Tim Humphrey and Madeleine Flynn – Five Short Blasts

5 Short Blasts is an encounter with a city on the water for a flotilla of boats and radio broadcast.

In international maritime language the sound signal of five short blasts means “I am not sure of your intentions and am concerned we are going to collide”. Vessels use the audible signal of five short blasts to communicate this alarm, using a horn, a whistle, or whatever is to hand. 5 Short Blasts is inspired and deeply informed by this maritime expression of uncertainty, drawing attention to the shared act of navigating the unknown.

The journey in ten small rowboats proceeds across the current to the lock; drifting down past the shooting island; across the top of the cascade; and, lingering under the bridge arch. Our small fleet quietly turns our ears toward the incidental and inter-dependent orchestration of weather, water, people and boats. The work literally navigates through a series of overlapping spheres of activity, signalled with a composed radio broadcast that inexplicably and ambiguously blends with the ambient soundscape.

It is a choreography of overlapping activities and an orchestration of all kinds of sound signals and voices associated with the water, with its intersection of industry, community and recreation. Each stage orchestrates and contextualises collected sounds and speech, from the Czech Republic, framed by original texts by Pavel Brycz.

Visit the Five Short Blasts website


Creators: Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey

Text: Tony Birch and Pavel Brycz

Production Assistance and Recordist: Amálie Bulandrová

Production Support: Bindi Green

Design: Letterbox, Australia

Thanks especially to the students, residents and other communities associated with the Vltava River, and to the Australian PQ Curator, Anna Tregloan.

Originally created with the local water communities in the Port of Melbourne and the lower Yarra River, Melbourne Australia, 5 Short Blasts is a form that continues our aim to present experimental in situ works that focus on contested narratives of place, realised in composed sound works. Original presentation partners City of Melbourne, and the Port of Melbourne. Supported by Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria.

For more info or to contact the producers about touring contact contact@madeleineandtim.net

About Madeleine and Tim

Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey are Australian audio artists who work with the human experience of listening, their collaborations intersecting with industry, communities and sites across public art, film, radio, theatre, dance and installation.

Madeleine and Tim’s works are commissioned and presented nationally and internationally, recognised recently with the the 2014 Green Room Award for Hybrid/Alternative work, the APRA-AMC National Award for Excellence in Experimental Music and the Melbourne International Arts Festival Award. Tim has a Phd in Music from Monash University, and Madeleine is completing her Phd in music at the University of Melbourne.

Visit the Madeleine and Tim homepage
Visit the Megaphone Project homepage