May 2014


As the rains fall and we all grow increasingly bewildered as to which season it might even be anymore it’s time to catch up on a month past and a month ahead.

The future happens hereApril began over at MIT, as a continuation of my Resident Artist role alongside sound artist Stephen Vitiello, as it indeed it will continue in May too. This was an extremely dynamic week meeting with Tod Machover and the Media Lab folks, learning about smart objects that can assemble themselves with Skylar Tibbits, the possibility of ‘4D’ printing and so much more. It’s all very thrilling!

Excitingly in May I will also have a live show with Stephen Vitiello in collaboration with contemporary ensemble Either/Or at MIT CAST, the Center for Art, Science & Technology at MIT on 16 May. This will be the world premiere of a new concert length work. Tickets are available for free here, but strictly limited.

In mid April I returned to the Europazz Festival in Le Mans to play with French accordionist Pascal Contet and guitarist and singer Joel Cadbury of Unkle and South fame. We premiered The White Concert, which we will be performing elsewhere in France later this year. You can watch our rehearsals online, although please bear in mind I was horribly sick with flu at the time so look truly awful.

Magnetic Resonator Piano British group These New Puritans recently performed in London at the Barbican in London with my colleagues Heritage Orchestra, and at the same time had an interactive installation Magnetic Field using the extraordinary Magnetic Resonator Piano, designed by Andrew McPherson. This MRP is an electronically-augmented acoustic piano capable of eliciting new sounds acoustically from the piano strings, without speakers, where electromagnets induce vibrations in the strings independently of the hammers, creating infinite sustain, crescendos, harmonics, pitch bends and new timbres, all controlled from the piano keyboard.

I was kindly invited to perform a short set on this piano at the installation, and quite honestly had not been so intimidated in a long time, especially since the last time I played piano publicly was when I was 12 years old! Marvel at my poor skills here.

Time for some free music again and this month it’s a very special reworking of a track originally produced by Martyn Rainford for Alan Dunn’s A history of background CD. This exclusive remix appears only on the A-side of a single 12″ dubplate produced for the ‘Colonize’ exhibition in Jamestown, New York, April 2014. The work was produced in conjunction with Bruce Davies at BasementArtsProject and pressed by The Carvery. Enjoy this freeform experiment.

Scanner Studio This month I rebuilt my studio, following my fresh obsession with modular synthesis. This is an extremely engaging and addictive world of eccentric creation, populated by some of the kindest and most supportive community of folks I’ve had the fortune of meeting recently. I know it’s only going to get worse so admire the studio whilst it’s still within reach. You can read an extensive interview with me regarding my studio and recording history over at Headphone Commute. Listen to the results of my first modular recording session here.

Out this month is an amazing double album by French post rock masters Oiseaux-Tempête, who work with limited means in an epic manner, not unlike Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I was invited to make a remix for this release, alongside Witxes, Machinefabriek, Do Make Say Think and Jasper TX. Fortunately you can listen to the entire release here, as it streams before official release.

It’s with a very sad heart that I learned that my dear friend, Italian video artist and filmmaker Claudio Sinatti had suddenly passed away early in April. We’d worked together on a number of projects over the last decade, with our last performance in collaboration with his Live Video Ensemble at O’ Associazione Milan in 2010. You can watch a film on this online, and read my tribute to his memory in Digicult journal online here.

Pinned to the wall Don’t forget that copies of my recent live album, Electronic Garden, still currently come with a free digital download of a second epic live album, recorded at 1/4 Inch Wollongong Australia in 2010. You have to make your order through Greedbag to ensure you take advantage of this special offer. This package is fully accompanied by photos and a short film as part of the download package.

I’m off to the Bellaria Film Festival in Italy this week to perform my 52 Spaces project, originally commissioned and produced by The British School at Rome for film director Michelangelo Antonioni’s 90th birthday in 2002. 52 Spaces uses sounds of the city of Rome and elements of The Eclipse (1962) to create a soundtrack of an image of a city suspended in time, anonymous and surreal. In case you can’t make it to the beautiful town of Bellaria then you’ll have a second chance in London at Kings Place on 14th September.

On 26th May I will be sharing my birthday with Stevie Nicks, Helena Bonham Carter and Lenny Kravitz, though probably not all at the same party. I shall be turning into a very round number indeed 😀

So as always thanks for your support and wishing a positive month ahead to you all.

Best wishes

Professor Scanner

Hiding in the flowers

::: listen :::
Mica Levi: Under the Skin (Milan)
Minibus Pimps: Cloud to Ground (SusannaSonata)
Wrangler: LA Spark (MemeTune)
Suzanne Ciani: Logo Presentation Reel 1985 (Finders Keepers)

::: read :::
Chris Marker: A Grin Without a Cat (Whitechapel)
Mark Vail: The Synthesiser (Oxford)
Marc Weidenbaum: Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 (Bloomsbury)
Alain de Botton: How to Think More about Sex (Macmillan)

::: film:::
The Double, Richard Ayoade, UK
The Lunchbox, Ritesh Batra, India
Tracks, John Curran, Australia
Calvary, John Michael McDonagh, Ireland


Weave Waves
Scanner & textile artist Ismini Samanidou
Smiths Row
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.

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.