Takehisa Kosugi 1938–2018

2 jours 14 heures ago

The Japanese violinist, avant garde composer and Fluxus member died on 12 October aged 80

Takehisa Kosugi, a key figure in Japan’s postwar avant garde music scene, was born in 1938, the eldest son of a Tokyo glazier. He played the violin from a young age, having acquired the stringless body of an instrument from a school friend in exchange for a kit radio. However, it was his use of the heterodyne effect that would inform much of his work. As noted by Alan Cummings in The Wire 220, “his discovery of miniature signal generators during a two year sojourn in New York from 1965–67 really decided his future methodology. He found that by placing two generators in close proximity, the intermodulation of two high frequency radio waves inaudible to the human ear could create an audible phasing soundwave. This heterodyne effect – of making the inaudible audible, the invisible visible, transcending the human sensory range – has played a massively important part in his music ever since.”

In the 1960s, while still at art collage, Kosugi formed Japan's first improv collective Group Ongaku. He was also a member of Hi-Red Centre, a short-lived radical art collective active between 1963–64. Alongside this, he was part of the international Fluxus community, and would work with George Maciunas, John Cage, Nam June Paik, Don Cherry and David Tudor. In the 1970s, Kosugi tagged along with The Taj Mahal Travellers, a sprawling ensemble known for sets up to 12 hours long, as they took a camper van across Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and even to the Taj Mahal itself in India. In 1977 he became resident composer for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and would go on to present numerous performances and installations at festivals. In 1999 he collaborated with Sonic Youth on SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century.

Alan Cummings spoke to Kosugi in May 2004 for The Wire 243. Read the article for free via Exact Editions.

New series opens at IKLECTIK

3 jours 10 heures ago

Spread over a month, the programme focuses on electronic music and digital culture

Waterloo's experimental arts venue IKLECTIK is adding a new project to its curatorial programme. Spread over one month between 1 November and 1 December, </coding in GE> is a series of events that will “feature and promote the research and impact of pioneers, working in experimental electronic music, new technologies, digital culture with a sociopolitical and environmental focus”, they say.

The programme promises performance, interviews, talks and workshops set to take place both on and off site, also offering a platform for learning and research exchange for academics, artists and professionals working in the field.

Artist on the line up include Otaco, Johanna Bramli, We Will Fail, Corazon de Robota, Laura Netz, Mayuko Hino, Ramleh, Martina Claussen, Agathe Max, AGF and others. The full line up can be found on IKLECTIK's website.

Movie Night with Elaine Mitchener at The House of St Barnabas

6 jours 9 heures ago

Lizzie Borden's Born In Flames to be screened followed by a Q&A hosted by Nina Power

London homeless charity The House of St Barnabas and creative agency Smoke Creatives in collaboration with the Stuart Hall Foundation will host Countless Actions: Movie Night with Elaine Mitchener in the capital on 23 October. The vocalist, performer and composer was asked to select a film that has influenced her life and work, and chose Lizzie Borden's 1983 feminist fantasy flick Born In Flames. Mitchener will be in conversation with Wire writer and cultural critic Nina Power about the film, discussing how it relates to works such as Sweet Tooth, the vocalist’s cross-media performance piece regarding colonialism and its legacy.

The event is part of a series called Countless Actions: Movements, Action and Social Change organised by Smoke Creatives and The House of St Barnabas. Tickets are £10 plus booking fee.

Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda release Ke I Te Ki

6 jours 10 heures ago

The release is out on Room40 this November

Aki Onda and Akio Suzuki are back collaborating together in a new release on Room40 called Ke I Te Ki. In 2014 the pair released CD and book combo Ma Ta Ta Bi, with the music on this release recorded a year later in New York City at The Emily Harvey Foundation, the art space that formally home to the studio of Fluxus founder George Maciunas. The pair have performed together at various occasions throughout the last half a decade. Onda explains the appeal. “He [Suzuki] and I have a tendency to perceive sound as space, or to always consider sound in relation to space. We don’t usually hear the sound sources as they actually are, since they are always modified by a space’s acoustics and its reflections, absorptions, and attenuation.” He continues. “When we play, we listen carefully to and respond to the extra acoustics of these phenomena. Our ears have to be wide open, constantly adjusting to ever-changing detail. Nothing is fixed.”

