Open call for British Library commission at Supersonic Festival

Supersonic Festival and the British Library have issued an open call for artists to create a new installation or performance piece for this year’s Supersonic Festival.

The successful applicant will receive £750 and access to the British Library’s sound archive, as well as an introduction to the collection from the Library’s Curator. The British Library sound archive contains 6.5 million speech, music, wildlife and environmental recordings, dating back to the 1880s, and is currently undergoing a major digitisation project.

The deadline for applications is 27 March, with the final piece being performed for the first time at Supersonic Festival in Birmingham, June 11–14. For more information on applying, head to the Supersonic website.

Konono No.1 recording with Batida

Konono No.1 are working with Angolan/Portuguese musician Batida, aka Pedro Coquenão. The Congotronics group and Coquenão are recording together in Lisbon, with plans to release the material on Crammed Discs later this year. Recording is currently in progress, and a release date is pencilled in for October.

The results of the collaboration will have its first outing at two shows with Coquenão at the end of the week, at Lisbon Lux on 6 March, and Coimbra Teatro Gil Vicente on 7 March. More details incoming at Crammed Discs.

First Bristol screenings of The Film That Buys The Cinema in April

The first Bristol screenings of The Film That Buys The Cinema take place next month at The Cube on 16–17 April. Both nights also include live music sets, with Auto Bitch playing on Thursday and The Dagger Brothers on Friday.

The film is an ongoing fundraising venture, featuring 70 one minute takes from 70 different artists. Proceeds from the film have helped The Cube organisation buy the building it is housed in. Tickets for Thursday available at this link, and at this link for the Friday screening. Watch a short teaser below.

Devo live documentary released

Devo photographed by Jay Spencer

A new film about Akron, Ohio's finest punk progenitors has been released. Hardcore Devo Live! was successfully crowdfunded last year via Pledge music and is now available to stream or download here.

The documentary includes footage from the ten date summer 2014 tour, which took place a few months after the death of original Devo drummer Bob Casale. Various members of the group are interviewed, and a full set list for the film is online here. Watch the trailer below.

Mike Paradinas uploading unheard and unreleased tracks to Soundcloud

Planet Mu head Mike Paradinas is “doing an Aphex”, also known as uploading a raft of previously unheard and unreleased material to his Soundcloud account. At time of writing Paradinas was uploading four or five tracks per hour to his µ-ZIQ account. All tracks are tagged with the year they were made, and some have brief annotations on places, people and equipment used.

In among the uploads is the first ever 4-track recording Paradinas ever made, a track called "Souvenir" from 1985. Listen to it below, and expect more to come via Soundcloud.

[HT: Rory Gibb]

Aldeburgh Festival's Pierre Boulez retrospective

Pierre Boulez

Aldeburgh Festival will celebrate French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a mixed media retrospective, including Barrie Gavin’s documentary Pierre Boulez: Living In The Present; The Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing a selection of Boulez’s work from the last six decades (in a mix conceived by Gerard McBurney); and Boulez Exploration – two performances by Quatuor Diotima and Florent Boffard of rarely seen Boulez works. The Boulez events will run between 16–18 June. For more information go here.

Other festival highlights include Benjamin Britten’s only full-length ballet score The Prince Of The Pagodas, the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s chamber opera The Cure, and a weekend themed around the works of Bach, alongside a selection of walks, talks and films.

The festival runs from 12–28 June. More information here

Collection of 1960s jazz interviews published after 50 years

Archie Shepp shot by Garth Caylor

50 years after he wrote it, Garth W Caylor Jr has finally published his book of jazz interviews. Called Nineteen +, it documents his meetings with Herbie Hancock, Milford Graves, Bill Evans, Steve Lacy, Paul and Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre and Ornette Coleman, among others, in New York City between 1964–65. “The conversations are about jazz music at its centre in New York City, at a time of social unrest and accelerating change,” says Caylor Jr, via email.

Why did he choose to talk to these musicians? “Each one had produced – to my thinking – moving and memorable music,” he replies, “and I could find them, meet with them and learn, first-hand, about the theory of their music and the life context of it.”

Caylor Jr says he let the interviews take shape by following cues in the musicians’ interests and thoughts. As such, he talks to Carla Bley about the body's capacity for absorbing plastics; to Giuffre about security versus substance; and to Ornette about the architect Edward Durrell Stone. This approach, he adds, was influenced by his friend and author John Arthur, who had developed a conversational technique of interviewing realist painters.

He finished the book in 1965 but couldn’t find anyone to publish it, despite a letter of glowing recommendation from Ralph J Gleason, rock and jazz critic and cofounder of Rolling Stone. “All I can say is that I urge you with every ounce of conviction I have to publish it,” Gleason wrote to Little Brown Company, adding that he had “read it twice and both times found it fascinating, but more than fascinating, I have found it illuminating”.

Finding no takers, Caylor Jr eventually filed the book away. “I was disappointed and embarrassed to have bothered so many people, now my friends, for their ideas and hospitality, which were hidden away in a file folder,” he writes.

Two events prompted him to self publish it. Firstly, Jason Weiss asked Caylor Jr if he could use some of it in a book he was writing about saxophonist Steve Lacy. Some time later, Caylor Jr read a Garrison Keillor article about changes in publishing and "decided to get the thing done by my own resources”, he says. He has now produced a paperback edition of Nineteen +, via Amazon's self publishing platform. You can read excerpts and find more information here.

Florian Hecker and Mark Leckey release new album

Still from Mark Leckey's GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction

Called Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera, Florian Hecker and Mark Leckey’s new LP is rooted in a 2011 performance event at London’s Tate Modern of the same title. In its original installation context, Hecker deconstructed the vocal track of a Mark Leckey piece, GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction, on which the artist intoned the monologue of a refrigerator and patched it together with an earlier installation, 3 Channel Chronics. The resulting installation was a hybrid of Leckey’s monologues and Hecker’s sonic structures. Each side of the LP version features a single sound channel of the installation, with fragments of Leckey’s voice emerging from and submerging into Hecker’s dense electronic structures. A third channel of the installation is available as a download.

The collaboration is another iteration of Hecker’s recent Chimera series, where he subjects spoken texts from writers such as Reza Negarestani, Stefan Helmreich and Catherine Wood to extreme electronic manipulation, while much of Mark Leckey’s recent work has taken sound systems as an inspiration. Hecker Leckey Sound Voice Chimera will be released by Pan in March.

The Residents documentary premiering at SXSW

A documentary about The Residents gets its first airing at Austin, Texas’s SXSW festival next month. Called The Theory Of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents, it tells the history of the group through archival and new footage, plus interviews with Devo’s Jerry Casale, Chris Cutler, Dean Ween, Matt Groening and others.

Made in collaboration with The Residents' management group The Cryptic Corporation, the film also draws material from the group’s own archives. The Theory Of Obscurity was successfully crowdfunded via Indiegogo at the end of December 2013, raising more than $40,000 to cover the costs of handling and converting archival footage, and post-production. Watch a trailer below.

[HT IndieWire]

Richard Youngs No Fans box set incoming this April

UK underground stalwart Richard Youngs is releasing No Fans Compendium, a 7xCD box set on VHF compiling a selection of tracks from his No Fans series of short run editions of 20-50 copies, sold exclusively at shows or from the desk at Volcanic Tongue. Also included in the box set are two discs of previously unreleased work recorded between 1989–2014.

More details plus a full tracklisting are online here. Listen to a long excerpt from the box set below.