The Wire


400 speaker soundscape launches in Ipswich

Clarion Call will project the voices of multiple singers at Spill Festival

Following its premiere at the Tasmanian festival Dark Mofo in 2017, Siren Song – now titled Clarion Call – is coming to the UK. Conceived by Melbourne artist Byron Scullin with Thomas Supple and Hannah Fox aka Supple Fox, the outdoor soundscape uses 400 speakers installed on top of a building and in a helicopter to project voices of multiple singers. Other artists involved in the project are Elizabeth Fraser, Beth Gibbons, Shirley Collins, Elaine Mitchener, Cherise Phillips and Melanie Pappenheim, plus Military Wives Choir and Roma Choir.

Clarion Call will happen twice daily, at dawn and dusk, at the Ipswich waterfront as part of Spill Festival of Performance from 25 October to 4 November.

Siren Song by Byron Scullin & Supple Fox, presented at Dark Mofo 2017. Contributing artists: Carolyn Connors, Deborah Cheetham, and Tanya Tagaq. Video by Clones & Clones

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival announce full line-up

Christian Marclay is composer-in-residence at this year’s festival, which runs from 16–25 November

As composer-in-residence at the 41st edition of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival – or hcmf// for short – Christian Marclay will premiere a new piece for 20 pianos titled Investigations. HIs residency is highlighted by an exhibition of graphic scores, plus performances of his existing scores by past collaborators including Thurston Moore, Shelley Hirsch and John Butcher.

Other premieres include The Arditti Quartet performing James Dillon’s ninth string quartet and a new work for piano by Christopher Fox. The programme also features new versions of classic works by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Julius Eastman; Jennifer Walshe’s A History of the Voice – Self Care II; Marco Blaauw’s The Monochrome Project; Anthony Braxton, Enno Poppe, Bozzini Quartet performing Eliane Radigue’s Occam Delta XV; three recent pieces by Rebecca Saunders, including the entirety of her 75 minute work Yes, performed by Ensemble Musikfabrik and soprano Juliet Fraser; and the UK premiere of Hilda Paredes’s chamber opera Harriet. Produced by Belgium’s Musiektheater Transparant in association with The Hermes Ensemble, Harriet is about the African-American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman’s struggles against slavery.

Finally, the festival’s twin themes of space and spirituality will connect works by Stockhausen, Terry Riley and Supriya Nagarajan.

For a full overview of events, visit hcmf//’s website.

Takehisa Kosugi 1938–2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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.