From Russia with Love

April 2008


The bugs continue to eat away at my health, so I’m back from traveling with another nasty virus, this time delivered fresh from Russia. March took me from a hurricane in Budapest where the windows in the hotel shook, the streets were paved with broken stone and glass and roads were closed due to damage, through Amsterdam, Moscow, St Petersburg and Eindhoven, and back to the rain and cold of London.


Russia was an adventure in sub-zero temperatures whilst running workshops for Podstantsiya, which means “substation” in Russian. This project had nothing to do with power stations or emergency departments though, but working with professionals and non-professionals on development of alternative broadcasting, and creating radio shows and stories. Based around a text from a prominent Russian futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov written in 1921 entitled "The Radio of the Future" each participant created a sound piece in response. You can freely download the presentation and recordings from these sessions if you wish.

I then gave public presentations of my work at the Bilingua club and the legendary Theremin Centre in Moscow. I must confess that I’ve never been asked such blunt questions as on this occasion: ‘Scanner - which are your favourite drugs?’ (Answer: None, since I don’t even drink tea or coffee) and my personal favourite ‘Scanner- how old were you when you lost your virginity?’ (Answer: Aged seven to our Swedish au-pair). Well, how else could one respond?


Performances of Stockhausen with percussionist Chris Cutler and Belgian pianist Daan Vandewalle at the Luminaire in London confounded and entertained in equal measure, whilst attending the opening of the gallery show Popshop at MU in Eindhoven entertained viewers with work on show reflecting on Kiss (Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard), Kylie Minogue (Kathy Temin), Whitney Houston (Candice Breitz), Guns ‘n Roses (Cory Arcangel) and Michael Jackson (Mr Scanner) and many others. It was like an eighties musical festival in a contemporary art gallery.

I’m off in early April to participate in the Qwartz Music Awards, which celebrates diversity and creative dynamics within contemporary music. I’m taking the role of President of Honour, so remember to call me President Scanner in future now , and then I’m back to Paris the following week for the premiere of a new ballet piece, Mariam, with choreographer Christine Bastin, and then a live performance with Tez at the Nemo Festival as part of Arcadi. In the midst of this I’m performing at the Mapping Festival in Geneva, which lays claim to having the second-highest quality of living in the world. Hope I can get to appreciate this.


Later this month I’ll be chairing a forum discussion between musician and theorist Brian Eno, his former tutor Tom Philips RA and architect Vesna Petresin Robert at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Opening with a live performance of John Cage’s seminal work 4’ 33” we will hopefully expand upon ideas of intellect, intervals and liberty within our environment, and looking at the relationship between buildings, music and performance.

For those of still aching for some more rock and roll antics then tune in to Radio New Zealand National, where you can hear a live Githeadsession we recorded. It’s available here as audio on demand at under 'G' for Githead.

So, it’s back to the vitamins and medicine now.

Until next time



::: listen :::

The Fall - Imperial Wax Solvent (2008)
Fourtet: Ringer (Domino)
Philip Jeck: Sand (Touch)
Efterklang: Caravan (Leaf)

::: read :::
Paul D Miller: Sound Unbound (MIT)
UOVO Magazine Issue 16 : Sound Postcards (Uovo)
Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art (Merrell)
2 Kilo of Kesselskrammer (Pie Books)

::: film:::
The City Speaks, Peter Ackroyd, UK
Tell No One, Guillaume Canet,France
The Dewey Cox Story, USA
PU239, Scott K Burns, USA

::: diary dates :::

03 April-Barbican talk Instructions for Modern Living London UK
04 April-President of Honneur Qwatz Music Awards Paris FR
10 April-Faultline dance Junction Cambridge UK
11 April-Mapping Festival Geneva CH
12 April-Mariam ballet le Café de la Danse Paris FR
13 April-Blindscape with Tez Nemo Festival Paris FR
19 April-Kirikou & Karaba Arena de Geneve CH
19-20 April-Future of Sound Valencia SP
21 April-Conversation with Brian Eno & Tom Philips Royal Academy London UK
23 April-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith de Strasbourg FR
23 April-Staging Sound talk Media Arts Bath UK
24 April-Dancers' Cut Bridgwater Arts Centre Devon UK
30 April-Kirikou & Karaba Palais Nikaia Nice FR
03 May-May Ball Belfast N.Ireland
08 May-Future of Sound 11 Amsterdam NL
10 May-BFI Film event London UK
14 May-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith de Dijon FR
17 May-Kirikou & Karaba Summum Grenoble FR
24 May-Kirikou & Karaba Le Dome Marseille FR
28 May-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith Sud Montpelier FR
01 June-Kirikou & Karaba Zenith D’Auvergne Toulouse FR
04 June-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Toulouse FR
07 June-Kirikou & Karaba Patinoire Meriadeck Bordeaux FR
11 June-Kirikou & Karaba Le Zenith Pau FR
12 June-Blindscape Slovenia
27 June-Performance & talk Sguardi Sonori Rome IT
02 Aug-BBC Proms talk on Stockhausen London UK
13 Sept-Deloitte Ignite Royal Opera House London UK
18-19 Sept-Presentation Bergen National Academy of Arts NO
30 Oct - 2 Nov-Imageradio Eindhoven NL
07 Nov-Gaida Festival Vilnius LT

13 Feb-The Missing with Troy Barnarzi Somerset House London UK
07 March-Royce Hall UCLA with Manuel Gottsching LA USA
26 March-Derby dance premiere of new work UK


MU Gallery
Eindhoven NL

28 March - 04 May 2008

Group show of work that looks at the icons of mass culture in pop music, debuting Soul in Reverse, a new video work by Scanner that explores the image of Michael Jackson in popular culture, reversing his public image so that he begins as a white soul singer and ends up as a black artist. Other artists include Kathy Temin, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Cory Arcangel, Ho Tzu Nyen.


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.


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.