You are listening to an excerpt from Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc (2016), scroll down to switch it off.
I was born in the tree-laden outer-eastern suburbs of Melbourne in 1985, and spent my early years in the middle of alpine forest in North-East Victoria. I now spend my time as a composer and computer performer. Increasingly my work is stimulated by natural phenomena, the natural sciences, and self-imposed restraints and limitations, always striving for unity between material and form. I am particularly interested in evolutionary biology, physics, and mathematics, and although I am not a scientist, the intersection between music and these disciplines, both philosophically and materially, is a source of endless creative (and intellectual) motivation. I even won an award for composition from the Brain Art Institute in Sydney, for my piece A Glimmer of Foresight.
“Vincent Giles [gives] a new 21st century voice to field recordings … flourishing and melding in a unsettled but vibrant electroacoustic language.”
– Ian Parsons, PBS FM 106.7
While my primary musical interest is in solo and small ensemble writing and electronic music, recent commissions have included two installations in Portland, Victoria developed while composer-in-residence at the Julia St Creative Space and funded by the Victorian State Government via the University of Melbourne. Melbourne Fringe Festival has also commissioned an installation for the Auction Rooms café; what ties these three commissions together? An interest in the sonic world in which they are to exist and the use of microsound – sounds at the edge of human perception (time, frequency, and amplitude) – as part of the core material. My other current work includes being composer-in-residence at the School of Chemistry/Bio 21 Institute, University of Melbourne, creating works influenced or inspired by chemistry, which includes the two works for Melbourne Fringe, a piece for solo baroque violin, a trio for indeterminate instruments, and a structured improvisation for my flute and electronics duo with Alice Bennett.
“Vincent Giles’ Differing Dialogues is another adventure through the wilder sounds that the low flutes bring to the table … [He] paints an amazing landscape exploiting so many of the wondrous extended techniques offered by the instrumentation.”
– Shaun Barlow, flutetutor.com.au
Indeed, the world of microsound is of such interest that I am currently undertaking a doctorate at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) exploring the role microsound plays in our comprehension of “meaning” (with very big scare quotes!) in the sonic arts, particularly as it relates to the transmission of Darwinian replicators – memes – from brain to brain. Microsound has been an important part of my compositional thinking over the last few years, resulting in collaborations and performances in Austria at the Impuls Festival, with the dissonArt Ensemble in Greece, with violinist Elizabeth Welsh here in Melbourne, and in my flexible and collaborative ensemble Giles/x, which has grown out of a previous free-improvisation ensemble with multi-instrumentalist Steve Marton and drummer Malcolm Abbott, called Fracture.
“What is clear is that Giles’ music is often intimately linked to the setting in which it is appreciated: there is an intentional blurring of the distinction between the content of the piece and the ambient noise of the space.”
– Jennifer Hauptman, Buzzcuts
I am one of the Artistic Directors for the Tilde New Music Festival, a yearly one-day festival that provides a platform for experimentation and collaboration in an informal, public setting. I teach composition at the Australian Institute of Music, am represented by the Australian Music Centre, my scores are published by Wirripang for whom I am also on the peer-review panel. I have studied with a bunch of people, but would prefer not to list them here. Outside music, I enjoy cooking and blogging about vegan food, drinking coffee and craft beer (not at the same time), pretending to garden, reading, and being a part-time recluse.