words by alyssa yang
It’s a wet and gloomy Sunday afternoon and I’ve managed to find myself sitting on the floor inside what appears to be a converted warehouse in the inner-west, a place completely out of my element as a Western Sydney live-at-home hoodlum. Megan Alice Clune is in front of me, almost seeming as if she were weaving music out of thin air. A plane occasionally flies past her shoulder through the double-glazed windows and can be heard softly through the music. It doesn’t distract though- no. It oddly adds to the ambience of the composition. Megan Alice Clune’s iridescent sounds merge with the room and become one: this is ambient music. She tenuously vocalises into the mic and creates another whispery, almost unearthly layer to the room, invigorating each and every person here. I look around and see people sprawled over the cushioned floor and chairs with their eyes closed, ingesting the composition as it comes. Not a single ounce of tension can be felt.
I too, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. It’s something I haven’t done in a long time. As time passes, Megan’s music slowly fades out and I’m drawn back to reality. So is everyone else. We applaud and a vibrant chatter ensues along with the occasional cracking of a beer can and clink of a glass. They’re selling beer and wine for five dollars and cocktails for seven on a kitchen island. It’s something I find a little odd, but it’s a reminder of the DIY element to this.
Whilst Megan packs up, a friend of mine and I saunter over and tell her how much we enjoyed her performance.
“It makes me want to take off my clothes and lie about naked” my friend exclaims.
“That’s what I was going for!” She laughs.
I make conversation with people whilst the next artist, Steam Vent, sets up. The chatter calmly dies down in anticipation. A sound recording of water fills the room and soon a moony electric guitar accompanies the atmosphere. This time I’m lounged on the couch. It’s cozy. More muted planes lazily fly over and through the dusky clouds, past the window. By and by, my eyes droop down and I try to visualise each flicker of a note I hear.
If this were in any other context, it wouldn’t be a good thing. But this time it’s different. I’m drifting in and out of consciousness on a haze of swirling, pensive music. And it’s beautiful. It’s ruminating inside my head.
When I wake, Steam Vent’s music is just finishing up. The guitar loops slowly die out and abandon the sound of water. It’s over.
Tim Coster’s next. They sit cross legged across from the crowd, their setup perched on a coffee table and begin playing.It’s dark now and the lights are on low. The shadows of plants and their leaves loom behind him. His sound is different from the other artists; its clean. Synthy. Electronic. Coster creates a utopia of long sharp notes and harmonies through his setup, turning knobs and dials here and there and sips on his beer. It seems so casual, but it’s all remarkably enchanting to watch. Tim Coster’s music sounds like freshly washed linen and the sunlight that filters through tree leaves. Coster originally hails from New Zealand and now resides in Melbourne. (You can now buy his entire digital discography for a discount for $19.50 on Bandcamp.)
It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’ve managed to exist in such an otherworldly place. It’s isolated from the rest of the world for now, and it’s the perfect way to spend a wintery, wet and cold Sunday afternoon. As for seeing myself sleeping for the first time? It was facetious and now I have another video to add to my memorial archives. Thank you to whoever did that. It really did open my eyes (no pun intended).
Check out the artists mentioned:
Megan Alice Clune: https://meganaliceclune.bandcamp.com/
Steam Vent: https://chemical-imbalance.bandcamp.com/album/steam-vent-take-it-easy-lp
Tim Coster: https://timcoster.bandcamp.com