Dr Mayall and friends dominate festival

Jeremy Mayall Media Arts Music tutor at Wintec

In a Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival first, one performer is involved in five separate events, four of which he is producing.

This is a challenge that Dr Jeremy Mayall is relishing.

Dr Mayall is a composer, researcher and lecturer at the School of Media Arts, Wintec. He works in music, sound art, installation and multimedia formats, with a focus on exploring his fascination with the interrelationships between sound, time, space, the senses, and human experience.

Dr Mayall's five events are Sonic Cocktails, On the Threshold of the Sun, Sonoscopia, Shepherd and the Sunset Symphony.

The festival opened on 7 February with his brainchild, Sonic Cocktails, a collaboration with Alexander Williams of Hamilton's cocktail bar, Wonderhorse.

The audience became part of the artwork as they tasted five different cocktails expertly matched to the music. Reviewer Sam Edwards said it was "perhaps the first genuinely original creation to stimulate the more moribund senses since the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival first drew breath".

On the Threshold of the Sun is a multimedia journey staged in four separate unique, but interconnected events during sunrise and sunset on 10 and 17 February.

Dr Mesmer's Private Army is made up of five multimedia performers lead by Dr Mayall.

Horomona Horo, a taonga puoro expert who studied under Hirini Melbourne, will add to the uniquely New Zealand aspect of this performance.

Another Dr Mayall work is Sonoscopia with local artist Paul Bradley and Orchestras Central, a live performance of music and projected visual art.

During 2017, Dr Mayall composed a score for Shepherd, a Waikato-produced feature film directed by former Wintec moving image tutor Julia Reynolds. Shepherd will have its world premiere at the Hamilton Gardens Art Festival on Thursday 15 February as part of the film series sponsored by Wintec.

At the festival screening in the Chinoiserie Garden, he will conduct a live string quartet that will accompany the film.

On the same night the two-person production The Last Five Years features musical direction from Wintec Media Arts tutor Nick Braae.

The festival closes with Dr Mayall on Sunday 18 February as he takes on the role of MC for the Sunset Symphony on the Rhododendron Lawn. Described as the must-do event of the year, as the sun goes down, orchestral music from Game of Thrones to the Great Gates of Kiev will be choreographed to fireworks.

With five events, seven venues and eight performances over 12 days, the organisers say they are thrilled to have a world-class performer who has committed to such a phenomenal level of involvement in the 2018 Festival.

Related story Wintec makes its mark on the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking award
Find out more about studying music, moving image and art at Wintec here.
Get further information on the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival here.