180o is a new group formed in August 2018 - Nick Ashwood acoustic guitar, Jim Denley bass flute, and Amanda Stewart voice and text.
Amanda and Jim first met in the late 1980s founding Machine for Making Sense in 1989, as well as performing numerous duos over the years — a long and fruitful association. They’ve always been interested in what their music instinct can learn from language and vice versa.
Nick is from the southern tip of Tasmania. Jim and Nick have been developing a strong association together the last 3 years, despite the distance from Hobart to Sydney, mainly listening, playing and recording in outdoor spaces.
Nick Ashwood. Using a diversity of tuning systems and ranging from unique, tonal, geometric clusters to limitless fields of noise, percussive and timbral strategies, Nick extends the guitar and the way we experience it into new modes of being.
Jim Denley's approach to the bass flute reimagines the instrument, sometimes pushing it over an octave below its normal range, sometimes incorporating and abstracting approaches from his research into historical traditions from Pacific, Japanese and European trajectories. He also uses the full 180 degrees of the stereo spectrum to create new forms of listening.
Amanda Stewart is one of the few contemporary vocalists who is also a writer. Her unique approach draws on her own poetry and texts, abstracted 'extended language' techniques, philosophical and linguistic research as well as a diversity of experimental, extended vocal techniques ranging from tonal to noise-based strategies. Her use of live stereo creates a split voice, a split subject, where the full potentials of the voice are released into sculptural abstraction.
180o has been working on a set of studio recordings, that have become this release, Submental. The word refers to anatomy beneath the chin, mentum - Latin for chin. There are a number of triangular spaces and muscles in the human neck.