Danger Music

It’s not noise. I remember Lucas filling a tiny Surry Hills cafe with audience, then, with his colleague, getting out samurai swords connected to amps which would blast when the swords struck, completing the circuit. When the fight began the audience cleared out pretty quick. And there was that one at Schizofringe where they pierced their penises, connected them by wire, and explored the varieties of noise that would come from touching each other’s naked flesh. I’ve never seen a performance more poetic. And the knife instead of the stylus.

One of my fondest memories of those Sydney days is strolling through the streets of Redfern to the scrap metal yard with Lucas discussing Mishima and Tetsuo. I put to him the paradox of gaining pleasure from pain, and he explained the concept of Danger Music. Finally, arriving at the scrap metal yard, the man at the gate said there was a lot of sharp metal around and they had a close-toed shoe policy. Instead of turning away dejected, as I would have done, Lucas explained again, that he was in bare feet not so much because he wanted to cut his feet, he could do that himself at home if he wanted, rather he wanted the possibility of cutting his feet.

The man had no reply, so we went through the gate and watched the mechanical arm working it’s way through the waste metal, girders, rods, sheets, panels, brackets and reinforcements. Some forms in these dunes of steel were still recognisable from their former use, a refrigerator, a front left fender, a filing cabinet, but most was already reduced to an indistinct mass of twisted sheets and wires, pure scrap and nothing more. Most rusted with varied patinas of orange, red and burnt umber, some was freshly scratched, torn and cut, shining, violent in the sun. Lucas confided in me dangers he told no-one else.

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