December 2010


We are now moving towards the end of the year and to begin this month I’m over in Wollongong, Australia to present my work and escape the brutally cold winter arriving back in London for some milder Aussie summer days. Although it seems to be monsoon season here and I've barely been able to leave my apartment for fear of drowning.

November closed in a terribly mournful and unsettling matter with the passing of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson from legendary Industrial band Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Coil. Aged only 55 this alchemist of sound had influenced me since I was a naïve little teenager and I was fortunate to befriend him just as Coil was born, around 25 years ago. BBC 6Music requested Daniel Miller of Mute Records and myself to contribute to a news item broadcast on the radio and you can take a listen back here to these unsteady words on Soundcloud.
My soul's imaginary sight
November began in finer spirits with the reunion of I/O3, David Toop and myself in collaboration for the 10th anniversary of Australian label Room40 at Café Oto in London, which turned out to be a congenial affair, with a heady mix of amplified leaves, guitar, electronics and flute. As ever it was recorded and archived so perhaps one day it will be shared with a greater public.

Derby’s Gleam: Festival of Light took place on an unseasonably icy cold night with live projections by visual collective Seeper. Mapping images across the Quad Gallery building my music followed the developing shapes and colours. In the absence of any quality documentation, there are in the meanwhile  photographs on the BBC website and a bootleg video give an idea of what happened that night, and the complete soundtrack is available to listen back and download if you wish at Soundcloud.

Whilst this took place in the UK I was also over in Den Bosch in The Netherlands premiering a new work ‘Nocturnal’ for the November Music Festival. With rehearsals taking place several days before in the midst of almost hurricane conditions in Amsterdam, I was exceptionally pleased at the elegance and flourishes that real instrumentation in the form of piano, guitar, double bass, violin and bass clarinet could add to the electronics. 100 signed books published by Kesselskrammer featuring a DVD were made available for the show. Due to demand we are now performing this work for potentially the final time in Amsterdam on 12 December for the farewell show for Ensemble MAE since their budget was entirely cut for 2011. We intend to make this an evening to remember.
My heart hath 'scoped this sorrow
Two uniquely acoustic works of mine can be heard in two different contexts this month. Over at Headphone Commute you can hear recordings I made of an unsettling and eerie wind that crept into my bedroom in Sao Paulo recently. Whilst over at Symbiosis you can hear a mix by my fine friend American sound artist Stephen Vitiello that features recordings outside my window, alongside such delights as Steve Roden’s mobile recordings of two cats fighting in a Japanese alley and Doug Quinns’s extraordinarily detailed hydrophone recordings.

Archive footage and audio of some recent projects is now available online too. Back in In 1999 I premiered a new score to Jean-Luc Godard’s mid-60s, pulp sci-fi, modernist classic film Alphaville. In 1996 I re-edited the film, selecting a series of key scenes focusing on the architecture, accompanied by audio culled from the movie, conveying a complex and mysterious chronicle, offering up a space for contemplation and reflection, as the soundtrack weaves an imaginary narrative through the spaces. Here is the opening sequence for you to immerse yourselves in.

Documentation of Falling Forward, my cinematic installation at Le Fresnoy in France, as Professor Scanner, is also available to view, a sensual yet hoveringly tense work. A recording of my recent heavily percussive live set for the Alpha-Ville 2010 Festival at the Whitechapel Gallery in London is also available online at.

I frequently compose work for museum installations and interactives and have collaborated with UK creative group on101 for some years now, including the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum London, Museum of London Docklands, the British Library, Osterley Park and the ECOS Centre in Northern Island.

The DECT DP01 home telephone is finally available too. I worked with Swiss company Punkt in collaboration with celebrated British designer Jasper Morrison. Click onto FEATURES to listen to all the sounds described as 'a non-intrusive and particularly crisp set of sounds characterizes the DP 01 as a phone that softly integrates itself in any type of environment' and judge for your yourself. Brand new, it's retro, and just in time for Santa again ;-) Add this item to your household and you can hear me every day ?

And for those still interested in this absurd Bryan Ferry / Olympia album there’s still no resolution. Having chased his office for some weeks I’m constantly bewildered but not surprised by the lack of grace and response regarding the use of my work without proper credit. One cannot help but wonder if the leather shoe were indeed on the other foot how differently this might be playing out.
You brought us together, watching over us
December is an especially active month. I am over here in Australia to present my work as part of a conference relating to remix culture and to perform live at UOW here in Wollongong, my only show this side of the globe for some foreseeable time. Happily I’ll be performing alongside the ghostly glitches of Australian artist Pimmon.

Back to London for a day to swap suitcases and it’s back to Lille to perform two very special shows. I premiere my live soundtrack to the original silent film version of Stevenson’s classic horror tale Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in France at  L’Aéronef on 8 December, followed the by the world premiere of my video concert at the esteemed Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille 0n 9 December. Entitled L’odyssée de l’espace or otherwise known as Pink Floyd versus Kubrick mixed-up by Scanner the show is in two parts. The evening begins with a cinematic trip into space using sequences from many other sci-fi films, 2001, Star Wars, Alien, Solaris collaged together into a seamless projection, and is followed by the closing sequences of Kubrick’s 2001 accompanied by my live interpretation of Pink Floyd’s Echoes, which acts a boarding point for my jetting off into another solar system of sound. Oxygen masks are recommended for the high altitude.

The final Ensemble MAE shows take place on 12 December in Amsterdam as I wrote earlier, and then Professor Scanner will spend time validating his fine students work at Le Fresnoy before it’s time for Christmas and the New Year.

"Blink of an Eye”, my full-length album collaboration with the Post Modern Jazz Quartet ensemble, led by pianist Matthew Shipp has been receiving extraordinarily positive reviews in The Wire magazine, Jazz Times and elsewhere which is very pleasing for such a risky venture. Given this is my first foray into the dark uncharted waters of jazz I’m touched that I’m keeping my head above water. A fine feature by Jeff Tamarkin captures some of the colour and mood of the recording, as a contrast to Matthew and my own responses at Culture Bully.

So let us all close the door softly on 2010 and slip positively into 2011. See you on the other side.

Professor Scanner


::: listen :::

Demdike Stare: Voices Of Dust (Modern Love)
Daft Punk: Tron Legacy (Walt Disney)
LCD Soundsystem: London Sessions (DFA)
Neu!: Vinyl Box (Gronland)

::: read :::
Sally Mann: The Flesh & The Spirit (Aperture)
Jonathan Safran Foer: Tree of Codes (Visual Editions)
Robert Lowell: Words in Air (FSG)
Philippe Parreno monograph (Sternberg)

::: film:::
Africa United, Debs Gardner-Paterson, UK
Easy A, Will Gluck, USA
Another Year, Mike Leigh, UK
The Ipcress File, Sidney J Furie, UK


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 .


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. Additionally it features remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.