Stanier Black-Five

Stanier Black-Five (Jo Burzynska) is a Christchurch-based sound artist and writer. She has been involved with experimental music and sound art in the United Kingdom, Europe and New Zealand and is also a well known wine writer.

She describes her audio work as largely based on the manipulation of her own environmental recordings, as well as found sounds, which she uses to create dense soundscapes that use sources such as mesmerising aircraft drones to the pounding rhythms of trains and more recently the sounds of the earthquakes that have shaken her city.

International and local performances

She has played at New Zealand events including Lines of Flight and the Taupo Erupt Festival where she exhibited Oenomatopoeia, an installation created using sounds connected with wine. It was then installed at the Pegasus Bay winery where most of the recordings for it were made. Stanier Black-Five has performed alongside international artists such as Chris Watson and Daniel Menche and has presented her work at the London Musicians Collective’s annual festival of experimental music.

Other experimental sound art

Stanier Black-Five releases on her own Argot label. She was one of the artists featured on The Wire magazine’s 2009 compilation, Dirt Beneath the Daydream and is a contributor to the Touch label’s Touch Radio. She has contributed to journals such as the United Kingdom’s Noisegate magazine and Berlin’s Datacide, as well as here on the Audio Foundation website.

Her radio work includes experimental shows on the United Kingdom’s Resonance FM, Christchurch’s RDU and Volcano Radio in Lyttelton. The latter is the electromagnetic arm of the Borderline Ballroom, a collective of which Stanier Black-Five is a founding member, which aims to provide a platform in Christchurch for performers working on the peripheries of music and sound.

Earthquake sound

Working with Melbourne sound artist Malcolm Riddich she has created a work called Body Waves which features recordings of the first hour of aftershocks on 22 February 2011. The piece was performed at the Sound Spectrum Festival in Perth in May 2012 and will also feature in the International Computer Music symposium in Slovenia in September 2012.

Wine writing

As Jo Burzynska she is a respected wine journalist, writing one of the country’s most widely read columns in the New Zealand Herald, as well as writing for The Press and wine publications worldwide.

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