In Te Tuhi’s Speaker Space, Auckland artist Richard Francis presents a new 4-channel feedback noise work titled Rough Music. Recorded at extremely high volumes, each channel is played back quietly while looping in different phases, creating a subtly changeable space at the threshold to the building.
Francis’ Rough Music takes its cue from an old folk custom of the same name. Prevalent in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries "rough music" was a form of popular justice, in which communities would humiliate and punish those who had violated common community law by gathering together outside the suspect’s house to bang on pots and pans, shaming them with raucous noise. Francis shifts this logic by using a form and location that could perform an updated version of the folk tradition, but instead enhances the listening experience. By reducing the volume Francis emphasises the delicate textures and rhythms within sounds that might otherwise arouse feelings of conflict and anxiety.