The Wire


Morley College announces competition for a new piece of electronic music created from The Planets samples

The open call celebrates 100 years since Morley’s former Director of Music Gustav Holst premiered The Planets

As part of its Festival of the Arts and Culture, Morley College together with The Engine Room have announced a sampling competition to mark 100 years since the premiere of Gustav Holst's The Planets. The competition is open to emerging artists, producers and students, with entrants invited to create an original piece of electronic music using audio samples from Holst's suite. Holst was Morley’s musical director from 1907–1924.

Up to 12 finalists will be selected by a panel of judges featuring Jeff Mills, Gabriel Prokofiev and Max Reinhardt. The winner will receive a prize package containing Solid State Logic and Academia equipment, while all 12 finalists’ works will be included on the first compilation released by TERM, a new label set up by The Engine Room.

Morley College Festival of Arts and Culture will take place between 27 June–14 July. Closing date for the competition is 15 June. All the samples can be found on The Engine Room website.

Blurred Edges festival runs from 25 May–10 June

The 13th edition of Hamburg's two week mixed media event presents music, performances, sound installations, lectures and films

Hamburg’s Blurred Edges festival embarks on its 13th edition in May. Held over a two week period, the international event will present a selection of analogue and electronic sounds ranging across field recordings, composition and improvisation, as well as a film, performance and installation programme.

The line-up includes Alexander Schubert, Andi Otto, Rolf Bader, Björn Lücker, Decoder ensemble, Felix Kubin, Philharmonic Hamburg, Robert Klammer, and many more. The festival happens at various venues across the city, and some events are free to attend with suggested donation. Tickets for paying events are available from venue box offices. Festival passes cost €45.

Dennis Morris's new photography show focuses on PIL

Exhibition of pictures by the man who helped create PIL's public image

On 4 May, Brooklyn, New York's Theodore:Art centre Launches a new exhibition dedicated to the work of UK photographer Dennis Morris.

Known for his photo portraits of Bob Marley and The Sex Pistols, among many others, Morris was also the vocalist (replacing Don Letts) and designer of Basement 5. However, this new exhibition will focus on Morris's collaborations with Public Image Ltd. When The Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978, Morris suggested to Lydon that he should accompany him and Virgin Records' Richard Branson to Jamaica on a talent spotting trip. Once Lydon formed PIL with bassist Jah Wobble and guitarist Keith Levene, Morris helped them develop their visual aesthetic, designing their logo and promotional material. Morris was also responsible for their video production and photographs. His contributions include the promo for PiL’s debut single “Public Image” and the band’s first two album sleeves.

This is the first ever show in a commercial gallery to feature Morris's PIL images. The exhibition will run until 17 June.

Mahogany Opera present adaptation of Witkacy's Matka

“A mother and a son, a son and a mother. Things had to be this way and couldn’t be another.”

Mahogany Opera will perform the world premiere of the staged concert version of The Mother. An adaptation of the absurdist play Matka by Polish writer, artist, philosopher, prankster and catastrophist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz aka Witkacy, it's composed by Laurence Osborn, with text by Theo Merz, and it’s directed by Frederic Wake-Walker.

“Indebted to Eastern European theatre,” says Mahogany Opera, “it is a bitingly satirical and explosive response to the traditions of opera. Osborn plunges the audience into an anarchic, surrealist world through taut, intense music that draws on Weill, Birtwistle, and Romitelli, alongside mainstream pop influences.”

The Mother follows the story of philosopher Leon and his explosive and mutually destructive relationship with his mother. It's the latest addition to a small but significant run of music pieces based on Witkacy's work including Edward Bogusławski's Sonata Belzebuba (1977), a chamber opera based on the Witkiewicz play The Beelzebub Sonata, and Polish jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko’s album Witkacy Peyotl, released by Poljazz in 1986.

The Mother will be performed on 25 April at London's POSK: Polish Social and Cultural Association. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

BBC Sound Effects library available to download in WAV format

Ranging from a “South American parrot talking and screeching” to “1966 FA Cup Final whistle and boos”, The BBC has made 16,016 samples available for personal use

The BBC has opened up its sounds effect library to download for free. Its database of 16,016 samples can be streamed or downloaded in WAV format, and is available to use for personal, education or research purposes.

Sounds include people walking, crowds cheering, parrots chirping, wood creaking, puppies whining, the sound of battleships, and much more.

You can access the sounds via their website, which includes a list of what you can, and can't, do with the data.

Numero presents new app of 1960s and 70s environmental recordings

The longform field recordings were originally made by Irv Teibel for his Environments series

Numero Group have created a new sound app called Environments, named after the longrunning field recording series of the same name. “Now Environments steps into the mobile age as an invaluable and unique sonic tool for the way YOU live,” boasts the Chicago label. Comprising a set of longform recordings taken from the original LPs, the collection, which is available for Apple devices, intends to help you work, sleep, meditate, relieve tinnitus or even get your baby to sleep.

