So May was a month of numbers, from audience figures through to adding one more year to my very own human life form.
The The Big Dance School's Pledge took place on 18 May, the very same day the Olympic Torch arrived in the UK, and thousands of children danced together worldwide in celebration. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor and organised in association with the British Council over 2,000 schools from 53 countries across the world joined together to take part in this creative adventure; throughout the UK and across Europe, USA, South America, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the Far East. Joel Cadbury of UNKLE and I scored this five minute energetic cinematic pop tune.
Big Dance Schools Pledge was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Simultaneous Dance Routine - Multi-Venue. Within an hour of performing the choreography over 80,000 participants confirmed they completed the pledge via SMS. The mission to collect hard evidence has commenced and the final number of participants will be announced at the end of June. Nothing can quite describe the feeling of watching countless youtube documentation from across the globe as children everywhere join in.
Marvel and smile as children from Malta, Belfast, Ukraine, Rio and Bosnia amongst many others danced their way to a new world record (hopefully).
Over in the USA the Sprint phone campaign I’d been working on ceaselessly for recent weeks was just launched in cinemas. It is centered on a simple idea for the telecom company - If your phone could truly “sleep,” what would it dream? Collaborating with Artisan (part of UVA), integrated brand agency Digitas and ad agency Leo Burnett, the production is an interactive on-screen cinema experience, to ultimately encourage moviegoers to turn off their mobile device in exchange for a custom mobile phone “dream.”
Back to the numbers then and more than 1,000 NCM Movie Theaters will show the experience on nearly 18,000 screens as part of Sprint’s courtesy-message sponsorship, which adds up to around 200 million viewers a month, around 2.5 billion by the end of 2012.
It’s well worth watching the Making Of video to wonder at the sheer scale of the project and see how the d3 software mapped out everything in advance. And to ensure an equal balance there is a male and female version of the film. Ah the wonder of technology.
May also took me to Brussels to premiere the new edit of Echoes: And Beyond the Infinite, where filmmaker Regis Cotentin combined footage from Kubrick’s 2001 and countless other sci-fi movies into one expansive seamless whole. Then it was off to Barcelona to present Toute la mémoire du monde / Le Chant du styrene, two essay films by celebrated French auteur Alain Resnais, for the Screen Festival. The CCCB was packed out with a committed audience keen to immerse themselves in a resonant sound bath of reflective sounds.
And who better to offer a private tour guide of the city, but Jochen Arbeit of Einsturzende Neubauten, who tactfully avoided power drills, building works and machinery to show us something of the local traditional Catalan lifestyle.
Live_Transmission was premiered at The Brighton Festival and had sold out weeks before the night itself so anticipation was high. Heritage Orchestra were on fine form as was Mat Watkins with his visuals, so I’m delighted to report that it was a massive success. Turning the tables on both the conventional concert experience, reflecting Joy Division’s experimental, literary and artistic expression, and the idea of how to interpret, not ‘cover’ the work of another artist, Live_Transmission was reviewed as ‘quietly hypnotising and dense and furious… an innovative show that draws on the past to look boldly into the future.” I can reveal that additional dates are in preparation as well as festival shows over the summer so please stay tuned regarding this.
May was also a month of conversation, with a chat about creativity on Start the Week with Andrew Marr on BBC Radio 4, where I was delighted to engage in conversation with neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer; author Joanna Kavenna and chemist Rachel O'Reilly. Then about the Joy Division project over at BBC Click. Listen back at your leisure.
Any cash in your wallet left? Or just want to hear some finely tuned pop music. Well, three recent productions are now available. Firstly my remix of Australian band Silver Sircus has just been released, a circulating, hypnotic blurred out vision of shoe-gazing bliss. Open your windows and let the sun shine in.
And follow this up with some dubbed out operatic visions of French singer Erik Karol, with two variations to choose from. And if you arethen curious to hear my singing voice, then pick up a copy of Headspace – A Tribute to Severed Heads, a now legendary Australian electronic group who were amongst the first to process visuals and audio live on stage.