Of the recording space, Onda confirms, “Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota, whom Akio met around the early ‘80s, used to live in the same building; another former resident and friend of Akio, Yoshi Wada, was said to have done some of the carpentry and plumbing.” He concludes, “it is a historic building of New York avant-garde culture, and the last of the artist co-ops that Maciunas created in New York City. How could this not have an effect on the recording?”

As for the album name, Onda tell us that in Japanese it means “the sound of an alarm, or a whistle to call attention to a hazardous event,” and makes for a reminder to push ourselves further.

Ke I Te Ki is released on 2 November.

Stine Janvin debuts on Pan and shares video directed by Erik Ferguson

1 semaine ago

The new release brings the performance work Fake Synthetic Music to record

Vocalist and sound artist Stine Janvin releases her debut on Pan today. The artist has also shared a new video by Erik Ferguson, the video maker known for his grotesque, and somewhat endearing, imagery.

Fake Synthetic Music is the fruit of Janvin's latest performance project, and has her continue her exploration into extended vocal techniques and architectural electronic music, using her voice as the core sound source. “I wanted to explore how I could vocalise in a way that would combine architectural sound with dance floor sequences.” she says.

Pan also celebrates its 10th anniversary this month with a gig at Berghain. Fake Synthetic Music is released on 12 October. Watch the video below.

Mira Calix wins Lovie award and presents two new commissions

1 semaine 1 jour ago

Ode To The Future wins Lovie Award while Good Grief, Charlie Brown! and Beyond The Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers will open this autumn

This autumn composer Mira Calix will present two new commissions across London. First is Good Grief, Charlie Brown!, a group exhibition that will take place at Somerset House between 25 October 2018 and 3 March 2019. A video piece with a quadraphonic soundtrack, it was filmed at the central London venue in August this year, and was influence by the musical notation in Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips.

“Schulz really portrayed music as an animated character throughout the Peanuts strips,” explains Calix. “It was the first time I had seen musical notation fly, bend, be embraced, wrestled with. He made me consider music as an object in time and space.”

The second piece is a sound installation to Tom Piper's work at the Tower of London commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War. The installation is called Beyond The Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers, with words from war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets To A Soldier. That work will run between 4 and 11 November.

In other news, Mira Calix and her project Ode To The Future with fischerAppelt and Fork Unstable Media has been announced as Gold & People's Lovie winners in the Music and Entertainment category of the eighth annual Lovie Awards. Celebrating 350th anniversary of science and tech company Merck, the artist worked with six expectant mothers and their foetuses to capture ultrasound data that would be transformed into audio frequencies, making up the basis for musical composition. The result can be downloaded for free via Bleep.

Giorgio Moroder celebrates the 1980s in first European tour

1 semaine 1 jour ago

2019 UK dates include Birmingham, Manchester, London and Glasgow

Giorgio Moroder has announced his first ever live tour in Europe. Now in his 70s, the electronic dance music pioneer will embark on the 15 city tour in April next year, performing highlights of his career with a band and vocalists. The tour is hailed as a celebration of the 80s, taking just a section from a career that spans over 55 years. Recent pursuits include DJing, provided the music for Google game Racer, and releasing his latest studio album Déjà Vu in 2015.

“Back in the days it was unthinkable for producers to ever leave their studios” says Moroder about the tour. “That territory was reserved for the singers. Today, DJs and music producers have become the superstars of popular dance music, so the time feels right and I am so excited to be finally doing this!”

Tickets go on sale 12 October. UK dates are: Birmingham Symphony Hall on 1 April, London Eventim Apollo on 2 April, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 4 April, and Manchester Apollo on 5 April.

Roger Robinson calls for one hundred poems about Windrush

1 semaine 1 jour ago

“There’s a responsibility being squarely placed on the shoulders of artists in these troubled and dark times”, says poet and King Midas Sound's Roger Robinson

Roger Robinson has placed a call out over Twitter for artists and writers to send him their Windrush poetry. The announcement read:

“All poet family. I've had enough of how Caribbean elders are being treated. My friend n fellow poet @ZenaEdwards mum has to fill out a Windrush form to stay in the country she lives ffs. I’m writing a poem about [Windrush] and I want to gather a hundred poems about it. PlsShare #vexedandvocal”

The tweet comes after Edwards and Robinson had worked together at Battersea Arts Centre with Apples and Snakes in a production called Rallying Cry. “It was an immersive piece of theatre that illustrated the conversation and thoughts of 19 poets with a creative citizenship practice,” explains Robinson over email.

