Learning American sign language has been a long time goal of mine, at the age of 33, being femme yet butch in Vancouver has left me with a desire to communicate on a few different levels.
My sound art/new music practice over the last 13 years has been ever in flux, cycling through techniques and equipment with a primary focus on analog vintage instruments in an attempt to make techno by unconventional means in a live setting.
I also create installation art with a focus on sonic elements. A recent project completed is a collection of assemblages made of antique spinning wheels, each coupled with a different traditional instrument that is played by pumping the treadle of the spinning wheel, creating drones that cycle and phase amongst each other. This has evolved to a second phase where I will be adding a rocking chair to the mix which will utilize the motion of rocking to power a flywheel and dynamo that generate energy enough to read a magnetic recording tape head (from a reel to reel) that will read the information on a tape loop around the spinning wheel. Traditionally these two tools or machines, the spinning wheel and rocking chair are found being used together in a synchronous cycling pattern. I hope to capture that movement as well as generate some interesting loops.
More recently I’ve been getting into Recording and Production of tracks for physical releases and music video/short films.
Lately I’ve been focused on no-input mixers with a collection of vintage analog console mixers that I’ve feedback routed each within itself creating exciting tones and textures that can be played in various ways, not unlike a modular. Each mixer has a different voice or timbre and when they are put together create a palette I then side chain with a steady kick from one of three vintage analog drum machines (designed to work with electric church organs originally). The other two drum machines offer a variety of kitschy percussive sounds that aren’t quite synched but when set in such a way cycle through cycles of patterns and intertwine in a lovely way slightly going off course then righting itself. I also use a paia 4700 vintage analog modular hand built by my friends uncle, an engineer, in the 70’s which means it is built to last and has seen spills, kicks and bonks, has been opened up and once was stolen even (I stole it back, ha). The paia has a unique sound that really shines with its spring reverb and is capable of rich warm low frequencies I love to interplay and phase.
Under the label House of Gold, I rework vintage to antique fur coats and genuine antique clothing and materials to create elaborate yet functional bespoke couture peices. I enjoy learning about the past in regards to industry and modes of production that apply to the various antique 100 plus year old materials I work with and can physically touch and manipulate. Through this tactile experience and with research I gather a sense of how fashion has shaped our environment (it’s the second worst polluter on the planet with oil/coal as #1) and lend discourse on how perhaps older techniques and materials can be brought back from the depths of time and utilized once more with modern technology.Hemp for example I am very passionate about as it was the #1 industry before oil came around and provided many useful alternatives to our oil saturated lives. Hemp when grown replenishes soil leaving it better than before and grows quickly and abundantly with less water than cotton or other fibres. Once prohibition ends and we can finally access and grow this currently restricted resource, the possibilities are bright and endless. I hope to have a hemp garden in the future I can harvest and process into fibres to then weave my own textiles out of with a tabletop computer controlled loom.
House of Gold has been hosting events since the beginning of my practice in 2004 in order to gain some exposure and experience in the beginning as well as highlight local and international talent offering safe space for creative electronic expression. Finding venues with which to do so has become difficult in more recent years resulting in a string of House parties with some amazing talent, both newer and established. Drone, techno, experimental electro acoustic New music, noise, as long as you’re enthusiastic and want to play a gig, regardless of age, gender expression or ability there may be a time slot for whoever would like to play. Generally I curate but occasionally I call out for artists to come flex and have fun in a safe supportive and respectful place.
The use of vintage electronic equipment and antique clothing comes from a desire to use what already exists to create something new and exciting, in effect recycling. if I can make something that would otherwise languish useful or interesting again, I’m happy. This opens up opportunities to have conversations on interconnected topics such as sustainability, our drive for and acquisition of newer resources, oil, the Military industrial complex, colonialism, conflict minerals, the war on drugs and more. Basically the environment and our future, how the past might inform our modes of production and interconnection with the earth. The modern sound ties that together with my nostalgia for the future. I believe in technology and our capacity to advance and share information. Something that comes to mind when pondering my practice is the burgeoning community of transhumanists hacking their bodies to become more aware through technological advancement. Altering their physical selves and senses to draw us closer to the singularity, doing it sometimes illegally and underground. The future may not be on this planet or in these bodies. Wrestling with these conflicting feels for the sustainability of this planet and excitement for wherever we end up as a species finds me doing what I can to promote the idea that we can save this dying planet and see technology continue to evolve or perhaps de-evolve into more organic versions or have compatibility with the awesome power this planet can provide with a shift in thought, towards sustainable technology. The use of senescent things is also a bit of a fetish. I won’t let it get to thepoint of completely restricting myself to exclusively older stuff out of practicality tho. I thrive upon limitations and the struggle to work with and around them that vintage and antique things provide. I’ve always been drawn to design, especially of things in the past. what factors existed then for that design to make sense? how did the evolution of that style of clothing or piece of equipment come to be? There’s also the financial factor where some of the gear has been loaned or gifted and the rest, for example the mixers, are 50$ a pop from Craig’s list, if I Fuck one up or kill a channel with the feedback routing, as much as it breaks my heart, its not a huge financial loss.
r/n__: What’s up next for Sara Gold?
On the shorter timeframe of things my initial vinyl release: Hello, Ocean? is being pressed as I type this and a new tape release through NewBodyAlliance of two new tracks plus remixes by some local techno heavyweights is in production, as well, I will continue live performances with my elaborate vintage analog electronic gear collection. Through VIVO media arts center and other venues I will be instructing and facilitating a workshop series on audio feedback techniques and principals with opportunity to try a large selection of feedback possibilities hands on in small groups.