Pallet Pavilion to shut doors in style

DECONSTRUCTION: Percussionist Brett Painter and the Deconstruction Orchestra will perform with chainsaws and pianos at the Pallet Pavilion's final party.
DECONSTRUCTION: Percussionist Brett Painter and the Deconstruction Orchestra will perform with chainsaws and pianos at the Pallet Pavilion's final party.

The Pallet Pavilion is going out with a bang and a crash. Vicki Anderson talks to Brett Painter about his Deconstruction Orchestra, performing at the last night of Gap Filler's community venue.

The Deconstruction Orchestra have created a fitting sonic farewell for the Pallet Pavilion.

Using chainsaws and sledgehammers, alongside more traditional instruments, the six musicians will tell the story of our city in less than five minutes.

Brett Painter, principal percussionist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Pandemonium, has started one-off band The Deconstruction Orchestra especially for the venue's finale.

Pandemonium specialises in industrial sounds created through unique instruments.

The idea is the "baby" of Trent Hiles, Gap Filler Project Co- ordinator, who first had the idea over a year ago, ahead of the PledgeMe fundraising campaign which extended the life of the venue.

For the "last hurrah" of the Pallet Pavilion, local composer Michael Bell, of the CSO, has created a piece titled consructionDEconstruction to mark the occasion.

Hiles says it is a "musical homage" that tracks the rise and life of the Pallet Pavilion since before the Gap Filler project began in late October 2012.

"Gap Filler has been so wonderful all around the city, it's a celebration of them. The Pallet Pavilion is going because they have another project and more ideas to invest in, which will be good," Painter says.

The musical project was initially conceived in rather different circumstances.

The temporary venue wrestled vexatious noise complaints since its opening night.

There was an idea of creating music using "a construction sound" to raise the question of just what sounds are offensive.

Painter was intrigued by the idea and, with the closing of the venue, he says the time seemed right to resurrect it.

"It is the sound of the city. There is a beautiful recording of a creation karanga from a Kai Tahu woman with native birds, the beginning; people will recognise the Wizard and the tram. There are also some beautiful recordings of the Cathedral bells which are used throughout the piece," Painter says.

The piece also includes a musical representation of the quake - loud rumblings and the gurgling noises of liquefaction.

"We don't want to bring up the wrong memories or scare anybody but if that didn't happen, the Pallet Pavilion wouldn't have happened.

"My aim is to always come up with multi-dimensional performances. As a musician I feel that's my role."

After the construction sequence in the music there is the deconstruction which leads to "hopeful future".

To represent the deconstruction, Painter smilingly says they will "break some things".

The familiar blue pallets will be returned intact but other items from "old Christchurch" will be brought in - street signs and other "surprise items".

The six-piece band, which includes a welder - their deconstruction expert - will play traditional instruments but there are a number of creative surprises.

Painter likes to play something he calls a "short drop".

It's a toilet seat with a resonating case.

Chainsaws, hammers and sledgehammers will all play their part in presenting the five-minute song for the city.

"We create a seal/whale sound, there's a lovely tram bell sound which comes from the top of a gas cylinder and water drums. And then we have the tools, grinders, hammers, sledgehammers, chainsaws, all sorts of things. We can have a bit of fun but still be musically in the right space."

Hiles says that after the pavilion is deconstructed the site will be landscaped. A "sports and athletics" project is planned for the site next summer.

"It would be great if we got a noise complaint on the last night," he laughs.

Working with chainsaws to create music is not for the faint- hearted but Painter believes it celebrates the very spirit with which the Pallet Pavilion was created.

"Mike knew that we would take apart what he wrote for us and put it back together again. You have to have a certain amount of craziness.

"The idea of Gap Filler has been behind this. It's about not being inhibited. . . about having a crazy idea and pushing it to make it happen."


The last day of the Pallet Pavilion, corner Kilmore and Durham streets, is on Saturday. At 8pm the Deconstruction Orchestra present a one-off performance of constructDEconstruct under a marquee. Tickets: Waged, $15 plus $2.50 fee, Unwaged, $10 plus $2.25 fee from Only 200 tickets available.

The Press