It has been said that too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation and I must share in this view. With my rather busy travel schedule I do seem to observe more surreal episodes than the average commuter. In the last month I have shared a hotel both with archaic graying metal bands, Anvil and Slayer, and 3000 ‘little people’ in New York City, when this incredible multitude of dwarves descended upon my hotel for its annual national conference.
July began with a marvellous performance at The World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York City as part of the River to River Festival series, where a host of twittering audience members reported live upon my show, and I embraced the wondrous surroundings of concrete, glass and palm trees in this surreal business oriented location. Documentation of the show can be found here at Fabric. Whilst there I also had the opportunity to rant enthusiastically about one of my favourite book stores in the world, St Mark’s Bookshop. Enjoy my little keen words.
Then it was onto another sunny glamorous location in the shape of Monte-Carlo for the premiere of Pavillon d'Armide, the new ballet by Matjash Mrozewski, for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Impressively danced by a cast of 16, the work was an emotive, grandiose creation, with a rich opulent character and my softly dignified sound track accompanying the poetic production. We were grateful to perform as the first act of a triple bill programme since the live concert by leathery rock lizard Johnny Hallyday, a French musical legend, erupted in the local stadium at the very same time as the second ballet, so the delicate footsteps of a dancer were rudely interrupted by a stadium rendition of Born to be Wild, with obligatory audience participation in the chorus, all heavily accented.
Continuing a choreographic theme I worked with celebrated British choreographer Wayne McGregor again for the opening ceremony for 13th FINA World Swimming Championship In Rome at the historic Stadio Dei Marmi, with a record number of 1470 Athletes and 164 participating countries. Wayne had been invited to choreograph the opening ceremony of this international sports event and commissioned my music to accompany the celebrations. Put your bathing suit on, wet your hair and tune in here to share in the fun.
The dance world also bid farewell to two key figures in the last month – Pina Bausch who passed away in June and who I first experienced live in Germany when I was 18 years old , and more recently Merce Cunningham who died at the sagacious age of 90. Cunningham revolutionized the visual and performing arts, especially in collaboration with his partner John Cage, and I was very fortunate to have worked with him at the Barbican Theatre in London in 2005. I fondly recall meeting him after our first show and interrupting his salad dinner. He looked up from the secure comfort of his chair, reaching out to hold my hand and said “Are you Scanner?...I find your music so beautiful," with a peachy twinkle in his eye. It was hard not feel tears falling at the corner of my eyes.
Back to some creative writing exposure over at Bleep, a very fine download boutique catering to passionate music fans. Invited amongst a selection of independent artists and writers to choose some of the best releases of 2009 so far I focused on the essential re-issues of Maurizio from Berlin. It’s a handy portal to discover new music and sounds.
Closing the month in a darker mood since I'm recovering in Milan at present after a biopsy, where my skin was expertly and painfully sliced from my chest for examination, so a quieter month to follow now and an opportunity to immediately rest and then finish some deadlines, amongst them two film soundtracks, a public arts project and even the occasion to take what is commonly recognised as a holiday vacation in Croatia, otherwise known as an opportunity to read all those books collecting in my office library, watch DVDs and recharge the Scanner batteries.
Have a lovely month.
Until next time
::: read :::
Tom McCarthy: Remainder (Alma)
Declan Kiberd: Ulysses and Us (Faber & Faber)
D A Miller: 8 ½ (BFI)
Simon Armitage: Book of Matches (Faber & Faber)
Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt, USA
Bronson, Nicholas Winding Refn, UK
Antichrist, Lars von Trier, Denmark
Moon, Duncan Jones, UK
‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ - On Ghosts and Their Media
PHOENIX Halle Dortmund
16 May – 18 October 2009
The exhibition ‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ – On Ghosts and Their
Media is dedicated to a topic that appears, at first glance, timeless: it involves the presence of the supernatural – the appearance of ghosts and (trans-)communication with ‘the beyond’ facilitated by technical media. The exhibition shows 22 international artistic positions questioning the existence of ghosts, exploring the integration of new media and technologies in spiritualist contexts, investigating the making-visible or making-perceptible of the invisible, and tracing the political implications as well as the aesthetics of such contemporary trans-communication
phenomena. Artists include Lucas & Jason Ajemian, Sam Ashley, Kathrin Günter, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Tim Hecker, Susan Hiller, Chris Marker and Scanner.
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 .
Bittersweet Songs for the Sleepless City
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.