The Wire


New sound installation by Richard Skelton on the Isle of Skye

Installed in a boathouse, his new work opens on 7 September

A new sound installation by Richard Skelton called Eilean Fuinn will open next month at Scorrybreac Boathouse, Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Commissioned by ATLAS Arts, a contemporary arts production and commissioning body based on the Inner Hebrides island, his piece is part of the year-long project A Work for the North Atlantic exploring singing and the sea. So far the project has included Bethan Huws’s film Singing For The Sea (1993) and school workshops run in collaboration with Aldeburgh Music.

A work of long-duration repetition comprised of four audio channels, Skelton’s Eilean Fuinn was inspired by Huws's work. His installation incorporates four musicians performing traditional songs related to the sea. These are “Cumha Na Cloinne” (“Lament For The Children”) played by Decker Forrest on Highland bagpipes; “Oran Manitoba” by Hector MacInnes on accordion; “Em Tog Orm Mo Phìob” (“Bring Me My Pipes”) and “Am Iomramh Eadar Il’ A’s Uist” (“Rowing From Islay To Uist”) by Ronan Martin on fiddle; and “Braes Of Lochiel” by Frances Wilkins on concertina.

The project, says Skelton, gave him “the rare opportunity to immerse myself in the island culture of Skye, to experience something of its spectacular geography, its natural history, and its musical tradition”. He adds that “working with local musicians, and with the landscape itself, has been a memorable experience”.

The title Eilean Fuinn was inspired by the word fonn, which has multiple meanings including ‘land, earth, plain’ and ‘air, tune, music’.

Eilean Fuinn will be on display from 10am–5pm, Wednesday to Sunday, between 7–23 September 2017. Entry is free.

Ten CD box set compiled by Ratskin Records in response to violence in US

Money raised by the compilation will be divided between Black Lives Matters national chapter bail fund and San Francisco’s St James Infirmary

Oakland, California label Ratskin Records have released a 12 hour benefit compilation designed as a “direct response to the rapidly worsening, violent, political and philosophical conditions in our current state”. Released earlier this month, Rogue Pulse/Gravity Collapse, is available in digital and physical formats, and all proceeds will be split between Black Lives Matter national chapter bail fund and St James Infirmary in San Francisco.

In its physical format, Rogue Pulse/Gravity Collapse is a ten CD box set accompanied by a 16-page booklet of sleevenotes and writings, photograph and full colour limited edition print, plus download code. The digital version will include scans of all the media.

Taking part are an international selection of producers, sound artists and bands spanning the fields of noise, electro, trap, electronics, industrial, metal, musique concrete, field recordings and more. Further, the vast majority of tracks were produced specially for the release. On the set’s Bandcamp page, Ratskin Records declare: “This document serves both as a vast (yet obviously incomplete) document of contemporary and modern artists pushing the limits of esoteric, political, radical and lucid strategies of sound, space and resistance, as well as strives to create a dialogue around creating an alternative nexus of artist and musician solidarity through models bridging the gap between artistic documents and radical modes of resistance, fundraising, networking and solidarity.”

Among the artists making up its 184 track listing are Wolf Eyes, Negativland, Moor Mother, Black Spirituals, Clipping, Dj Spooky, Daniel Menche, Sun Araw Trio, Jim Haynes, Headboggle, Gerritt Wittmer, Kid606, Xiu Xiu, Drew Mcdowall, and many more.

Rogue Pulse/Gravity Collapse is limited to an edition of 300 signed and numbered physical copies. A set of preorder copies were also signed and numbered, and included extra content such as a ‘self defense weapon’, a pin set and five additional prints. The cover art is designed by Los Angeles based artist Lexx Valdez.

