Alastair Galbraith

Work: Sonic Rods
Bio: Alastair Galbraith employs amongst his instruments, violin, bagpipes, softly spoken lyrics, organ, and backwards-guitar to create what has been described as “otherworldly” and an “unerringly emotional” sound. Noted American critic Byron Coley has said “his work is filled with beautiful darkness, worthy of classic designation”. His long, consistent career began in the early 1980s, as leader of The Rip, who recorded two EPs for Flying Nun. He later joined other prominent South Island musicians Peter Jefferies, David Mitchell and Robbie Muir to form Plagal Grind, whose self-titled EP is regarded as a masterpiece of extra-academic experimental music. Alastair’s solo work has gained a growing international reputation and is known as a benchmark of excellence for the independent, idiosyncratic mode it operates in. His works have been heralded in critical journals and documented by recordings on prestigious American labels. In his recent work, alongside solo recordings, Alastair collaborates with Bruce Russell in the improvisational group, A Handful of Dust, and with Matt De Gennaro, with whom he creates distinctive ‘wire music’, using piano wires in a site-specific installation. Alastair received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2006.

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