Michael Morley – Call Back Your Dogs (7/06/2019 – 29/06/2019)

MM poster






Please join us to celebrate the opening of the latest exhibition in the AF Gallery series, Call Back Your Dogs by Otepoti / Dunedin artist, educator and acclaimed musician, Michael Morley.


Call Back Your Dogs:
Acoustic guitars have a history that dates back thousands of years, back through the barbat, chitarra, gittern, lute, oud, psaltery, vihuela, and many other plucked and strummed gut string instruments. Despite this, acoustic guitars never appear to be truly considered a part of the classical orchestra and by extension suitable within upper class society. Compared to those of the orchestra, they are considered a vulgar peasant instrument referred to in paintings by Francisco Goya and Edouard Manet as having associations with drunkenness, depravity, and debauchery. The classical, acoustic guitar as we have come to know it has been developed through the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries by furniture and musical instrument makers, employed primarily as an exercise in construction, decoration and finishing for apprentices within the guild. The particular sonic qualities of the instrument have been developed by experienced instrument makers utilising the same skills and knowledge as that used for producing the other strung wooden instruments of the classical orchestra.

By sonically activating the instruments and additional wooden objects, Call Back Your Dogs seeks to employ the resonating qualities of wooden acoustic guitars, placed upon items of wooden furniture, to reveal connections between time and space. Tonal drones are produced by acoustic guitars placed on the top of solid wooden furniture. The tones are generated in the guitars using electronic bows placed upon the steel guitar strings. Placed horizontally onto the furniture, the tone to pass from the guitar into the furniture utilising the unique conductive qualities of wood resulting in an organic amplifying effect. The guitars that are to be used for the work are historically and culturally significant – they are second-hand, worn, with the indelible imprint of having been possessed and played by many people before being used in the quartet. The current studio set of guitars consists of guitars produced between 1945 and 2013 by American, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers.

This work will be initially activated as part of a durational performance by Morley on the night of the opening. During this performance the quartet of guitars produces its a signature voice, with the many resonating peculiarities foregrounded along with their sonic sympathies to microtonal electronics or the sine-wave oscillations from early synthesiser compositions and recordings. Remaining in one place allows for the shifting time signatures of the different vibrating strings to wash around the listener. By moving about the space during the performance, listeners may experiencing the work as a multi-channel programme.

During the performance audience members are encouraged to record sections of the performance and play these sections back as loops on mobile devices so as to contribute to the composition in real-time, participating in a spontaneous improvisational work which extends the possibilities of the compositional form to include the composer, performer and the audience.



Opens: Friday 7 June, 5.30pm (w. refreshments from Liberty Breweries)
With performance by Michael Morley
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12.00pm – 4.00pm.
Closes: Saturday 28 June, 4.00pm

Special event: Saturday 8 June, 8pm
Audio Foundation presents: Gate, Thistle Group, Astrolabe