Boundary Riders: executive dysfunction

Research output: Non-traditional research outputPerformance


Beginning with a jagged, angular, Monk-esque melody, Hannah Reardon-Smith takes us on a wild ride through musical, geographical and psychological terrains. "executive disfunction" is packed with infectious musical energy.

“executive dysfunction" is about things seeming to fall apart but actually holding together, or things seeming to be maintained but actually falling to pieces. This is a psychological term often used in relation to ADHD and related "disorders", that refers to the experience of being generally unable to process the little day to day requirements, expectations, and minor stressors. It also strikes me as a good description for a point in time when so many of our world leaders, and in fact the very system under which they operate—"executives" of another order—are strikingly dysfunctional. The whole world is in a state of executive dysfunction. We could all do with a few months or maybe years of "stress leave from life" (what I have come to call my farm stay), and maybe in that time we could start to dream up other worlds together—worlds that don't brutally over-police Indigenous and Black people and leave refugees in prisons for 7 long years with no end in sight, that value arts and creativity and critical thought and history and education, that support our most vulnerable and marginalised people and communities and environments, that value the knowledge of the Traditional Owners of this land and learn from them how best to take care of it, that encourage people to live lives in service of their passions and compassions and not in service of someone else's profit margin.” - HRS

Flute - Hannah Reardon-Smith
Percussion - Vanessa Tomlinson
Prepared Piano & Recording - Erik Griswold
Camera Assistant - George Griswold
Video - Greg Harm

Sounds and images recorded on Giabal & Jarrowair country (southwest of Toowoomba) as well as Jagera & Turrbal country (Brisbane).

The Boundary Riders project was setup as a Pandemic project to provide both financial support to composers, and creative outlets to document this particular time period. 6 composers – Sam Pankhurst, Jodie Rottle, Hannah Reardon-Smith, Kristin Berardi, Brodie McAllister, Caleb Colledge – were commissioned by Clocked Out Duo (Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson) to make 4 – 6 minute pieces that could be performed remotely. Each composition was to have a video component and to be released online. Greg Harm contributed unique video footage for each composition. Contributing to the field of New Eclecticism, Boundary Riders intentionally defies singular musical definitions. Each of the contributing composers straddle different musical genres and roles, including all being performer, composer, improvisers. Everyone in the project also has a strong shared musical history based around the annual Easter at the Piano Mill project - directed by Tomlinson with all participants as regular artistic contributors. For the purposes of this project, Clocked Out defined Boundary Rider as “an artist teetering between the known and the unknown”. The contribution to new knowledge extends to the new online presentation style, the mixed media format, and of course the original compositions and world premiere performances.6 new works were created and released weekly from 17th June to 22nd July 2020. On social media most works were viewed around 2000 times (12,000 total). In addition CutCommon ran an article about the pieces, and further collations of the works are expected. The proposition of this model of working has already been drawn upon in teaching at QCGU (HDR coursework) and APAC (experimental collaboration).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherClocked Out
Media of outputOnline
Size5:18 mins
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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