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May 2009

Hello

It has been said that absence makes the heart go wander and with my fairly constant travel schedule I sometimes feel as if I need to map to rediscover my own territory. April was spent entirely overseas.

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Beginning in Derry Northern Ireland I participated in Imagine-Create, a weekend event produced by the School of Creative at Arts University of Ulster. Breaking all laws for capacity at the very fine Void Gallery my live show was received very positively, though a late night wander back to my hotel through the Derry streets meant a risky trip past stumbling orange skinned girls squeezed in micro lycra luminous outfits, nudged up against alcohol fed boys in short sleeved shorts in sub degree temperatures.

Then off directly to Geneva for the hugely ambitious sixth edition of the Electron Festival where singer Sally Doherty and I premiered our new songs to a impressively polite audience, enjoyed the beautiful sunny sights and admired the largest mechanical clock in the world in our hotel, significantly home to a legendary Tin Tin tale.

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With barely a moment to wash my smalls it was off to Troy, Albany to the mighty EMPAC arts centre, an alien building balanced beside educational institute RPI, overlooking this tiny conformist town. As part of Adventures in Motion, programmed by London’s onedotzero, a weekend of explosive moving image work, performance and installations, I was visiting with filmmaker Olga Mink to premiere our live cinema piece The Nature of Being on the East Coast. An enormous success, the days spent in Troy were most enjoyable and yet surreal – at one point a walk through town meant seeing no one on the streets for over 15 minutes, whilst stores exhibited second hand Weetabix, Pasta Pizza (that is indeed pizza with pasta as a topping) Buzz Haircuts and an unlikely forthcoming show by BB King in a tiny second hand record store, some 20 years too late.

Then off to Italy, skipping past Salone Internazionale Del Mobile in a monsoon, and off to Osnabrueck for the European Media Art Festival to perform Orbital Glider, sound tracking a film by East German artist Maix Mayer. Wittily described in the newspaper as ‘a man who changes residence like some people change shirts’ the show was a super success, a humanistic journey through the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts, in sound and image.

And now, back into the present and future tense. Rockets, Unto the Edges of Edges, my new album, is out in selected record stores now and happily available online at countless locations, Amazon, Boomkat, iTunes and so on. Positively received so far it’s been described as my ‘most intimate and 'human' sounding composition to date. Comparable to Max Richter or Johann Johannsson, 'Through Your Window' and 'Broken Faultline' prove to be highly successful exercises in modern classical fusion, weaving the luscious orchestral instrumentation with full-blooded electronic production - and the novelty of 'real' instrumentation shouldn't overshadow the programmed material on offer here; Rimbaud presents a rich tapestry of found voices, environmental recordings and even radar transmissions, making this as accomplished and ambitious a Scanner album as he's ever released.’ At least that’s one person’s opinion !

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As it’s recession time if you fancy something a little more exploratory and challenging (and FREE) then point your browser to Tate Modern at iTunes, where they have uploaded much of their sound archive for free download. Scroll down to unlucky number 13, Sound Surface, my collaboration with American artist Stephen Vitiello and download it for free. It was an original commission for Tate in 2004.

4m2, my collaboration with dancers and choreographers Claire Cunningham and Jose Agudo now has a Myspace presence. Created in 2008 whilst in residence at Déda, UK, the show will be touring soon. Claire and Jose have previously worked with a range of companies including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, T.R.A.S.H., Theatre Rites, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Rui Horta, Ballet de Marseille, Random Dance and Charleroi/Danses. The performance itself explores the periphery of memory inspired by real stories, using movement, words, film by artist Sian Stammers and an original score I composed for the piece.

I’m also presenting new work in the exhibition ‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ - On Ghosts and Their Media at Hartware MedienKunstVerein at PHOENIX Halle Dortmund in Germany. Beginning with the audio-tape archive of Friedrich Jürgenson who discovered the so-called Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) in 1959, the exhibition shows 22 international artistic positions questioning the existence of ghosts, exploring the integration of new media and technologies in spiritualist contexts. I’ll be visiting for a live performance there later in the year as part of this progrmme.

So, another month, passport in hand, into rehearsals for a forthcoming Githead tour and recording deadlines as always.

Until next time

Robin

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::: listen :::

The Black Dog: Further Vexation (Soma)
Gregory Taylor: Amalgam (POL)
Siouxsie & the Banshees: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (re-issue) (Polydor)
Andrew Poppy: And the Shuffle of Things (Field)

::: read :::
Maix Mayer: Monograph (Hatje Cantz)
Michael Donaghy: Collected Poems (Picador)
Muriel Barberry: The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa)
Unica Zurn: Dark Spring (Exact Change)

::: film:::
Let the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson, Sweden
Une Femme est une Femme, Jean Luc Godard, France
Away with Words, Christopher Doyle, Japan
The Escapist, Rupert Wyatt, UK

Exhibitions

‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ - On Ghosts and Their Media
Hartware MedienKunstVerein
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.

www.hmkv.de

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