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The Comedy of Errors

The Joy of Box Interview

1 October 08 words: Camillo Hortez
"He combined samples of the creaks and groans of the guitar, the chair he was sitting in-even his own breath with beautiful and haunting melodies"

We asked Jim Boxall (aka The Joy of Box) some questions about his collaboration with Origamibiro..

What are your backgrounds?
Tom Hill
started off as Penfold Plum with his first electronica release Scribbled Infant' (Witchita) in 2001. He then started Wauvenfold (Witchita) with Noel Murphy. They ended up getting spotted by Bjork, remixIing the The Super Furry Animals, playing a John Peel session. Tom wanted to use more live instruments and ended up releasing new material as Origamibiro (a play of the word Penfold), this time a much more organic approach using classical guitars and live sampled textures. His debut album, Cracked Mirrors and Stopped Clocks, was released on Expanding Records in 2007.
Andy Tytherleigh was originally co-founder of live house band Schmoov (Paper Recordings, DIY) and released a series of highly sought after 12's before releasing Schmoov's debut album While You Wait. Schmoov toured around the globe supporting acts like Groove Armada. Andy roots are in jazz, folk and blues and hes a multi instrumentalist: he plays double bass, ukelele, glockenspiel, keyboards and stylophone.
I (The Joy of Box) studied fine art and discovered video at Trent Uni and then moved into live visuals back in 2000. As former half of the Nottingham VJ duo av_dv i was a resident VJ at The Big Chill and London's now defunct Soxan AV collective and have performed with artists like DJ Krush, Hexstatic and Autechre. I also played a John Peel special at the Boat Club and did visuals for The Bays which were broadcast live on Radio One.


Origamo Biro
Andy, Tom and Jim - in front of a Bukowski visual

Can you tell us a little about the collaboration and how it came about?
Tom was looking to promote his new album and I absolutely loved it. He had combined samples of the creaks and groans of the guitar, the chair he was sitting in-even his own breath with beautiful and haunting melodies. We had worked together in the past  and started talking about how to bring all our ideas together for a live show. The important thing was to keep the warmth and intimacy of the album and emphasise the unorthodox methods he was using to create rhythms and loops. I started creating visuals that were also made of unusual elements: dust, my own breath and dragonflies.  We started chatting to Andy about music and Tom's album and how to do it live. Andy ended up learning all the tunes and playing our first gig with us. He was the final piece in the jigsaw and his skills turned us from a couple of blokes into a band.

What kind of kit do you use for the live show?
We use everything from acoustic instruments and audio loopstations, spy cameras and video software patches to bits of paper and plastic bags. Every noise that Tom and Andy makes is generated completely live on the night. I mix the visuals live using a combination of pre-made loops and live camera feeds. I don't really think any of us are seduced by technology for its own sake. First and foremost we want our audience to feel a real emotional response to what is going on in the show and if it doesn't feel right to us then we try to find something that does. The set has changed a lot since the three of us got together and we hope to keep this project as fluid and flexible as possible.

Origamo Biro
Birobox live at the big chill 2008

Where have you played recently and how have the performances been received?
We played The Big Chill in Herefordshire, Summer Sundae in Leicester and a little festival in Suffolk called Festinho. It can be tricky sometimes because what we are doing is quite particular but, so far, every time we've played people have really got into it-even if its taken a little time to work out what the hell we are doing. As a member of the audience the trick is to get a drink, make yourself comfy and keep your eyes and ears open whilst we bathe you with audio visual treats.

What can we expect from the gig at Broadway?
Its probably useful to describe some parts of the show. We do a tune called Vitreous Detatchment where Tom takes a book and samples flicking the pages and shutting the book to create looped rhythms. I then take the book and film live and inside the book with an infra red camera whilst Tom and Andy build up multi instrumental layers of music and sound towards a beautiful crescendo. In a nutshell. We also do Unknown In The Walls where I edit a short horror film live whilst Andy and Tom provide a quite terrifying soundtrack reminiscent of The Shining. Tom also shreds origami flowers whilst i project unborn babies.

LeftLion at Broadway, Sunday 5 October, noon–1am. Entrance to Broadway is free. Tickets for Hockley Hustle (access to all other venues) are £5adv/ £7 on the doors.

Gigantic tickets
Hockley Hustle website
Origamibiro MySpace
The Joy of Box MySpace

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