Damian Castaldi is an artist, percussionist and sound designer currently based in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. His career is built on a practice of mixed media installation, performance, electroacoustic and audio-visual production and exhibition.
He has lectured in Music and Sound Design at the University of Technology Sydney and Audio Production at the School of Audio Engineering Sydney. After graduating from the Sculpture, Performance & Installation (SPI) studio at Sydney College of the Arts he returned to SCA to work as the Studio Supervisor in the Electronic and Temporal Arts department, whilst also graduating with an MA in Media Art from the UNSW College of Fine Arts. As a young man he attended the Colin Spry drum clinic in Melbourne where he acquired the skills of big band, swing and improvisational jazz drumming. Soon after he spent a year working with the English craftsman Dickie Blackman in his workshop at the Margaret Little Memorial School with whom he acquired hand woodworking and musical instrument building skills.
The conceptual and creative focus in his current work varies from exploring playful human/object based interaction to more severe community based human/environment or human/human based interaction. The technically creative focus is on designing real-time interactive systems using software, sensors, signal processing, new musical instruments and sculptural objects for performance, assemblage and multi platform audio-visual installation.
Within Australia Damian has worked, exhibited, performed and broadcast in Katoomba, Newcastle, Brisbane, Pekina, Adelaide, Kandos, Rylstone, Forbes, Bilpin, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney. He has represented Australia in radio & Internet broadcast, exhibitions, symposium, conferences and performances, in Montréal, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Holland, Barcelona, Paris, Weimar, Dordrecht, Liverpool and New Zealand.
Previously Damian has been a member of, worked and/or performed with The Unconscious Collective (Cathy Vogan and John Evans), Neil Hawkes (Redfern Artist Run Initiative), The Grotesqui’s Monkey Choir and Even Orchestra, Ion Pearce and The Cabinet of Curiosities, Falling Bodies (Genevieve Maynard & co), The Rosa Giganti (Graeme Rhodes and the Filshie brothers), Libido (Tony Buck, Performance Space, Redfern. Sydney Jazz festival opening), the nervous_objects (artists collective formed through an ANAT residency curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley), Robyn Ravlich and John Jacobs (ABC, The Listening Room Fellowship), Cathie Payne (various projects), Terry Burrows (various projects), Sarah Parker (various projects), Jill Jones, Norie Neumark & Maria Miranda (Memory Flows), d_Lux_MediaArts & Tara Morelos (NEW IDEAS, Government House), Scott Horscroft (Music Producer at the Grove Studios and previously Big Jesus Burger Studios), Paul McKercher (Record Producer & lecturer at SAE), Marcus Westbury & Marnie Jackson (Loop Space – Renew Newcastle Artist Run Initiative), Ann Finegan (Kandos Cementa festival), Christine McMillan (Jemalong Sculpture Garden, Arts OutWest Arts project), Writers: Craig Billingham, Emma Brazil, Amanda Kaye, Vanessa Kirkpatrick, Mark O’Flynn and Prue Adams & Jansis O’Hanlin CEO (for the Whispering Trees project at Varuna House), Rilka Oakley (Collectors’ Edition BMCC) Sabrina Roesner (BMCC Exposé & Blue Mountains Portraits), Justin Morrissey (Sculpture at Scenic World & Digital Ecology Lab Workshops), Victor & Sharon Peralta (Gallery ONE88), Miriam Williamson & Bradley Allen-Waters (The SLAB) and s o d a c a k e (collaborations with Solange Kershaw). Most recently Damian has collaborated with WeiZen Ho and the temporary collective she brought together for the STST.ARI event in Katoomba, NSW (see Performature: Performateur #3 link below).
Damian is currently the co-director of The Last Bureau Pty Ltd.
A small selection of the music, sound design and other works produced over this period can be listened to here.
A current resume is available on request. Email: info[at]thelastbureau.com
Tambourine Bay – A multimodal work for large scale video projection and electroacoustic performance – – (ongoing)
TiYC – Travel if You Can. Performance with projected animation, audio & video interviews, live acoustic/electronic music – – October 2011 (ongoing)
PERFORMATURE: PERFORMATEUR #3– a short residency and performance event at STST.ARI – – 6,7,8 May 2021
#23 SOUNDBITESBODY– Performance title – “Knock, knock, knocking on Kandos doors” – – February 2016
a w a s h – A large-scale, mixed media assemblage that exhibits the recent and severe coastal erosion of the Eastern Australian, Newcastle coastline during and after the recent 2022 floods. (ongoing)
c o n d u c t – a creative, research project with a focus on vibratory phenomena. In this case it could also be representative of the overall equilibrium of an acoustic environment both internally and externally (to and of that environment). (ongoing)
RainFalls – Sound & Video installation for SCULPTURE AT SCENIC WORLD – – April 2021
SHIFT+CONTROL+EXIT – Nine contemporary artists explore issues related to COVID 19 as they occur in real time – – June 2020
INTO THE WOODS RED MOUNTAIN HOOD– Sculpture at Scenic World – – April 2019
THE ELECTRIC WZ– Portrait of WeiZen Ho for the Blue Mountains Portrait Exhibition – – Jan 2019
LITTLE CREATURE CABINETS– SOLO EXHIBITION Gallery ONE88 – – Jan 2019
UNUSUAL BIRDS– Sound installation for Sculpture at Scenic World – – April 2018
PLANE DOWN OVER KANDOS– BMCC Collectors’ edition #5 – – April 2018
8662 – The ALTITUDE Project – interactive sound installation commemorating the life of the celebrated English female pilot Amy Johnson – -17 & 18 February 2018
Jemalong Sculpture Garden – produced with residents and staff at the Jemalong Residential Village, Dementia Unit in Forbes, NSW, Australia – -2017
PLAY FOR TIME– BMCC Exposé program in collaboration with Solange Kershaw – – 19 September to 1 November, 2015
Whispering Trees – Sound installation at Varuna House the National Writers House, Katoomba and as part of the Sydney Writers Festival – – 16-19 May 2015
Loop Space – Artist run initiative as part of the Renew Newcastle and currently Renew Australia project – February 2109 – June 2010
Artist Residencies, Workshops & Fellowships
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE – BUNDANON TRUST– – July 2015
ANAT National Summer School– ANAT archive of 1997 Program & participants – – Jan 1997
ABC Classic FM, The Listening Room & The Australia Council New Media Fellowship
– Review of In the Mist of an Arcane Pop by Robyn Ravlich – – 1997
Falling Bodies perform in a pub somewhere in Sydney circa 1980’s. Genevieve Maynard on Guitar, Damian Castaldi on Drums.