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April 2009

Hello

A month of travels, visas, hotels, variable weather conditions, delays and delights, both present and future past.

Scanner

Visa tales continue, this time to visit the US for The Nature of Being show at EMPAC NY in April. Having waited four months for processing the paperwork, then an edgy few days for the final pages to arrive via fax, my interview was a surreal encounter of questioning at the Embassy:

Q. Why are you working in the USA?
A. To play a music concert at an arts centre
Q. I don’t understand – why would you play music at an art centre?
A. It’s a purpose built space for new work and I’m performing live music with film
Q. With film? At an art centre? I don’t understand, could you explain some more
A. (simplifying everything) I’m playing a live soundtrack to a movie in the cinema there
Q. Okay, I can approve your visa.

Ummmm…. Meanwhile anyone in the locality curious to find out how weird and wonderful this might be is encouraged to visit EMPAC in Troy for the opening of Adventures in Motion, an explosive showcase of internationally curated moving image with onedotzero from London, featuring ground-breaking short film screenings, playful installations, spectacular live cinematic performances, vj/dj events and artist talks. I will be performing The Nature of Being with Olga Mink in the main theatre there.

Our installation Atlantida also just opened at the 2nd Biennial of the Canaries 2009 in early March. Commissioned by the Biennial of the Canaries 2009 in Las Palmas, this multi-channel video work with immersive sound addresses the themes of silence and landscape with location recordings of each of the seven volcanic islands captured in high detail.



Pink Flag by Wilson Neate, part of Continuum's 33 1/3 series of publications, is finally out at the end of this month. The book focuses on the recording of legendary art rockers Wire and seminal album Pink Flag, setting it within the context of Wire's history, the history of the times and within the greater story of its influence and relevance, ably lavished with personal commentary from the band, including my own introduction as a schoolboy remembering 1977:

“I can recall with some accuracy that in December 1977 when Pink Flag hit the record stores, I was evidently more excited about purchasing Houdini on Magic, enjoyed playing volleyball, failed to buy trousers with my mother, and was sick all over the carpet on Christmas Day.”

With Wire just finishing European dates and the new Githead album building up to release it’s mighty fine entertainment and an honour to find my words nudging up against quotes from Steve Albini, Graham Coxon, Richard Jobson, Henry Rollins, and Glen Matlock and many others.

Scanner

A very special little Scanner single release, Whisper, in anticipation of my new album, has just been released on iTunes for less than a dollar, half a Euro and whatever is left of the Great (RIP) British Pound. Software designed for the compact slinky iPhone or iPod Touch (with headset and mic, ) it aligns ambient electronic music with my voice, so you can have me whispering into your ear whenever you wish (or not). It creates an infinite, generative piece of music that reacts in direct response to your environment, so the louder the location the more ‘musical’ it will appear.

Rockets, Unto the Edges of Edges my new album is finally officially out on CD on 17 April 2009 on Bine Music and by May I’ll be offering online sales again in a new shop set up for Scanner releases so please stay tuned for that. iTunes will be featuring it as well as Correspondence (Auguste Orts Film Soundtracks), my soundtrack for the inventive film collective in Belgium.

April offers no respite in terms of travelling. It begins with my opening the Spill Festival of Performance in London, the premiere festival of experimental theatre, live art and performance, and then directly off to Imagine-Create at the University of Ulster in Ireland where I’ll be presenting my work, performing live and shaking my hips to The Black Dog and Hot Chip at night.

Then it’s off to Geneva for the Electron 2009 Festival, where I’ll be premiering a new project with singer Sally Doherty, an extraordinary British singer who has previously collaborated with Richard Hawley and Planet Funk. We are very excited to perform these songs live and then finish up recording for a release later this year. Real songs with words and melodies, whatever next?

The month ends up with an appearance at the European Media Art Festival in Osnabrueck Germany for a live performance, having passed through Italy, New York City, Sheffield, Frankfurt, Muenster and other locations.

Until next time

Robin

Scanner

::: listen :::

Lawrence English: A Colour for Autumn (12K)
Steve Roden: Ice (inbetweennoise)
Hildur Gudnadottir: Without Sinking (Touch)
Bill Calahan: Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (Drag City)

::: read :::
Prospect Disorder I-III (Galleri Erik Steen)
Richard Yates: Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (Vintage)
Alain de Botton: The Pleasures & Sorrows of Work (Penguin)
Nicolas Bourriaud: Tate Triennial (Tate)

::: film:::
In the City of Sylvia, Jose Luis Guerin, Spain
The Atrocity Exhibition, Jonathan Weiss, USA
The Family Friend, Paulo Sorrentino, Italy
Zazie Dans le Metro, Louis Malle, France

Exhibitions

Atlantida
Casa Museo Colon
Las Palmas Gran Canaria
2nd Biennial of the Canary Islands
05 March - 05 May 2009

A multiple screen installation with immersive sound, the work addresses the themes of silence and landscape with location recordings of each of the seven volcanic islands captured in high detail, and over its ten minute duration presents a unique sequence of scenes that resonate with an ethereal glory.

www.bienaldecanarias.org

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. If you would like to be kept informed as each episode is posted, join artangel's mailing list by clicking here .

www.nighthaunts.org.uk
www.artangel.org.uk



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. Now featuring remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.

www.nightjam.org.uk