Note: this article was edited 14 August 2017. It originally stated that part of the money raised from the compilation would go towards the relief fund for victims of the Ghost Ship arts space fire. However they are no longer accepting donations. Details of a replacement charity are yet to be confirmed

Hyperlocal festival to take place in London and Buenos Aires

The joint location festival will run on 17 September at Cafe Oto, and on 25 November at Xirgu Espacio Untref, Atom Sound Art Space and Cuarto Apostol

Hyperlocal's 2017 edition will be split between Dalston in London’s East End and
San Telmo in Buenos Aires. It kicks off with performances on 16 September at Cafe Oto and its project space, and the evening will end with an afterparty at a venue yet to be confirmed. The event will then transfer across the Atlantic on 25 November to three venues in Buenos Aires: Xirgu Espacio Untref, Atom Sound Art Space and Cuarto Apostol.

“One headspace for +12 hours conducted in two cities. It is a lasting connection of
opposite hemispheres from local Argentine and South American landcapes
to the UK/EU and beyond, fighting against the impracticality of distance and resources to expose, extend and share,” states the festival.

Artists lined up for London include online performances from Albobabez and Yearning Kru, and live ones from The Bomber Jackers, DJ Save The NHS, Farai, Lolina and others. The Buenos Aires bill includes more online performances from Albobabez and Yearning Kru, plus Aylu, DJ Bli Bli, Ines Navarro, Nicolas Freeman, DJ Bruta, Vluba, Yoto, with more tbc.

Adult Swim to release DOOM's The Missing Notebook Rhymes track by track

15 DOOM tracks to be released at the rate of one a week

On 7 August Adult Swim received a folder from DOOM. Called The Missing Notebook Rhymes, it contains 15 tracks, each of them “considered a ‘notebook’ from a series consisting of music from his own upcoming albums as well as singles he is featured on”. One artist collaboration that is named is Jay Electronica, while another, the first track from an already released collection, is called "Negus", and it’s from the late Sean Price's then-forthcoming album Imperius Rex, released last week two years after the New York rapper’s death by Duck Down Records.

The track releases will continue over the next 14 weeks. You can hear them via Adult Swim.

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins documentary premieres in London in October

The special film showing includes a Stewart Lee Q&A with the woman at the heart of England's folk revival during the 1960s and 70s

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins started life as a Kickstarter campaign by Burning Bridges & Fifth Column Films back in 2011. It tells the story of the English folk custodian who in the 1980s had to put her career on hold due to the development of a vocal chord disorder called dysphonia. It also looks at Collins's return to recording three decades later, marked by the release of her comeback album Lodestar in 2016. Directed by Rob Curry and Tim Plester (who released the feature-length documentary about Morris dancing called Way Of The Morris back in 2011), the film features archival footage from Collins's 1959 road trip around America's Deep South alongside her then-lover Alan Lomax, and it includes contributions from Stewart Lee, David Tibet, American folk artist Sam Amidon, the UK based Elle Osborn and Collins herself.

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins will premiere at London's Soho Curzon on 16 October. It will be followed by a post-film Q&A hosted by Stewart Lee, who wrote the sleevenotes for Lodestar.

Shirley Collins was the cover star of The Wire 393. Subscribers can read the article online via Exact Editions. You can also listen to a selection of ‘songs from the soil that speak direct to the heart’ selected by Collins for a Wire portal earlier this year.

Japanese quartet Saicobab to release debut album

The improv project consisting of YoshimiO, Yoshida Daikiti, Motoyuki Hamamoto and Akita Goldman will release Sab Se Purani Bab in October 2017

This autumn Japanese quartet Saicobab will release their debut album. Formed in 2001 by OOIOO's YoshimiO and sitar player Yoshida Daikiti, the group now features bassist Akita Goldman and Motoyuki “Hama” Hamamoto on percussion and gamelan. Saicobab describe themselves as “spiraling grind core raga music”, taking influence from traditional Indian and Japanese musics, spirituality and ancient numerology, with the majority of recordings on the release recorded live and then manipulated during the editing process.

