parasite //

Album label: 
Release date: 
Recording location: 
Tempe Jets
Recording date: 
Sunday, April 1, 2018
To Jim Denley, Romy Caen, Laura Altman, Bonnie Stewart, Peter Farrar and Ida Lawrence.
Artwork design: 
Ida Lawrence
Mastering engineer: 
Jim Denley
Recording engineer: 
Rhys Mottley
  • 1. gut feeling (29:41)
  • 2. throat feeling (07:06)
  • 3. ear feeling (12:24)

Rhys Mottley - prepared guitar

Rhys Mottley crouches above his acoustic guitar bowing, scraping and plucking with numerous and disparate objects to mute, distort, activate and stop.
The body of the instrument is riddled with parasitic attachments such as street sweeper needles, bottle caps, blu tack, drill bits, chopsticks and brackets collected by the artist’s creative eye in day to day life. There are no electrical devices, just gesture exciting objects and strings.

The resulting sounds are informed and partly determined by movement - his body wriggles and reforms around the guitar, examining it from multiple angles. The rhythms created by this gestural dance are complex and unpredictable but the harmolodics remain static - there’s no shredding here, despite his history as a metal guitarist.
While these gestural techniques are innovative, it’s his unique focus on the three pieces Gut Feeling, Throat Feeling and Ear Feeling that we at Splitrec find so compelling. With mics close on either side, every detail of the resonating guitar and distant traffic, trucks, cars and planes of Tempe Jets and surrounds are revealed and listened to with forensic patience.

The choice of location is important. The abandoned sports club in Sydney’s South is home to a community of improvisers including the Splinter Orchestra and the Prophets with which Rhys is deeply involved. Through rich time spent there he has developed an understanding of its sounds, its feelings and its life.
Despite the performative immediacy there is something deeply unhurried in his listening and playing that makes the three pieces resemble installation works. It’s as if he is finding material in the chaos of each new tuning and set up, and is as excited by the results as anyone else.

In Parasite Rhys Mottley expertly adapts and exploits his host instrument for its sonic resources, or perhaps it is his guitar which has insinuated itself into his body to feed on his imagination, spirit, creativity and to utilise his motoric dexterity.