March 2018

March 2018


Well this day catches me in rather appalling health, with the most disgusting viral infection, so much so that I have no appetite for food, and am currently rapidly losing weight. So at least there’s something positive out of this nightmarish sickness.

Photo by Olga Kisseleva

I’ve just returned from Boston MA where I had the joy of playing a concert at the ICA there, in collaboration with two long term musical colleagues – Stephen Vitiello and Neil Leonard. It accompanied the ICA’s current show Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, which examines how the internet has radically changed the field of art. It was very much an abstract and textural performance featuring modular synths, live sax and processed electronics.

I was also delighted to reaquaint myself with Berklee College of Music in a public presentation and workshop with students. With temperatures ranging from 24 gloriously sunny degrees one day, then down to just 4 degrees and the snow the very next it’s no surprise that perhaps I returned horribly sick.

I was also amused that in just one month I began by playing a solo show at IKLECTIK in London to a sold out crowd, then the very next week played in Paris with American musician David Rothenberg in a duet for the Nemo Festival, then the following week in this Boston trio. The joke being that I should basically be performing with a quartet this week, but you’ll have to wait until April for that now!

Too late for readers now, as it sold out within a matter of days, but a show was just announced with the legendary American pianist Harold Budd who had rather tauntingly ‘retired’ some years ago but with a new burst of energy is now back to play live in London for the first time in 17 years. I’m honoured to have been invited to support him for this night at the Union Chapel in April 2018. Curiously, I have never heard Budd perform live. 

As a sprightly 82 year, I’m certain it’s going to be a perfectly blissful experience, in collaboration with the Vespertine Quintet. I have attended various Eno related/curated events over the years, most notably at the Riverside Studios and at the South Bank Centre in London. I vividly remember hearing Canadian guitarist Michael Brook perform so incredibly quietly that the volume of the man’s watch sitting directly behind me was significantly more prominent. At times I even held my breath to better hear the music. Truly unforgettable.

I had a lovely chat with American musician Derek Piotr last month, for his radio broadcast focusing on beauty. I wrote a little piece about this on my site which you can read here, and listen to the show itself too. I closed the show with my own special mix too, featuring music that offers a real sense of beauty to me, including material from Robert Ashley, John Cage, Brian Eno, Stephen Vitiello & Taylor Deupree, The Unthanks, and Earth, Wind & Fire. I hope you might enjoy it!

More listening joys were uploaded this last month. My BBC 6 Music Freak Zone finally expired, but since so many folks had expressed an interest in hearing it again I’ve just upload it to MixCloud where you can have a listen in your own time. Enjoy it here. Then my new work for Kunstradio/ORF can now be heard over at Soundcloud. Radio RainFall was in some ways a tribute to John Cage and David Tudor and their shaping of the airwaves with their exploratory sounds.

Much of my time is spent composing music for contemporary dance and this month a new work is premiered in Amsterdam in collaboration with choreographer Juanjo Arques. Fingers in the Air features a new work but delivered in a very intriguing way. His inspiration for this ballet reflects on ‘Voting’, a concept that has immersed our lives, from politics to tv shows to dating apps.  But does it really matter what we choose? In this work the audience will have the chance to interact during the performance by voting in order to develop the composition of ballet. So the music will change dependent upon how people vote at each performance! The premiere will be 10th of March in Amsterdam.

Split | Lucy Guerin Inc - trailer

 My work with Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin, Split, is continuing to tour, with many worldwide shows to be announced very soon. A duet between two women, with a new fifty minute long score, it’s even been shortlisted for an award so fingers crossed on that. It will be featured at the Adelaide Festival this month so if you are local then please make the effort to see this extraordinary work.

And my work is finally moving into the cinema, something I’ve long awaited. I’ve contributed original material to a forthcoming documentary on the work of artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It premieres in Montreal on 8 March at The International Festival of Films on Art in its 36th edition. Directed by Benjamin Duffield, Megalodemocrat: The Public Art of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, raises the question of the space occupied by art in people’s daily lives nowadays. In developing acoustic environments, light shows, and interactive projections on five continents, he won two BAFTA Awards, a Bauhaus Award, and a Governor General Award. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer uses technology to gather people and transform them into actors of social change.

Filmed over 10 years in 25 cities around the globe, Megalodemocrat paints a picture of the artist’s approach and contagious enthusiasm when it comes to transforming the urban landscape into a work of art for all to see, from Vancouver to Rotterdam to New York.

There’s much bigger cinema news to share soon, but for the moment my lips remain legally sealed. Patience will be a virtue for something very special ahead!

Tone Science Module No.1 Structure and Forces, on Tone Science / DiN is out in March 2018. This first release is a compilation album featuring nine artists from different musical backgrounds with the common thread being that all the tracks were composed entirely with a modular synth system. I’m delighted to present new work here, alongside Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle, DivKid, and many other fine modular creators. Everything was created using a modular synth set up but unlike many available works on such systems this is an extraordinarily beautiful listen.

So, I’m hoping to feel my health improved in the mountains and remote landscapes of New Zealand in this next month as I’ll be mid-flight when this newsletter is sent out through the wonders of modern technology!

So, wishing you a positive March time ahead!

Professor Scanner

::: listen :::
Pierry Henry: Polyphonies (RadioArt)
Mica Levi: Delete Beach (DDS)
Psychic TV: Kondole (Cold Spring)
NYZ: ALG 118B (Computer Club)

::: read ::: 
Ann Quinn: The Unmapped Country (Andotherstories)
Stuart Brisley: Drawing Room Confessions (DRC)
Georges Perec: Le Condottière (Points)
Red Star Over Russia (Tate)

::: watch :::
Wind River: Taylor Sheridan
Joan Didion-The Center Will Not Hold: Griffin Dunne
Downsizing: Alexander Payne
Birdman of Alcatraz: John Frankenheimer

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