Jazz at the gallery: Psithurism trio – Sunday 16 November 3pm

Psithurism trio – this Sunday 16 November 3pm


Psithurism was formed in 2013 in as a means of bringing together similar concepts of the sonic arts and free improvisational praxis from a wind trio perspective. Focus is on the wind instruments as a sonic device where the sounds/timbre of the instrument and exploring extended techniques is more important then any conventional treatment of the saxophone. It could be said that they play minimalist non-idiomatic free improvisations that develop intersubjectively in the moment almost as if the music has become and organism as has a life of its own. The trio comprises of John Porter on tenor saxophone; Rhys Butler on alto saxophone and Richard Johnson on soprano/baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and invented instruments.


John Porter: alto/tenor saxophone – Canberra   Psithurism trio

Born in Toowoomba in 1985, John is a formidable young saxophonist with a deep interest in free improvisation. After starting on the clarinet at an earlier age he switched to the tenor saxophone and never looked back.  In 2003 John moved to Brisbane to study music full-time, completing a Master of Music in 2008 where his thesis was on the avant garde composer Cornelius Cardew. It was during this time that John received his first exposure to improvised music, participating in a number of groups in and around Brisbane. He has since played with a number of artists including Shoji Hano, Jeff Henderson, Kris Wanders, Madoka Kouno, Elliott Dalgleish, and the Stasis Duo, and appears on recordings released by the [Array] and Homophoni labels. John is currently in Psithurism with Richard Johnson and Rhys Porter. He loves playing music to birds and animals in a dialogue with the sound-scapes around him, as it were.


Rhys Butler: alto sax – Canberra   Psithurism trio

Rhys has come to know the cities he has lived in through improvised and noise music. The trio Dinner Sock (Stephen Roach (drums), David Keyton (feedback), and Rhys Butler (saxophones)) formed from the weekly Fugue State Sessions in Guanzhou. The group performed with local experimenters such as Yan Jun, Feng Hao and Li Zenghui and collaborated with musicians transiting China such as Uwe Bastiansen (Faust) and Lucas Abela. Despite living in different corners of the world, Dinner Sock has continued to participate in China’s experimental music scene and played Beijing’s Sally Can’t Dance festival and NOIShanghai in 2012. In Santiago, Chile, Rhys participated in events run by Productura Mutante and played in the free-for-all Collective Improvisation NO. Now residing in Canberra, Rhys has been working in a duo with Reuben Ingall (live processing) and more recently in a reeds trio Psithurism with John Porter and Richard Johnson.


Richard Johnson: Soprano/baritone saxophone/bass clarinet/invented instruments – Canberra   Psithurism trio

Richard performs with the texture of sound on soprano/baritone saxophone and bass clarinet and in the last couple of years has been experimenting with instruments made from the conical gourds from PNG. These particular gourds allow the stripping back of the wind instruments to their most visceral and most sensuous form and allow for the exploration of the fundamentals of sound production with extended techniques. He has performed at the What is Music Festival, Nownow Festival; the Make it Now performances; also performances with the Brice Glace Ensemble and the 102 Club Orkestra in Grenoble France 2004; “Whip it“ series in Sydney; various Precipice annual Improv workshops hosted by Tony Osbourne as well as hosting local/interstate/international improvisation nights in Canberra and as being the Producer/Director/Curator and performer at SoundOut 2010 – 2014. As a sound artist he was commissioned by the Casula Power House in Sydney to collaborate with renowned Artist Savanhdary Vongpoothorn to produce a 30-minute Soundscape for the Australia Exhibition at The Casula Power House in Sydney 2008; in 2010 he collaborated with glass/conceptual artist Denise Higgins on a soundscape for her show in Melbourne. He has performed with the likes of Jaap Blonk, Jon Rose, Mats Gustafsson, Robbie Avenaim, Jerome Nottinger, Xavier Querell, Jim Denley, Kim Myhr, Clare Cooper, Annette Giesreigl, Rodrigo Motoya, Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Clayton Thomas, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Yan Jun, Laura Altman, Michael Norris, Evan Dorian, Christine Abdelnour, Philippee Lauzier, Eric Normand, Sam Pettigrew and Rishin Singh etc. Currently he is working in a wind trio with John Porter and Rhys Butler called Psithurism, which will release a cd in the near future.

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Updated:  18 November 2014/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery