As months go I would like this to be a rarity, since much of these last weeks have been spent in a blur of mourning, administration, preparation and then funeral for my late mother Janet. I’m keen to now move forwards, but before that I wish to thank each and every one of you who has written to me with such supportive words and thoughts. Your kindness is indeed deeply valued in my heart.
And though work has taken second place over the last weeks it’s not as if the creative world sleeps for a moment. As a tribute to my mother I uploaded a very special piece of music, Of Air and Ear.
This is an excerpt from a six-hour performance for ear, eye, mind, hip and heart, commissioned for The Royal Opera House London and their Deloitte Ignite weekend in September 2008, curated by Wayne McGregor, and sadly the last opportunity my mother had to watch me perform in London. The evening was divided into several sections, with three key live performances intertwined with immersive, insular installations, using a playable light sculpture by Jerwood Moving Image award winner Sophie Clements.
I also created a very modest video in her memory, Beyond any possible words, which uses footage of a boat trip I took from Sydney Harbour to Manly on my birthday as I learned of her terminal condition back in London.
My role as Associate Artist for Spitalfields Music Summer Festival in London finally kicked into action this month with several live performances and commissions. I developed a musical programme around the music of renaissance man and master of melancholia, John Dowland, unlocking the instrumental textures and harmonies from music written centuries ago.
Opening the first night The Haxan Cloak presented his very own interpretation of Dowland’s Lachrimae with a thunderous performance of live guitar and electronics, often deceptively innocent then with a density that made the building vibrate. The Computer Junk Orchestra followed up with a quirky ensemble of flatbed scanners that could be ‘played’ from a keyboard controller, so we could listen to Dowland through discarded obsolete modern technology.
I premiered my very own Flow My Tears, a polyphonic emotive work accompanied by a sensuous slow-moving film by director Chris Turner, which proved to be a solemn and strange experience for all.
The following week Gazelle Twin delved deeper into the music of Dowland with her very own Flow Forms which connected a variety of unusual and underground spaces in Spitalfields in London with a performance by Juice Vocal Trio at Denis Severs’ magical house, Anna Meredith in the basement of a secret cinema, Laura Moody of Elysian Quartet in Christ Church crypt and Gazelle Twin’s own mournful installation in the remains of Charnel House.
Later this year The British Film Institute (BFI) will be taking Britain to the dark heart of film with Gothic, this year’s BFI blockbuster project celebrating one of Britain’s biggest cultural exports as revealed through four compelling themes: Monstrous, The Dark Arts, Haunted and Love is a Devil. As part of this BFI Southbank’s popular regular music / film crossover event, Sonic Cinema will be developing a range of vibrant live music projects. This will include a series of live performances and talks that tap into the vibrant British ‘Hauntology’ electronic music scene, with artists such as Demdike Stare, Gazelle Twin and the Haxan Cloak that I have helped curate with partners Wire magazine.
On 21st November 2013 I will be presenting a very special night featuring a host of new commissions and special live performances, alongside my own performance of Dowland’s Flow My Tears. Stay tuned for more information.
The full UK tour for my project with Heritage Orchestra has finally been announced. Our Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked will be visiting eleven cities later this year to present our hugely ambitious orchestral work which was such a recent success at Sydney Opera House. Please look at the live dates on the site for show listings. We are currently exploring options for both recording and releasing the work for the tour as well as potential overseas dates in 2014.
A charming little publication was published this month in Sweden (in English and Swedish) to accompany the show More Than Sound exhibited at Bonners Konsthall last year. It asks the question – what IS music and what makes it something that is more than sound. It features texts by Theodor Adorno, Sara Arrhenius, Tarek Atoui, John Cage, Ayse Erkmen, Hiller, Haroon Mirza, Anne Hilde Neset, Theodor Ringborg, Alex Ross, Patti Smith, amongst others.
I contributed an exclusive text for the publication as well as a little track, Lift, on a 5” transparent flexi-disc that sits inside the book, alongside music from Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Susan Philipsz, Haroon Mirza and others. A very special release indeed.
My recent talk in London for Nice To Meet You evening as part of Art Wednesday proved to be a magical evening, sharing ideas with writer and theologian John Hull. Excerpts from our presentations can be heard back on this Podcast. Fast forward to around 25 mins if you are impatient to hear us.
My collaborative work with majestic textile artist Ismini Samanidou continues its two-year tour around the UK, exploring the relationship between sound and textiles in a very special installation, as part of Sound Matters. Sound Matters was curated by David Toop and considers the connections between craft practice and sound art. Seven contemporary works have been selected to illustrate ways in which these two distinct practices collide. Exploring the physicality of sound, the works are characterised by both their sonic properties and materiality.
If you click on our page you’ll also be able to hear a long detailed conversation, conducted by David Toop with Ismini and myself. In July the show moves onto St Fergus Gallery in Wick. Remember if you can't make it in person then you can also download the complete catalogue of the show for free.
Recent commercial work can be seen online now too, directed by Korean film director Jero Yun, for a French motorcycle company. It’s the tiny tale of bringing a grand machine back to life.
So on that theme of renewal, here’s hoping for a better month for everyone.
Thanks for your support.
Robin van Rimbaud
::: listen :::
Vatican Shadow: It Stands to Conceal (Hospital Productions)
Mike Cooper: White Shadows in the South Seas (Room40)
These New Puritans: Field of Reeds (Infectious)
Scott Walker: The Collection 1967-1970 (Universal)
::: read :::
Hans Peter Kuhn: Flags
Rick Owens: Monograph (Taschen)
Sound Pages, John Cage's Publications (Die Schachtel)
Raynal Pellicer: Photo Booth (Abrams)
Iron Man 3, Shane Black, USA
The Look of Love, Michael Winterbottom, UK
Wiseblood, John Huston, USA
Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh, USA
Scanner & textile artist Ismini Samanidou
St Fergus Gallery Wick Scotland
06 July - 03 August 2013
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Scotland
10 August - 07 Sept 2013
The Crafts Council presents Weave Waves, a digital commission, which brings together sound artist Scanner, and textile designer Ismini Samanidou.Weave Waves explores sound, geography and mapping and how this data relates to both textile weave structures and musical scores.
Scanner and Samanidou were inspired by the visual and technical similarities between the digital software they both use and the physicality of code.
Macro Testaccio Museum
10 October - 01 December 2013
An exhibition at the contemporary art museum that presents work using technology that offers the viewer an alternative view of the landscape, featuring Ryoichi Kurokawa, Alexandre Maubert, Babina/Mesmer, Donata Piccolo and many others in a group show.
Scanner will be exhibiting Falling Forwards, an installation in which the visitor finds himself in front of a digital 'window' from they can follow an event. Human silhouettes and objects fall into emptiness and are irreversibly pulled by the force of gracity towards an inevitable end.
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.