October 2012


Now this has been another adventurous month and as a months rainfall batters the UK in just one day, let me travel back in time briefly for a moment.

Breaking down what was only briefly lived

September began over in Stockholm for More Than Sound, an exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall which explores how music is used and created in contemporary art. The show itself was an entertaining mix of inflatable monstrous music sculptures by Matti Kallioninen, performative furniture by Tarek Atoui and melancholic singing from Susan Philipsz. My work, Hiss concrete, is installed in the lift in the building, and for anyone curious you can hear the work here in full. Just shut yourself into any small room, talk to no-one close-by and you are almost there!

With over 600 visitors to the opening alone you can imagine this was a mighty busy lift and in fact several times the mechanism itself broke down and people were stranded in there momentarily with only my work to distract them, perhaps an idea of hell to some visitors.

The very next night I performed at Drottningholm Palace Theatre, described as ‘the Swedish jewel in the European cultural heritage crown of centuries-old theatres,’ and built beside the private residence of Swedish royal family. A grand old venue, with very strict rules to all performers – no leaning on the walls, no attaching anything to anything, etc – the night was a remarkable success. To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of John Cage I was the very first ever electronic artist to perform in the theatre since it was built in 1766, which most certainly carried a responsibility with it.

The night continued with a unique array of artists – Carl Michael von Hausswolff with Michael Esposito exploring EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings of ghostly voices in the theatre, Maria and Anna von Hausswolff presenting an intense vocal/organ recital, Malin Bång, Hans Ek and Modern Fantazias with Birgit Bidder re-interpreting Cage in innovative ways.

To coincide with my visit to Swedish National Radio dragged up a work deep from the archiverecorded in 1988 in Vilnius Lithuania. It’s a little sonic Polaroid of a certain moment in time, combing field recordings, found voices and abstract sounds, and is freely downloadable to enjoy.

A messiantic moment

It was then back to London to perform for the opening of the Hackney Film Festival in London at the bizarrely entitled New Empowering Church. An eclectic night of sonic cookery, visual tours around London and my own set, it was an audio-visual creative orgy.

My working relationship with Swiss designer company supreme, Punkt, continued this month for the launch of the ES 01 Extension Socket, their third and latest product, designed by Georges Moanack under the art direction of Jasper Morrison. Having designed the sound for their first product, the sensually appealing DP 01 phone, and the soundtracks to all their promotional videos, you can see the latest beautifully simple animation conceived by Rosie Lee for the ES 01 launch. The animation highlights the unique product benefits in clean, simple visual language, with my little score.

Punkt – ES 01 Extension Lead Launch Animation from Rosie Lee on Vimeo.

To celebrate the 2012 Paris Design Week (September 10 – 16) the museum store of the Centre Pompidou dedicated its window display to a handpicked selection of design pieces by Jasper Morrison, including Punkt.’s AC 01 and DP 01. The two items are on sale in the museum store and as of May 2012 the cordless phone belongs to the prestigious institution’s collection of works by designer Jasper Morrison.

Whilst on design the Stedelijk Museum finally re-opened last weekend in Amsterdam and was officially attended by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. I was commissioned to score the music for a ballet by Ernst Meisner and it was a joy to be able to share in this very special moment. Broadcast on Ned2 you can still watch excerpts from this performance online – scroll forward to 26 mins 40 seconds and smile as the Queen smiles. Photos of the event can be viewed on Facebook.

September finished with a new collaboration with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan for Paris Fashion Week for his SS13 show. It’s our third alliance and this time the work is a hedonistic Afro-spirited collection with accompanying soundtrack of Can oriented percussive beats mixed with a cinematic James Bond styling. Stay tuned for videos.

Caught in motion

For the first weekend in October I’m off to Liverpool for a very special Electronic Voice Phenomena Weekend in association with the Liverpool Biennial, a short season of events that will take on the multiple inferences of the electronic voice and paranormal technological phenomena across talks, workshops and performances. With permission of artist Michael Esposito I will present EVP recordings from Stockholm with archive intercepted phone conversations to create a survey of anticipation in sound and words, things to come, but not fulfilled. I will act as The Host bringing in these voices and spirits to an engaging soundscape.

