What a month this has been! Not unsurprisingly, I fell ill after 2.5 weeks of travelling, catching a nasty bout of flu which left me sleeping on the sofa and drifting for a few days. Not the best birthday gift to myself really!
May began in Vienna, Austria, a truly favourite city of mine. I arrived to perform outdoors using Streamers, a participative public sculpture made out of recycled loudspeakers, tube radios, hi-fi furniture and modern interactive media, designed by artist Benoît Maubrey. This extraordinary work stood out in the local landscape, and despite the initial torrential rain crowds formed around it during the day, almost as worshipping it. You can watch my full performance back here online.
A few days later I opened my new sound installation at Tonspur in the Museums Quartier in Vienna. TOGETHER TOGETHER TOGETHER is a new 8-channel sound installation which runs until 28 August 2022. You can listen back to the work in full at this link, which was mixed by my good friend American sound artist Stephen Vitiello, in binaural stereo, so please wear headphones to listen back if you can.
I was home for a mere few hours, then set off on a 20-hour trip to the USA, through Chicago to land in Bentonville Arkansas, where I spent a single day, then travelled another 20 hours back home via Dallas.. I’m developing a hugely ambitious outdoor project with a celebrated new media artist that will launch in August and run for two years. More on this once we are allowed to say more!
I’m very excited to announce the release of my new studio album, The Homeland of Electricity, on DiN, out on 17 June. It’s my second album for the DiN imprint, after An Ascent in July 2020. Whilst the last album was forged live in the studio during the start of the global pandemic, here I was after a lighter, more optimistic tone.
Rather prophetically this album is indebted to the work of the Ukranian film maker Larisa Shepitko. Indeed, the title of the sixth track ‘Artemovsk’ references the birth place of Shepitko. Furthermore, the title of the album, ‘The Homeland of Electricity,’ is taken from her 1968 film which was commissioned by the government to celebrate the October Revolution’s 50th anniversary, but was rejected by the authorities for not being patriotic enough.
At times the music has a sense of blissful calm such as the opener ‘You and Me’ with layers of texture slowly rising & falling to unveil hidden depths to the soundscape. Fluctuating between darker elements displayed in such tracks as ‘Air in the Air’ and ‘Beginning of an Unknown Century’ in the end the album reveals a sense of hope which is no more apparent in the joyous simplicity of ‘Acentria.’
The Homeland of Electricity feels rather like a sound polaroid of this exact moment in time, capturing our times in atmospheric sound works, where light will be found again, even in the midst of struggle. I hope you will enjoy it when you get to hear it. A taster of the entire album can be previewed here. It will be on sale from 10 June.
And it’s good timing too, since Ian Boddy, head honcho for DiN, and I will be performing live at the Subliminal Impulse Festival on Sunday 26 June. Our show takes place at the beautiful Hallé St Peter’s for an entire Ambient Sunday. We will be joined by a host of other performers during the day, including Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan, K of ARC, Jaydev Mistry and many more.
Ian and I will be both be performing solo sets of new material, and then collaborate live for the very first time on stage, so It looks set to be something quite unique. I’m staying in Manchester for the entire weekend to enjoy shows from Suzanne Ciani and The Tackhead Sound System, so really hope to see some of you there!
For the month of June DiN are also offering some exclusive deals on An Ascent. The CD will be available with a 25% discount, as will the special print and CD bundle down from £55 to £45 with signed CDs as well. Keep your eyes on DiN!
I have just completed the score to a new collaboration with Swedish choreographer Olof Persson, with whom I’ve produced a few works with over the years. ‘See you, somewhere’ will premiere on 2 June and run until 5 June.
‘See you, somewhere’ draws on abstraction in both the choreographic and musical expression. The new 40+ minute score is very open, focusing heavily on recordings of cities, movement and sounds around us, processed, treated and slowly morphing. The hypnotic movement from the dancers reflects this sense of concentration and repetition. As Olof writes: “Man, dance, music, the image becomes a sublimation that creates a state where everything happens in a single now. We are everywhere and nowhere with anyone else, anywhere else.”
A classic back catalogue item joins my Bandcamp account this month too. Red Sails was recorded in collaboration with Australian musician Andrew Day, who I first met in 2001 in Melbourne. Over the following year we recorded these tracks. Whilst they can be heard on streaming services, I just found out an unreleased track, The Harpoon, which is exclusively available on Bandcamp.
Andrew’s Nightswimmer project began in 1998 following his being a founding member of Non-Intentional Lifeform – an Australian metal band signed to Roadrunner Records – and likewise, The Sound Movement – a post punk band.
The original press release reports:
“This is a collaborative mini-album which was composed in ancient times, on the dawn of a new millennium, in the years 2001 and 2002 by Scanner (London) and Nightswimmer (Melbourne). The process managed to dodge all technical restraints and traverse the tyranny of distance by launching CDRs packed with sounds onto giant floating ships across turbid oceans, like silent and lost digital messages bouncing and bobbing back and forth on the tides from Melbourne to London and back until finally uniting into a sometimes cohesive, sometimes dissonant musical message arriving at its destination.”
Twenty years after we first recorded this music, it’s now available here.
Future Shock continues in London at 180 The Strand, featuring my new collaboration with British artist Ben Kelly (legendary designer of The Hacienda building in Manchester), alongside new works from Ryoichi Kurokawa, Caterina Barbieri, Actual Objects, United Visual Artists, 404.zero, Gaika, Tundra, Weirdcore with Aphex Twin. More details here.
More next month!
::: listen :::
Robert Fripp: Exposures (DGM)
Electro Nova: Electro Nova (Smalltown Supersound)
Laddio Bolocko: ’97-’99 (Castle Face)
David Toop: Pink Spirt, Noir World (Foam on a Wave)
::: read :::
Martin Harrison: In Camera – Francis Bacon (Thames & Hudson)
Samuel Beckett: How It Is (Faber)
Ray Johnson C/o (Art Institute of Chicago)
Ben Kelly: Hacienda Landscapes (Chocolate Grinder)
::: watch :::
Bergman Island: Mia Hansen-Løve
Book of Love: Analeine Cal y Mayor
Licorice Pizza: Paul Thomas Anderson
Sundown: Michel Franco