100 Million Nights is a unique collaboration between Canyons and Australian visual artist Daniel Boyd. Canyons and Daniel Boyd have worked together to create an ethereal sonic and visual experience. Canyons have composed original music to accompany a major new video installation by Daniel Boyd. The music of 100 Million Nights does not reflect Canyons' musical direction as a band but is a creative side-step for the production duo who created the music for 100 Million Nights in an emotive response to Boyd's artwork. Canyons perform their composition as a 4-piece live band with Daniel Boyd's 3-panel video installation as the mesmorising stage backdrop, creating an all-encompassing sensory experience.
Canyons' (Ryan Grieve and Leo Thomson) were first introduced to audiences in 2008 through the release of their debut EP, 'The Lovemore EP' on the duo's own label, Hole in the Sky. Under Canyons' musical direction Hole in the Sky (H.I.T.S.) quickly garnered an international following, releasing groundbreaking debut records by Tame Impala and Pond, and a string of acclaimed dance releases that challenge the conventions of electronic music production.
Canyons' single 'Fire Eyes' propelled them to the forefront of Australia's contemporary dance music scene when they became the first and only Australians to release music on the legendary American imprint — DFA Records — home to musical luminaries such as LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture.
Modular Records released 'Keep Your Dreams' (Canyons' debut LP) internationally in 2011. Drawing on their wide array of influences, Leo and Ryan created an album that is "A good exercise in categorical confusion — pre- and post- disco, analog-synth ambiance and noise, drones, 1970's German experimental rock, new wave. All that, and it doesn't feel over thought" (The New York Times, 2011).
Ryan Grieve and Leo Thomson write and produce all of Canyons' music and have played the majority of instruments on their recordings to date. To translate these recordings to a live experience Canyons have worked with additional musicians to form a live band. Since the release of Keep Your Dreams Canyons have developed and honed a performance that combines electronic instruments and sequences with the looseness of a live band, blurring the line between programmed and live music.
Boyd's work reinterprets Aboriginal and Australian-European history by placing a veil of transparent dots over images that partially reveal their stories in a process that is both a metaphor for the effect of time and memory, and an acknowledgment of what is lost in the officially sanctioned versions of history. The video installation, A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4, links colonial explorers to modern day astrophysicists exploring the new frontiers of space, taking the form of an immersive animated dot painting which guides the viewer on a new journey of exploration.
In his current exhibition 'New Hebrides', Boyd's subject matter reveals an underlying theme of inheritance, in particular the inheritance of primitivism and its influence on Modernist aesthetics. The disparate subject matter is brought together as a mapping of 'forefathers': Matisse, Picasso as well as Boyd's great great paternal grandfather who was brought from the island of Pentecost to Queensland as a slave in the sugarcane fields.
Daniel Boyd has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005. In 2011 Boyd completed a residency at The Natural History Museum, London which held a solo exhibition Up In Smoke Tour. In 2007 Boyd was selected for the first National Indigenous Art Triennal, Culture Warriors, curated by Brenda L. Croft at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Boyd's work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Daniel Boyd has been represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery since 2009. Daniel Boyd 'New Hebrides' closes 27 April 2013.