October took me from Liverpool to Warsaw, Salford to Pittsburgh, NYC to Chicago, so I’m delighted to announce no more live performances for the remainder of the year.
Most significantly my new album is now out on general release. Entitled Colofon & Compendium 1991-1994, it collects together material edited from over 600 hours of unreleased archival recordings, focusing on the controversial scanned telephone call works in the early 1990s at the start of my professional Scanner career. Released on the eminent Belgian label Sub Rosa it comes in a fetching CD digipack or a very limited edition gatefold-sleeve vinyl edition of just 450 copies. It’s also out on iTunes now too.
The collection features sixteen tracks, interspersed with short pieces originally commissioned for the James Lavelle Mowax collection, Headz, but as yet never released. Two of the works, Blind Electricity and Moth Open Math, began life as remixes for other artists but then took on a life entirely of their own so were never issued in this form.
For amusement I created a unique collage combining many of the themes, voices and sounds on the release, into one little package so you can have an idea of what to anticipate. It’s also free to download Colofon & Compendium (redux).
This release is the first in a series of archival releases moving towards my 20th anniversary in 2013. Next up will be a special double CD re-mastered edition of the long out of print Scanner 1 and Scanner 2 CDs originally released on Ash International, followed by a re-release of The Garden is Full of Metal with unreleased material. Stay tuned for this.
Digital editions will be available from the now traditional outlets, iTunes, Amazon, etc as well as exclusively at scanner.greedbag.com for full quality WAV files, and the last remaining copies on vinyl.
So to backtrack for a moment – it was off to Liverpool at the beginning of October to perform as part of The Liverpool Biennial, with an event that focused on the multiple inferences of the electronic voice and paranormal technological phenomena. With permission of American artist Michael Esposito I presented a series of EVP recordings from Stockholm, gracefully intoned live by writer Zarina Kadirbaks, mixed with archive of otherworldly sounds and voices I’ve collected over the years. A review of the activities can be heard online here.
I also created a special mix of ghostly voices to be give an idea of the texture and colour of the event so you can download that here.
Then it was off to Warsaw Poland to work with Polish contemporary music ensemble Kwartludium at Laboratorium, part of the notable Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, for the Ad Libitum Festival. A night of improvisation and enthusiastic experiments followed where we interpreted a series of visual scores by Polish and Danish composers, blasting out an explosive set of organised chaos and wrung out melodies. We recorded the live set and five additional pieces in the studio for a CD release so that will be available soon.
After an interval I then collaborated with distinguished Polish artist Miroslaw Balka in a live cinema performance of Toward the Sun and back, based on fragments of video made in Treblinka death camp and on the way back in summer 2005. There is an intention of performing this elsewhere, beginning with Tate Modern in London in 2013 so that’s exciting.
In an irrational moment of travelling I then set off to the USA for 24 hours, that’s to say I spent more time travelling through airports then I actually spent setting foot on US soil. Flying from London to JFK New York to Pittsburgh, then back via Chicago was indeed rather a challenging move and all for one dreamlike performance of Night Haunts with writer Sukhdev Sandhu. Originally commissioned by Artangel, the performance accompanied the installation of The City and the City at Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, and was performed in the pitch-black obscurity of a basement theatre space.
The performance is based on Sandhu’s nonfiction book, Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night, which has been described as a “contemporary nocturnal journal.” In his forays into the London night, Sandhu encounters a cast of characters that range from night cleaners to praying nuns, security guards to the Samaritans. In our collaboration we present the the romance and mystery of contemporary London through spoken word and music. The original Night Haunts project can still be experienced online here.
My very singular music mix for Secret Thirteen went live this month, a deliberate and painstakingly fulfilled cinematic type audio collage that investigates variable science fictional, dramatical and tragical scenarios by invoking expressive musical fragments. Connecting the sonic worlds of Tim Hecker, Roly Porter, Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Chris & Cosey, Zoviet France, AFX, Ben Frost, Virgin Prunes, Concept, Jan Bang, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Clark, unreleased Scanner material and many, many more, the mix aims to erase boundaries between imagination and reality.
As the editor of the site described it:
“Secret Thirteen Mix 037″ is like a dynamic Eve Aschheim abstract painting “Lurker” where delusive motion in the desolate hall creates a fictive reality that exists between multiple frameworks. In the theatrical perspective it can be described as a transformed and modernized view to the Gaston Leroux novel “The Phantom of the Opera”. The examination behind the developed musical emotion could lead the intellectual listener to the most unpredictable cellars of subconsciousness.” That’s not to say it’s also not a lot of very engaging listenable fun too 😀
An extensive interview also accompanies the mix, which broadly spans many aspects of my career and interests.
My film collaboration with British director Chris Turner, G(O)OD&(D)EVIL, has just gone live online for TWENTY6 Magazine, for their G oriented issue. It’s a very dark, unsettling and cinematic little work that I would recommend playing loudly in the dark in HD quality.
And continuing the fashion flow, you can now watch the entire show of my recent collaboration with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan for Paris Fashion Week for his SS13 collection. 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 style. Watch it here in full.
If you are fortunate enough to have an iPad then I encourage you to download Moving Six by Comme des Garçons, a new App created with Meri Media, for which I designed all the sound. Between 1988 and 1991, Comme des Garçons explored the sixth sense through photography, illustration and artworks across eight issues of the unstapled A3 magazine called Six.Today, Moving Six navigates through selected highlights of the print archive, exploring photography and auditory space through parallax scrolling, puzzles and physical gesture. It’s a beautifully simple interface and completely free.
With no public performance appearances until the end of the year it’s back into the studio for a host of projects until the close of 2012. I’m working on several collaborations with singers, working through the Scanner archives for new releases for my anniversary, several film scores, so I’ll be happy ensconced indoors.
Until next month.
Robin van Rimbaud
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More Than Sound
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.
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
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.