The Wire


Scott Walker edits book of lyrics

Published by Faber, pre-orders go on sale from 15 December

Faber has announced the publication of a book of Scott Walker lyrics. Called Sundog: Selected Lyrics, it’s overseen by Walker himself and it includes an introduction by writer Eimear McBride. “Walker’s work, as Joyce’s before it, is a complex synaesthesia of thought, feeling, the doings of the physical world and the weight of foreign objects slowly ground together down into diamond,” writes McBride. “This is not art for the passive. It does not impart comfort or ease. Tempests will not be reconciled by the final bars and no one is going home any more.”

This first ever collection of Walker’s words is divided into six sections: “The 60s”, “Tilt”, “The Drift”, “Bish Bosch”, “Soused” and “New Songs”. It will be published on 11 January in three editions: deluxe (limited to 100 copies), limited (300 copies) and standard. Pre-orders go on sale from 15 December. More details about the contents of the various editions can be found at Scott Walker's website.

Akio Suzuki's Space In The Sun has been demolished

Built in Kyotango city in Japan, the work was victim to disputes with cattle farm employees

Akio Suzuki's self built listening point Hinatabokko No Kukan or Space In The Sun (1988 – 2017) was demolished on 8 November. Built just under 30 years ago on a hilltop in Kyotango city in the Tango region outside of Kyoto, the piece comprised a brick floor and two brick walls, creating a space in which to listen to the area it inhabited. It took 18 months to complete the structure with Suzuki working alongside his then-wife Junko Wada and others, and consisted of 10,000 handmade earthen bricks. He has envisioned the work to deteriorate naturally over time, however recent disputes with the local cattle farm and it's employees had questioned the safety of the construction due to recent deterioration and typhoon damage. However, a collaborator of Suzuki, Aki Onda, tells us there had been no clear evidence that the structure was dangerous and that it has been demolished in less than 24 hours of the decision being made.

Space in the Sun, September, 1988. Photo by Junko Wada

Space In The Sun, Suzuki says, was inspired by Debussy’s La Mer. “I thought Debussy was sitting in front of the sea for a day,” he explains, “but I had never done such things before. I never used time like that before.”

On completion, Suzuki spent the best part of 23 September 1988 making use of Space In The Sun. He recalls, “I acquired through this bodily experience, the skill to become one with nature, like the trees that surrounded me.”

“Although in recent years Space In The Sun has been in disrepair, the piece existed for sonic pilgrims who wanted a space for their own listening”, explains writer Chris Kennedy. “While the end product was fascinating—the idea of sitting for a day in one place to listen to the world—the amount of labour that it took to build it was of equal importance in Suzuki’s work. Suzuki’s art is also about the work that he does to get to this place of listening.”

Space In The Sun, 8 November, 2017​. Photo by Hiromi Miyakita

Ashley Paul’s new album a “cathartic outpouring” of motherhood

The vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and improvisor releases Lost In Shadows in February. Listen to “Night Howl” from the album

London based US musician Ashley Paul is set to release a new record on Slip next year. Titled Lost In Shadows, the album promises a personal unearthing of the experience of early motherhood, and follows on from previous albums Slow Boat, Line The Clouds and 2014’s Heat Source.

The LP was recorded over three weeks during a residency at FUGA in Zaragoza in Spain in December 2016 – it’s described by Paul as “a cathartic outpouring”, and is the first thing she has written since the birth of her daughter 11 months ago. The record is influenced, she says, by “hours spent awake at night in a dreamlike state of half consciousness, darkness and solitude”.

