Christopher de Groot

Christopher de Groot is a composer based in Melbourne. His current project is an opera based on the 20-hour video diary of Björk stalker Ricardo Lopez. 

October 2015

PETER KENNEDY VIDEO WORKS

I've been working with renowned Australian artist Peter Kennedy to present revised video works shot by him in 1971. These 11 video works, shot on quarter inch black and white Akai video tape were the first of their kind made and exhibited in Australia and have remained un-viewable for the past 40 years.

Using several different studio techniques I have manipulated and augmented the original 11 soundtracks captured "in camera" and helped to adapt one key work into 5.1 surround sound. This audio enhancement goes someway to realising Kennedy's original vision of the works, which were at that time constrained by the limitations of early video technology. 

Peter Kennedy's Moving Image Works will be exhibited at the Milani Gallery in Brisbane in November 2015. 

 

Luminal Sequences, 1971, remade 2011 [copyright Peter Kennedy]

September 2015

SOUNDTRACK ALBUMS

I've released two albums of theatre music on Melbourne label The Mind Is Listening.

Dream Home

Fusing the unsettling sound world of Lynchian suburbia with the body horror music of David Cronenberg films, the music for Dream Home is filled with terror and nostalgic sadness. Mixing multiple electric guitars, classical harps, reverb washed mellotrons, and field recordings of bee hives with the haunting quality of a solo bass flute, the score is a nightmare you wont want to wake up from.

Music and sound design from the theatre show Dream Home by playwright Emilie Collyer, performed in May at the Norhtcote Town Hall as part of the 2015 Darebin Speakeasy season. 


Persona

This score was written to accompany the theatre adaptation of Igmar Bergman's classic film Persona, directed by Sam Barrett and performed at the 2014 MUST Container Festival. Taking inspiration from 1950s electroacoustic tape music, this soundtrack is a dark and immersive accompaniment for an existential modern horror classic.  

Dream Home and Persona are available through The Mind Is Listening. 

July 2015

LOPEZ OPERA

Long time collaborator Sam Barrett and myself have been developing an opera based on the video diary of Björk Stalker Ricardo Lopez. We will be writing the libretto throughout the remainder of 2015 and 2016, with music composition commencing after the completion of the libretto.  

Lopez - an opera for solo singer, small ensemble and video tape

Always alone and often at night he spoke to the camera…  

Aspiring artist and Miami pest exterminator Ricardo Lopez became a household name when he attempted to send a letter bomb to the Icelandic pop singer Björk in 1996. Lopez shot over 18 hours of home footage, which was a chronicle of his life, his art and his plans to destroy Björk. The video is an extremely compelling confessional of a young artist trapped by low self-esteem, social isolation and mental illness.

Over nine months Lopez plans, constructs and tests an acid spraying mail bomb documenting his progress for the world to see. On September 12th 1996 he mails his final piece of artwork before beginning a bizarre face painting ritual that concludes with his on-camera suicide. 

May 2015

DREAM HOME

Dream Home is a penetrating comedy about suburbia and the rude awakenings that come when you’re trying to hold it all together.

Written by Emilie Collyer (The Good Girl, Once Were Pirates) and shortlisted for both the Patrick White Award (2013) and Edward Albee Scholarship (2012), Dream Home is directed by Luke Kerridege.

I've composed the music and sound design to the project. My contribution takes influence from the music of David Cronenberg films and the sound design of David Lynch. Dream Home is presented by Darebin Arts' Speakeasy and will run from May 20 - June 3 at the Northcote Town Hall.

Click here for more information.

Synopsis:

Brian and Wendy are going up.

Not in a vulgar way, it’s an ecological design. But there’s a crack growing in the wall and a foul stench seeping out. Worried about what the neighbours think, they’ve invited everyone around for a BBQ.

The house fills with guests both invited and unwelcome. Brian and Wendy must reconcile their middleclass aspirations against war stories, comedic roasts, fallen stars and simmering libidos.

February 2015

I recently received a Green Room Award nomination in the Sound/Music category for my work on Thérèse Raquin. 

The Green Room Awards are Melbourne's premier peer-presented, performing arts industry awards. Each year they recognise outstanding achievements in productions from Cabaret, Contemporary & Experimental Performance, Dance, Independent Theatre, Music Theatre, Opera and Theatre Companies. 

de Groot playing piano and percussion for performances of Thérèse Raquin - Theatre Works, 2014

January 2015

TILDE NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL

My work The Quiet Room Inside The Plastic Fish has been accepted for exhibition at the Tilde New Music Festival, 2015. The festival will take place on January 24th at Testing Grounds, Melbourne. The piece is a amalgamation of two recent compositions: Mommy There's Plastic In My Fish (bass flute, turntables and choking) and The Quiet Room (processed glockenspiel and electronics). 

MELBOURNE PIANO TRIO - DELICACIES OF MOLTEN HORROR SYNAPSE

In May the Melbourne Piano Trio will premiere a new work of mine entitled Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse. The piece is written to accompany an 8 minute film by by the same name created by seminal American avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

Stan Brakhage is considered to be one of the most important figures in 20th-century avant-garde filmmaking. 

Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse will premiere at the 2015 Metropolis New Music Festival at the Melbourne Recital Centre. 

Still taken from Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse.