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Bruce Russell


How would you describe what you do?

I improvise with sound.

What was your most recent project?

I made an album of two minute analogue synthesizer ‘sonatas’ with a device made for me by a genius from Blenheim.  His name is Omit and he calls this thing the Dirtbox. It makes an amazing range of filthy sounds.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

I have been in a group called the Dead C. since 1987 with the same two collaborators. I’m immensely proud of our massive body of work in recording and performance.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Time and space to work. And time and space under capitalism are sadly both also money.

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

The hills and the sky and the sea and the people.

What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

Very early on a wise person told me I had my own sound and I should keep it. Given that I did not ‘know how to play’ at that point, it was transformative advice. I never bothered to learn.

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

That it is music.

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

Roy Montgomery and Jason Greig, now that Bill Hammond has passed.

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

The Clean at the Empire Tavern, 6 November 1981.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

Anyone can do it.

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

If I told you I’d have to kill you.

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