Fertile Methodologies

The music between chaos and control

Nic Cassey (AU), Josh Harle (AU)

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Riffing on discussions around improvised performance, musician Nic Cassey worked with Tactical Space Lab to create a generative ‘instrument’ in VR, both played by and in collaboration with the VR participant. Combining elements of a mandala-inspired, hand-drawn style with a unique system for creating generative music, the work explored the tension at play between chaos (change) and order (the static) at play in improv music and other generative systems, manifested as the tension between harmony and dissonance, progression and development of the music. The participants share this world with a cast of adorable animal musicians, who push the music according to their own agency.


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Project Credits / Acknowledgements

Tactical Space Lab has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The 2020 Virtual Reality Studios are supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. Documentation produced in partnership with Officedog Productions.


Nick Cassey (AU) is an Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Sydney. Apart from his solo releases, and various collaborations, he is an Improvised music student at the University Of Sydney and embarking on building a Tiny house. A unique voice in the folk and indie scene, Nick has collaborated with a broad scope of projects and artists. He recently performed for the ‘The Lumiphonic Creature Choir’ and took part in the prestigious Music Village in Aghios Lavrentios, Greece working with the 2012 Buma Toonzetters Prize winner Andys Skordis.