June looks set to be a very busy month too. The premiere of Canta Danst will take place in Amsterdam, which is a colossal collaboration with choreographer Ernst Meisner and Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. It's a six-week transmedia project based around a remarkable Dutch mobility car. In the project, dancers and handicapped people will be working together. It began in mid-May with a book, a TV series and a radio documentary, and the grand finale will take place on 28 June 2012 with a special dance performance by thirty ballet dancers from the Dutch National Ballet and sixty Canta drivers. The performance features the little cars as full dance partners and Scanner performing a new live original score.
For anyone local in The Netherlands the Second Channel will broadcast the first episode of the TV series on Sunday 3 June at 19.30 and every Sunday until 28 June. That same night, 3 June, the radio documentary will be aired on Radio One at 21.00. On 1 July the complete Gashouder performance itself will be broadcast on the Second Channel at 19.05.
The score is entirely original so I’ve put together a special mix to highlight the different sections and personalities in the production. Download and share as you wish.
On 23 June I will be launching a very unique project, Witness, in Durham UK. A new piece of music I have composed will only be heard once in its original form, then a ‘witness’ to this premiere will then try to remember it and play it to another musician, who in turn will pass it on. In a kind of sporting relay meets Chinese Whispers since the music will change as every person interprets it in a unique way.
Local musicians, brass groups, bedroom DJs, singers, will each track the piece of music across the landscape in a series of workshops and performances, whilst a documentary cameraman captures each session as they change and develop it. Spennymore Town Band will perform the piece at the Apollo Pavilion, which will be witnessed by the Seaham Academy string quartet. The East Durham College production group, who in turn will be listened by other musicians as the chain continues down the line, will then witness their performance. On Friday 20 July the film will be premiered, alongside a talk. It’s going to be a real adventure indeed.
June also takes me to Rome to perform as part of SPAZI APERTI 10, curated by Eleonora Farina at the Romanian Academy on 15 June for a beautiful outdoors concert, and to Bishopsgate Institute in London to perform as part of The Night of the Unexpected at Spitalfields Music Festival the very next day 16 June.
Curated by Roland Spekle The Night of the Unexpected has established cult status in Dutch cultural life and throughout Europe, and now makes its London debut which I’m flattered to take part in. The idea is simple: an evening of short, sharp performances in swift succession, with a programme which cross-cuts through styles and genres, varying from experimental beats, electronics and improvised jazz to composed repertoire and conceptual pop music. I’ll be performing a short set of Bach and Sciarrino interpretations alongside Han Bennink, Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij, Joel Ryan & Evan Parker, Philip Jeck, Tania Chen & Steve Beresford, and video installation from onedotzero.
So enjoy the sunshine if it’s embracing you and see you in July.
Until next month.
Robin Van Rimbaud
::: listen :::
Amon Tobin: Box Set (Ninja Tune)
Jah Wobble & Keith Levene EP (30 hertz)
Clark: Iradelphic (Warp)
Jimmy Page: Lucifer Rising
::: read :::
Don Delillo: Falling Man (Picador)
Cosey Complex (Koenig Books)
From Heaven to Heaven: New Order Live
Gorm Henrik Rasmussen: Pink Moon (Rocket 88)
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson, USA
The Dictator, Larry Charles, USA
Iron Sky, Timo Vuorensola, Finland
Prometheus, Ridley Scott, USA
Time & Again
Collaboration with artist Michael Anastassiades
12 May - 25 November 2012
The timeless objects of the London-based designer oscillate between design product, sculpture, and quality craftsmanship. Under the MAK exhibition pro- gram, Anastassiades makes an artistic contribution to the museum’s new positioning of applied arts. Scanner has produced a series of discrete sound interventions in the building to compliment the installation.
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. Additionally it features remixes of NightJam by Stephen Vitiello, Hakan Lidbo, Troy Banarzi, Si-cut.db and Pete Lockett.