Tim Catlin formed the Overtone Ensemble in 2012 in order to perform works using his self-made "Vibrissa" instruments. Each instrument consists of twelve vertically mounted aluminium rods that are longitudinally stroked by hand to produce ethereal "singing" tones. The long sustaining nature of the rods sound and microtonal tunings allow players a sonic palette of complex textures and harmonic complexity. Other instruments used include massed hand-bells, quarter-tone bells, e-bowed acoustic guitars, re-tuned glockenspiels, wineglasses and long wire instruments.
The ensemble's compositions utilise acoustic phenomena arising from microtonal tuning such as phasing, combination tones and sympathetic vibrations, as well the effects of room resonance. All sounds are acoustic in origin without effects or sound processing. The results are works of shimmering intensity and pulsating beauty.
The Overtone Ensemble are: Tim Catlin, Atticus Bastow, Philip Brophy and David Brown.
Since forming in 2012 the group have been well received at festivals such as Slow Music, NOW now, Sound Out, Light in Winter and Liquid Architecture as well as various galleries and clubs within Australia. Group members have a long history of involvement in the experimental music, sound art and improvised music both within Australia and internationally.