Nursing a rather unpleasant head cold at the moment that led to losing my voice and now resembling a prehistoric Tom Waits, but a short holiday in Andalusia was refreshing, albeit freezing cold. Does no one believe in home heating in temperatures as low as 1 degree in the evening there? Obviously not.
Over the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly fascinated and inspired by the world of modular synthesis and connected with a genuinely enthusiastic community of fellow sonic explorers, and it’s led to all manner of new directions in my creative output. In March and April I’ll be presenting the fruits of my mini education in two live situations.
Beginning in March I’ll be collaborating with Leafcutter John in a show for the Convergence Festival in London on Friday 20th where we will perform live together for the first time. Therein lies the joy and risk. Modular synthesisers are all about SOUND, no email, online browsing, or social networking. Patching is the process of connecting different modules together using cables to create, shape and modulate the sound produced. So we will begin with nothing patched, and build an electronic sound world between us. Everything you will hear will be created live at that very moment, never to be repeated again in a wiggling, wobbling and wild sonic adventure. More info here.
Then on 4th April I’ll be performing solo and in a live modular synth session at Apiary Studios in East London with Tim Cowie and Mark Pilkington, with visual distraction from Chris King and Co. from Video Circuits in charge of the video modular. It’s all been arranged by the very fine Psyché Tropes label. Tickets available here.
On Saturday 7th March, as part of the expansive LEAF London festival, I’ll be in conversation at the Genesis Cinema in East London, after a screening of some of the worlds most innovative and entertaining electronic music videos from the last year. I will be joined by Rollo Jackson (Chase & Status, Squarepusher), Kate Moross (Simian Mobile Disco, Disclosure) and Chris Turner to talk about what makes a successful music video today. Chris has made some extraordinary videos for my fellow sonic adventurer Gazelle Twin, as well as visuals for my Lachrimae show and our ever popular G(O)OD+(D)EVIL.
You can now listen back to my Unsleeping work online, commissioned by London Sinfonietta, as part of the Minimalism Unwrapped festival at Kings Place in London. It’s a dreamlike piece that imagines hearing Terry Riley’s In C as a baby, a playful but fun idea. Enjoy the ambiotic music here.
Rethinking Z is out on 2nd March 2015, a reworking of a release from 1979 by cult French artist Bernhard Szajner, based around Frank Herbert’s Dune Trilogy. Now 35 years later French label InFiné is releasing this interpretation album, on which I’m delighted to offer my own reworking of Szajner, alongside Ghosting Season, Clara Moto & Tyler Pope, Irene Dresel and others. A digital only release you can pick this up at iTunes or other distributors.
Rail Cables is out now on luxurious double vinyl and digital and already receiving rave reviews which is encouraging. Kind words at Bleep.com where they generously wrote:
"Legendary electronic producer Scanner starts off with a first class ticket to late night train travel experimentation, a heady mixture of Powell-esqe post-punk drums cascading into a tripping SND style electronica number before moving into steppin' techno territory."
And that’s only side one, as three other sides feature new work from Dru$s (of Salford surrealists Gnod) Ran Slavin & Greg Fox. Listen to more here.
I just delivered an absolute mother load of stock to my distributor State 51, who take care of my back catalogue at my Scanner Shop. In moving my studio around recently I discovered a host of 7” and 12” vinyl, CDs and even flexi discs that have been out of print for many years. Some of these are in very limited quantities but there will be over 21 items previously out of print on sale online very soon. I intend to set up some very special offers for a very limited period too. Stay tuned.
A piece of history has also just re-emerged online too. The promo video for my project with Michael Wells from GTO/Tricky Disco under his name Signs Ov Chaos can now be seen. Directed by Chris Dooks back in 1997 it’s absurd, surreal and ridiculous and completely in character with the playful nature of this Michael Jackson recording. Unfortunately the release was deleted only weeks after release after a Germany heavy metal band also called Scanner objected in case their fans were confused, not that this says a lot about their admirers. As such even the video disappeared for many years. Let’s see how long it lasts this time. Enjoy it here.
So until next month!
::: listen :::
Gravenhurst: Offerings Lost Songs 2000-2004 (Warp)
Richard H. Kirk: Never Lose Your Shadow (Minimal Wave)
Steve Reich: Radio Rewrite (Nonesuch)
Lorn: The Maze to Nowhere (Ninja Tune)
::: read :::
Adrian Ghenie Monograph (Hatje Cantz)
Dale Townsend: Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (British Library)
Johan Maloof/Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found (Harper)
James Klosty: John Cage Was (Wesleyan)
Shaun the Sheep, Nick Park, UK
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson, USA
Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn, UK
The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland, UK
George Eastman House
Directed by Aura Satz
Score by Scanner
24 January - 26 April 2015
Working with the George Eastman House Collection, Satz has selected colour film footage from the 1920s, mainly test shots featuring members of Eastman's family as well as Hollywood stars. A mesmerizing study of details in early colour films, using the human eye as a point of reference. With a soundtrack by Scanner.
The National Centre for Craft and Design
28 March - 5 July 2015
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. The work features as part of a show exploring the relationship of crafts and audio.
Scanner and Samanidou were inspired by the visual and technical similarities between the digital software they both use and the physicality of code.
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.