Into the shortest month of the year but one that seems set to be already extraordinarily busy and exciting so let’s dig in immediately.
The highlight for February is the release of SCANNI, my new album with pianist and composer Anni Hogan (Marc & The Mambas, Marc Almond). This is a very personal record in many ways, reflected in many of the songs, and spans across ten tracks that draw together a variety of special guests, including Martin Bowes (Attrition), Wolfgang Flür, legendary ex-Kraftwerk percussionist, Jarboe the lauded singer from the Swans, Merseyside legend Thomas Lang and more.
SCANNI offers up a positive energy and beguiling optimism, spinning out through hearty tunes, pensive contemplation and heart-breaking emotive ballads. This record takes a very important place in the discographies of both of us and one I’m especially proud of and for it to come out on Cherry Red, with its own amazing history of releases over the years is truly an honour. Out on the streets on 26 February, and available to order online now at your local store.
I was delighted to present two new works for the BBC in January. In Herland the award winning science fiction writer Geoff Ryman uses the novel Herland by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a starting point to ask why it’s been so hard to imagine a world where gender dissolves. In the course of the programme he wrote his own short story, avoiding the pitfalls that have skewered many before him. The story called No Point Talking was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 18.00 on the same day and available as a podcast too. I am delighted to have scored both of these programmes. Listen to Herland here. Listen to No Point Talking here.
Over the last months I’ve imported and catalogued a massive amount of back catalogue, the majority of which remains unheard, and intend over the months and years to follow to offer this out as a mixture of free downloads and special digital editions.
Venus and Elgar was premiered in Mors in Denmark in August 2014. Invited by Danish composer Carsten Bo Eriksen to collaborate on a live performance in Denmark in August 2014, we agreed on a reworking of the music of Elgar. The performance began with Carsten performing live with cellist Zoe Martlew. We then connected for a five-minute collaborative section, then Carsten left the stage and I continued for the duration of my set, with Zoe improvising live to the electronic score. Here you can purchase both a studio recording of the work and a live iPhone recording made at the time that captures the true magic of the live instrumentation.
London based arts agency Artangel took on a sharp new online identity and with their redesigned and fresh new website it’s great to see some of my projects now available online to experience, including Night Haunts (2006) with writer Sukhev Sandhu. Running for just over a year, Nights of London was a thread of projects exploring the nocturnal life of the city. It ran through cinemas and galleries, was hosted on websites, burned onto CDs, written into letters, performed in nightclubs and broadcast via radio channels, before concluding in Bethnal Green town hall that – for one night only – was filled with bat experts, musicians, cabaret artists and paranormal researchers, and Sukhdev and I performed the work live. We heard stories from the unorthodox side of nightfall. We learned about ways of life that, despite their physical proximity, are all but invisible to most of us, most of the time.
Surface Noise (1998) took the audience across the city of London from St Paul’s Cathedral to Big Ben on a grand old red Routemaster bus. Taking the sights and sounds of London and the nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down as a starting point for a journey through the city, I gathered sound samples and visual material as ingredients for three evenings of live sound, scanning the airwaves for live conversations. Listen to an excerpt from the performance here.
Rummaging through my audio archive I have found countless works to share. This month features Draussen Drinnen (2007) – a very special commission from Kunstradio in Vienna, using found sound, voices and electronics. Yours to keep and download here.
A little quirky trivia moment with the discovery online of an interview with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth on MTV and their speaking with TV celebrity Davina McCall about my work on my label at the time Ash International. How very bizarre. Watch it here.
February will feature the premiere of two new contemporary dance works. As part of the Ballet Bubbles programme for the Dutch National Ballet I’m working over in Den Bosch in The Netherlands with choreographer Juanjo Arqués. For the 500th anniversary of painter Jeroen Bosch, the Spanish guest choreographer is creating a ballet inspired by the famous trilogy The Garden of Earthy Delights. Fresas will be about seduction, gender, religion and morality with a completely new Scanner score.
Then Pattern Recognition will preview in Ipswich before it’s world premiere at the Platform Theatre, London on April 7th this year. It’s a unique collaboration between the choreographer Alexander Whitney and digital artist Memo Akten, using cutting edge motion-responsive technology. The piece opens up questions about learning and memory in relation to artificial intelligence, Pattern Recognition furthers a line of enquiry drawing on Whitley’s interests in philosophy, technology and design that seeks to redefine the boundaries between dance and other art forms. I’ve been collaborating with cellist Oliver Coates on scoring this evening long work so am very excited about it.
Some rather special live events coming next month too. I’ll be performing a live show at the launch for the ReVu Video Editor App at Google Campus in London on 10 March. Free tickets but hurry up as it’s going to be sold out soon. Book here.
The following week I’m making my debut collaboration with boundary pushing multi-media artists The Light Surgeons at the Convergence Festival in London. Their work spans many diverse mediums; print, photography, motion graphics, short films, exhibitions and installations. Over the past ten years they have helped to pioneer new forms of cross platform practice, particularly with their audiovisual performances, expanded cinema projects and installations. For our debut collaboration we will be exploring our own personal archives of images and sound. Tickets and more information available here.
So until next month
::: listen :::
::: read :::
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. The work features as part of a show exploring the relationship of crafts and audio.
Scanner and Samanidou were inspired by the visual and technical similarities between the digital software they both use and the physicality of code.
Between the Bullet and the Hole
The Sydney Biennale
Exhibition of work with artist Aura Satz. Features a short film that I designed all the sound for, which examines the role of women in ballistic research, early computing and pattern perception in warfare.
Artangel Interaction invited