Timothy Fairless performing live in 2021. Photograph by Unregistered Master Builder.
RECENT: April 2021

What Matters

One interesting thing about living is that you have a life to reflect upon. It’s a constant dialog between who we are now, and who we were. Sometimes something happens (like a f**king pandemic) that gives us pause to really dig into this conversation. I did that, and let the audience in on it via a new performance piece that sets archival audio & video against made-in-the-moment piano and synthesizer.

Photograph by Unregistered Master Builder

Still photograph by William Yang depicting steep mountains in China. This image was used in his performance of 'In Search of Home' in 2021.
Recent: March 2021

William Yang's In Search of Home

William Yang's 2021 survey show at QAGOMA incorporated a newly commissioned performance. For this show, "In Search of Home", I composed music to help tell William's stories of heritage, family, coming out, and attachments to landscape.

Photograph by William Yang

Timothy Fairless & Mark du Potiers (MSTR) Revirginate Exhibition install photograph by Thomas Oliver.
Recent: January 2021

Revirginate

After living in Hong Kong with my partner and returning to Australia in early 2020, the two of us (as the contraction MSTR) made new artworks in consideration of our experiences abroad. At this collaborative exhbition we showed longform audio/video pieces, free-standing videotape monoliths, object & twine installation, and print.

Photograph by Thomas Oliver

Solo Music

Common Electric Glare

2021

An album about diversion and distraction. Shedding reliance on familiar instrumentation, Common Electric Glare champions abstraction of tone & texture.

Cover art by Timothy Fairless

Headwind

2020

Experiments in deep sampling of acoustic instruments, and adventurous manipulation of archival audio meets electric guitar and polyrhythms.

Cover art by Daniel Mayfield-Smith

POLLEN (KILLAWARRA)

2019

A composition for grand piano and violin maintaining the acoustic aesthetics of both instruments. Slight imperfections retained on the master convey honesty and authenticity.

Cover art by Mark du Potiers

Sum

2019

This final release in a triptych completes a 12 song cycle that includes Measurement (2012), and Plural (2015). Although abrupt and jarring in parts, it illuminates the space around the sound.

Cover art by Christopher Ahern

A Thin Black Line

2018

A Thin Black Line is the soundtrack album for the virtual reality experience of the same name. The score accompanies a charcoal depiction of the true story of a young girl and her family fleeing Darwin before the 1942 bombing.

Cover art by Vernon Ah Kee

Bias

2017

Bias is made of piano and processing. Performed elements were recorded without any 'traditional' playing of the instrument. Instead, the piano was stripped of non-structural outer panels and struck, plucked, and otherwise activated with a range of archaic implements.

Cover art by Mark du Potiers

Plural

2015

Flying birds are processed to become the haunting introduction to Fault Lines. Waves recorded just north of Byron Bay become the rattling, noise-laden foundation of Holograms (Y). Grand piano and violin are nestled amongst unrecognisable sonic mush harvested from Notre Dame on the heart-wrenchingly gorgeous Pollen.

Cover art by Christopher Ahern

Measurement

2014

This debut EP of 4 songs is where you should start. Crushed leaves are stretched to become the entire ambient wash on piano-based Lumen. The knock of a finger against a microphone is transformed into the cacophonous middle passage in Decibel. Electric piano and slide guitar sit amongst a cinematic soundscape made from unrecognisable household objects on Deep North.

Cover art by Christopher Ahern

Video, Performance Art, Sound Installation

CATScan

2021

Experimental performance at the group exhibition, What Matters. The work combined processed pre-recorded vintage audio mined from digital reproductions of video and current audio submitted by audience members, responded to on piano and guitar.

REVIRGINATE

2021

Collaborative exhibition with Mark du Potiers, presented as MSTR. Featured 3 new video art pieces presented as immersive audio visual installations and 2 scultpural works, alongside print work and site specific installation by Mark du Potiers.

NO 4AM PHONE CALL FROM TOKYO

2020

Audiovisual installation first shown on the elevated warehouse screen at the Wide Open exhibition at KEPK Space in Brisbane.

RISING WATER

2019

Multi-channel audio installation as part of the You Can Lead a Horse to Water... exhibition at the Grey Street Gallery in Southbank, Brisbane. Made entirely from a glass of water, the work ran 4 discrete audio channels of differing lengths. Looped, these created an endlessly evolving soundscape.

RECUSE FOR MONO

2018

A generative and responsive sound installation presented at the collaborative exhibition, Don't Drink the Milk with visual artists Emmalyn Hawthorne and Aaron Perkins. Exploring language and communication, Recuse for Mono listened to the gallery space and processed the audio in a multitude of ways before playing the result back into the space.

Film, TV & Theatre Scores, Collaborations & Commissions

In Search of Home

2021

Theatrical score for William Yang's performance of In Search of Home, commissioned by QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art) as part of the major survey show William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen.

ROD & DAVE'S SUMMER PARTY

2020

Soundtrack accompaniment to William Yang's short video Rod & Dave's Summer Party. Presented as part of the major survey show William Yang: Seeing and Being Seen at the Queensland Art Gallery in 2021.

SILENCER

2019

An experimental soundtrack to the short film Silencer. The rhythm of a bouncing ball anchors the score, which features heavily processed noise and aggressive, evolving textures.