The Environments series was started in the late 1960s by Irv Teibel, whose first field recordings, at Coney Island in New York, were originally intended for use in the Tony and Beverly Grant Conrad film Coming Attractions. After listening to the recordings at home, Teibel experienced an epiphany, and launched the Environments label. Some of the first recordings were tweaked using early IBM computers, and Teibel went on to record many natural environments for his albums, which came complete with extensive psychological and physical texts, and were released through the 70s and 80s.

The app features a selection of 22 recordings, all of which are available to listen to offline, and also contains extensive info about Teibel and his recordings. You can check out some of its sounds below, or visit Numero for more information.

Alexander Whitley in new collaboration with Beatrice Dillon at new UK media arts festival

Headlining York Mediale 2018 is cyberfeminist research organisation Deep Lab alongside choreographer Whitley and producer Dillon's collaborative project Strange Stranger

A 10 day celebration of exhibitions, installations, live performances, dance and music will take place between 27 September and 6 October in the UK UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts, York.

The programme is set to include the world premiere of interactive performance installation Strange Stranger. A collaboration between the Alexander Whitley Dance Company, London based composer Beatrice Dillon, Italian creative technologist Luca Biada and Dutch duo Children Of The Light, the work will investigate states of presence in the information age, and the divide between space and place. Another performance work by Whitley, 8 Minutes, will feature a score by electroacoustic musician Daniel Wohl and an installation from visual artist Tal Rosner.

York Mediale will also host the first ever UK chapter of Deep Lab, which will bring together cyberfeminist researchers, academics, artists and engineers in two residential workshops led by Deep Lab founder members Addie Wagenknecht and Maral Pourkazemi. In addition, BBC R&D and Digital Creativity Labs at The University of York will explore new technologies in broadcasting, York based collective SLAP perform throughout the city, and local project Inspired Youth are working with filmmaker Kev Curran and York based hiphop artist Kritikal Powers on a project titled The One Percent, which involves 10 young adults who have recently left care in a spoken word performance.

Various call outs have also been announced, including one for adults who have recently left care, are aged between 16 and 25 and want to be involved in The One Percent, and another for UK based participants to get involved in Deep Lab.

York Mediale will take place between 27 September–6 October. A full list of events can be found on their website.

New biography Keith Rowe: The Room Extended out in June

The 500 page biography by Brian Olewnick will be published by powerHouse

Brian Olewnick has written an authorised biography about AMM founder member Keith Rowe. Titled Keith Rowe: The Room Extended, the book was first announced last year, though now powerHouse have marked June as the month the title will be published.

The book has taken over 12 years to write, and The Wire contributor Olewnick, who also worked at New York's loft jazz venue Environ between 1976–1980, traces Rowe's life from childhood through to now, focusing on the experimental scene in mid-1960s London, the radical politics of the early 70s, and beyond, documenting Rowe's contributions to contemporary avant garde music.

From Keith Rowe by Brian Olewnick published by powerHouse Books.

Keith Rowe: The Room Extended is available for pre-order via PowerHouse.

Shirley Collins reads from new memoir at Hackney's Sutton House

On 10 May, Collins will read from All In The Downs and speak to The Wire's Frances Morgan

On 10 May former Wire cover star and folklorist Shirley Collins will be at Sutton House in London reading from her new memoir All In The Downs: Reflections On Life, Landscape And Song. Published by Strange Attractor Press, the book combines memoir – her working class origins in Hastings, the 1950s folk revival in London, travelling the US with Alan Lomax, recording with her sister Dolly, and her withdrawal from the spotlight – with reflections on traditional music and the English landscape, and how they've shaped her music.

Collins, who was awarded an MBE in 2007, is the president of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. She was recently the subject of a documentary film The Ballad Of Shirley Collins. The reading will also feature Collins in conversation with The Wire's Frances Morgan, and is £7 entry.

All In The Downs: Reflections On Life, Landscape And Song is available to buy via The Wire bookshop.

Live Arts Week VII starts this month

Italian festival features Mark Fell, Filippo Cecconi, Hannah Sawtell and others

Live Arts Week returns to Ex GAM, the former Gallery of Modern Art in Bologna, this month.

“An intense aesthetic and ecstatic crossing, a liberating flight from and of the body, following an artistic research that moves between obstinacy and displacement,” declares Xing, the cultural organisation who host the event.

Accompanied by Gianni Peng, a name that we are told is a “phenomenon, not a person: a new identity, unlikely but real, to be treated as an abstract concept”, the program features a selection of live works, performances, concerts, and film.

On the line up are: Krõõt Juurak, NO-PA PA-ON, Luciano Maggiore, Louie Rice, Julian Weber, Paolo Bufalini, Filippo Cecconi, Mark Fell, Drumming, Justin F Kennedy, Goodiepal & Pals, Antonia Baehr, Latifa Laâbissi, Nadia Lauro, Mette Edvardsen, Liliana Moro, Leandro Nerefuh, Libidiunga Cardoso, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche, Caetano, Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea, David Wampach, Rian Treanor, and Hannah Sawtell.

Live Arts Week VII / Gianni Peng runs between 18–21 April. Watch a clip of Rodrigo Sobarzo A P N E A.