Paul plays guitar, saxophone, clarinet, voice and percussion on the record, alongside an ensemble of Manel Arocas Roca on tuba, Justo Bagüeste on baritone saxophone, Angela García Marcos and Dolores Miravete on cello, plus Helena Cánovas Parés, Santiago Latorre and John Bence on percussion. Lost In Shadows will be released on LP with download in February 2018, with artwork by Gayle Paul and mastering by Giuseppe Ielasi. Listen to “Night Howl” below:

Jules Wright prizewinner announced

Chu-Li Shewring receives film world recognition for her contributions as a female creative technician, while Oreet Ashery bags the Jarman Award

Film maker and sound designer Chu-Li Shewring has won the £5000 Jules Wright Prize set up to recognise female creative technicians making significant contributions to artist films. As announced last July, other nominees included Beatrice Dillon and Zhe Wu. Shewring worked with Steve McQueen on Hunger in 2008, Frances Scott on CANWEYE { }, Phil Coy, Siobhan Davies, Ben Rivers and others. She is also a visiting sound tutor at University College of London and the National Film and Television School.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Film London Jarman Award of £10,000 was won by Oreet Ashery, who grew up in Jerusalem but now lives in London. Ashery combines moving image, live performance and music. Her projects include her web series Revisiting Genesis, which examines attitudes towards death, and the touring performance Passing Through Metal, which combines knitting and death metal.

Ben Riley has died

The American drummer who worked with Alice Coltrane and Thelonious Monk was 84 years old

Ben Riley died on 18 November at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York. “His death was confirmed by his daughter Kim, who said the cause of death is not yet known,” reported the New York jazz radio station WGBO.

Born in Georgia in 1933, Riley moved to New York City as a child. After drumming in bands at school and during time served in the army, he started playing professionally in 1956. He toured and recorded with Thelonious Monk, working on albums such as It's Monk's Time (1964), Monk (1964), Live At The It Club (1964), Straight, No Chaser (1967) and Underground (1968). He went on to play with Alice Coltrane on A Monastic Trio (1968) and Ptah, The El Daoud (1970), and he also drummed with Abdullah Ibrahim aka Dollar Brand, Chet Baker and Sonny Rollins, among other artists. Following Monk's death, Riley joined Sphere, which originally started as a Monk tribute band, working alongside Monk's tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse and Kenny Barron.

Later in his career Riley released his debut album Weaver Of Dreams (Joken, 1996), and ten years later he led The Monk Legacy Septet through Memories Of T. In 2012 Sunnyside released Riley’s Grown Folks Music.

MONOM – Berlin's Centre for Spatial Sound opens next month

“The world's most advanced spatial sound system” opens in Funkhaus on 1 December

A new performance venue in Berlin called MONOM is set to open on 1 December. Containing a new spatial sound system built by 4DSOUND, the space has a capacity of 400 and features omnidirectional speakers suspended throughout the venue and subwoofers placed under transparent flooring. It’s located in Funkhaus, the old GDR broadcasting centre. The intention, claims the press release, is that the audience “do not hear sound coming from speakers: instead, sounds appear in the space as independent physical entities”. They aim to use the flexible sound system so that performers and listeners can occupy the same fluid space, and artists will be specially commissioned to create pieces exploring its possibilities and potential to integrate with other technologies.

The opening weekend will take place on 1–2 December with Croatian Amor, Helm, PYUR and Thomas Ankersmit. On 9–10 December MONOM will present an exhibition curated by 4DSOUND’s founder Paul Oomen featuring sound systems made by the company over the course of the last five years. Following that, a world premiere of an installation by longterm collaborator Max Cooper will open on 14 December, with support from Italian artist Caterina Barbieri. Tickets are available via their website.

Fatima Al Qadiri shares new music video from Shaneera

Watch the premiere of the video by Sophia Al-Maria that pays homage to belly dancing with a femme and masc dance-off

Fatima Al Qadiri has released the music video for the track “Spiral” from her 2017 EP Shaneera. Made by writer and film maker Sophia Al-Maria and featuring Zadiel Sasmaz and Eli Al Sultan performing a belly dance, the video is a riff on the track's lyrics, which were taken from the 2006 comedy Ayazon, directed by Akram Fareed. As Al Qadiri explains, “The lyrics of “Spiral” featuring Bobo Secret are taken from a now legendary scene in an Egyptian comedy film called Ayazon (2006), of a joyous eruption of several individuals belly dancing in a brothel. The lyrics translate as "I'm wearing a dancing outfit and in a house of ill-repute!" The scene quickly went viral in the Arab world and became an underground queer proclamation – one of defiance, body positivity and unbridled joy. In Sophia Al-Maria's video for the song, Zadiel Sasmaz and Eli El Sultan perform a belly dance-off of femme and masc in a sensual homage to the form.”

