Alastair Galbraith Profile

Jon Chapman
16 Dec 2013

It's the late 1960s, and future Arts Laureate, builder of obscure and obsolete musical instruments, and intimist rock miniaturist Alastair Galbraith is resting his wee head on the gearshift during a long car ride, listening to the contour of the road.

Around the same time, he remembers “... going to an unfamiliar house and asking if they had a washing machine I could listen to.” (Interview with Dan Cohoon, Amplitude Equals One Over Frequency Squared, 2006). These early aural episodes frame a body of work shaped by the drone of the road and sounding like the Otago coastlines and hills as much as Dunedin's flats, galleries and warehouses.

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Alastair Galbraith/King Loser tour 1994
Alastair Galbraith
Alastair Galbraith and Matt De Gennaro - The Anatomy of Wire Music
Alastair Galbraith in Dunedin in the mid 1980s. Taken on the St David Street footbridge.
Photo credit: Photo by Nigel Yates
Alastair Galbraith and Bruce Russell, Upper Stuart St, Dunedin, 1984, outside the flat where The Verlaines' Death And The Maiden video was shot a year earlier.
Photo credit: Photo by Moira Crossman. Bruce Russell Collection
Alastair Galbraith plays the flame organ at The Suter Art Gallery, Nelson, 2010
Photo credit: Photo by Marion van Dijk
Alastair Galbraith, the Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA, 1997
Photo credit: Photo by Mike Baehr
Plagal Grind - Receivership
The Rip - Holy Room
Alastair Galbraith, the Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA, 1997
Photo credit: Photo by Mike Baehr
Fire Organ, June 2002
Alastair Galbraith + Graeme Jefferies - Bravely Bravely
An interpretation of a South Island rock drawing
Xpressway people. L to R: Bruce Russell, Peter Jefferies, Peter Gutteridge, and Alastair Galbraith outside Peter's house, Opoho, early 1989
Photo credit: Photo by Gerald O'Brien
Alastair Galbraith painting
Alastair Galbraith
Photo credit: Photo by Bruce Russell
The Rip, with Alastair Galbraith up front, circa 1985
The Rip, 1984
North Island tour, September 1995
Alastair Galbraith
Alastair Galbraith painting
Alastair Galbraith painting
Plagal Grind - Yes Jazz Cactus

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