March 2012


This year is already very much a blur with days and now months zipping past, projects opening and closing as swiftly as I blink.

The smarting waters of joy

February was an utterly frenzied month and March looks set to offer little respite either, but mostly very positively I’m happy to report. Much of the last weeks have been spent working intensely, head down, ears open wide in the studio busily working and writing towards a host of forthcoming projects, some of which are so very top secret I don’t even know what they are  😀

February finished by scoring parts of the closing night of New York Fashion Week with Mike Vensel’s catwalk show and now I’m spending my first weekend in March in Warsaw, the vibrant heart of New Europe, presenting and lecturing on my work and running workshops at IU Multimedia Program, closing with a Scanner Quiz on Sunday night though I’m not certain what the prize might be.

I previously wrote I was appointed Musical Director for this show about Joy Division last year but it can finally be announced that Live_Transmission will be premiered in East Sussex at the Brighton Festival on 18 May 2012. Working with the Heritage Orchestra tickets are now on sale to the general public, but hurry as it will sell out very quickly. More information can be found here.

At the same time, indeed on the very same night in May, The Big Dance Schools Pledge will take place all over the world, uniting us all through dance. Joel Cadbury of Unkle and South and I wrote the epic song for this challenge, entitled Céleste, which is available on iTunes right now, or in high quality 320 MP3 or WAV format at the Scanner Store. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE, Céleste will also feature as part of The Big Dance in Trafalgar Square London on 14 July with 2000 dancers as part of the Olympic Ceremonies.

Flowing everywhere at once

Continuing this flow of dance I’ve been working over in The Netherlands for Het Nationale Canta Ballet, towards an extraordinary performance at Gashouder in Amsterdam,, with dozens of special Canta cars designed for disabled people in collaboration with ballet dancers from the Dutch National Ballet. In addition to the performance itself on 28 June 2012, there will be a TV documentary series, a book, a radio documentary and Internet activities.

An excerpt from the last contemporary dance piece I composed for Christian Rizzo at l’Opéra de Lille France, le bénéfice du doute, can be heard here. It was a very powerful work mixing up long silences with a violent beauty.

Another soundtrack collaboration can be heard at London’s Imperial War Museum where my film work with Israeli artist Ori Gersht is currently displayed as part of his first major solo museum show in the UK.

The two-screen film Evaders explores the mountainous path of the Lister Route, used by many to escape Nazi-occupied Franc, and focuses on the ill-fated journey of Jewish writer and philosopher Walter Benjamin. Open until 29 April 2012 it’s free and a profoundly moving experience, touching on an array of cultural, physical and psychological borders. A brief clip of the film can be viewed here too. A good review here as well.

I was delighted recently to be invited to remix the word of legendary American singer and performer Meredith Monk for her new release Monk Mix, and especially in the company of such a variety of finely tuned individuals such as Bang on a Can, Björk/Brodsky Quartet, DJ Spooky, Nico Muhly, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth and many others. The double CD and digital version is out now and can be found here.

My now extremely rare 10” single in collaboration with Dutch musician Michel Banabila released on Steamin’Soundworks in 2010 is now available digitally on iTunes, featuring glacial melancholic melodies, live trumpet and a heart full of warmth, whilst contributions from Eric Vloeimans and Anton Goudsmit add a sensual jazzy flavour.

And in a bumper update to the Scanner Store there are now exclusive materials available, including the last remaining copies of some physical CDs as well as WAV and 320 MP3s of much other back catalogue, including CDs of Carsten Nicolai/Alva Noto/Scanner:Uniform, Memetic Flesh with Rupert Huber of Tosca, Sound Polaroids, Reason by Heart, Sleep by Twilight, DJ Spooky/Scanner: The Quick & The Dead and Mike Kelley and Scanner’s Esprit de Paris.

Traversing between then and now

And if you don’t want to spend any cents, pennies or whatever currency you have laying in a jar on the shelf, then point your browser here, where I contributed two exclusive tracks to this tribute inspired by writer Fernando Pessoa. Pessoa famously had a variety of alter-egos, writing under ahost of names, each with a unique biography and aesthetic. These alter-egos are referred to as “heteronyms,” and among them was Álvaro de Campos, whose poetry inspired Jorge Colombo’s photography exhibit, Lisbon Revisited, which in turn inspired this compilation album.

The album in addition to my works music by Steve Roden (aka In be tween noise), Pedro Tudela (aka Johnny Days), Kate Carr (aka The Frigatebird), Shawn Kelly (aka Y?Arcka), João Ricardo (aka OCP) and others , all working from a shared set of field recordings originally collected and constructed by Elvis Veiguinha. Download the booklet, music and everything for free and immerse yourself in the world of Lisbon.

Film director Andrew Kötting’s latest visionary film, This Our Still Life, has been touring the world, most recently at Paris’ Pompidou Centre, and will be released on DVD on 10 March. The film is an eccentric portrait of the remote tumbledown Pyrenean farmhouse where the filmmaker, his wife Leila and daughter Eden have lived on and off for more than 20 years. Described by Empire magazine as ‘Endlessly engaging and irresistibly inspiring,’ the film features music of mine exploring notions of nostalgia, memory and place. It evokes a way of life which is elemental and rudimentary, unhurried and at odds with the modern world.

In closing I wish to extend celestial greeting to the late American artist Mike Kelley who took his own life on 31 January 2012. Mike and I had been friends since 1998 where we performed together as part of Destroy All Monsters, then produced our ambitious Esprits de Paris installation for Sonic Process at Pompidou Centre Paris and later on restaged this in different forms. It was with heavy heart that I realise I will nevershare in his unsettling dark playful vision again.

And now onward to more adventures.

Best wishes
Robin Van Rimbaud
Professor Scanner

Nothing moves at the edges of the mind

::: listen :::
Robot Koch: The Other Side (Project Mooncircle)
Slant Azymuth: LP (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment)
Black Rain: Now I’m Just a Number (Blackest Ever Black)
Vex’d: Cloud Seed (Planet Mu)

::: read :::
James Nice: Shadowplayers (Aurum)
A.I Artificial Intelligence (Thames & Hudson)
Cabinet Magazine Issue 44: 24 Hours
Simon Armitage: Death of King Arthur (Faber)

::: film:::
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsey, UK/USA
This Must Be the Place, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy
Restless, Gus Van Sant, USA
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, Jean Luc Godard, France


Night Haunts
By Sukhdev Sandhu
Design Mind Unit
Sound Design Scanner

Artangel Interaction invited writer and historian Sukhdev Sandhu to write a nocturnal journal unfolding over the course of 2006. His postings will appear sequentially at this microsite specially designed by Mind Unit. Sandhu’s forays see him prospecting in the London night with the people who drive its pulse, from the avian police to security guards, zookeepers and exorcists. Acclaimed artist and musician Scanner has collaborated with Sukhdev and Ian Budden of Mind Unit to compose the sound for the site. If you would like to be kept informed as each episode is posted, join artangel’s mailing list by clicking here .

Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
Artangel Interaction

NightJam is the latest project in Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London series of artist-led collaborations with people who have a special view on a hidden side of the nocturnal city. Scanner invited young people at New Horizon Youth Centre in King’s Cross to collaborate on a creative project that expresses how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes. Through music and voice workshops they explored the sense of freedom and fear, celebration and solitude of the concealing darkness. Meanwhile, they captured their nights on disposable cameras, taking images that are at times eerie, startling, contemplative and funny. NightJam presents two elusive visual and musical journeys through the city’s ‘quiet’ hours.

NightJam presents two music tracks, a film, photographs, that can be experienced and freely downloaded. Additionally it features remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.