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Baggage Handler - Dom Mariani and Jon Tarry
Baggage Handler - Dom Mariani and Jon Tarry

The album Baggage Handler is the outcome of a unique collaboration between musician Dom Mariani (The Stems, The Someloves, DM3, The Majestic Kelp, Datura4) and artist, sculptor and film maker, Jon Tarry.  Turns out Tarry also is a fine purveyor of noise, creating sounds with his frankensynth rig that will blow your minds, people.

We’re sonic excavators.

Jon Tarry, Baggage Handler

“We’re sonic excavators,” said Tarry, summing up what is a complex project in just a few well-chosen words.

The project came about through Mariani’s and Tarry’s shared passion for musical exploration and sonic invention.  Baggage Handler was formed following an extended improvised studio session.

“Jon and I met through a mutual friend and Jon’s been to a few gigs,” said Mariani.  “Then I saw him do his soundscaping thing with a saxophone player and The Majestic Kelp were playing at the same event.  We just got talking somehow and we got around to talking about doing something.  I went around to his factory unit where he does his work and we just had a jam.”

Picking up the story of that first session, Tarry said, “It was a combination of a free exploration and an incredibly disciplined process.”


Again, he’d cut right to the heart of the matter.  The music and films the pair have produced under the moniker Baggage Handler are as inquisitive as a black Labrador snuffling through a paddock just after the cows have come in for milking, and as complex as the stainless steel world of machinery and gadgets that called the cows away in the first place.  Oh, and trippy.  They’re also redolent with mind melting layers that will, one way or another, alter your perception.

This is a creative endeavour born out of two minds that have a lot of art in them and the discipline needed to just let go and create.

“He was in his world and I was in my world,” Tarry told us, “and somehow these worlds kind of came together.  What he was doing I was feeding off, and he was feeding off what I was doing.”

“I had no idea what Jon was doing,” countered Mariani, “and he had no idea what I was doing, but as we were hearing what each other was doing, we were forming our thing.”

The films and music were created around the concept of air travel and developed from titles, including, ‘Arrivals’, ‘Hold’, ‘Hanger18’, ‘Air’ and ‘Missing’, with Mariani and Tarry evolving a gestalt music and film narrative from these titles.

“We made the films at the same time as we recorded the sound,” said Tarry.  “They were like film sketches, as I called them.  Initially we didn’t really know what we were doing, were we going this way or were we going that way?  At first, we didn’t really know.  The films were a way of putting some kind of reference to it and then they turned into something themselves.”

The installation that is Baggage Handler is a world-class festival-type event and it was made right here in Perth.  The world-wide launch of Baggage Handler also is taking place in Perth on 9 August at The Backlot.  Mariani, Tarry and some leading Perth musicians will perform a set of music, there will be Q and A with RTRFM’s Taylah Strano and a viewing of the films on the Backlot’s massive cinema screen.

It will be quite the trip!

Get your tickets right here.

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