May 2013


So I write this in some pain with a torn ligament in my left foot.


Departing Amsterdam yesterday I fell down a flight of stairs with my suitcase and unfortunately landed with my full body weight onto my left foot, which immediately swelled up like a balloon. So it was off for my first visit to Schiphol Airport First Aid, then strapped into a wheelchair and taken directly to the plane. Back in London it was into another wheelchair and off to the hospital for the next hours for X-Rays and treatment. As such the next weeks will be a lot slower with ice compresses and pain killers.

I began April in a healthier state over in Paris rehearsing at Centquatre with accordionist Pascal Contet, percussionist Clément Ducol and pop singer Camille, towards our unique collaboration at the Le Mans Jazz Festival this month. For ninety minutes on 7th May we will be deconstructing her playful pop tunes and improvising. Having been sold out for months already with an enormous waiting list for tickets let’s hope for more shows together in the future.

Swapping Paris for Glasgow it was then off to give a talk with writer and musician David Toop at City Halls, where we had a long public conversation and answering tricky public questions about reverb units and laptops. The following night it was over to the magnificent industrial architecture of Tramway for a wild live performance where beats and distorted guitars collided in a visceral battle. Photos can be viewed here.

Glasgow was as splendid as always and it was amusing to learn that the elegant Queen Square is soon to feature on the big screen in Brad Pitt’s new epic film World War Z. I’ll be back up in Scotland to present my work at the Edinburgh Festival in August, zombies permitting of course.

The lucid beauty, of her song

My solo exhibition A Month in the Life of an Artist at Melkweg Amsterdam has just closed but it’s never too late to share the playful promotional video that designer Jurian Strik made for it. It’s truly Scanner being scanned. View photos of the show here.

Australian based writer and academic Greg Hainge has just published a fascinating book, Noise Matters on Bloomsbury, which seeks to explore a simple yet complex question “What is noise?” Is one man’s noise another teenagers blissful music choice?  Examining a wide range of texts, including Sartre's novel Nausea and David Lynch's iconic films Eraserhead and Inland Empire, Greg investigates some of the Twentieth Century's most infamous noisemongers to suggest that they're not that noisy after all; and it finds true noise in some surprising places.

In response to this Greg invited a number of different folks to respond to this very same question but from a very personal point of view. My fairly detailed response can be read here alongside those from Joseph Nechvatal, Darrin Verhagen and others.

And whilst speaking of Australia I’m off to Sydney this month, to premiere Live_Transmission with The Heritage Orchestra at Sydney Opera House on 29thMay, as part of Vivid Festival. Alongside Kraftwerk, an exploratory ambisonic Scott Walker installation and many more shows we will be presenting this audio-visual re-imagining of the sound and spirit of Joy Division. Looks like it’s completely sold out already as well which is positive.

I’ll be celebrating my birthday in Sydney with live performances of Blade Runner and hopefully a Kraftwerk show too, but not sure if they will perform a birthday song for me or not as yet. I’ll bring my pocket calculator just in case.

Then it’s over to sunny Brisbane for a special show at The Waiting Room with Lawrence English, Feet Teeth and Heinz Riegler for a magical Room40 extravaganza.

Stories from the dead

The score is complete for my new Spitalfields Music Summer Festival commission based around the songs of British composer John Dowland. Listen, download and share. The accompanying film is currently being edited by film director Chris Turner so hope to be able to share some of this online soon too.

Don’t forget if you are intending to come to the show with The Haxan Cloak on 8th June 2013 to book tickets soon as this show will definitely sell out.

Dutch TV viewers should stay tuned for a new promotional campaign for a skin care product, Amando, which will launch at the end of May across The Netherlands. Produced by the playful team over at Kesselskramer, with my score and sound design, we have created a majestic and ridiculous promotion that is guaranteed to make you smile.

And so it’s back to applying more ice on the bruising, resting and hope I’ll be suitably healthy to celebrate another happy birthday at the end of May.

So until next month

Robin van Rimbaud
Professor Scanner

No one's alone

::: listen :::
Colin Stetson: New History Warfare Vol. 3 (Constellation)
Akio Suzuki & Lawrence English: Boombana Echoes  (Wind Measure)
Chris Abrahams: Memory Night (Room40)
James Blake: Overgrown (Polydor)

::: read :::
Philip Brophy: Hyper material for our very brain (IMA)
William Maxwell: So Long, See You Tomorrow (Vintage)
Cabinet Magazine: Issue 48 Trees
Wilson Neate: Read & Burn (Jaw Bone)

::: film:::
Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine, USA
Oz The Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi, USA
Compliance, Craig Zobel, USA
The Place Beyond the Pines, Derk Cianfrance, USA


Weave Waves
Online project with textile artist Ismini Samanidou 

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.

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.