The working relationship between Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis goes back many years. Both were involved in many of the projects released on the Present label and both lectured in Media Arts at RMIT University in Melbourne. Ph2 is their collaborative venture.

Ph2 projects arise from the opportunity to present or perform, at which point a project is developed. Surround-sound exploration is central to most of these works, combined with ways in which the two can conceptualize, score and improvize. Most works start off as pure experiments to see what outcomes will arise. Successive performances then gel the work into a form, which is then at some stage recorded in multi-speaker configuration. Some of these works eventually found their release through Sound Punch Records.

Some Thing is produced by Ian Haig (also a recording artist on earlier Present Records releases and a lecturer in Media Arts at RMIT University). Ph2 provided the soundtrack for the installation.


Concept, development, direction and original model - Ian Haig
Prepared drums - Philip Brophy
Synthesizers, FX-boxes & voice - Philip Samartzis


Premiere exhibition - Westspace, Melbourne


Performance, production and mix - Gelatin


Video and installation artist Ian Haig commissioned Ph2 to provide an ambient soundscape for Some Thing: a sculptural object of strangely mutated bone, gristle and flesh. According to Ian: "The work references the teratological body, the body turned inside out, its internal viscera exposed and appearing in places that it shouldn’t, like a DNA experiment that has gone horribly wrong. The work too plays on notions of the abject and uncanny, as the body appears caught in between states of the living and the dead, in the throes of dying or possibly being born. Some Thing depicts a body that was possibly once human and is now on its way to being something else, it is either sub human or post human, we can’t quite be sure."

"The sculpture’s simple animatronic movement of twitches, jerks, pulsations and breathing appears as if the creature is either dying, partly alive or possibly being born, the ambiguity over the creature’s state of being is intentional. The limited animatronic movement actives the imagination of the viewer into thinking they saw the creature move, or possibly not. The imperative of much animatronics is to simulate life: realism and natural behaviors, my motivation is to simulate dying: depicted as irrational movement and uncontrollable twitching, and slow breathing."


Digesting Ian's description of the sculpture 'thing' he was assembling, Philip Brophy and Philip Samartzis discussed ideas of making a suite of soundscape pieces which sonically 'behaved' like a convulsing human body. The idea evolved for Philip Brophy to handle a range of prepared drum kits to symbolize physical pulses, heart beats, digestion cycles, body clocks and internal rhythms. Philip Samartzis would perform a series of tones and frequencies to handle the less rhythmic aspects of corporeal existence - nerve endings, neural transmission, synaptic charges, cerebral activity and sensory processing.

Having discussed this and kept it in mind, the duo convened and improvised with no rehearsal, each changing their battery of sound-making equipment, devices and instruments between each new track. All recordings were done completely live and in one take. Philip Samartzis mixed the final session in preparation for a 5.1 playback diffusion in the gallery space.