Adam Simmons - The Lost Machines

Professional musician Adam Simmons has created a series of playable music boxes.

Art Exhibition previously on at Catherine Asquith Gallery (Archived) in Australia.
From Tuesday 29 June 2010 to Saturday 17 July 2010
Launch Saturday 03 July 2010, 2PM

Adam Simmons image

Published by anonymous on Tuesday 22 June 2010.
Contact the publisher.

To be opened by GERRY KOSTER,
Producer and Presenter of the “Jazz Up Late” program,
ABC Classic FM on

Artist Statement

As a musician I have come to value the nature of simplicity and defined parameters in helping to narrow one’s focus to better explore the material at hand. But at the same time, many levels of complexity and meaning can be explored and developed. Complex structures are interesting yet often require very careful negotiation, while more simple conceptual material can allow for much more play, exploration and experimentation.

In developing my music boxes as art pieces, I feel that I am expressing similar artistic concepts that come from my musical experience albeit through a visual medium. There is sound involved that is integral to the appreciation of the work but there are additional expressions via the physical makeup of each piece; as well as the invitation for the viewer to become the ‘performer’ through interaction with the work.

My aim with the music boxes is to encourage people to play them – the music is all pre-composed by me but the interpretation/performance of each work is determined by the participant. It is up to the observer/performer to choose the tempo and duration of the music, and in the case of multiple mechanisms, which combinations are used and when.

The text that is used in some pieces to determine the note choices, serves the dual purpose of being a source of structure to seemingly random musical material, while also adding another layer of intention to the piece. In these initial works I am playing with the idea of these being an early pre-cursor to answering machines and text messaging. I am addicted to my communication technology but I am concerned that in keeping up with all of the necessary avenues of online and mobile social interaction, we are too preoccupied in blogging, facebooking, myspacing, emailing each other to actually just get out and experience life first hand. In performance I seek to make my music unique to the time and space at that moment. For my music boxes it is necessary to interact with them. I don’t want people to just see art and hear it – I want them to feel it, smell it, touch it and do it for themselves!

This is a new and exciting direction for my artistic expression but at the same time it feels just a natural progression in my desire to communicate with people.

I look forward to seeing where the journey heads from here.


Adam Simmons has been a professional musician since the age of 13 years, when he made his first recording with his musician father. Since then he has participated in numerous music festivals, notably the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Melbourne International Arts Festival; played for over a decade at the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival; has played with many international artists, including Ernest Ranglin (Jamaica) and Nigel Kennedy (UK); was commissioned for a 65 minute work for Michael Keiran Harvey (“Concerto for Piano & Toy Band”), and has made a number of recordings, his most recent in 2009 entitled “Adam Simmons”.

His repertoire includes: saxophones, clarinets, flutes, shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and the fujara (Slovakian wooden flute).