6 years ago, HBK spawned the crazy offshoot of The Electric Light Bike Orchestra.
Helmed by Lance (one of our long term volunteers and erstwhile HBK President during the transition years from Taroona to the CBD) ELBO was a DIY-Synths-on-Bikes project. 6 of the HBK chefs rode around at night making weird sounds. We used specially made light-sensors so we could get beats and rhythms from our flashing bike lights. IT was weird. It was crazy. It was entirely home made. It annoyed the neighbours.
Lance did not give up on this, and although ELBO passed away after 3 iterations, his current project – Photosynthesis – is very clearly the grandchild of ELBO.
In its current form, Photosynthesis is a loose collection of artists who come together to explore and experiment on Lance’s now extensive suite of home made synthesisers, modified keyboards, circuit bent toys, hacked guitar pedals, and, of course, a synth-bike beast known as the Warp Generator.
Every item within the pool of instruments is either homemade or hacked in the same spirit as the best Frankenbike that HBK ever produced, and like the Hobart Bike Kitchen, Photosynthesis is built on a model of interactivity and inclusion.
What that actually means in the real world is that we make an effort to interact with the people and space that we play in by sensing the surrounding light and (with some on the spot tuition) letting people play our instruments a little bit.
Amazingly, somehow, beyond all reasonable expectations of public decency, Photosynthesis now gets gigs at actual events and there are *3* coming up in the next week. All free. All experimental.
On Saturday 30th we will be playing and exploring at the Ability to Create Festival at the Hobart Town Hall between 1-2pm. As a relatively short set, this will probably be mostly playing and explanations.
Next weekend we will be set up and doing a long form exploration set at the Beaker St Science Festival at TMag. You can find us in the TMag courtyard on both Friday 5th and Saturday 6th between 6pm – 10pm. We will be taking a long slow journey through a range of sounds and instruments, and will particularly be exploring the effect of sampling the projections done by long term TMag VJ collaborator Cary Littleford. We hope to allow a better deeper interaction with both the environment (ie all the lights around us) and the people who attend.
We don’t know what will happen. But there will be home made synthesisers, lots of lights, strange sounds and a smattering of old upcycled bike parts….
Here’s a link for more on PhotoSynthesis