Initially a turntablist, Lucas Abela’s work rarely resembled anything in the field, early feats saw him stab vinyl with Kruger style stylus gloves, bound on electro-acoustic trampolines, dragrace the pope across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, perform deaf defying duet duels with amplified samurai swords, hospitalised by high powered turntables constructed from sewing machine motors. Today these turntable roots have become almost unrecognisable, evolving into his infamous glass act (the shards to him being nothing more than a giant diamond tipped stylus vibrated vocally). After a long performance career these ideas have morphed into participatory sound installations, or more accurately large-scale instruments devised to switch roles between audience & performer.
I build large-scale stochastic instruments devised to switch roles between audience and performer in line with my philosophy that experimental music is more rewarding to play than observe. These participatory creations employ situational aesthetics to lure people into inadvertently performing them by providing fun, tangible experiences. For instance, Vinyl Rally, used the language of video arcades to ease audiences into interacting with the work, the familiar format providing an access point. Similarly, my pinball / instrument hybrids appropriated the format to the same effect, tapping into an affinity people have with these much loved amusements. Using similar methodology, I’m currently exploring the potential of turning playground equipment into electronic musical instruments to provide sonic play experiences for children. My goal being to introduce children to the game of electronic music making, by giving them access to the associated toys.