Festive Spirits

December 2007


This month began in a surreal manner.


I was woken up around 05.30 a.m. by loud scraping and scratching noises above me, which suggested that my upstairs neighbours had decided to move their furniture around for breakfast hour. However when I grew tired of the noises I looked out of my window and saw the torso of a man climbing onto my roof. Immediately I telephoned the local Metropolitan Police who impressively arrived within minutes with two police vans, promptly arresting the perpetrator.

Unfortunately I then had to sit there for almost two hours answering questions with the police officer who was keen to ask me about my expansive record and book collection, explaining that he had a mobile disco when he was younger. Then the forensic police arrived to fingerprint the area and take samples. And this is where the surreal element emerges - apparently it seems he was not actually interested in breaking into my apartment but in stealing my roof! It seems now that lead is such a valuable material with the massive building program in China that the price of metal has quadrupled in international markets. Lead has become a major target for organised gangs, such that even two pence coins here of a certain mint have a value of three pence if melted down because of their metal content and therefore there's a shortage of copper coins on the market. It's so very bizarre the world we live in sometimes :-)


Back to the creative world and I took part in the grand launch of the new Eurostar station at London’s King’s Cross St Pancras earlier this month. With over 36,000 visitors on the day itself one would imagine it would be an ambitious success. To be truthful I stood there behind my little bank of equipment in the freezing cold, questioning my role in this very extravaganza. All around me television and radio crews reported live on the launch, opera singers broadcast across the stations concourse, dancers wove their way around the crowds, and children’s choirs sang appropriate songs. However every time I performed I would alternate as a public information service; answering questions, directing people to the toilets, looking after lost property, whilst tapping keyboards on my laptop and waving my hands around in a performance fashion. When I had lost all feeling in my hands and feet I felt certain it was time to return home.

Kirikou and Karabacontinues its successful shows in Paris and I was even passed congratulations and greetings from Johnny Depp directly who was very enthusiastic about my music which was a surprise. Pirates of the Caribbean The Musical for anyone? Scanner Lloyd Webber is ready with his eyepatch, jewellery and ship at the dockyard.


It was a month of premieres too. I opened Mariam in Paris with choreographer Christine Bastin, a new sixty minute dance work, then to Amsterdam for Let the Voice In, a new work based around William S Burroughs, using archive recordings and footage of the late writer collaged with hundreds of book covers and closing with some adult gay playful pornography. A typical night out really.

I’ve just returned from the STRP festival in Eindhoven, an enormously popular media arts festival joining the dots between installation, music, projections, avant garde film and the dance floor, located at Strijp-S, a gigantic industrial area of no less than 24.5 hectares to the west of Eindhoven. For a long time, the buildings at Strijp-S were Philips property and off limits for ordinary mortals, where in the past nearly all Philips major breakthroughs in science and technology were invented, such as the audiocassette, and the video 2000 system. You can watch a video of my favourite little discovery there at my youtube page.

December brings me to Parma Italy for a night of minimal disco music, Romania for a presentation, endless festive parties and a chance to perhaps slow down and recharge for 2008, with an already busy year ahead. So I send you off into the colder nights of Europe with happy cheer and positive thoughts for the coming year.

Farewell until 2008!



::: listen :::
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: Ask Forgiveness (Spunk)
Steve Jansen: Slope (Samadhisound)
Steinbruchel: Basis (Room 40)
Gavin Bryars: The Sinking of the Titanic (Touch)

::: read :::
Guy Deutscher: The Unfolding of Language (Random House)
Jean-Francois Augoyard: Sonic Experience (MQUP)
Patrick Carnes: Out of the Shadows (Hazelden)
Christian Marclay: Replay (JRP RIngier)

::: film:::
Persepholis, Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi, France
The Long Goodbye, Robert Altman, USA
Requiem, Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany
Hotel Harabati, Brice Cauvin, France

::: diary dates :::

01-02 Dec-Forsythe-Soto-Moles-Elo Theater 't Eilandje Antwerp Belgium
01 Dec-Switch ballet Porto Portugal
01 Dec-Lenz Rifrazioni Festival Parma Italy
06 Dec-Forsythe-Soto-Moles-Elo C.C. De Spil Roeselare Belgium
08 Dec-Forsythe-Soto-Moles-Elo Cultureel Centrum Hasselt Belgium
12 Dec-Presentation Avmotional Platform Bucharest Romania
12-15 Dec-Forsythe-Soto-Moles-Elo Opera Gent Belgium
14 Dec-Dancers' Cut Alnwick Playhouse Northumberland UK
19 +20 Dec-Switch ballet Creteil Paris France