Sab Se Purani Bab will be released on CD and as a deluxe vinyl edition with 2 x LP in a gatefold jacket and metallic foiling, a free download card and a remix of “AWAWAW” by Cevdet Erek. First pre-orders can also get a limited colour vinyl edition. It will be released on Thrill Jockey 20 October. Pre order via Thrill Jockey's website.

Listen to “Bx Ax Bx” below:

Composer Ana-Maria Avram has died

The Romanian spectral composer, pianist and conductor was 55

Ana-Maria Avram died on 1 August. The Romanian composer, pianist and conductor affiliated with spectral music was a frequent collaborator with composer Iancu Dumitrescu, with whom she was married. Avram was the co-conductor of The Hyperion Ensemble and artistic director of the Spectrum XXI festival which she founded to showcase innovative Romanian music.

Born in 1961 in Bucharest, Romania, Avram studied composition at the National University of Music in Bucharest between 1980–85, and in 1992 she studied musical aesthetics at Sorbonne, Paris. In 1988 she joined The Hyperion Ensemble, the Bucharest based group specialising in contemporary composition and spectral music founded in 1976 by Dumitrescu. Avram composed around 130 works, including solo, chamber, orchestral, electronic and computer assisted music, and she released more than 25 collaborative albums with Dumitrescu on their label Edition Modern.

Avram explained the concept of spectralism to Philip Clark in The Wire 308: “Spectralism is not just a trend but a specific attitude towards sound,” she told Philip. “There isn’t one spectral approach, but many different viewpoints. Radulescu’s sound plasma, the music of the French spectralists and our music are often defined as post-spectral or hyperspectral: but above anything it is transformational music.”

In the same article she also expressed a love for the ambiguous nature of the old Moog synthesizer sound, adding that she and Dumitrescu tended to use old software “often abandoned by their creators, sometimes just to exploit one interesting little thing it can do well”.

Avram’s music has also been released by Electrecord, ReR Megacorp and other labels. The musicians she worked with include Kronos Quartet, l’Orchestre National de France, Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, Romanian National Orchestra, Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Roumanie, Radio-France, CCMIX, Ars Nova Ensemble and Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique Bourges.

Seeds & Bridges return to Hull after a six year hiatus

Inspired by its status of UK City Of Culture 2017, Jez riley French and Pheobe riley Law’s series sets about putting Hull “back on the explorative sound map of Europe”

Jez riley French and Pheobe riley Law will bring their Seeds & Bridges sound art series back to Hull following a six year hiatus. With eight events planned for 2017’s city of culture starting in October and running until March 2018, the series sets out to “give the new audiences in the city for contemporary art a chance to experience unique sound focused events from both established and emerging artists working with sound in various ways”.

Held at Humber Street Gallery, all events are free. They include an in-depth conversation between Jez riley French and field recordist Chris Watson, a female-only workshop, performance events incorporating sound, noise and technology; installations, and more. Participating artists include Chris Watson, Hanna Tuulikki with Lucy Duncombe & Nerea Bello, Emily Richardson, Rachael Finney, Ryoko Akama, Dawn Scarfe, Katy Bentham, Embla Quickbeam, Collectress, Heather Ross, Holly Jarvis, Andrew Jarvis and Yorkshire Sound Network for Women, and of course Seeds & Bridges hosts Jez riley French and Pheobe riley Law, with more to be confirmed.

Chris Watson in conversation with Jez riley French takes place on 5 October. More details to be announced soon.

Open call for papers and artworks for next year’s Large Objects Moving Air conference

CRiSAP's Jennifer Lucy Allan and Matt Parker to host the 2018 event exploring “the materiality of air”

London College of Communication’s Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice centre has put out an open call for papers and new sound or audiovisual works to be presented at a conference early next year. Called Large Objects Moving Air, the 2018 conference is a one day event “exploring the presence, agency and materiality of air from the microscale to macroscale, through both literal and figurative interpretations”, say its two hosts, Wire contributor Jennifer Lucy Allan and Matt Parker, both of CRiSAP. “What comes to mind when one thinks about air?” they continue. “Air is everywhere and nowhere. It is a carrier of frequencies, energies, vibrations, toxins, pollutants and blast waves. It supports life and is a site of communication. It is clouds and The Cloud. Who owns it? Can it be owned? Who or what are the agents in the transmission and circulation of air? How does it circulate and what circulates within it?”