“There’s a responsibility being squarely placed on the shoulders of artists in these troubled and dark times. Many poets and artists have had to upgrade their Creative Citizenship practice, by that I mean use their art practice to challenge stale and outdated notions of who, what or how a citizen could or should be”.

He continues: “All week I had been talking with Zena and other poets that art can effect strong emotional changes and that the proximity it creates can defeat apathy. So when Zena Edwards posted in social media that her mother had to fill in those degrading Windrush forms I knew something had to be done. At first I put out a social media call out for a hundred poems for Windrush respect and then art organisations; and the poets started sending poems and organisations like Beatfreeks in Birmingham and Apples and Snakes in London lent their support.”

With the works, Robinson plans to host a poetry show and compile a document of work with proceeds going to those affected by the scandal.

Rudeboy: The Story Of Trojan Records premieres in London on Friday

1 semaine 2 jours ago

Screenings will also take place at the fifth edition of Doc ’n' Roll music documentary festival

Trojan records marks its 50th anniversary this year, and as part of the celebrations, Nicolas Jack Davies has produced the documentary Rudeboy. Celebrating British Jamaican working-class youth culture, the documentary kicks off in Jamaica in the 1950s, and continues on to the founding of Trojan in 1968 by Windrush immigrant and B&C Records owner Lee Gopthal. It traces the label's history from ska and rocksteady to its legacy of bringing reggae to a global audience.

Combining archival footage, interviews and cinematic reconstructions, artists featured include Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Toots Hibbert, Ken Boothe, Neville Staple, Marcia Griffiths, Dave Barker, Dandy Livingstone, Lloyd Coxsone, Pauline Black, Derrick Morgan and more.

Screenings take place at Vue in Leicester Square on 12 October, as well as 13 and 15 October at Southbank BFI. The film is also part of London's Doc 'n' Roll music film festival which starts on 1 November. Full listings for the festival are over on their website.

Tsunami benefit compilation with Serang Dakko, Hamrin Samad and Arrington de Dionyso

2 semaines ago

Arrington de Dionyso dedicates the release “to the healing and recovery of all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi”

Arrington de Dionyso is donating proceeds from Unheard Indonesia Vol 14 towards the relief effort following the Indonesia 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on 28 September. At that time, Palu was hosting its annual Nomini music festival on Talise Beach when the Tsunami struck to devastating effect.

Tsunami Benefit Unheard Indonesia Vol 14: Serang Dakko And Friends In Makassar is available now via Bandcamp, and features tracks by Serang Dakko, Arrington de Dionyso & The Free Ensemble with Hamrin Samad, Basri B Sila, Khaeruddin, Ancu Batara, Ochang, Serang Dakko, Bram, Arrington de Dionyso and Siswa SMK. The recordings were made in August this year in Makassar, Sulawesi (an area not directly affected by the tsunami). On the release you can hear Daeng Serang Dakko and Daeng Hamrin Samad play traditional percussion and pui pui.

“The musicians involved would like to dedicate this release to the healing and recovery of all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi,” says the Bandcamp page. “All funds raised from this recording will go directly towards the benefit of recovery efforts.” Donate via Bandcamp . You can also donate (without receiving the compilation) on gofundme.

TSUNAMI BENEFIT Unheard Indonesia vol. 14: Serang Dakko and Friends in Makassar by Serang Dakko, Hamrin Samad, and Arrington de Dionyso

Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman & Israel Martínez win CTM 2019 Radio Lab Call

2 semaines 2 jours ago

Inspiration comes from forms of animism and the persistence of resistance in Mexico

CTM festival has announced the winners for their annual Radio Lab Call. As usual, the commission is awarded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – Radio Art/Klangkunst and CTM Festival, in collaboration with ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival, Ö1 Kunstradio, and The Wire magazine. This year, Wire staffer and regular contributor Phil England was on the panel.

Artists were invited to submit proposals for a radio piece and live performance or installation in relation to the 2019 theme Persistence. Out of the 175 entries from 43 different countries, two artists have been awarded €5000 for production costs. They were Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman & Israel Martínez.

Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman proposed a piece titled (Non) Humanism And Animism. Lierman will focus on modern forms of animism and its survival despite oppression and colonisation. The artist was born in Rwanda and raised in Belgium, and for the work took inspiration from conversations she's had with her 108 year old grandfather, one of the last living Rwandan traditional hunters and doctors.

Mexican sound artist Israel Martínez's offering is called Love And Rage, and acts as a tribute to persistence of resistance. "Persistence in Mexico, as in other parts of the world, or rather, throughout the world, today, is not a choice or a possibility: it is a condition to be able to survive, to be able to imagine a different future ... contributing substantially to critical thinking and resistance throughout the world", he says.

Both pieces will be premiered at CTM 2019 Festival in Berlin, taking place between 25 January and 3 February. Radio versions will be broadcast via Deutschlandfunk Kultur in spring 2019, and again by on ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival or Ö1 Kunstradio in autumn 2019.

On the jury were: Cedric Fermont, Elisabeth Zimmerman, Jan Rohlf, Marcus Gammel, and Phil England.

Sam Underwood and Graham Dunning share the secrets of their Mammoth Beat Organ

2 semaines 3 jours ago

The duo have made three videos to explain the thoughts and processes behind their new modular instrument

Graham Dunning and Sam Underwood have shared three videos about their new project The Dunning Underwood Mammoth Beat Organ.

They describe their DIY instrument as a “two player, semi-autonomous musical instrument” that plays “unusual, sometimes erratic compositions”. This is the duo’s first instrument collaboration, they continue, adding that it was inspired by fairground organ techniques and their mutual interest in mechanical music.

Three videos have been uploaded onto YouTube: How Do They Make It?! Music, Mammoth Beat Organ – Behind The Scenes and a 38 minute performance of the duo live at Supersonic in July.

There’s more to follow, say the duo, promising instrument updates, a Mammoth Beat Organ tour and a forthcoming record released by Front And Follow.

Watch How Do They Make It?! Music below:

180 Proof Records share “Peggy's Blue Skylight” from long lost Charles Mingus tapes

2 semaines 3 jours ago

The previously unheard concert recording from 1973 will be released this winter

This November, BBE Music and 180 Proof Records will release a collection of long lost Charles Mingus recordings. Unheard for over 40 years, the tapes capture the bassist, composer and bandleader performing live during a weeklong residency at Strata Concert Gallery, Detroit in 1973.

The musicians featured on the recording are Roy Brooks, Joe Gardner, Don Pullen and John Stubblefield. It was Brooks’s wife Hermine who had the recordings in her possession. Hermine informed Barbara Cox at Strata Records of the discovery, and Cox in turn involved 180 Proof Records founder Amir Abdullah. Jazz In Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Seldon is released on 2 November.

Listen to “Peggy's Blue Skylight” below.

Tennessee's Big Ears festival announces its 2019 edition

3 semaines ago

Four days of concerts, workshops, talks and installations in Knoxville

The eighth Big Ears festival will be held in downtown Knoxville,Tennessee from 21–24 March 2019. Its programme includes a special focus on 50 years of ECM Records, and concerts by The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, The Carla Bley Trio with Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard, Jack DeJohnette with Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison, Wadada Leo Smith (performing Divine Love), Meredith Monk & Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin, and others.

The line-up also features Spiritualized, Mercury Rev, Nils Frahm, Jlin, Carl Stone, The Comet Is Coming, Lonnie Holley, Yves Tumor and Kara-Lis Coverdale. Oher highlights include a three day celebration of Harold Budd, Alvin Lucier performing I Am Sitting In A Room and Bird And Person
Dyning, among other works.

Tickets are on sale now.

The Radiophonic Workshop score music for new UK horror film

3 semaines ago

This is the first time the research lab has composed a feature length soundtrack

Radio and television composers The Radiophonic Workshop have scored their first ever feature length soundtrack. It’s for Matthew Holness’s debut horror film Possum, starring Sean Harris and Alun Armstrong. The score features sound elements and drones from the Delia Derbyshire archives, which were originally discovered in Derbyshire’s attic and since fully restored.

“At once unnerving, atmospheric and deeply moving,” says Holness about the music. The Workshop have shared the film’s “Verse 1 And Main Titles” track so you can decide for yourself.

