Originally from the Northern Rivers of NSW, Australia, Penelope spent a short-lived stint in a Brisbane indie band doing “Mazzy Star meets Leonard Cohen” before moving to New York and developing experimental electronic projects Locke and Priscilla Sharp, plus her best-known incarnation with partner Stephen, The Golden Filter. Under the latter moniker the duo released albums with Brille, Vinyl Factory and Optimo that were praised by The Fader, Pitchfork, NME, Gorilla Vs Bear and Resident Advisor. Additional endeavours included sound-tracking short films and feature films, before an indefinite hiatus began.
When not making music, Penelope works on photography, video and performance art as part of visual arts collective, Agnes Haus.
Gnostic State references a world punctuated with mercurial and arcane moments. Expansive space, mentally and musically, makes way for what at first seem like imperceptible turns: hints of voice, breath, plants, synths, field recordings of relatives and of myself in my studio. All become part of an unpredictable and far-reaching sphere. I felt very free focusing in and creating this in one day – it truly felt like a microcosm of life as we try to find universal knowledge in all daily happenings, looking for links between incident and reason.
I feel that deep listening comes from a receptive place in oneself, to explore more subtle levels of meaning and intention in sound. It is an ongoing practice of suspending egotistical, reactive thinking and opening one's awareness to the unknown and unexpected. I believe that these contemplative moments, with their cultivation of self-awareness and compassion, may offer the best hope for transforming dysfunctional and damaging social habits, and might possibly be integral for future survival. Perhaps humans could bring about a major shift in our society by better learning to micro-listen, empathetically and compassionately, across diversity and difference.