Rhian Sheehan & Module – The Movie! I mean, Seriously, that totally felt like one…just going back in my memory, just got out now…Yeah, that was all a bit epic when I think back on it. Totally cool! The Best of Module 2003-2021 will feature a Module remix done for Rhian and here is the synopsis (well small book) on the adventures we had years ago as Live Electronic Performers.
I met Rhian Sheehan not long after meeting Paul Mclaney, He must have passed on my email address because the first contact I had with Rhian was a link to a synthesizer and nothing else (LOL) I responded with the standard “Cool Bro” I was aware of Rhian’s music as I had also been doing NZ electronic shows on Control 99.4FM, I was getting to chat to all these cool NZ artists, Sola Rosa, Rhombus (who I went on to perform with) The Black seeds, My Idols Pitch Black (Paddy & Mike) and heaps of underground creative artists. I was working away on my Module album at that time and I took a trip down to Wellington, It was around the time I was signed to LOOP recordings on the suggestion of Rhian & Paul talking to Mikee Tucker about this crazy kid from Palmy North, Instantly Rhian & I hit it off with our shared love for music technology and deep thinking views on life (Space, Nature, Physics & more) He had just finished his 2nd album “Tiny Blue Biosphere and was looking to tour and promote that album as a Live band.
We quickly formed that into a reality and I was set on researching Ableton live (version 2) at that stage. We had been given a copy from Ableton to promote it by performing with it which we ended up doing to a sold-out Wellington Town Hall. I saw a great chance to remix some of Rhian’s work for the more dance club vibes I had been performing as Module but still keep it grounded in the style and energy or intentions of what Rhian wanted to deliver with his album, A feeling of the expansiveness of the universe we live in through otherworldly dream-like musical expressions…So I hid out the back of Mikee Tucker’s house in a small shed for a month not long after moving to Wellington and figured out how to sort out live triggering and Midi Mapping and tempo clock syncs to external synths.
One of the tracks called “Boundaries” featured a vocal sample of Carl Sagan wondering if there was any boundary to our known universe, I loved the dark energy within the music so when approaching the remix I tried to keep some of the more ethereal elements of the ambient over all of it but make it sound really slamming in the energy (which is why I called it Module’s Evil Eno Remix” a reference to Brian “The Brain” Eno one of the pioneers of electronic ambient music and both Rhian and myself’s touchstone within the ambient music genres and it being so electro-rock in the synth bass and drums and drops, id say a name reference to Rage Against the Machines (Evil Empire album)
I burnt it onto a blank CDR and played it to Rhian in the car, He loved it so much, he cranked it right up and we drove around listening to it several times, he had such a smile on his face and I felt really cool that I nailed it for him. The track went on to Rhian’s remix album “Music for Nature Documentaries” and became a mainstay for our live performances we went on to do all around NZ, Australia and Spain.
That experience and my time creatively with Rhian really was a creative brotherhood, We ended up having some rather extreme rock and roll experiences during our travels around the planet with large scale festivals, dragging gear across various public transport systems, lots of dodgy hotels, intense travel schedules and extreme large hi’s and lows both emotionally and creatively, for example, Performing Australia at the Opera house bar we had one punter decide they didn’t like what we were DJ’ing (The lack of turntables and guitars and synths and computers everywhere must have given it away) And headed on a bee-line straight at us with a rather large glass of fluid of some description with the intention to pour it all over our equipment mid-set! Other fine experiences involved travelling to Spain and back in under a week With Mike Busy and Jeff Boyle from the band (Jakob) (35-hour plane rides each way) wandering around London on no sleep while waiting for connecting flights home and finally making it to Melbourne only to stagger around the streets at 5 am looking for anything that could be called a bed. Hotels filled with cockroaches and semi-naked performance artists eating glass…Bush doof in the summer heat, tents falling down and broken airbeds while every insect in the Australian outback decided I was dinner for the next week….it just went on that way for a while and after a period of time, it just seemed like a normal day or night in the Rock and Roll adventures of Rhian & Module.
We also performed on National TV a few times, C4 and maybe even the NZ version of ‘Top of the Pops” for a brief time, we became known as joint electronic performers playing with Jose Gonzalez and various festivals & Artists around the country. It made sense to us since we are both on the same label to team up and do it together, but really looking back, it was an amazing experience of my life really, and I will be forever grateful for those moments, even the crazy ones and that I got to share with one of New Zealand’s top of the line Composer/Musician/Producers.
Rhian felt it was time to focus on studio work and family and we stopped performing together for a while, we finished up working on the collaboration project “The Blush Response”
But Since then I have watched Rhian put his head down and enter into an intense period of his creative life, He embraced the music coming out of his soul and went on to be as mentioned. A world-class Producer & Composer picking up awards and international attention and successes across film, TV and Game work.
I will always be proud of him and that time we spend together as musical brothers living whatever that was, the rock and roll dream?.life long trauma? But yeah, I think the music he creates now is dreamscapes for the soul, It wraps around the end takes you to another galaxy. I played the Piano on his Release “Standing in Sielnce” and we reached the end of our Musical journey together, Module and Rhian Sheehan parting ways but only on this Earth in and at that time… Those moments are deep within my heart and soul and will always be, and because of that, those things I learnt, I can form deep creative relationships now with other creative people and that was the gift of our friendship.
I am super happy this remix will be part of the best of Module, it wouldn’t be that without Rhian’s musical force within my musical world in some way or another. Big thanks and love to him for all that we did, the metaphorical mountains we climbed, the skies we flew in, and in those worlds with the adventures we had, The music we made and performed, the dreams we made realties.
Oh, there was that one time Rhian saved my life from a speeding truck doing at least 90 in a 50k zone down the main streets of Wellington, He pulled me back just microseconds before I was hit. I was talking about synths, He saw it happening in slow motion, I grabbed me and threw me away from my death…Yes, Rhian Sheehan saved my life…I am going to make a tee-shirt and wear that next time I perform.
Here is us rocking out the packed Town Hall in Wellington circa 2000 and something with the Module & Rhian Boundaries live remix! Thanks for reading and checking out all Rhian’s work here on his website (which I am making you do now with the power of my mind) and so find his albums and listen to them! Totally amazing and worth every moment.