Ion Pearce

(b. 1955)

Ion Pearce is a composer, sound artist, and musician living in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in a large musical family in which the children performed together, travelling around Australia with their ever-growing collection of musical instruments. Resonances of these formative experiences can be felt in his recent work. His initial training was with classical stringed instruments, and he later studied composition with Richard Vella at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Ion's work for some years has involved the design and construction of original instruments or sound machines, often using recycled materials - such as wood from demolished buildings, or parts of an old sewing machine, in an ingenious way. He uses railway signal bells as instruments and a shoe iron. Among the instruments which he builds and plays are a giant wooden abacus or counting machine, in which wooden beads are turned by hand; a violin machine, which is made from the sewing machine and violin; marimba; and various drums, including a simple box drum that was formerly a packing crate. His radiophonic music works combine "found sound" (sound recordings of footsteps, for example, or vocalizations ...); his performances on these instruments/machines as well as traditional stringed instruments played in non-traditional ways, such as dragging silk cloth across the violin strings, or tapping the instrument's body. Techniques of sampling and computer sequencing have allowed further manipulation of sound and rhythm.

He has been interested in exploring fresh contexts for performance and has worked in collaborative projects with dancers, filmmakers, and artists. He has made sound installations for exhibitions such as Meridian in Kobe, Japan in 1993, and in 1995 he is represented in Sound in Space, a major exhibition of Australian sound art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. In 1995, Ion received an Australia Council cultural grant to develop an ensemble work called Practice.

For The Listening Room program on ABC Classic FM Ion Pearce has created three radiophonic compositions - TheStrangeMachine(1992), Vanishing,Point(1993), andParole(1994). TheStrangeMachine was part of the EBU's Ars Acoustica selection in 1992, and was issued in 1994 on CD BETA, one of four CDs with works from The Listening Room.

Kunstradio Broadcasts:

17. 9. 2000: "Revolutions in the Sun"