INTERVIEW: Danny Harley From The Kite String Tangle Steps Into A New World

Forever looking for ways to continue pushing himself as an artist and visionary, The Kite String Tangle’s Danny Harley has stepped into a new light in an exciting collaboration with the Australasian Dance Collective. Aftermath is an exciting fusion of music and dance that sees these two creative entities coming together to create a grungy yet beautiful dystopian world that pushes the boundaries of anything Harley has done before.  

The show will be playing exclusively at Brisbane Powerhouse from Thursday February 11 to Sunday February 14, and promises to leave you impressed, surprised, and internally processing the messages of the show. Following a lead up of things to an “event” and the aftermath of it, the narrative is one that the the viewer will have to succumb to and allow themselves to be guided the way that their mind interprets it.

Danny Harley has jumped on board to curate and perform the very important soundtrack live that guides the audience through the narrative without the use of dialogue. The instrumental production is dark, moody, electronic, ambient, and ethereal. He’s been working on the shows sonical production while watching rehearsals of the cast led by choreographers Jack Lister and Amy Hollingsworth which has seen the intricate details continually shifting and evolving. 

I recently chatted to Danny Harley about stepping into this creative role for Aftermath, the adaption and separation process from his work with The Kite String Tangle, and how he wants the music from the show to feel and invoke. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Aftermath follows the story of a lead up of things to an “event” and the aftermath of it. So what are you hoping people will take away the most from watching this show?

DANNY HARLEY: More than anything I hope they walk away with a few ideas of what it could possibly have meant. I like that there are different ways to interpret the show, and we hope it’s the kind of thing you could watch twice and notice different layers.

TB: This show is really built upon interpretation. Would you say that you’ve always approached your artistry to be open to interpretation. Or have you really outlined the music for TKST to be explicitly  focused on a particular emotion or feeling?

DH: My stuff with The Kite String Tangle is generally a bit more concise and usually informed by the feeling of the music. It tends to deal with human emotion and relationships almost exclusively. This piece is more esoteric, layered and left of field which has been really fun. You have to tell the story without words, which is something I’ve never had to do before.

TB: You’ve done some huge live shows in the past that have been quite visually charged. So what in particular really interested you in building this new sonical world through this show?

DH: The sonics of the show really excited me to create because I’ve always been into ambient music and have never really had a place to showcase it. Same thing with the more energetic techno moments of the show because I’d just finished a residency in Berlin and really wanted to create some music influenced by that time, and so when this came up it seemed like the perfect juncture.

TB: Collaborating with the Australasian Dance Collective for the visual component of the show, you’ve been sitting in rehearsals and building the sonical production around watching them. So how drastically has your thought process changed with your original expectations of what this show would/could sonically be?

DH: This show was a case of three minds all meeting at the perfect time in life with very similar influences and goals. As soon as I met with the choreographers, Jack Lister and Amy Hollingsworth, to start chatting about the possibility of doing this show, we were all throwing around the same references and ideas and visions. So it was really natural and to be honest, it’s one of the few things I’ve worked on in which my original expectations and vision haven’t changed a great deal from what has eventuated.

Photos by David Kelly

TB: Not being from the world of dance yourself, what has been the biggest misconception you’ve learnt about the art form of dance from working on this show? 

DH: I suppose some dancers can be typecast into being tied to more traditional styles. This is far from the truth, especially this crew.

TB: How would you describe the show’s soundtrack and the feel you’ve created?

DH: It’s a dynamic journey that will hopefully make you feel a range of complex emotions and sometimes make you want to dance in your seat. It’s often dark and sometimes beautiful. It builds and breaks.

TB: Having dived into this project after putting ‘C()D3X’ out last year, what has been the biggest artistic challenge you’ve overcome? 

DH: I think I was able to use a lot of frustrated creative energy on this project given I had just put out the ‘C()D3X’ album before we immediately were locked down for a year. So I was able to shift focus to this project, which was really nice actually.

TB: From working on Aftermath, how do you think this has impacted how you will approach your future music and live shows for The Kite String Tangle?

DH: The show takes a lot of chances and never underestimates the audience, and I hope to incorporate some of that ethos into my writing for TKST in the future. 

‘Aftermath’ is playing at Brisbane Powerhouse from February 11 – 14. For all ticketing details visit HERE