Artist Profile/Interview: WHITE UNDERWEAR.HARSH NOISE FFO: Glorious Static/Distortion fused with Human Sexuality.
Artist Profile: WHITE UNDERWEAR.HARSH NOISE FFO: Glorious Static/Distortion fused with Human Sexuality.
Filling the void with noise and exploring desire with WHITE UNDERWEAR.HARSH NOISE
This project started around April ’21 and is an extension of the work I was doing under my own name, Barry C Douglas.
I had the idea of using sounds from adult films as a source, but using them in a way that didn’t come of as pornographic, more of a study if anything.
The videos that accompany many of the tracks and the tracks themselves are designed to show the juxtaposition between beauty and chaos.
Soundtracks to the girl's inner turmoil.
So, yes, these are soundtracks to something a bit grim, but only sometimes. The intention isn’t to be so bleak.
The project name is a play on the juxtaposition I mentioned before, White Underwear being the purity and beauty of the woman, and Harsh Noise being what pulls that apart. The sounds I make for this project aren’t always harsh, but elements of harsher sounds make regular appearance.
Let’s cast the lens over the music first-now you have released a heap of tracks on your Bandcamp, most with substantial length and broadly we have noise/guitars/effects that sit and bounce round in the field of drone/harsh electronics/almost a touch of shoegazey post-metal, what is your own musical journey to explore so many varied avenues and what is the purpose or aims of the audio content? Also, tell us about your creative process for making this distorted madness?
All my audio production for this project starts with a sample which I build upon. The samples of the adult elements I use can take quite some time to find, The videos I sample need to be clear of outside sound, for example, I won't use videos where music is playing or videos that feature Male voice, this isn’t always the case but something I try to maintain. Searching through porn sites for good material can be testing.
I use bass guitar a lot, guitar too, not as much but it is there. Most of my wall type noise is derived from many techniques and ideas that I collect on my voice memo thing whilst at work.
I think the music I listen to on a daily basis has very little to do with what I create. The inspiration for that is more from film scenes poetry, artworks, photographs, that type of thing.
As far as the length of the tracks goes, I think we need at least 10 minutes to explore the theme. The intention is to experience these tracks like a short film or performance and not in the way you do when given a song to listen to. It needs to belong to the listener, once play is pressed it stops being about me and starts to be about what you find in it.
Is this one of many projects, because the talent encased in this project is very deep and focused; whereby you could releasing so many types or forms of expression?
No this isn’t my only project, I do a lot of work under my own name, Barry C Douglas, which is an umbrella title for all my video, photography and sound work.
I have a Bandcamp page for that and continue to release bits and pieces when time allows. I haven’t been posting material under my name because of my white underwear harsh noise material being put as priority, at least through social avenues like Instagram, Reddit and Bandcamp.
I recently completed work on a score for an experimental film shot by Benjamin Pahl Robinson, an Australian living in South America called AFTERIMAGES. A series of photographs was taken during Argentina's lockdowns.
I’ve also started some experimental collaborative work with a guy called Sam in Adelaide, that is called ZIG JAW and will be seeing release one day.
The project has a strong video content that goes with the music; it seems to definitely explore human sexuality with the use of models expressing this(and to clarify the visual content whilst utilizing consenting 18+ models does have some nudity-but it is a spot-on match to the musical output) and is equaling stark or bleak as it is a celebration of normal, not fake women. And I thought it was done both tastefully, but in that eccentric Dark Mofo style that underground music fans will adore; tell us conceptionally what the goals were of the videos and their purpose.
Yeah, so the videos are obviously an important part of this project and I’m glad you see it the way you do. I definitely don’t want this to be viewed as porn and do want it to be looked at as stark.
It’s not easy to find girls to be involved, because as you pointed out, I need normal woman involved, girls who have a suburban look but I need them to have enough art inside them to help with my vision.
I need my videos to be exactly what you’re saying, an extension to the audio and I think I have accomplished that, however, I don’t think the journey would have been so smooth with my main collaborator Tjanatja Cavenett. I have featured other woman and I appreciate all the interest but she is my golden child for sure, as an artist herself and someone who has been a fan of my photographic output she trusted me with question and sent me footage.
I hope to feature her more and more as time goes on.
I have a preconceived idea about the content and I direct the models via messenger, then the model sends me the raw footage via an online drive. The sounds I use for the videos are not disclosed to the girl for the same reason I don’t do the video stuff, I don’t want any of my influence in what the girl sends.
Another girl, Loretta cut her hair and had a cigarette, that video is really good, I’m happy with her look in that.
Eventually I will do a full movie with audio, I actually started working with Tjanatja when I made a short film called Three People Watching Television, this was the same working method as WUHN in that I directed her and two other actors over messenger.
It’s another noise-driven visual project about the horror and isolation of the news and what we are willing to consume.
I’m OK at the moment with this work being scene based rather than feature-length.
Where is the place of this project-in an art space, for a live gig or home viewing?-its applications seem broad in the art/music space, as stated earlier does this come from film/art school training or just personal interest?
These are done with the intention of being screened on big empty walls in big empty rooms but like all video, can be watched on whatever you have at your disposal, as long as you have headphones or a decent stereo. I think the sound would be a bit lost without something to support the complexity of it, too many things going on for phone speakers maybe.
There is no art school or film school training involved with my work.
Like I said before, samples play a big part in WUHN, samples found on the internet or directly taken from videos specially made for this project. The guitars and sounds from various household items are all created with the intent of using them for the project but not necessarily for the track, I’m working on. If I get something I like that doesn’t fit my current work, I’ll shelf it and return to it, I also not Immune to using a guitar sound more than once, I feel it acts as a theme which can tie one work to another.
What is next for the project?
I would definitely like to exhibit the videos and have a DVD release come to fruition, I need to find a label though because running my own physical merchandise is a dead end, most people who have interest in this are in the USA or in Europe and shipping from Australia is too expensive.
I definitely want to keep working with Tjanatja and others too but it’s difficult to convince women randomly online to be involved in nudity.
Interviews like this go a long way in helping people understand the work, so I thank you for that.
What particularly drives or inspires you for this project??
It was an idea that stood out, not just from other artists but from what I had done previously so that is inspiring to me, being in my early 40s and having new ideas is a nice thing.
The human condition is also a big drive. To make people wonder is also a nice thing.
Last musings or thoughts for the listeners and also why should people check out this amazing project?
Thanks for saying it’s amazing. I think people should look into this work because it stands alone, there is a heap of noise music available that explores sex but more often than not it’s done to shock people, or at least try to shock people.
This is the gentle side of a woman alone, that's why some videos are of haircuts, doing make up or reading books, it’s not all hardcore sex and nudity.
These are quiet portraits being ripped apart by static, distortion and glitchy visuals. It’s more David Lynch than Ron Jeremy.
So there you have it, a truly intriguing and rewarding adventure of a project with equally deep music and video; it's as explorative as it is punishing. It makes you think and also it's a meditative document on the human condition; particularly in reference to women. Over time the project has grown and developed, and it's worth every single track and video release. Plus to be honest, it's excellent to see artists drop challenging true art. Kudos to this exceptional project and Barry also passed on that any women that may want to collaborate on this project, please feel free to message Barry on the White Under Harsh Noise Instagram below. This is a solid and legit wide berthed project that is sensational.
Here's an awesome WU.HN promo video:
And here's an exclusive video just for this interview:
Go here for all the noisey visual stimulus you'll ever need:
Barry is on FB:
One of the project's main collaborators: Tjanatja Cavenett
The film Barry mentioned; Three People Watching Television: