August 2013


As summer finally appears and then disappears just as quickly, it’s time to take a brief Scanner holiday break to Madrid and Sevilla but before I slip away it’s time to review the month and anticipate the hectic times ahead.

Between the hammer and the block

It’s been busy rehearsing and preparing this month for the Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked UK tour that begins in September with Heritage Orchestra. In anticipation I have created a ten-minute mix of live recordings to entice curious minds where you can experience the epic and expansive nature of how this project has developed. Many of the shows are close to selling out already so please ensure you pick up a ticket soon if you are thinking of attending! More on the tour over at The Quietus.

With such a wealth of unreleased recordings in my archive I’ve recently turned to Bandcamp to offer a new series of live recordings, rare mixes, film scores and unusual projects never otherwise heard, in the highest possible quality for the lowest price. I intend for this space to host a digital body of work that has rarely been heard and never released commercially.

This series has begun with All Frontiers (2008), a live recording made at All Frontiers Festival on Saturday 15 November 2008 in Monfalcone Italy, where most unusually my performance featured my playing guitar with electronics. The release includes a PDF of the original programme and additional unseen photographs. Remarkably the legendary composer Anthony Braxton could be seen dancing away at the band of the hall to the closing track Full of False Holes.

The second release is a completely free album, or donate as you wish, entitled Voyager: Amongst Others, which was commissioned by Atelier HSL in The Netherlands in 2011, and only available in a very limited CD edition in Amsterdam for this art project. The CD explores the idea of place, language and identity around the Dutch High Speed Rail Line expansion (HSL-Zuid) in The Netherlands as part of the art show Trans/Fer, which was an international project, supported by the Dutch, Belgian and French railways. Here the album contains a PDF Booklet, full CD artwork, exclusive essay by David Toop commissioned for the release and unseen photographs from the production.

Voyager: Amongst Others

And whilst we are speaking of free music this time it’s an unreleased collaboration with American writer Alison Nastasi for the literary journal Fiddleback.

Back in June 1998 I was invited over to Rotterdam to the Boijmans Museum to spend a few days working with a host of colourful and eccentric characters, including Mike Kelley, Destroy All Monsters and Charlemagne Palestine. We then all performed at the nightclub Nighttown as part of the ‘I rip you, you rip me (honey we’re going down in history)’ festival. Incredibly so many years later it turned out that Ben Schot and Ronald Cornelissen, the artists who organised this project at the time, owned some unpublished footage, and now this brief compilation, specially created for ARTtube, was made under their supervision. The footage was taken during the ‘I rip you’ workshop in V2 on 11 June 1998 and during the performances in Nighttown on 12 June 1998.

I just donated an extensive series of my releases on CD and vinyl to the British Library Sound Archive, formerly known as the National Sound Archive in London. This means that they are now in very safe hands, for preservation and access for many generations to come, and can be accessed for general public listening online one day soon. It’s a great honour and pleasure to ensure that these works are maintained for future researchers and listeners way after I have left this planet for my alien destination.

Upon the steep ascent

Ideas are the food of life and inspiration so there are two events coming up where I can get the spread the word of Scanner to others. This month I’ll be up in Edinburgh for the festival to give a talk at Summerhall on 10 August where I shall be speaking about the Joy of Sound.

Then I am thrilled to be invited to give a masterclass at The School of Life in London later this year on 22 October. The School of Life is a cultural enterprise offering good ideas for everyday life, where they offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well.

The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about these and other concerns so it’s especially exciting to be presenting my ideas and approach to listening in this forum. As John Cage once said: “Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?” Noise as music opened up a world of creative experiment but it also gave him a new acceptance that helped him deal much better in daily life with the stress of urban sound. I’m hoping that my words might enable people to listen more positively and embrace what’s around you.

And on that very positive note, here’s to a good month for you all.

Thanks for your support.

Robin van Rimbaud
Professor Scanner

Tattered, still protect, faded adorn

::: listen :::
Sigur Rós: Kveikur (XL)
Cabaret Voltaire: Red Mecca (Mute)
Adrian Utley Guitar Orchestra: In C (Invada)
Cliff Martinez: Only God Forgives (Milan)

::: read :::
Curiosity & Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine (Cabinet)
Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time (Arrow)
The Letters of Samuel Beckett Vol 1 (Cambridge)
Isis Aquarian: The Source (Process)

::: film:::
This is the End, Evan Goldberg, USA
Despicable Me 2, Pierre Coffin, USA
The Act of Killing, Anonymous, Indonesia
Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro, USA


Weave Waves
Scanner & textile artist Ismini Samanidou
St Fergus Gallery Wick Scotland
06 July – 03 August 2013

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Scotland
10 August – 07 Sept 2013

Stanley Picker Gallery
Kingston upon Thames
02 October – 23 November 2013

The Crafts Council presents Weave Waves, a digital commission, which brings together sound artist Scanner, and textile designer Ismini Samanidou.Weave Waves explores sound, geography and mapping and how this data relates to both textile weave structures and musical scores.

Scanner and Samanidou were inspired by the visual and technical similarities between the digital software they both use and the physicality of code.

Liquid Landscapes
Roma Europa
Macro Testaccio Museum
Rome Italy

10 October – 01 December 2013

An exhibition at the contemporary art museum that presents work using technology that offers the viewer an alternative view of the landscape, featuring Ryoichi Kurokawa, Alexandre Maubert, Babina/Mesmer, Donata Piccolo and many others in a group show.

Scanner will be exhibiting Falling Forwards, an installation in which the visitor finds himself in front of a digital ‘window’ from they can follow an event. Human silhouettes and objects fall into emptiness and are irreversibly pulled by the force of gracity towards an inevitable end.

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.