A special parasitic mix is available online using many of these ghostly recordings in an eerie way, so download it now. Those who have already heard it called it quite terrifying so that’s positive news. To coincide with this I’m taking part in the BBC’s radio show The Verb on 5 October, speaking about my work and performing live.

On 6th October I’ve contributed material to a very unique project curated by Stuart McLean aka Frenchbloke. The Dark Outside will be broadcast for 24 hours from noon until noon featuring previously unheard music donated by electronic artists from around the globe. I have contributed exclusive material recorded with American artist Stephen Vitiello, in fact our radical reversions of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. Other artists offering their services are Severed Heads, DJ Food, Martyn Ware, Dave Graham, Jeff Noon, SFT, Gazelle Twin, Carter Tutti, Colin Newman and so many more. You can read more about the project in detail here.

Then it’s over to Warsaw, Poland, to perform at the Ad Libitum Festival on 12 October with Kwartludium Ensemble & Miroslav Balka. The festival focuses on the art of improvisation, working with musicians, video artists, and new electronic media. We will be working with visual scores that leave a lot to interpretation, and I’m especially excited to be collaborating with Miroslav as his visual work offers a profoundly dark and poetic vision. His Tate Moderninstallation still haunts me to this day, so goodness knows how our collaboration will affect others then.

0n 17 October The Final Academy is thirty years old. The original event took place all those years ago in London, featuring William S Burroughs, Brion Gysin, 23 Skidoo, Cabaret Voltaire and Psychic TV. I will give a spoken word reading alongside a screening of Words of Advice: On the Road with William Burroughs and other delights on this special evening.

On 20 October I’m jetting over to Pittsburgh in the USA for a very special performance with writer Sukhdev Sandhu for a localised version of our Night Haunts project. It’s connected to an intriguing gallery show at Wood Street Galleries, featuring visual works by London writers Caroline Bergvall, Rachel Lichtenstein, Tom McCarthy, Rod Dickinson, Iain Sinclair, Chris Petit and Sukhdev himself. Hope some of you might make it along.

Stay tuned in October for a very special mix tape I’ve compiled for Secret Thirteen which features Mountains, The Velvet Underground, Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Zoviet France, Einstürzende Neubauten, Jan Bang, Virgin Prunes, Snowman, Alva Noto and many more. More on this next month.

Until next month.

Robin van Rimbaud
Professor Scanner

Ways of disappearing

::: listen :::
Two Fingers: Stunt Rhythms (Ninja)
Valgeir Sigurðsson: Architecture Of Loss (Bedroom Community)
John Cage: Shock (Vols 1-3)
Fabrio Frizzi: Zombie Flesh Eaters (Death Waltz)

::: read :::
David Byrne: How Music Works (Canongate)
Iain Sinclair: Slow Chocolate Autopsy (W&N)
Larry Fader: 120’00” Conversation with John Cage (Nine Point)
DT Max: Every Love Story-David Foster Wallace (Granta)

::: film:::
Lawless, John Hillcoat, USA
Looper, Rian Johnson, USA/China
RoGoPag, Rosselllini, Godard, Pasolini, Greogretti, Italy
Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik, USA


More Than Sound
Bonniers Konsthall

05 September – 02 December 2012

What is music? And what makes it something that is more than just sound? This autumn Bonniers Konsthall is focusing on how music is used and created in contemporary art. After taking on cultural forms such as literature, theater and film in recent exhibition Bonniers Konsthall now focuses on the encounter between art and music. What is music? And what makes it something that is more than sound? This autumn’s large group exhibition More Than Sound, featuring work by leading Swedish and international artists, will explore the nature of music and be a place where music is created.

Scanner will present a new installation Hiss Concréte. Other artists include Tarek Atoui, Tarek Atoui, Hans Berg med Nathalie Djurberg, Malin Bång, Ay?e Erkmen, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Susan Hiller, Matti Kallioinen, Haroon Mirza and Susan Philipsz.


Time & Again
Collaboration with artist Michael Anastassiades
MAK-Expositur MAK-Branch
Vienna Austria

12 May – 25 November 2012

The timeless objects of the London-based designer oscillate between design product, sculpture, and quality craftsmanship. Under the MAK exhibition pro- gram, Anastassiades makes an artistic contribution to the museum’s new positioning of applied arts. Scanner has produced a series of discrete sound interventions in the building to compliment the installation.


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.