.
Diversity of practice is again the case with English’s installation practice. His 2008 ‘Trio For Objects’ presented three discrete sound installations (one kinetic, one ‘prepared’ and one sculptural) which when experienced in situ created a ‘related sound field’. By contrast, the 3-screen video installation Ghost Towns, seeks to create an abstract ‘virtual map’ of remote Australian spaces. In 2006 English produced a series of sound art works specifically for the deaf and hearing impaired communities under the title ‘Silence Listening’. These works were amongst the first of their kind in the world, exploring and examining the notions of isolation and sonic interaction within these communities.
English has acted as producer on a number of full-length recordings for a variety of artists including Japan’s avant-pop icon Tujiko Noriko, post-industrialist Ben Frost’s ‘Theory Of Machines’, Tokyo based psychedelic folk collective Tenniscoats and Australian noise-pop unit The Rational Academy. He has been commissioned to produce compositional works with avant-circus troupe Circa and theatre groups including Bonemap. English also acted as the musical consultant on the Barbican commissioned theatre work The Importance Of Being Earnest.
Outside of his recording and art commissions, Lawrence English curates a number of ongoing sound events including fabrique at Brisbane Powerhouse, Mono at the Institute Of Modern Art and Syncretism/NineHoursNorth at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. He produces the annual Room40 festival Open Frame and co-produces a number of other festivals including Sound Polaroids, Liquid Architecture and Frankly!. He continues to curate numerous art exhibitions including Melatonin – Meditations On Sound In Sleep (for Next Wave Festival), Airport Symphony (for the Queensland Music Festival), Small Scores (for Valley Fiesta Festival) and Audible Geography (for University Of Tasmania. He has presented on radio as part of Triple J’s Soundlab program and he continues to produce an extensive range of radio documents and sound works for programs such as the BBC’s World Service. His writing can be found regularly in journals such as The Wire, Signal To Noise, Paris Transatlantic, Cyclic Defrost, Vital Weekly, Time Off and many other online outlets.
English’s imprint and multi-arts organisation ::ROOM40:: maintains a steady release schedule from an eclectic array of Australian and international artists.