And what an intensely busy month March turned out to be, beginning with the opening of my show Scanner: A Month in the Life of an Artist at Melkweg in Amsterdam. After weeks of detailed preparation the show opened to a capacity crowd at this popular music and cultural centre with a lecture by Dutch writer Theo Ploeg and an onstage interview between curator Jan Hiddink and myself.
The show can be seen in many luscious and colourful photos here that capture the wide variety of works on display, from photographs, films, to lists of all the films and music I listened to that month (October 2012), vinyl and CD releases, books I contributed to and artworks designed by Jurian Strik reflecting my activities. It continues until 28 April so if you are passing through Amsterdam I recommend a look.
After a twelve-year wait my collaboration with Australian artist Nightswimmer was finally released as a digital edition in March. Exchanging CDRs back in 2001-2002 before speedy internet lines led to this series of oceanic techno explorations. Connecting Melbourne and London through creative minds you can pick up Red Sails via iTunes or Bandcamp.
Weave Waves, my project with celebrated textile designer Ismini Samanidou, premiered as a new installation as part of FutureEverything in Manchester last month. This show was more focused on the process of our collaboration as we are still currently developing the finished textiles and sound for the touring show, which opens in London in May 2013, as part of a much bigger show curated by The Crafts Council on sound and crafts. Documentation of the installation can be seen here. Meanwhile the website is incrementally revealing more and more details as the weeks pass towards of the opening of the final work in the show, so stay tuned.
Elemental Force certainly lived up to its name this month too. With rain, snow and electrical storms taking centre stage as part of these free spectacular large-scale outdoor shows, audiences were amazingly resilient to the severe weather conditions that accompanied the four shows. Each performance took a historic building as the stage and used light, sound, film and pyrotechnics to celebrate the rich heritage of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Here’s a clip of the apocalyptic closing section at Derby Silk Mill, 7 March 2013.
Unfortunately we were defeated by the hostile weather for the closing show at Chatsworth as snow fell with such a force that it was impossible to navigate in or out of the grounds and poor technicians were stranded for three hours in the darkness. We are hoping to present a few additional shows if funds so permit so fingers crossed, especially for improved weather.
Long time friends British band Wire released their most recent album in March, Change Becomes Us, and as part of this a weekend of activities took place called Wire: Drill in London. I was invited to perform at Café Oto with British artist Gazelle Twin in an expanded version of her cover version of Wire’s Heartbeat song, which brought a cinematic scope and blurry epic nature to this three-minute pop tune, with my live sound and her film projections. To accompany this adventure online magazine The Quietus invited me to choose key moments from my creative life to speak about in an extended feature.
The festival concluded with an absurdly varied array of special guest guitarists for the encore of Wire’s show at Heaven in London. Having premiered their new album in full, I joined around thirty other guests on stage for the Pink Flag Guitar Orchestra and our rendition of Pink Flag in a ten-minute explosion of sonic tension and noise. One enormous E Major chord shook the very foundations of the building in an epic and unforgettable performance. Various videos caught from the audience have tried to capture this amazing show but simply couldn’t cope with the sheer volume.
Time for a gift – It’s rare that I have the opportunity these days to just sit down and play with sound purely for my own pleasure, but here’s something for you to download from an afternoon spent in the studio on a quiet weekend, an energetic, dramatic tune to enjoy.
April looks set to continue this busy schedule too. I’m off to Glasgow for a chat and live performance with British writer and musician David Toop. We are in conversation with John Cavanagh at the Glasgow Concert Halls on 11 April. It’s a free show but tickets are very limited indeed. The next night we are playing live together at Tramway for an exploratory eclectic night of sonic adventures. It’s the first time I’ve performed in Scotland for over a decade too so don’t miss out this time.
In advance, my Live_Transmission show with The Heritage Orchestra has finally been officially announced at Sydney Opera House. We are playing this unique show on 29 May as part of the Vivid Festival, alongside Kraftwerk, a massive Scott Walker installation and many other sensual delights. Tickets are on sale now and this will sell out so please don’t miss this opportunity to see the first international performance of this work.
Paying homage to one of the most iconic bodies of work in British music history, Live_Transmission is an audio-visual re-imagination of the sound and spirit of Joy Division. Instilled with poetic snapshots of Ian Curtis’ haunting vocals, audiences will be guided through a sonic monument of new compositions accompanied by an animated landscape of artwork and projections created by visual artist Matt Watkins, reminiscent of the band’s creative process. Celebrating Joy Division’s key musical moments and groundbreaking evolution, Live_Transmission has redefined concert boundaries since proving a centrepiece of last year’s prestigious Brighton Festival.
Tickets are selling very fast for the Spitalfields Music Festival shows in June 2013. As an Associate Artist I’ve been curating part of the programme, so the events will feature new live works and performances by The Haxan Cloak, Gazelle Twin and The Computer Junk Orchestra, so don’t miss out on these very unusual shows.
Now as London has sunk to some of the lowest temperatures recorded this year I shall return to my igloo, feed the polar bears, and eat an icecream to warm up.
Until next month.
Robin van Rimbaud
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Scanner: A Month in the Life of an Artist
02 March – 28 April 2013
An exhibition documenting one month in the life of a creative artist, featuring photographs, video, music, documentation, all created in the month of October 2012, capturing a portrait of each day from the mundane to the most exploratory and creative.
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 clickinghere .
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.