candlesnuffer aka david brown

... distortion as a discrete texture ...

Dr David Brown

(b. 1956, Melbourne, Aust.) has been involved in the Melbourne avant-garde, art rock/punk rock scene since the mid-seventies with such groups as "False Start", "Signals" and "Dumb and the Ugly". The first two of these groups began from associations made around the time he was completing a diploma of fine arts in the mid-1970s.

Subsequent projects include punk jazz band "bucketrider", "lazy" an improvising duo with percussionist Sean Baxter, improv/sound art group "Western Grey" with Baxter and Philip Samartzis, psychedelic electronic group "Terminal Hz" with KK Null from Japan, prepared improvisational group "Pateras/Baxter/Brown, electric free jazz group "Embers", the duo "culture of un" with Sydney pianist Chris Abrahams, the prepared instrument duo "Hakea" with saxophonist Rosalind Hall, the duo "Helium Clench" with Melbourne guitarist and microtonal instrument builder Tim Catlin as well as more occasional groups "The Greg Kingston Big Band" and "The Crowded Foxhole", the latter with son Louis Peake. The focus of the solo project "candlesnuffer" has increasingly centred on the development of composing techniques which meld opposing streams like conventional electro-acoustic methods with noise and rock and also the development of a vocabulary of tiny acoustic sounds enlarged outside their normal context for performance and composition.

In all these projects Brown has continued to develop a vocabulary that runs the gamut from rock bassist through experimental guitarist to sound artist. In addition, his activities as a solo improviser and composer have been consolidated by a return to education, with the aim to research the relationship between digital recording technology and improvisatory techniques, concluding in an M.A. completed at RMIT in 2001. Following this Brown undertook a PhD research project at RMIT University investigating the use and benefits of electroacoustique compositions and field recordings within a hospital Emergency Department. This doctorate was completed in late 2012 and a book providing an overview of the project was subsequently published in 2013.

David Brown has performed regularly at the What Is Music? Festival since 1996, the Melbourne and Wangaratta Jazz festivals, the Articulating Space festival, the Nownow Festival in Sydney, Liquid Architecture Festival plus featured performances at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2002, the Podewil Centre in Berlin in 2003 and extensive tours of numerous European cities with Pateras/Baxter/Brown in October 2004, November 2006 and May 2007. In October/November 2008 Pateras/Baxter/Brown again toured Europe, this time performances in France and Switzerland were undertaken with their compatriots 'The Necks.' In February 2011 Terminal Hz toured Europe.

In 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively Brown made contributions to the soundtracks of the motion pictures 'Wolf Creek', 'Rogue' and 'The Square' composed by Franc Tetaz. Brown has also contributed performances and live accompaniment to the soundtrack 'Au Revalateur', composed by Philip Brophy.


Read a profile of Dave [from Cyclic Defrost issue 12, 2005]

Summary of Band Involvements

False Start: bass guitar, guitar. With David Tolley: synthesizer, Dure Dara: percussion, James Clayden: voice/film.

1978 - 83
Signals: bass guitar, guitar, organ, percussion. With David Wadelton: bass guitar, guitar, organ, percussion, violin, voice, Chris Knowles: organ, percussion, synthesizer, Philip Thompson: drums, percussion.

Skeleton: bass guitar. With Jamie Fielding: keyboards, synthesizer, Philip Thompson: drums.

1983 - 85
Mulch: bass guitar. With Mark Ewenson: drums, Tom Fielding: tenor saxophone.

1985 - 87
Ultratune: bass guitar. With Robert Corbett: guitar, Terry McDermott: alto saxophone.

1987 - 93
Dumb and the Ugly: bass guitar, guitar. With John Murphy: drums, synthesizer, Michael Sheridan: guitar.

1992 - present
bucketrider: bass guitar, microtonal bass guitar, guitar. With Sean Baxter: drums, percussion, voice, Tim O’Dwyer: alto/bass saxophones, bass clarinet, shawm, Adam Simmons: soprano/tenor/baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, James Wilkinson: trombone, euphonium. Earlier lineups included: Fergus Armstrong: guitar, Greg Hinchcliffe: bass guitar, Rob Lee: guitar, Chris Lewis: drums, Bill McDonald: bass guitar.

1995 - present
Lazy: guitar, mini-discs, CDs, voice. With Sean Baxter: drums, percussion, CDs, voice.

1996 - present
Terminal Hz: guitar, processing. With KK Null: guitar, processing, Sean Baxter: drums, percussion.

1996 - present
The Crowded Foxhole: bass guitar, voice. With Louis Peake: drums, percussion, voice, conducting, Sean Baxter: drums, voice, Tim O’Dwyer: alto saxophone, bass clarinet.

1998 - 2000
Dreamland Happy Times For All: guitar, voice. With Robin Schmidt: synthesizer, CDs, Anna Womersley: bass guitar.

2001 - present
Western Grey: electroacoustic guitar. With Philip Samartzis: CDs, synthsizers, Sean Baxter: drums, percussion, junk.

2002 - present
Pateras/Baxter/Brown: prepared guitar. With Anthony Pateras: prepared piano,
Sean Baxter: drums, percussion, junk.

Witches: acoustic bass guitar, microtonal electric bass. With Tim O’Dwyer: saxophones,
bass clarinet, Darrin Moore: drums.

2003 - present
Morpho: acoustic instruments, electric bass, electric guitar,samples,treatments, re-structuring and production. With David Wadelton: guitar, theremin, synth, vocal, samples, field recordings and structure.

2005 - present
Embers: microtonal electric bass. With Sean Baxter: drums, Adam Simmons: saxophones, Kris Wanders: Tenor saxophone.

2009 - present
Helium Clench: bandoura, bass guitar, bowed acoustic guitar, bowed objects, semi-acoustic guitar, child's tenor guitar, chord organ, electric guitar, ukelin, guitar pedals, lawn bowls, mandolin, percussion, prepared acoustic guitar and rainstick (dog-trainer), with Tim Catlin: acoustic guitar, bowed acoustic guitar, bowed electric guitar, bowed objects, electric guitar, fretless electric guitar, guitar pedals, percussion and prepared acoustic guitar.

2011 - present
Hakea: prepared guitar and small amplifiers, with Rosalind Hall: prepared saxophone, microphones and small amplifiers.