25 Jan-Mariaum dance Theatre Aragon d’Orly France
28-29 Jan-Workshops Istituto Europeo di Design Milan Italy
30 Jan-Kirikou & Karaba Isle D'Espagnac France
31 Jan-Faultline dance The Point Eastleigh UK
01 Feb-Play Along with Jean-Paul Dessy Turin Italy
02 Feb-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith D'Orleans France
02 Feb-Faultline The Empire British Dance Edition UK
03 Feb-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Limoges France
05 Feb-Dancers' Cut-Artrix Bromsgrove UK
06 Feb-Kirikou & Karaba Le Musikhall Rennes France
08 Feb-Dancers' Cut Town Hall Swindon UK
09-10 Feb-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Nantes Metropole St Herblain France
12 Feb-Mariam dance Theatre Astree de Villeurbanne France
13 Feb-Dancers' Cut Guildhall Arts Centre Grantham UK
16 Feb-Night Haunts, Stockholm Sweden
21 Feb-Faultline dance Contact Theatre Manchester UK
27 Feb-Kirikou & Karaba Vinci Tours France
01 March-Kirikou & Karaba Ampithea 4000 Angers France
02 March-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Rouen France
05 March-Kirikou & Karaba Docks Oceane Le Havre France
09 March-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Caen France
13 March-Dancers' Cut Leap Festival Liverpool UK
16 March-Kirikou & Karaba Antares Le Mans France
20 March-Faultline dance Peepel Centre Leicester UK
22 March-Kirikou & Karaba Galaxie Amneville France
26 March-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Nancy France
27 March-Dancers' Cut Deda Derby UK
29-30 March-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Arean Lille France
10 April-Faultline dance Junction Cambridge UK
19 April-Kirikou & Karaba Arena de Geneve Switzerland
23 April-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith de Strasbourg France
24 April-Dancers' Cut Bridgwater Arts Centre Devon UK
30 April-Kirikou & Karaba Palais Nikaia Nice France
14 May-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith de Dijon France
17 May-Kirikou & Karaba Summum Grenoble France
24 May-Kirikou & Karaba Le Dome Marseille France
28 May-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Sud Montpelier France
01 June-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith D’Auvergne Toulouse France
04 June-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Toulouse France
07 June-Kirikou & Karaba Patinoire Meriadeck Bordeaux France
11 June-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Pau France
15 June-Kirikou & Karaba Parc des Expositions Langolvas Morlaix France

07 March-Royce Hall UCLA with Manuel Gottsching LA USA


Night Haunts
By Sukhdev Sandhu
Design Mind Unit
Sound Design Scanner

Artangel Interaction invited writer and historian Sukhdev Sandhu to write a nocturnal journal unfolding over the course of 2006. His postings will appear sequentially at this microsite specially designed by Mind Unit. Sandhu's forays see him prospecting in the London night with the people who drive its pulse, from the avian police to security guards, zookeepers and exorcists. Acclaimed artist and musician Scanner has collaborated with Sukhdev and Ian Budden of Mind Unit to compose the sound for the site.
An exposition about the reactivation of the paranormal in contemporary art, especially the recurring interest of artists in forms of possible communication with "other worlds" via electronic media. Scanner presents 'Breakthrough,' a work that uses recordings from highly amplified recordings of empty haunted spaces, to demonstrate the redundant and undesired flotsam and jetsam of environmental acoustic space, and the 'ghosts' of our natural world.


Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
Artangel Interaction

NightJam is the latest project in Artangel Interaction’s Nights of London series of artist-led collaborations with people who have a special view on a hidden side of the nocturnal city. Scanner invited young people at New Horizon Youth Centre in King’s Cross to collaborate on a creative project that expresses how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes. Through music and voice workshops they explored the sense of freedom and fear, celebration and solitude of the concealing darkness. Meanwhile, they captured their nights on disposable cameras, taking images that are at times eerie, startling, contemplative and funny. NightJam presents two elusive visual and musical journeys through the city’s ‘quiet’ hours.

NightJam presents two music tracks, a film, photographs, that can be experienced and freely downloaded. A limited edition CD is also being distributed for free through the website. Now featuring remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.