November 2014


So the good news is that if you are reading this you made it safely through Halloween and as I was saying to the devil just last night, it’s certainly been a challenging year, but onward we go. Then again perhaps you are one of the undead online, who can tell.

Across the bridge

These months run away with us at times, as I’m sure you also recognise and trying to maintain a flow of work remains essential to me. Now it’s close to the end of the year planning for 2015 projects are firmly in place and I’m happy to confirm that my first new studio album since Rockets, Unto the Edges of Edges (2009) will be out, tentatively and ironically (given the scary theme) entitled The White Devil. Work continues busily on that as the days pass by.

Meanwhile boxes of CDs of my Ripples and Roots: Rushmoor Stories with players of London Sinfonietta project safely arrived recently. Working in partnership with the New Dimensions and West End Centre, Aldershot, the new piece emerged out of conversations and sessions with the Senior Moments local retirement group, and the Nepalese Dance Group, which I then wove into a new work, forty minutes in length, that uses voices, music and sounds to tell a sonic story of our local engagement.

On Sunday 9th November we will be performing it live at Aldershot Military Museum and the show is free to the public. The CD will be available for free to all attendees, as well as at future Scanner and London Sinfonietta performances and via mail order soon. Stay tuned.

It is my design, my desire

Bridging the World finally closed this weekend in London at the Museum of London Docklands after an extremely successful couple of months on display. In celebration I uploaded a live set I performed at the launch of the show, which I performed entirely on my Verbos Eurorack Modular system and small sampler and combined it with some of the classic scanned mobile telephone conversations I recorded back in the 1990s, capturing a picture of London at a certain time. Download the complete show here for free.

In October I presented part of a new project with artist Kasia Molga in collaboration with The Science Gallery and their Frequency programme. We have been exploring the imperceptible characteristics of the human breath in both aural and visual ways. A film is shortly to follow but for the moment enjoy the sensual sounds in isolation. Listen here.

My collaboration with Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck’s film Staging Silence (2) can now be viewed online, having been shown in countless museums around the world over the last two years. The film itself is an incredibly playful and inventive work, conjuring up a variety of visual worlds that are set in place by hands that appear and disappear at random. At once banal and extraordinary the film leaves the spectator both questioning and entertained.

I performed over in Gothenburg Sweden for GAS (Göterborg Art Sounds) in October and had a wonderful time, exploring the city, meeting up with composer Christian Wolff after many years absence and celebrating his birthday, catching up with musical whizz kids Elektron and marvelling at the eerie Natural History Museum. Work wise I performed with choreographer Olof Persson at 3:e Våningen and here’s an excerpt from my solo performance, captured on a mobile phone in the audience.

Currently on display at Tyneside Cinema in the UK is a new work that I created in collaboration with artist Aura Satz, Chromatic Aberration. On until 23 November the film pays homage to the medium of colour film technology. Working with George Eastman House’s collection, Satz has selected early 1920s colour film footage that expose chromatic distortions and misalignments, mainly tests shots featuring members of George Eastman’s family as well as Hollywood stars of the time.

Using specialist equipment at the BFI National Archive, Aura Satz reworked the footage through the use of extreme close-up and magnification, especially the eyes. The end result turns the cinematic lens in on itself: from the prosthetic recording eye of the camera, to an evocation of the abstract inner screen behind one’s eyelids. The installation evokes an imagined abstract colour world, a flickering eyelid trapped in a mechanical peephole shimmering between dreamy reverie, curiosity, terror, defiance and awe. I worked closely with Aura to balance this unnerving world with a sonic score that unbalances the viewer.

Unable to fly Out soon on vinyl only will be a very special project inspired by rail travel, entitled Rail Cables. If you’ve ever spent some time sitting on a train and letting your imagination drift away as the cables above you create random patterns in your head you will understand how this recording was born. My 20 min piece is entirely composed on my Eurorack Modular Synth system and captures the sense of a train journey, flickering, clicking, rattling, with ever forward motion. More info here.

Four years in the waiting but finally the monstrous recording between Jochen Arbeit of Einsturzende Neubauten and myself is available for download. Recorded live in 2010 at The Forum London as part of the 30th anniversary of Nebauten, the digital release comes complete with scans of the Access All Areas passes, flyer, etc. Luke Turner of The Quietus captured the concert perfectly in describing it as “Jochen Arbeit’s live collaboration with Robin ‘Scanner’ Rimbaud was an unqualified sex, retaining a propulsive groove and stern energy despite the improvised nature of the piece.” Listen and buy it here.

The new Githead album has been finally announced, Waiting for a Sign, which is available for pre-order on vinyl, CD and digital formats now. To accompany this we will be playing our first live show in four years in Brighton as part of Wire’s DRILL: Brighton festival on 6th December at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (yes, seriously that’s the name), premiering all new material (and some gems from the back catalogue) for the show. Can’t wait! Have a listen here to one of the tracks off the album to sooth your soul.


My final live show of the show with Joel Cadbury and Pascal Contet will close the month in Annecy France, where we’ll be rocking the guitars, electronics and accordion in suitably disrespectful fashion.

So until next month thanks for your support as ever.

Best wishes

Professor Scanner

Lost in thought, again

::: listen :::
Clark: Clark (Warp)
King Crimson: Starless (DGM)
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp)
These New Puritans: Expanded (Vinyl Factory)

::: read :::
So This is Permanence: Ian Curtis Writings (Faber)
Anselm Kiefer: Monograph (RA)
Från Marcus Larson till Goth (Göteborgs Konstmuseum)
Michael Faber: Under the Skin (Canongate)

::: film:::
Fury, David Ayer, USA
The Babadook, Jennifer Kent, Australia
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy, USA
M, Fritz Lang, Germany


Vex in Venice
Venice Architecture Biennale
Palazzo Mora
Strada Nuova 3659

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).

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.