Freshly back from Sydney Australia as I write this, and back into the strange winter European weather that slips between the apocalypse and a pretend-Autumn, so it’s all very confusing indeed.
The Sydney Festival was extraordinary fun, playing five shows at the prestigious Sky Terrace at The Star Casino where I unsettled casual listeners with my modern interpretations of baroque music. Within less than five minutes of my first performance I had requests for ‘less mournful music’ and ‘more RnB please’ and ‘will you be taking requests?‘ from members of the public bewildered at the lack of Jay Z, Rhianna and characterless house tunes frequently playing out there.
In between shows I was fortunate enough to see much of the Sydney Festival, including the Band of Magicians, Lee Renaldo and Mike Patton, Chi Udaka, Sasha Waltz’s underwater Dido & Aeneas, and artwork from Roman Ondak, Christian Boltanski, Jeremy Deller and others, so it was a culturally rewarding trip too.
Press is beginning to appear on my unusual collaboration with British architectural firm Chance de Silva in London, where are creating a residential house in East London, inspired by the work of French composer Erik Satie. Specifically we are taking his work Vexations that uses repetition of the same passage of piano music 840 times and taking it as inspiration for both the physical design and internal furnishings of the home. The esteemed Venice Biennale has approached us regarding creating an installation for their next architectural show too so that’s exciting. Read more about it all here.
And continuing this theme of spaces and architecture I’m departing to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston this month and returning several times over the next few months as part of my role as Visiting Artist. In collaboration with my long time friend and creator American sound artist Stephen Vitiello, we will be investigating bodily experience of sound and spatial practice in a series of workshops, presentations and collaborations. Hope to make lots of new friends there too!
I was delighted to take over the Instagram account for The Photographers Gallery in London in January in association with their amazing new show of photographs by David Lynch, Andy Warhol and William S. Burroughs. You can follow my Instagram account if you wish to view the world through my eyes. And if nothing else I would encourage you to visit these showsas they are inspirational!
It’s funny how a little playful exchange on Twitter can lead to such adventures, but an invitation to remix British band Das Fluff back in 2011 has finally come to fruition with my version of their hauntingly ambient Moonsong. Adding a new rhythmic intensity and epic melodies wrapped around the gorgeous original vocals you can purchase the song for a bargain £1.00 at Bandcamp, and watch the dreamy magical video directed by directed by Christian Ruland over at youtube.
Tune in on 1 February on BBC Radio 4 at 20h00 to listen to a one hour special I worked on called The Haunted Apparatus. Thirty years after the invention of the mobile phone, poet and presenter Ian McMillan makes strange what we very quickly came to take for granted – the ability to send a disembodied voice down a phoneline. Through a reverie on time and place Ian and guests, including Jackie Kay, Charlie Higson, Chuck Palahniuk, and David Toop will explore why hanging on to the ‘uncanny’ nature of phone calls, could help us understand what’s happening to us – as we become deluged with new ways to communicate. You should be able to listen back on the iPlayer for some weeks afterwards too.
2014 is certainly setting itself to be an extraordinarily fun year in creative terms, with my first new studio album since 2009 with many special guests, as well as new collaborative projects with Joel Cadbury, Pascal Contet, Yasuhiro Morinaga, Anni Hogan, King Britt, Rafael Anton Irisarri, London Sinfonietta, Ambivalent, Alexandra Strunin and more.
So wishing you an entertaining and rewarding month and as always thanks for your support.
::: listen :::
Bass Clef: Acid Tracts E.P. (Magic and Dreams)
Nico Muhly – Kill Your Darlings (Sony)
Charles Cohen: The Middle Distance (Morphine)
Lustmord – Things That Were (VOD)
::: read :::
Cabinet Issue 51: Wheels
The Quay Brothers’ Universum (EYE)
Anselm Kiefer Studios (Thames & Hudson)
Taking Shots: Photography of William S. Burroughs (Prestel)
The Last Days on Mars, Ruairi Robinson, UK/Ireland
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese, USA
Prisoners, Denis Villeneuve, USA
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen, USA
Bury St Edmunds
29 March – 24 May 2014
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.
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 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.