Writing this a little earlier than usual as I'm just setting off to China for the next week to prepare for the Guangzhou Triennial (http://www.gztriennial.org) later this year, and temporarily leaving a city that has felt especially fragile and unsettled the last weeks, with terrorist disruptions in London. The streets around Scanner HQ were filled with the resonance of sirens endlessly sounding out, as some of the explosions took place only minutes from my front door. Fortunately everyone I know was safe and unharmed by these tactics, though with our phone system disconnected for almost three weeks in this area of London it's strange to have felt so very globally disconnected.
Outside of this dark mood it's been another entertaining month. We played our debut Githead (http://www.githead.com) show in Amsterdam to a devoted crowd and recorded another radio session, this one being a co-host for Totally Radio / Juice FM (http://www.totallyradio.com/) with Claire Kember . The hour long show features live in the studio versions of My LCA & Craft is Dead as well as copious chat & banter from the band, egged on by Claire, and a selection of personal choices (including at least one exclusive) from the band member's own catalogue. The show will be available on Totally Radio on Fri 29th July, Sat 30th July and Sunday 31st July and broadcast on Juice FM at 107.2 in Brighton, UK on Sunday 31st July. A further two songs Option Paralysis and Profile were also recorded which will appear in a later show.
Adopting the persona of teacher I also recently presented a workshop for children aged 5-11 at the Barbican in London, to prepare them for a cinema screening of The School of Rock movie. As an ‘official Rock Star' as I created a rock song using only their voices to represent the guitars, drums and bass of classic rock. Black Sabbath watch out!
At the Purcell Room, London percussionist supreme Pete Lockett and I debuted our Parallax Beat Brothers project in London and released our Autek CD, now available on http://www.posteverything.com at a bargain £6.00. A sweaty energy filed performance, both on CD and live.
The streets of Liverpool are still echoing with the sounds of Beatles songs played by the local buskers, and for the moment, they can be distracted by my billboard project, which looks at the concept of life imprisonment for crimes and how it can mean different things in different places, so in the USA it really means life for as long as you live, but in Germany can be just 15 years. You can see documentation at:
And speaking of sound in Liverpool, I've contributed exclusive material to FACT FM: The Secret Lives of Liverpool (http://www.fact.fm), an internet radio station by and for the people of Liverpool. Running until 14 August, all ages and all people are contributing their stories, rhymes and grimes, poems and songs for an archive of home-made sounds. All audio is then available on the world wide web; to the delight (no doubt), of ex-pats, family and friends across the globe.
Have you ever wondered what kind of cinema is appropriate for the age of Google and blogging? Automatic surveillance and self-guided missiles? Consumer profiling and CNN? To investigate answers to this question Lev Manovich (http://www.manovich.net), an influential thinker in media arts and digital culture, has collaborated with designer Andreas Kratky to create the Soft Cinema project. Alongside DJ Spooky, George Lewis and Jóhann Jóhannsson (music), servo and Andreas Angelidakis (architecture), Schoenerwissen/Office for Computational Design (data visualization), and Ross Cooper Studios (media design), I have also contributed soundtrack material.
Published by MIT, ‘Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database,' is a DVD that explores the possibilities of soft(ware) cinema – a 'cinema' in which human subjectivity and the variable choices made by custom software combine to create films that can run infinitely without ever exactly repeating the same image sequences, screen layouts and narratives. As such, the DVD was designed and programmed so that there is no single version of any of the films. All the elements – including screen layout, the visuals and their combination, the music, the narrative, and the length – are subject to change every time the film is viewed. No complaints about repetitive television then please!
Admirers of vinyl might be interested to know I've material just released in Germany. Firstly a special mix for artist Benjamin Brunn on binemusic, an imprint who previously released my sinister ‘reason by heart, sleep by twilight' cd this year. It's a warm organic and sensual work. Then Underscan Records in Berlin have release the second in their compilation series, with a new work, Interreum, a cinematic piece based on themes written for the Sound Train project in Leipzig in 2004. Nostalgia never departs too far.
Throughout the next months I'm Artist in Residence with BBC Wales and their New Media mobile studio, working towards a project with Cywaith Cymru: Artworks Wales (http://www.cywaithcymru.org/). Under a banner title of ‘May You Live in Interesting Times,' this is Cardiff's inaugural festival of creative technology. I'll be travelling around in a giant orange coloured coach, (take a peek inside at http://www.hysbys.org/)fully equipped with a broadcast production studio so we can explore remote regions and create works that respond to a locality often inaccessible to digital technology. The final project will be realised in a gallery, Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno, and digital television, radio and the BBC website. More on this as the months progress.
Now how to pack clothing for temperatures of 34 degrees Celsius plus in China? More a question of what NOT to wear now…
Until next time
::: listen :::
Stephen Vitiello: Buffalo Bass Delay (Hallways)
Various: Big Ears (Sonic Arts Network)
Elizabeth Anka Vajagic: Nostalgia Pain EP (Constellation)
Andrew Poppy: On Zang Tuum Tumb (ZTT)
::: read :::
Sound Art: Resonance Supplement
John Sturrock: The Word from Paris (Verso)
Cabinet Magazine Issue 18
Summer of Love:Art of Psychedelic Era (Tate)
Napoleon Dynamite, Jon Heder, USA
Un Chien Andalou, Luis Bunuel, Spain
In the Realm of the Unreal, Jessica Yu, USA
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton, USA/UK
::: diary dates :::
02 Aug ‘White Garden' dance soundtrack, Aix-en-Provence France
02 Sept 'Sound Out' Exhibition opening Cork Ireland
07 Sept Europa 25: Delhi India
08 Sept Crosstown Traffic opening Delhi India
15 Sept Githead: Alte Kantine Berlin Germany
16 Sept Githead: Barby Club Tel Aviv Israel
20 Sept Githead: Logo Hamburg Germany
21 Sept Githead: Underground Koln Germany
23 Sept Githead: Vera Groningen The Netherlands
24 Sept Githead: Le Botanique Brussels
25 Sept Githead: The Sugar Club Dublin Ireland
26 Sept Githead: An Cruiscin Lan Cork Ireland
28 Sept Githead: Garage London
01 Oct 52 Spaces: Centro de las Artes Monterrey Mexico
13-16 Oct 'Messe in Moll':Soviet Exhibition Hall Leipzig Germany
17-27 Oct Githead European tour Part 2
22 Oct Efficiency: Tivoli Theatre Washington DC USA
28 Oct Parallax Beat Brothers: Now Festival Nottingham UK
29 Oct Cardiff Festival of Creative Technology Wales UK
02 Nov Parallax Beat Brothers: Oxford Contemporary Music UK
03 Nov Parallax Beat Brothers: Brighton Dome Theatre UK
04 Nov Parallax Beat Brothers: Bath Spa, UK
05 Nov Parallax Beat Brothers: Phoenix Exeter UK
06 Nov Parallax Beat Brothers: Warwick Arts Centre UK
12 Nov Deptford X London
14-18 Nov Guangzhou Triennial China
21-22 Nov Praxis: Nanterre France
26 Nov All Frontiers Festival Monfalcone Italy
27 Nov ‘Blindscape' with TeZ; Roma Europa Italy
10 Dec Emo Son festival Bourges France
15 Dec Play Along, Palais des Beaux-arts, Lille, France
15 March Scanner Scans Sciarrino: Lisbon Portugal
23 March Nemesis, Commonwealth Games Australia
29 July Wave Farm Green County NY
::: ::: ::: :::