The Substation/
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The Substation/ MESS/​ Sonorous VII/

Photography by Yunis and Kristoffer Paulsen.
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport, Victoria 3015, Australia
29 July 2023
Sat 6–8pm
Sat 9–11pm
Substation Program/​Music/​Performance

The Substation is an accessible venue.


$35 General Admission
$25 Concession
$25 MESS Members
$25 Hobsons Bay Residents
$20 First Nations

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Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) returns to The Substation with the seventh edition of Sonorous - a series of octophonic, commissioned concerts.

Once again, two extraordinary artists have been invited into the MESS Studio to engage with MESS’s vast collection of instruments. Each artist has worked their sonic harvests into beautiful, multi-channel compositions. Sonorous VII presents new works by two favourites of the MESS community: Jonnine Nokes and Katerina Stathis.

Jonnine’s composition, titled 11 years, 1 month, is a reflection on life after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2012. 11 years, 1 month steps back to view this period as a whole, recounting the traumas and joys of the time since diagnosis, with a memory plagued by holes and inconsistencies. They have spent years trying to fill the gaps, and this composition is a part of that process. 11 years, 1 month was composed entirely at MESS using a collection of modular synthesisers and a prerecorded component is presented in octophonic sound. This will be responded to in live performance on a hybrid analogue/digital eurorack modular synthesiser, in quadraphonic sound.

Katerina’s work is Opus MESS. She posits that the desire to connect to the workings of our inner selves through the senses is undeniable. Using sound, we can build such a connection through the process of absorbing and emitting vibrational energies. The result is a visceral, often beautiful, sometimes confrontational but cathartic experience. Opus MESS delves into these depths of expression – led by spontaneity and impulse. It guides the audience through intimate and fleeting moments that unconsciously intersect with present thoughts. Previously concealed tensions are unravelled, liberating listeners from the realities of societal expectations, so they may fully immerse in reflections and dreams of visions more beautiful.

Pull up a bean bag and get lost in these pieces, in the limitless world of electronic sound.


Jonnine Nokes

Katerina Stathis


This event contains sudden and sustained loud noises and will be presented in low lighting.

Filming and photography will take place during performances and personal photography/videography is not permitted.

The seating provided for this performance will be bean bags on the floor. There will be some standard seats provided.

The event is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral accessible toilets are available.


Presented by The Substation and MESS.

MESS Commissions 2023 are supported by the Besen Family Foundation.

MESS and its programs and projects are supported by:

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Sonorous VI
Sonorous VI
8 October 2022
Info Expand

MESS is back at The Substation with the sixth iteration of their Sonorous multi-channel commissions. In this concert, MESS features two extraordinary artists who have both developed and refined unique sonic palettes across decades of dedication to their respective crafts.

Camilla Hannan’s active listening practice tunes her into the sonic universe wherever she finds herself. A sonic cormorant, she collects and reconfigures the world in sound.

Warren Burt is knitted into the very fabric of Australian experimental and electronic music. His arrival in 1975 to be part of the first teaching cohort at the newly minted La Trobe University Music Department was a seismic event in the development of the form in this country.


Camilla Hannan is an Australian sound artist who works primarily with field recordings. She processes these recordings into abstract representations of place and experience. She investigates the construction of urban and natural environments sonically, and spatially, morphing these elements into new sound worlds. Camilla’s work is centred on a deep fascination with the way in which we listen to our environment and how this listening impacts upon our micro and macro worlds.

For Sonorous VI, Camilla will conjure a sonic world, one in which we inhabit both individually and collectively – a reflection of this place in time and the soundtrack to our internal manifestos.


Warren Burt was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1949.  He was raised in northern New York State and studied at the State University of New York at Albany from 1967-71 (with Joel Chadabe) and at the University of California, San Diego from 1971-75 (with Kenneth Gaburo and Robert Erickson). He moved to Australia in 1975 and was involved in setting up the Music Department at La Trobe University from 1975 to 1981. He is a composer, performer, writer, instrument builder, video artist and more. Among recent performances was Darshan with a Pelican, an 8 channel acousmatic composition, which was performed at the GRM Paris concert series.

Warren's new work for MESS will be an 8-channel live mix using many different sound sources and tuning systems. The use of chaotic equations as both sound and pattern sources will be part of the piece. He hopes to, in the words of his friend Dary John Mizelle, pile pattern on pattern until chaos results.


The seating provided for this performance will be bean bags on the floor. There will be some standard seats provided.


Filming and photography will take place during performances and personal photography/videography is not permitted.

View program
Sonorous V
16 July 2022
Info Expand

MESS is back at The Substation with the fifth edition of the Sonorous octophonic commissions concerts. Once again, MESS presents two extraordinary artists who have been invited into the MESS Studio to engage with the incredible MESS collection of instruments and work their sonic harvests into beautiful multi-channel compositions.

For this iteration, MESS is thrilled to present eves (aka Edwina Stevens), an amazing artist and researcher exploring space and the possibilities of conversation and improvisation as de-colonial practice. Their new work, Sounds of thin places, is an expansive, drone-based work taking the listener on a liminal journey, blending environmental recordings with synthesised response – resonating, reverberating and echoing a subconscious place between immediate realities and a sense of timeless, slow wanderings in shifting semi-industrial zones.

Sounds of thin places explores multiple instruments and the "anomalies and interruptions in old circuits, where the machine appears to break through and speak for itself" from the MESS collection, including the Yamaha CS-80, Steiner Parker, ARP 2600, Roland 100M system, Synthi VC3 mkII and Ondes Musicales to create intense drones, crackling signals, wavering harmonics and emerging melodies. Within the octophonic sound system, tones and textures overlap and intersect, slowly morphing and oscillating to create an immersive, cinematic listening experience, along with a performative element engaging with the wavering, noise-drone characteristics of the EMS VCS3 Putney and Synthi MKII.

Alongside this new work, MESS will be moving the iconic Serge Paperface synthesiser into the venue where the incredible Benjamin Carey will share the fruits of two residencies with the machine blending recordings with live performance. An immersive articulation of the sonic possibilities of this colossal instrument, the performance is a live rendering of a forthcoming release Metastability (Hospital Hill, 2022).


eves is the solo project of Edwina Stevens, an audiovisual artist and researcher based in Naarm listening and making on unceded Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung land. eves works in improvisation and the incidental, considering temporal, material and experiential connections through wanderings, chance encounters, tangential processes and unanticipated outcomes via environmental sound, responsive synthesis and found acoustic possibilities. eves has recently released an album on local label Music Company titled Looking for Glass (2020).


Benjamin Carey is a Sydney-based composer, improviser and educator. He makes electronic music using the modular synthesiser, develops interactive music software and creates audio-visual works.

Ben’s research and practice is concerned with musical interactivity, generativity and the delicate dance between human and machine agencies in composition and performance.

Ben has released several albums, including Hypertelic (2021) and ANTIMATTER (2019), and has collaborated with a variety of artists including JACK Quartet, Sydney Chamber Opera, ELISION ensemble and others. His work has been performed internationally at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music (UK), IRCAM Live at La Gaiteì Lyrique (France) and elsewhere.

Ben is a Lecturer in Composition and Music Technology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. In recognition of his research, Ben was recently awarded the University's SOAR Prize for 2022/23.


Filming and photography will take place during performances.


The seating provided for this performance will be bean bags on the floor.

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1 Market Street, Newport,
Victoria 3015, Australia

Currently closed
Wed–Sat 11am–5pm

We acknowledge and recognise the Ancestors, Elders and families of the Yalukit-willam of the Kulin Nation, who are the traditional custodians of the land that The Substation is on. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.

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