So it’s the end of the year and a chance to reflect back on all that’s passed. Many would agree it’s not been the most generous of years, with political turmoil and the loss of so many inspiring and influential figures over the last twelve months. Only last week we said farewell to the pioneering sonic innovator Pauline Oliveros, following a trail of losses that have included David Bowie, Tony Conrad, Don Buchla, Prince, Alan Vega, Leonard Cohen and too many others.
Creatively this has been an extremely busy year again for me – I scored ten new dance works ranging from the world’s first VR Ballet to orchestral work with Rambert Dance, produced new sound installations in such unique locations as a 350 year old sound chamber in Cliveden, a forest in Corby, an ancient chapel formerly part of Middlesex Hospital and permanent new works in the Vex House in London and Rijeka Airport in Croatia. I also became a regular writer for Electronic Sound magazine contributing columns about the value of recorded music and the role of contemplation and silence in your life.
Commercially I scored new campaigns for Stella McCartney, H&M and Max&Co, designed sound for The Economist magazine website and released several new solo albums, Choral ReWorks, Venus and Elgar, and Vex, as well as beautiful collaborations with Anni Hogan for our new Scanni project and Hi-Fi Klub in France on Mayol. So that’s a total of five new albums in a year, so clearly I’m slowing down!
Back to the present day and I’m currently suffering from a stupid domestic accident where I’ve torn the gastrocnemius muscle in my calf so unable to walk, and learnt to become best friends with the sofa! Thankfully November was a quieter month with just a trip to Paris to give a Keynote presentation at La Sorbonne for their Festival des Idées which was a joy, and a little live modular music show in the UK.
I’m off to Pisa in Italy in December to present Vex, this very special project for a house in London, in a world premiere, where I will speaking about the work and then performing a version of the soundtrack live. More details at my website and in the live show listings. After that it’s off to The Netherlands to enjoy Christmas with food, family and friends.
My new collaboration with United Visual Artists, 000, opened at MONA in Tasmania last month. This immersive interactive work explores how sound originated from the sounds of the human body and how we interact with the natural world. The spectator stands within a circular space and is able to physically play the air around them with movement. The work is installed as part of On the Origin of Art until April 2017 so if you any of you have the chance to visit I encourage you too, or just Google it to admire the amusing videos people have taken of themselves in the space!
I was honoured to offer a track to the long-running Pop Ambient series of releases on Kompakt Records. For their 2017 edition, available on CD, vinyl and digital, I collaborated with Japanese composer Yui Onodera, offering a dreamy cinematic piece that offers up a blanket of warm ambience. Listen and buy it here.
Brainbox, a six-vinyl box set, was released in November, containing a wealth of new and previously unreleased material from some of the most revered names in electronic music. Given the names on show – Speedy J, Spacetime Continuum, Future Sound of London, B12, Move D and Meat Beat Manifesto, and many more – it was clearly inspired by the ‘intelligent techno’ movement of the early-to-mid ’90s. Imagine inspired trips into the worlds of spacey drum & bass, dub techno, ambient and Motor City futurism. I was delighted to offer an exclusive work, Eros, to feature in this set, a very emotive pulsing gem. You can listen to the entire release online and treat yourself to this very limited set at selected retailers. Tune in here.
2017 brings with it many exciting projects, including my first new full-length solo studio album since 2009, a residency in Captiva Florida, a new dance project in Sweden and a special installation in the National Portrait Gallery London, amongst many other things.
So until then have a wonderful festive time with family, friends, animals and aliens and a safe and happy entry into the new year, wherever you may be.
Until next time
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Collaboration with United Visual Artists as part of a group show curated by four scientists. This immersive interactive work explores how sound originated from the sounds of the human body and how we interact with the natural world.
Artangel Interaction invited