Possum opens in UK cinemas on 26 October, and the original soundtrack album featuring nine bonus tracks will be released on 30 November, with sleeve art designed by Ghost Box’s Julian House.

Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by The Radiophonic Workshop

Watch the trailer for Possum below:

ZULI announces debut LP and shares track “Kollu l-Joloud” featuring MSYLMA

3 semaines 1 jour ago

Called Terminal, his record questions preconceived notions about what it means to be an Egyptian living in Cairo

Last year's Radio Lab winner ZULI will release his debut LP Terminal in November. Featuring Abyusif, Abanoub, Mado $am, R-Rhyme and MSYLMA, the album has been described as a more localised and personal project than ZULI’s previous EPs Bionic Ahmed and Numbers (both on UIQ) and Trigger Finger (Haunter). As its artwork city photography indicates, the album reflects on his own experiences in hometown Cairo.

“In a world that feels like it’s regressing into tribalism, many of us who don’t fit into any one specific group identity feel sidelined at best,” declares ZULI. “When people talk to me, whether it be the press or peers in the scene I operate in, I am often approached with a preconceived notion of pretty much everything from my influences and taste to my politics and lifestyle, solely based on my nationality. It is a caricature that has proven very marketable, one that makes for a more interesting read/conversation/booking, apparently, than a multifaceted (hence unique) human personality just like each and every one of us. Ever since this came to my attention I have been making a point to be as vocal as possible about how unfair that is.

“This is an album inspired by my own personal experience in the city I live in,” he continues. “I just happen to be an Egyptian musician and the city just happens to be Cairo. My experience in Cairo may very well have more in common with that of an Indian accountant in New Delhi than of another Egyptian musician in Cairo.

Terminal draws from an abstract narrative of increasingly frequent cycles of ego-death and rebirth,” he concludes, “its effect on everything from self-image and worldview, to the creative process, its fruits and the various masks/identities assumed in the process.”

Listen to “Kollu l-Joloud” featuring MSYLMA below. ZULI’s Terminal is released by UIQ on 2 November.

Shenzhen’s OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival kicks off next month

3 semaines 3 jours ago

Happening between 9–21 October, its special ‘festival in festival’ programme focuses on improvisation and free jazz

The eighth edition of OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival in Shenzhen, Southern China, includes a ‘Festival In Festival’ focus on international improvisors and free jazz players, among them Jooklo Duo, Zu, William Parker, Vladimir Chekasin & Vladimir Tarasov – La Grande Sonata, Yoriyuki Harada Quartet, Alexey Kruglov/Jaak Sooäär Quartet, RS5pb and FIF Improvisation Union. The festival proper presents AVA Trio, Luca Sestak, Jeppe Zeeberg, EYM Trio, Hagiga Sextet, Ruth Koleva, Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys, Mamer, Kazakhstan’s Ensemble Turan, Yossi Fine & Ben Aylon and others.

OCT-LOFT will also be screening the films Inside Out In The Open: An Expressionist Journey Into The Music Known As Free Jazz and Cecil Taylor's Piano Marathon, Berlin 1988: Erzulie Maketh Scent. And Steve Holtje will present a talk called “55 Years Of Nurturing Avant-Garde And Outsider Music: ESP-Disk's Perpetual Revolution”.

Happening between 9–21 October at B10 Live, Shenzhen, 2018 OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival is curated by Tu Fei and Teng Fei with Shenzhen Old Heaven Culture Communication Co Ltd. Check out the full programme or buy tickets via their website.

The extraordinary story of library music at the British Library

3 semaines 6 jours ago

The event will feature a panel discussion moderated by Emily Bick

On 6 October the British Library will host a night dedicated to library music. Featuring some of library music label KPM's key composers, the event will feature the first live show in six years for the KPM All Stars performing a selection of classics, and starring Keith Mansfield, Brian Bennett, John Cameron, Alan Parker, and The Mohawks' Alan Hawkshaw.

Also happening will be a premiere screening of Shawn Lee’s feature length documentary The Library Music Film, and a talk hosted by The Wire's Deputy Editor Emily Bick. Plus DJ support from Finders Keepers' Andy Votel, and Jane Weaver.

The library will also be host to an exhibition of library music album covers curated by David Hollander, author of Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History Of Library Music. The KPM archive is resident at the British Library.

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