Chris O’Connor & Gabriel White – Ten Bass Drums (22/09/2022 – 15/10/2022)


Please join us to mark the opening of Ten Bass Drums, a new installation by Chris O’Connor and Gabriel White drawing on Pythagorean geometries, harmonic intervals and the local environs.


The pyramid of ten bass drums in this work points to Pythagoras’ tetractys, a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three and four.

Crotchets, quavers, quaver-triplets and semiquavers form the first part of the Rhythm Pyramid. Traversing these four rhythms, being conversant with them, and understanding their blends, is a foundational practice for drummers.

The harmonic series reveals the musical intervals of whole number ratios:
1:2 is an octave.
2:3 is a perfect fifth.
3:4 is a perfect 4th.
When a simple rhythm, say 3 against 2, is sped up sufficiently, a perfect 5th interval emerges. This numerical connection between rhythm and harmony was known to the ancients and is still compelling today.

In this work we bring the tetractys/drum pyramid into conversation with two contrasting sites, the Audio Foundation and Matukutūreia in Wiri.
– Gabriel White & Chris O’Connor


Opens: Thursday 22 September, 5.30pm with refreshments provided by Liberty Brewing Company
Hours: 12 – 4pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Closes: Saturday 15 October


As a drummer, Chris O’Connor is a prolific and vital contributor to many music scenes within Aotearoa. He regularly performs in Auckland’s improvisation/sound-art music scene, collaborates with established Kiwi music pop icons, and is a registered music therapist. Chris started his journey into deep improvisation when he founded the People’s Improvisation Front, a group that regularly met in his basement in Newtown to explore free improvisation and approaches to large scale forms. From these initial experiments he has continued to grow an increasing repertoire of strategies towards music and ritual making. He is also a highly sought after collaborator for pop, jazz, theatre, and dance; he is currently a member of The Phoenix Foundation, and Trioglodyte. More info about his career can be found at his website.

Gabriel White is a filmmaker and musician from Auckland, Aotearoa and holds a Masters in Art and Design (2008), and BFA (1997). Selected video works are available online at Circuit Aotearoa. White has produced albums with Spacesuit and Floral Clocks, acclaimed by William Dart and Nick Bollinger. White has published photography, poetry and essays in several publications including Landfall NZ. His feature film Oracle Drive has been profiled on the documentary Out of the Mist, RNZ, TV3, NZ Herald, NZ Listener, The Directory of World Cinema, and The Aotearoa Digital Arts Reader. White has made two publicly commissioned and screened documentaries, notably The Unplanned Masterpiece (2009).