Seemingly as quickly as it arrived, summer slipped away and it’s almost autumnal already, and I have just returned from the chilly Nykøbing Mors on the Danish island of Mors where I premiered a new work based on the music of Sir Edward William Elgar, with live cello by the very capable Zoe Martlew, and then from France for another show with Joel Cadbury and Pascal Contet performing on the waterfront of Nantes, and a rare DJ set from myself to entertain the crowds.
The last month has been spent preparing for the launch of Bridging the World at The Museum of London Docklands. A multi-channel sound work, the installation features an expansive collage of voices from all over the world, with readings of bridge names from Vietnam, Taiwan, USA, Italy, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, France, UK, Greece and many more, mixed with more personal tales of London bridges. Some of the stories are so moving, from a midnight kiss in the falling show by Big Ben and Parliament, to the dreamy thoughts of crossing the same bridge every day en route to work.
I will be performing two exclusive live sets on the opening itself on Friday 5th September, combining sampled phone calls with a colourful modular synth set up, as part of Late London: Sonic City. In addition celebrated British writer and musician David Toop will also be performing live with a spoken word/sound piece, Brian Eno will co-curate a playlist of London oriented music for visitors, Helen Frosi of the SoundFjorb Lab will run an Art of Listening workshop, Points of Listening will be offering deep listening experiences to connect with the urban landscape around you, Bitter Sweet Frequencies will blur the lines between food, art and sound and Subpac will offer visitors the chance to feel as well as heard the sound with their tactile audio technology. I hope that some of you can attend.
If you are curious as to an idea of the soundtrack base for this Museum performance then here’s a video of a recent studio experiment, Discrete Transmission, which utilises many of the Eurorack Modular synths that will assist me in the score.
I recently wrote about the Sounds of London for the Museum blog, touching on the noise and blissful energy of this fine city, where I close with:
“London never sleeps and the noise never takes a holiday so embrace this if you can, and if you continue to struggle with it, then consider what John Cage, the celebrated American musician and thinker wrote “Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.” So take off those headphones, open those windows and listen.”
Over at Bandcamp I’ve now added the album that previously accompanied any purchase of Electronic Garden CD from my Scanner shop. It’s still available for free if you purchase it through the shop, but otherwise you are welcome to purchase the album independently here now. It’s a completely unreleased epic set recorded live at 1/4 Inch Wollongong 01.12.2010, accompanied by photos and a short film as part of the download package.
September also brings a special FREE night at the Genesis Cinema in London, an independent and vibrant cinema in the East End. On 13th September I’ve chosen two motion pictures that are gems of sound design, namely Under the Skin and Only God Forgives. Before and in-between the screenings I’ll be DJing appropriately dark and cinematic music and even better the entire event is completely free. Tickets available here.
I’ll be performing my new almost classic work, 52 Spaces, at Kings Place in London on Sunday 14th September. 52 Spaces uses sounds of the city of Rome and elements of Antonioni’s The Eclipse (1962) to create a soundtrack of an image of a city suspended in time, anonymous and surreal. The result is a distilled narrative of seductive conversation, musical fragments and city soundscapes.
Selecting a series of 52 scenes from the closing moments of the film and slowed down to a kind of mnemonic slide show and accompanied by audio culled from the movie processed with twinkling elements from the soundtrack’s original melody, the work conveys a complex and mysterious contemplative chronicle. Hope that some of you might be able to come along to enjoy it. Tickets here.
Back at the same venue I’m also delighted to take part in the Minimalism Unwrapped series at Kings Place in London for 2015, performning alongside such greats as Steve Reich, Moondog. Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Arvo Pärt and many others. The programme has just been officially launched and I’m going to present the world premiere of Tavener Deconstructed / Reconstructed on Sunday 11th January.
This is a new suite of music based on the work of English composer John Tavener (1944-2013), expanding, diffusing and amplifying his work through rewritings. Taking original themes and turning them inside out and creating a new space where the music can be heard afresh, this will continue a project I began with Tavener’s blessing, shortly before he passed away. Tickets here.
Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked finally comes back to life, almost a year after our last UK tour, when we tour the work to Bremen in Germany. So with Heritage Orchestra we visit Musikfest Bremen for a spectacular emotive vision. Here’s hoping for more European shows in the future too! Here’s a memory of our sell out show at London’s Southbank Royal Festival Hall back in 2014.
See you next month!
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::: read :::
Bridging the World
Bridging the World takes the spectator on a journey through a river of hanging speakers within the museum. Each speaker broadcasts recordings collected from people in London and across the globe; converging in personal stories and responses to bridges around the world. A celebration of the invisible, the installation encourages visitors to think about the city around them, even when they have left the building. Scanner’s work forms part of the creative programme for Bridge – the latest art exhibition at Museum of London Docklands.
Vex in Venice
07 June – 22 November 2014
A collaborative installation between Scanner and British architectural practice Chance de Silva, linked to their London project Vex, a curved concrete house being built in Stoke Newington between this summer and July 2015.
The work contains a storey-height ‘fragment’ of Vex London in the form of a curved profiled steel wall that interlinks with the fabric of the existing historic staircase, with a score inspired by Erik Satie’s composition Vexations (1893).
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.