So it’s now approaching the festive season, where tummies will generally grow fatter, wallets a little lighter and I’ll take advantage of the silence days ahead to catch up with work and projects. Though this last month has been very pleasurable for live music, having seen shows from Arcade Fire, Haxan Cloak, Pharmakon, Loop, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Savages, HTRK and King Britt.
I was so thrilled to perform at the exquisite Villa Noailles in Hyères France last month, as part of Fimé Festival, a film festival with a very playful programme. Villa Noailles is an early modernist house built by celebrated architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles in the 1920s and is the most incredible building. Imagine an expansive building where Jean Cocteau and Man Ray would visit and entertain, whilst Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel dreamt up their collaborative films.
I performed live scores to films by Alain Resnais and Derek Jarman in the surroundings of the elegant swimming pool, allegedly one of the first private swimming pools to be built for home-owners in the privacy of their own grounds. Then it was over to Rome, Italy to take part in the launch of the new Sonic Arts Award 2014, which I would encourage any of you to enter. It’s possible to win €1000 Euros for works in categories Sound Art, Sonic Research, Soundscapes or Digital Art.
I am delighted to announce my new collaboration with Sedition art in London, a digital gallery. Interestingly Sedition brings you an art experience for your digital life, where you can collect and enjoy art in digital format by the world’s greatest contemporary artists. It’s a model of art collecting today as Sedition securely stores your collection so you can access it anytime, anywhere using your screens and devices. Having used it myself with purchasing artworks the value of the works themselves also rapidly increases.
So I join the likes of Christian Boltanski, Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst, Matt Pyke and Wim Wenders with my work Falling Forward, which I produced at Le Fresnoy, as Professor Scanner. It was shot at 1000 frames per second and in extreme slow motion: broken glass, ice, photographs, and dust fall vertically across the screen, the backdrop being what looks like an out-of focus building facade. The only actor in it is a woman who passes the screen briefly. AND the sooner you buy any artwork here the cheaper it is as prices increase after every tenth sale.
Out this month too is the new EP from singer and model Alexandra Strunin. We’ve been writing songs together over the last months towards a special release in 2014 and live shows together, but for the moment only one song has leaked from our sessions, entitled Robot. It offers a good idea of the cinematic sound we are exploring. A live show in London is tentatively booked for 7 February 2014 already.
My new live album has been announced for February 2014, the perfect romantic gift for a loved one. Electronic Garden was recorded live in the open air Amphitheatre in the big garden of Dresden in 2007 and captures a host of live and unreleased songs, many improvised and never heard again after that night. Released on the very fine Bine Music in Germany I’m thrilled to share this release with you all very soon!
For some Friday 13th may come with all kinds of warnings but my only one would be to buy a ticket soon for the BFI Gothic night I’m curating in London over at the British Film Institute. Tickets have been selling exceptionally fast for this dark evening in December that will feature my interpretation of John Dowland’s mournful Lachrimae accompanied with visuals by British filmmaker Chris Turner. In addition I’ve commissioned new work by the legendary Carter Tutti, ex of Throbbing Gristle, who will be performing a live score to a very rare old black and white film, and Gazelle Twin who will be premiering new work in only her second show in the UK in 2013. New film works by Anna and Maria von Hausswolff and Chris Turner will be screened in between live shows, whilst the esoteric sounds of Death Waltz Records will be presenting spectral, dissonant dancefloor tunes in the Benugo lounge until late.
It promises to be a very entertaining night as part of a festival that embraces all varieties of the Gothic spirit. Indeed, just before our event electronic artists Demdike Stare will be performing a new score to Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages, the 1922 documentary-horror masterpiece exploring the effect of superstition on the collective medieval consciousness. You can read more about the festival and my thoughts on the works at the always-reliable The Quietus.
Now, time for to enjoy our social gift culture. I really collaborated with the very fine Justin Hopper, an American writer based in the UK, on Public Record: Estuary, a cycle of audio poems intended to be listened to on walks around the old fishing village of Leigh-on-Sea. Each of these pieces can be freely downloaded for your pleasure and private listening.
The work is part of a larger literary festival, Metal Culture and can be listened and downloaded in four independent parts. The poems are inspired by archival reports of 19th-century Estuary sea accidents. Set against the sights of today’s Estuary, they offer a new perspective on the clash of picturesque landscape and post-industrial edgelands. As you walk, you’ll find yourself immersed in the forgotten lives and colourful past of this “half-marine place”, caught between nature and industry, between ancient and modern. Parts One, Two, Three and Four can all be freely downloaded.
Another gift for you this month to download and enjoy comes in the shape of a remix for British artist Mark van Hoen, otherwise known as Locust. It was originally intended for a remix edition of his Editions Mego release this year but circumstances beyond my control simply left it on the studio hard drive so thought it better to share it with a wider public. So enjoy some very destructive broken melodies and beats.
Tragically the seminal English composer Sir John Tavener died last month, leaving a body of work that continues to inspire. Invited by Sir John’s publisher Music Sales Classical in 2009 to consider a project with him in the future I created a series of rewordings and deconstructions of his work, one of which I have shared online as a personal tribute, given that it’s likely that many people won’t get to actually hear this reworking otherwise. RIP Sir John. Listen to it here.
I’m off to perform a very exclusive show on 07 December in Münster Germany for the Aufabwegen Festival, where I will be sharing the stage with Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter of Nurse with Wound, and Mohammad from Germany, for a very entertaining night of surreal dark vibrations.
So until then, have a warm, safe festive time, share it with loved ones and family if you can and enjoy every moment. AND of course have a positive entry into the new year of 2014!
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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.
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.