Shaneera was released by Hyperdub in October of this year. The title of the EP comes from an English mispronunciation of the Arabic word shanee’a (شنيعة), which, as is explained via Bandcamp, means “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul”. The music video for “Spiral” was made by Sophia Al-Maria and produced by Boiler Room. You can watch it below.

Munich label Trikont celebrates its 50th anniversary

The independent label started life as a left wing book publisher in 1967

Touted as probably Germany's oldest independent record label, the Munich based Trikont celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a book, a CD box set and a new website homepage.

Starting out in 1967 as a radical left wing publishing company for books such as Che Guevara’s Bolivian Diary, in 1971 Trikont changed direction to become a record label with the motto “our own voice”. To date, the label has 492 releases under its belt, covering artists such as Embryo, Michael Hurley, Daniel Johnston and Accordions Go Crazy (featuring members Clive Bell and Sylvia Hallett), and releasing compilations such as the Jon Savage compiled England's Dreaming, John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft's The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, and Christoph Wagner's American Yodeling 1911 - 1946.

To mark the occasion the label will release the biography Die Trikont-Story: Musik, Krawall Und Andere Schöne Künste by Christof Meueler & Franz Dobler, and a 50th anniversary sampler on 3 CDs, featuring artists from the label. On top of that, they also have a new homepage.

Burning Ambulance launches podcast series with Roscoe Mitchell and more

Wire contributor Phil Freeman will be covering artists working within jazz, modern composition, metal and noise

Regular Wire contributor Phil Freeman has launched a podcast series via his Burning Ambulance website, projected to run twice a month (although Phil notes this is flexible).

So far interviewees have included saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell, who talks about the reunion of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and their upcoming 50th anniversary, his composition Nonaah, and much more. This was followed by the prolific avant garde pianist Matthew Shipp talking about his early career, political activism and Donald Trump. The third edition, with pianist and band leader Myra Melford, discussed her path to becoming a professional musician and her exploration of Indian music.

All episodes are available to stream and download over at the Burning Ambulance website.

Graham Lambkin's Kye comes to a conscious conclusion

After 50 LP releases, the label that’s released that likes of Joe McPhee, Call Back The Giants and Moniek Darge says it is time to “pull down the blinds”

New York's Kye record label will cease trading this December. Announcing the news via Facebook, founder Graham Lambkin stated: “Now is the time to say goodbye. After 50 LPs and 60 overall releases it feels like the right time to pull down the blinds... I would like to thank all the artists, distributors, friends and supporters who helped keep Kye alive, varied and interesting.”

Its first release was 2001’s Tomb Of Speed, a small run chapbook of Lambkin’s poems and lyrics with a CD-R, later republished as part of the collection Dumb Answer To Miracles by Penultimate Press. Since then label has worked with Jason Lescalleet, Helm, Vanessa Rossetto, Dan Melchior, The Wire’s Matt Krefting, fellow Shadow Ring member Tim Goss's group Call Back The Giants, fellow Poughkeepsie resident Joe McPhee, and many more. The label has explored its own distinctive area between field recording, art and lo-fi experimentation, including notable archival projects by European artists such as Moniek Darge, Henning Christiansen and Anton Heyboer.

“I always found the idea of a conscious conclusion far more appealing than a ‘whatever happened to...?’ scenario”, explains Lambkin on email. “It's also becoming increasingly ridiculous/frustrating to have vinyl produced in the US... as someone who has had to sit on numerous occasions and physically place every LP of a 500 run on the turntable to check for warps the enthusiasm does tend to ebb.”

The final two releases are already out: Absence, a part live, part archive release of "visionary cassette-based constructs" by Maths Balance Volumes, and Gabi Losoncy’s HH, which Lambkin describes as “two sides of psychologically dense nothingness,” concluding: “The coffin lid comes down on the rainbow.”

Kye will be taking orders until 1 December, and there are plans for a new London based label on the horizon. Listen to Dumb Answers To Miracles below: