Snow has arrived in full splendour here in many areas of Europe and the glorious white landscape is something to behold. Apparently 2015 has been designated the International Year of Light and the International Year of Soils by the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, so be prepared.
My year closed in the most tragic manner with the death of my brother. Just a year after my mother passed away and whilst still trying to adapt to this sudden loss he slipped away, beyond the grasp of life. As you might imagine this has impacted in so many ways so it’s been a sorrowful and terribly melancholic festive time at Scanner HQ.
Shortly after his passing I created this little musical tribute to him which wrenches the simplest harmonies from my Eurorack Modular Synth system combined with delicate recordings I made of his breathing whilst in the hospice. I was so moved to even hear the DJ Mark Broom open his set with this tune recently to the bewilderment of the club, keenly awaiting the kick drum. Feel free to download Sad Atlantis(for Nick).
As such this month has been exceptionally quiet on the public Scanner front. However I did manage to play one show with Polish ensemble Kwartludium at Rich Mix in London, performing music to visual scores. Our twenty-minute open improvisation was an outstanding success though so I will upload this to share with everyone online very soon.
Behind the scenes I’ve been working as intensely as possible on projects to premiere in 2015, beginning with my new show based on the work of late British composer John Tavener. Opening at Kings Place in London on 11th January the show promises to take a meditative reading of the mesmeric music of Tavener and transform it into something that touches on the radiant splendour of the source material. I hope that I can present this work elsewhere around the world in the year to follow.
The previous evening I’ll also be presenting a short new work, Unsleeping, a new commission from London Sinfonietta, inspired by the seminal In C by American composer Terry Riley. Riley’s hypnotic minimalist work takes pride of place as part of the Kings Place Minimalism Unwrapped series and I’m truly honoured to be presenting a new work of mine alongside him as well as pieces by Stephen Montague, Michael Nyman and Naama Zisser.
I was actually born a few months before the premiere of Terry Riley’s seminal work, In C, at the San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1964. I like to imagine that whilst I was blissfully sleeping as a six-month-old baby, shrouded in layers of cotton and luxuriating in this primal state, audiences were contentedly sharing a similar dreamlike state at hearing this performance. So for Unsleeping I have composed a work that takes the pulse and energy of the original work but treats it as if broadcast from a dense faded place in your consciousness, where the structure and harmonic shifts flow just beneath the surface. I hope that it captures some of the sense of wonder that I felt when I first experienced In C as a teenager.
Out soon on double vinyl and digital is Rail Cables, collecting works inspired by the idea of travelling by rail and marvelling at the rail cables passing overhead. Alongside my own new twenty minute exclusive work, the release features new material from Greg Fox, drummer with American psyche rock band Guardian Alien, as well as Boredoms and Ben Frost, plus Israeli multi-media artist Ran Slavin and Paddy Shine, part of the Gnod collective, under his moniker Dru$s. I’m very excited about this release! Listen to an excerpt here.
Another little release has also just sneaked out in Italy. A 7” coloured vinyl record featuring a new piece of mine, Tokyonin, with Veryan Weston on the other side. If you don’t fancy spending any money, then scroll down the page and download the Compilation Homage to Giacinto Scelsi, featuring works from Rafael Toral, David Toop, Alvin Curran and many others too. It’s a beautiful collection.
So here’s to a positive, energetic, happy 2015 and especially thanks to everyone recently for your support and kind thoughts in this troubling time.
::: listen :::
Holly Herndon: Relations (Vinyl Factory)
Arca: Xen (Mute)
Some Truths: Bliss Abyss (We Can Elude Control)
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground Box Set (Polydor)
::: read :::
Berlinde De Bruyckere (Yale Uni Press)
Miles Hunt: Diaries 86-89 (IRL)
Nick Drake: Remembered for a While (John Murray)
Cabinet Magazine Issue 54: The Accident
Life After Beth, Jeff Baena, USA
The Killing, Stanley Kubrick, USA
Big Eyes, Tim Burton, USA
Unbroken, Angelina Jolie, USA
By Sukhdev Sandhu
Design Mind Unit
Sound Design Scanner
Artangel Interaction invited
Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
NightJam is the latest project in Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London
NightJam presents two music tracks, a film, photographs, that can be experienced