A THIN BLACK LINE

2017

Score for the virtual reality experience directed by Douglas Watkin. The work was commissioned by SBS/NITV, produced by VRTOV & Doublewire and premiered at the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Art. The score is made from bowed acoustic guitar, kalimba, felt piano and violin.

CONTINUE TO DRIVE

2014

Commercial for BMW, with an electronic score made from sounds recorded from their cars and transformed into tuned and playable instruments.

BLACK BETTY

2013

Soundtrack to the short film about a single father learning how to step back to let his daughter grow up.

BOUNCER

2013

Soundtrack to the short film set outside a nightclub. The diegetic score drives the action and emotion while using only sub-120Hz frequencies.

THE HOUSEWIFE

2012

A short film about revenge and freedom. The gritty soundtrack holds the tension with hybrid acoustic/electronic elements, scultped noise, and treated foley recordings.

Actor Jamie Dunn in his role in the Short Film 'True Love'. In this image, he's set against a bright blue sky and menacingly points a pistol at the viewer.

TRUE LOVE

2011

Soundtrack to the award-winning short film about a killer seeking redemption when he intervenes in a woman burying her freshly-murdered partner.

Biography

Timothy Fairless is a composer and music-maker exploring the space where found sound and sonic manipulations intersect with familiar acoustics. As a composer, he engages schema-driven, conceptual methods. Timothy’s work is realised as sound installations, recordings, performances, and music for film.

Fairless' formative years were in regional areas. Growing up queer in the 90’s, difference and concealed identity set the foundation for a frame through which sound is interrogated as multi-layered, masked, and can simultaneously be more than one thing. Through experimental music and sound installation he explores themes of position and privilege, identity and isolation.

Solo work is published on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and most other streaming services. Installation work has been exhibited at Webb Gallery. Grey Street Gallery, and KEPK in Meanjin/Brisbane. Timothy’s soundtrack and scores have been exhibited in the Adelaide Biennial of Art, at Queensland Art Gallery’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and appeared on broadcasts for SBS/NITV, in addition to independent release. He has performed live in venues across Brisbane, Hong Kong and at the Art Gallery of SA. As an invited panelist, he has discussed composition for film and virtual reality at the Byron Bay International Film Festival and at the QLD State Library. As a music producer, co-writer & collaborator he has worked with artists of many genres across Australia, and internationally in Hong Kong and Germany.

Timothy lives in Meanjin (Brisbane) with his partner, artist Mark du Potiers and their cat, Carol.

Selected Solo Works & Commissions

Year Description Medium
2021 "No 4AM Phone Call From Tokyo" - Loei Art Festival, Loei Province Thailand Video
Common Electric Glare - Independent Release Solo Album
Drone Festival - KEPK Space, Brisbane Longform Ambient Performance
Henri van Noordenburg's "Still Water" - Side Gallery, Red Hill Longform Ambient Performance
"CAT Scan" - What Matters Exhibition, KEPK Space, Brisbane Audiovisual Performance
William Yang's "In Search of Home" - Queensland Gallery of Modern Art Theatrical Score
William Yang's "Rod & Dave's Summer Party" - Seeing & Being Seen Exhibition, Queensland Art Gallery Soundtrack
"Revirginate" with Mark du Potiers, as MSTR - Webb Gallery South Brisbane Video & Sculpture
2020 "No 4AM Phone Call From Tokyo" - Wide Open Exhibition, KEPK Space Brisbane Video
"Platypus Corridor - Slow Motion Electrolocation" - Andrew Tuttle Remix
"Headwind" - Independent Release Solo EP
"Waves at South Golden Beach" - Field Recordings Podcast Field Recording
2019 "Pollen (Killawarra)" - Independent release Solo EP
"Sum" - Independent release Solo EP
"Rising Water" - You Can Lead a Horse to Water Exhibition, Grey Street Gallery South Brisbane Sound Installation
"Silencer" - Cosmonaut Creative Media Film Score
William Yang's "Gay Sydney: A Memoir" - RMIT Melbourne Victoria Theatrical Score
"Made Today: Sound Composition for Film & Game" - State Library of Queensland Panelist
2018 "The Howling" - Rusted Satellites Dead Air Festival, Triple Zed FM, East Brisbane Performance
"Co-Lab Create VR Symposium" - Byron Bay Film Festival, Byron Bay New South Wales Panelist
"Recuse for Mono" - Don't Drink the Milk Exhibition, Webb Gallery, South Brisbane Sound Installation
"A Thin Black Line" - Adelaide Biennial of Art, Art Gallery of South Australia Performance
2017 "Bias I/II/III" - Independent release Solo EP
"A Thin Black Line" - VRTOV and SBS/NITV Australia VR Score
2016 "Fiona Wirrer George" - Double Wire and SBS/NITV Australia TV Doco Score
2015 "Plural" - Unperceived Records, Berlin, Germany Solo EP
"Deploy Your Senses 2015" - Deploy Your Senses Label, Spain Compilation
"Eclosion" - Duskdarter Label, Brisbane Compilation
2014 "Measurement" - Independent release Solo EP
"Continue to Drive - Music from a BMW" - BMW Australia TV Commercial
2013 "Black Betty" - Creative Carps Film Score
2013 "Bouncer" - Soap & Water Productions Film Score
2012 "The Housewife" - Retroset Films Film Score
2011 "True Love" - QPIX and Ignition Films Film Score
"[Robots] Never Die" - Rat vs. Possum Remix