Returning from the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva Florida was undeniably brutal. Exchanging t-shirts for thermal tops, and bare feet for warm socks, life had to return to some sense of normality I suppose!
April really was a month immersed in creating new work in this dreamy location and since my return I’ve been busily editing the recordings I made towards this new album. At present there is more than enough material for a double album, or perhaps two separate albums, one focusing on the more ambient vein, the other more rhythmic and abstract. Let’s see what develops!
Towards the end of my stay there was an Open Studio so all of the invited artists could share with the public the fruits of their creative labours over the previous six weeks. I showed a series of graphic works I’d been experimenting with, as well as photographs and texts, and then made a short and succinct performance to share with the public. You can watch this extremely compressed show here.
Something I found surprising and fascinating about my stay was how it altered my listening habits. Whilst working on my new book I found that much of the music I would ordinarily listen to seemed wrong for the location. With nature in its rawest form all around, with osprey, vultures, dolphins, manatees, racoons, woodpeckers surrounding me, it was a challenge to find other music that might work.
As an alternative I began to write music for myself and here’s an excerpt from a piece I composed, or at least set in motion. I set up a device to respond to the movement in the Waldo Cottage where I have been working, so the sound, the Aalto synth, is generated by the movement of this ancient wooden building itself, with little human interaction. Listen carefully and you can hear birdsong outside the window. Listen to it here.
Back in the UK I played only one of two shows this year, entitled How to Make Art from Life (with the help of a few ghosts). It took place at the prestigious Lowry in Salford near Manchester and featured an evening of film and music. Having sound tracked so many films over the years I chose a few films to rescore life, then gave a presentation about my work and engaged in a Q&A. Though the format felt a little risky it was a mighty success, with one review capturing the evening:
Scanner’s enthusiasm and the diversity of his creative output are such that his full body of work is remarkably resistant to containment and spills tantalisingly out at every given opportunity. Each film is brought to life with a complex and nuanced electronic soundtrack of dramatic strings, subtle beats, loops, static, subharmonics. The combination of film and music is entrancing, elegiac, dreamlike, hypnotic. How to Make Art From Life is an unconventional small-scale show – in a studio theatre for a man with a hugely successful career that has spanned the globe with major international artists and venues.
Continuing the cinematic theme my recent collaboration with Swedish filmmaker Maria von Hausswolff, Alien Tourist, continues to be shown at the Johan Berggren Gallery in Sweden. For those of you interested to see the film you can actually watch the entirety of this short film online at this website.
Out soon on vinyl is a very special old tune of mine, recorded with Japan based musician Terre Thaemlitz. You can read more about the release and the label details here in an interview with the label director Ben Galyas.
I’m off to Gothenburgin Sweden this month to begin development on a new dance project that will involve the participation of many of you if you wish, and will also continue working on a new installation for this new amazing location, Little Moreton Hall, which will open in the summer. It’s the oldest Tudor house in the UK so an extraordinary location to be invited to present work on and a genuine honour.
So, until next month
::: read :::
Artangel Interaction invited