Laura Cannell has been commissioned to write and perform a new work for bass recorder at the event, which will take place on 8 January 2018. Deadline for open call submissions is 15 September. For more information go to CRiSAP’s website.

Object Collection’s opera based on Fugazi's concert recordings to be released in October

A month earlier, the New York opera collective’s It's All True will receive its UK premiere at London’s Cafe Oto

New York ensemble Object Collection are bringing to London what they describe as their “opera-in-suspension” sourced from the complete live archive of Fugazi. As well as receiving its London premiere, the opera will also be released on record for the first time. Called It's All True, the work uses a series of Fugazi live recordings made between 1987–2002. Object Collection’s composer Travis Just and writer/director Kara Feely constructed their 100 minute opera for four performers, guitars and bass and two drummers from the incidental music, text and sounds found on those Fugazi recordings, be it unplanned feedback, pre-show speeches, audience hecklers or the noise of police breaking up gigs, rather than Fugazi songs and music proper.

“In Fugazi we always thought of our music as like hollering into a valley. Echoes might come back but we could never be sure what form they might take or if they would even be recognisable,” comments Guy Picciotto of Fugazi. “The work Object Collection has done using raw material from our live archive was one of those unexpected echoes. When they contacted us to have permission to use the material, we answered yes.

“When we heard back from Travis and Kara with a video recording of an initial rehearsal of It’s All True I didn’t really know what to expect,” adds Picciotto, “but I shared the link with the rest of the band to check out. Within days the four of us in the band were writing each other with bafflement and awe, ‘Have you watched this thing yet?’ All of us were both blown away and disoriented by the work – it was well beyond anything we had anticipated when agreeing to Travis’s early request.

“As for the text – a stitched quilt composed of our off-the-cuff stage raps (many of which utterly defy my memory and some which are as freshly present in my brain as yesterday) – to hear it delivered by these actors in a novel form of almost distanced hysteria at first really confused me,” he continues. “For us our between-song raps were a way to engage with the crowd as people in a shared space and precise moment, not just as consumers of a cookie-cutter event. Basically it was a way to avoid feeling like a jukebox in the corner. That was one reason we also never used a setlist, so that every night had that element of improvisation and response to that specific room. But of course the banter was sometimes just a way to buy time, to catch our breath, to mask tuning or equipment issues or just to entertain ourselves. Still, those raps were supposed to evaporate into the night air, but by taping them and making them available, we left a trail back. Object Collection took that trail and made it a script which solidified the ephemeral into something more concrete, a distillation of weird social history and politics as a residue that exists in even in the most seemingly random moments once they are boiled down.”

It’s All True was commissioned by the Borealis Festival, Bergen, where it premiered in 2016. It featured singers Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, Avi Glickstein, Daniel Allen Nelson and Deborah Wallace, plus Taylor Levine, Josh Lopes, James Moore and Brendon Randall-Myers on guitars, and Shayna Dunkelman and Owen Weaver on drums.

It will be released in vinyl, CD and download formats by Slip in October, complete with photography by Henrik Beck, and a fold-out double-sided A2 newspaper print featuring both performance text and sleevenotes. Slip will also release a 7" in September featuring “What's The Problem” from It's All True plus two extra tracks. Both are available for pre-order.

Meanwhile, the UK premiere of It’s All True will take place at London's Cafe Oto on 21 & 22 September. They will also perform between 2–25 February, 2018 at La Mama, East Village, NYC. Online subscribers can read a review of the Bergen performance of It's All True in Wire 388 and an interview with Object Collection’s Feely and Just in Wire 387.