Matthew Budden
Video, Music & Painting


Matthew Budden 

House Wind: Music and Video

For the most part, this site is now dedicated to a video and music project began in 2018 called House Wind. The paintings are remnants of a dormant practice.

House Wind originated in early 2018 through an invitation by Vancouver's Agony Klub to contribute to AK05. I had been doing prepared guitar music off and on for years, but this opportunity felt particularly timely.

     The idea of a "prepared" instrument is attributed to John Cage, who put "preparations" like screws, weather stripping and bamboo strips on and in between piano strings for compositions from 1939 on. These simple preparations significantly altered the timbre of the piano, effectively turning it into a tuned percussion instrument. With the ubiquity of digital guitar effects, the idea of extending the guitar's sonic palette by putting paper clips, glass droppers or plastic strips through the strings now seems rather quaint. But it is precisely the limitations of these tangible "analog tools" which feel so timely. The change to the instrument is incremental. The preparations can be seen, felt and acted upon. The guitar behaves differently, we behave differently, and our dialogue is renewed.

     The name House Wind was waiting for me. I remembered sitting on a breezy shore on Cortes Island the previous summer when my friend Oliver Kellhammer introduced the concept of "a house wind," where one goes into things deeply and thoroughly, like wind permeating the nooks and crannies of a house. His partner, Zen Buddhist priest and novelist Ruth Ozeki, sent me further elaboration: "The entire expression is menmitsu no kafu. Ka means House. Fu is wind. Menmitsu refers to a finely woven fabric. The house wind refers to the way of doing things in the house, or in this case, the Soto school of Zen.  And it means that we pay attention to very fine details.  That’s the Soto way, or the house wind."

     This seemed like the perfect bridge to the practice, and one I have tried to play out over five albums and accompanying videos.



During the years I was painting I worked as a media monitor, watching and listening to TV and radio news and making summary notes about the stories as they unfolded. Mediated images were central to how I went about making paintings. Most images were taken from the screen. Even the printed photos and bookplates that I drew from were often shot on video, played on screen, then re-photographed, the degraded image becoming the source from which I painted. Some of this approach to image-making has carried over to the way I shoot video, partly as an antidote to the plague of hyper-resolution.


House Wind music is on most music streaming platforms. For more information about this 12-string "prepared guitar" project see my didactic blurbs on Bandcamp:


In 2024, I live in Vancouver and work as a historical researcher.