Watch the first in a series of films by Trevor Tweeten and Richard Mosse here.
These lean, athletic visions seem to stand testament to a kind of survival – a proof of life. Muscular shapes maintained only to a level of functioning physical survival, of necessity, and no further; ﬁlthy, uncivilised, caked in sweat, and battery acid.
Starved of all the adornments of its predecessor; wholly absent of guitar, of piano, of string instruments and natural wooden intimacy, “A U R O R A” offers a deﬁant new world of ﬁercely synthetic shapes and galactic interference, pummelling skins and pure metals.
Performed by Ben Frost with Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy), Shahzad Ismaily and Thor Harris (SWANS) and largely written in Eastern DR Congo, “A U R O R A” aims directly, through its monolithic construction, at blinding luminescent alchemy; not with benign heavenly beauty but through decimating magnetic force.
This is no pristine vision of digital music; but an offering of interrupted future time, where emergency ﬂares illuminate ruined nightclubs and the faith of the danceﬂoor rests in a diesel-powered generator spewing forth its own extinction, eating rancid fuel so loudly it threatens to overrun the very music it is powering.
Photo Credit: Börkur Sigthorsson
And so, is the ongoing evolution of Frost’s music, conceived as equally the observer, as the catalyst in this music, and harbinger of the idea that so often we think of beauty when in fact we should be thinking of destruction. The result, mixed in Reykjavík with Bedroom Community head Valgeir Sigurðsson, is a machined musical surface, evolved and reﬁned, yet irrevocably damaged.
Curiously, darkness is expelled to the muddy sedge and a confusing irradiant glow permeates “A U R O R A”, where everything once wounded, remains ﬁercely animate and luminescent with charged destruction.
Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005 and working together with close friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective.
His albums, including “Steel Wound” (2003), “Theory of Machines” (2007) and “BY THE THROAT” (2009) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with ﬁerce, rupturing dark metal.
In 2010 he was chosen by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé program for a year of collaboration, one of the outcomes of which was Sólaris; a re-scoring of the Tarkovsky classic for Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia. The pair continue to work together on a range of projects.
Frost regularly collaborates with other musicians and artists; in the production of albums such as Tim Hecker’s “Ravedeath 1972” and “Virgins”, SWANS “The Seer”, Colin Stetson’s “New History Warfare” and on various Bedroom Community releases. On the stage Frost has produced scores for Choreographers including Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Akram Khan, Gideon Obarzanek/Chunky Move, and German Director Falk Richter. In film he composed the score for the Palme d’Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason). And in the visual arts, where, with artist Richard Mosse, Frost travelled deep beyond the frontlines of war-torn Eastern Congo to produce The Enclave; a multi-channel video and sound installation that premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
2013 also marked his debut as a director with the première of Frost’s ﬁrst Opera, based on Iain Bank´s infamous 1984 novel The Wasp Factory.
These various collaborations and alliances underline Frost’s continuing fascination with ﬁnding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art -beauty and violence- combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines in one place.
4/26–Convergence Festival–London, ENGLAND
5/15–The Button Factory–Dublin, IRELAND
5/16–Triskel Arts Centre–Cork, IRELAND
5/17–CLICK Festival–Elisinore, DENMARK
5/20–Muziekgebouw at Trouw–Amsterdam, HOLLAND
5/21–UT Connewitz–Leipzig, GERMANY
5/23—MeetFactory–Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
5/24–Žedno Uho Festival–Zagreb, CROATIA
5/29–MUTEK Festival–Montreal, CANADA
6/12–Sonar Festival–Barcelona, SPAIN