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Lawrence English (born 1976) is a composer, artist and curator living in Brisbane, Australia. His work is broadly concerned with the politics of perception, specifically he is interested in the nature of listening and sounds' capability to occupy the body. He is the director of the imprint Room40, started in 2000.
English's music is recognised as exploring "environmental and musical sources and is highly regarded for its intelligent invocation of perception, memory and space". On his 2014 album Wilderness of Mirrors he outlines his approach to composition "For me it's about a kind of struggle between almost nothing and almost everything. Sometimes one sound can be too much and other times 50 layers seems lacking in the depth you want to convey. I think at the heart of this question is dynamics, and I feel that's very much what this album is about. It's a slow reveal, I want it to be a seduction."
He cites childhood experiences birdwatching for reed warbler with his father as the starting point for his interest in sound in space. He has stated, "If you just looked in the reeds you'd see nothing. If you listened you got an idea of space and a sense of where it might be, then you understood it. That's probably my first experience with these ideas of space and sound, which are basically the fundamental building blocks of what I've been interested in since then." These experiences have led to a long engagement with field recordings, and more recently the development of theoretical approaches to the practice including his Relational Listening theory.
Selected Solo Discography
- 2001 – Map51F9 (IAG)
- 2004 – Ghost Towns (room40)
- 2004 – Transit (Cajid)
- 2005 – Limnology (Autumn)
- 2005 – Happiness Will Befall (Crónica)
- 2006 – Suikinkutsu (Autumn)
- 2007 – For Varying Degrees of Winter (Baskaru)
- 2008 – Kiri No Oto (Touch)
- 2008 – Studies For Stradbroke (Winds Measure)
- 2008 – It's Up To Us To Live (Sirr)
- 2009 – A colour For Autumn (12K)
- 2011 – The Peregrine (Experimedia)
- 2012 – For/Not For John Cage (Line)
- 2013 – Lonely Women's Club (Important)
- 2014 – Wilderness of Mirrors (Room40)
- 2015 – The Peregrine (Room40, reissue)
- 2016 – Cruel Optimism (Room40)
Lawrence English has exhibited a variety of auditory, kinetic, public and structural artworks that are primarily concerned with the politics of perception and notions of incidental experience, site specificity and environment.
- 2001 – Medi@ Terra, Frankfurt
- 2002 – Sound Spaces, Perth
- 2002 – Variable Resistance, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- 2002 – Invisible Cities, Belfast Festival At Queens
- 2003 – Sounds Like, Performance Space, Sydney
- 2003 – Inna (as part of PrimeTwo at Queensland Art Gallery)
- 2004 – On Conflict And Agreement, Barcelona
- 2004 – SIGHT Site, Tokyo Japan
- 2004 – Isentropic Process, SOOB, Brisbane
- 2005 – Ghost Towns, Artspace, Auckland
- 2005 – Window Standpoint Series
- 2006 – Isentropic Process 1–100 Hz, The Window, QPAC, Brisbane
- 2006 – Silence Listening, QSM, Brisbane
- 2006 – LEFRAUSNZNWSD1/2, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne
- 2007 – Re: Collections, State Library Of Queensland
- 2007 – Triumvirate, Old Museum Of Brisbane with Kim Demuth + Eluned Lloyd
- 2007 – Bathe, as part of Grey Water IMA with Toshiya Tsunoda
- 2008 – Trio For Objects (MSSR)
- 2009 – Black Wind, Inbetween Spaces
- 2010 – Fall, Westspace Gallery
- 2011 – I Stole You Kiss, Boxcopy
- 2012 – Summer Elsewhere, QUT Creative Industries Precinct
- 2012 – As Though Your Life Depended on Six Streams, Brisbane Powerhouse
- 2013 – Heavy Nothing / I'll Be Your Mirror, QUT Art Museum
- 2013 – Songs for the Constant (Never The Solid), UAP Foundry Brisbane
- 2013 – Night Rage (With Keith Armstrong), ISEA Sydney
- 2014 – Dark Cartographies (with Keith Armstrong), Kick Arts Cairns
- 2014 – Light of Extinction (with Keith Armstrong), Thingworld at NAMOC Beijing
- 2015 – Temporal (with Keith Armstrong), Bundaberg Regional Gallery
- 2015 – Ricochet, National Portraiture Gallery Canberra
- Twells, John. "I want to do things that have meaning". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Zuvela, Danni. "10 years of room40: privileging the ears". realtime. realtime. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- howe, brian. "wilderness of mirrors". Pitchfork.
- Wallen, Doug. "I want it to be a seduction". Mess And Noise. Mess and Noise.
- Clark, Alistair (8 October 2010). "Lawrence English". Crasier Frane. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- english, lawrence. "A Beginners Guide To Field Recording". Fact Magazine.
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