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David Rothenberg improvises with Nightingales In Berlin

Following last year’s documentary, Rothenberg continues his search for an international band of birds in his new book

What happens when you join a nightingale in song, asks philosopher and musician David Rothenberg in Nightingales In Berlin: Searching For The Perfect Sound. Published a year after a documentary of the same name about Rothenberg’s quest to improvise with the species, the book charts his progress through dialogue, travel records, sonograms and tours of Berlin’s city parks. It also discusses the place animal music occupies in our collective imagination.

You can watch a trailer of last year’s documentary below. The book Nightingales In Berlin: Searching For The Perfect Sound is published by University of Chicago Press.

In September 2017 Clive Bell delved into the musical partnership found in birdsong contests across the globe. You can read his article (and other essays from Wire writers), in our In Writing section.

Deadline announced for Steve Reid Innovation Award

Previous award alumni include Lady Vendredi, Moses Boyd, Sarathy Korwar, Nubya Garcia, Femi Koleoso and Wu-Lu

The PRS Foundation and the Steve Reid Foundation have announced the next deadline for the Steve Reid Innovation Award: 8 August 2019. Open to any unsigned artists in the UK who write and perform their own music, the initiative provides emerging artists with a grant of up to £1500 plus mentoring from an active artist.

The Steve Reid Foundation was set up by Gilles Peterson, Brownswood Records and a collective of Trustees who worked with the jazz drummer. It’s run in partnership with the PRS Foundation.

Previously successful applicants have included Lady Vendredi, Moses Boyd, Hector Plimmer, Sarathy Korwar, Nubya Garcia, Femi Koleoso, Ola Szmidt, The Little Unsaid and Wu-Lu.

Details on how to apply can be found on the PRS website.

CTM Radio Lab open call announced for 2020

This year's theme is Liminal

CTM has announced its call for works to be considered for 2020's Radio Lab commission. Since 2014 the Berlin based festival and Deutschlandfunk Kultur – Radio Art / Klangkunst in collaboration with Goethe-Institut, ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst, Ö1 Kunstradio and the The Wire have been commissioning new works that explore the intersection of radio with live performance or installation. This year the festival theme that should be explored by the new work is Liminal.

The winning artists will have their piece premiered at CTM 2020 and broadcast in Deutschlandfunk Kultur’s Klangkunst programme in in the form of a 40–55 minute radio show. The Österreichischer Rundfunk (Austrian Broadcasting Service) will also present the works via one or more of its platforms: the Ö1 Zeit-Ton or Ö1 Radiokunst – Kunstradio radio shows, and/or the ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival in Graz (autumn 2020).

“Projects must clearly explore the potentials of combining radio and live performance / installation; proposals that simply mention the creation of a radio version following a live showing will not be given priority. Projects must equally respond to CTM 2020’s theme of Liminal in order to be eligible.”

The winners will receive €5000. Technical/staging costs for CTM and possible ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst festival performances will also be considered for additional funds alongside travel expenses and accommodations during the festival.

The deadline for submissions is 28 August 2019. This year CTM takes place between 24 January and 2 February.

Hyperdub launch sub-label Flatlines

First release is Mark Fisher and Justin Barton's On Vanishing Land (2006) featuring new music from Gazelle Twin, Baron Mordant, Raime and others

On 26 July Hyperdub will launch a new sub-label with an audio-essay written by Justin Barton and the late Mark Fisher in 2006. On Vanishing Land is described as being about “a micropolitics of escape” as it recalls a walk along the Suffolk coastline between Felixstowe container port (“a nerve ganglion of capitalism”) and the Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo. “A walk under immense skies, through zones of deep time and within sunlit, liminal terrains, into the eerie.”

On Vanishing Land was initially part of an exhibition commissioned by The Otolith Collective and The Showroom in London and followed Fisher and Barton's first audio work Londonunderlondon in 2005. For this release newly composed tracks by John Foxx, Gazelle Twin, Baron Mordant, Raime, Pete Wiseman, Farmers of Vega, Skjolbrot, Eerie Anglia, Ekoplekz and Dolly Dolly act as a backdrop to the essay. It also includes a short essay by Barton, and a photograph taken by Fisher is used as the sleeve art.

On Vanishing Land is released digitally and on vinyl on 26 July. A listening session will take place before the release on 23 July at The Castle Cinema in East London.

OTO Projects presents Music and Other Living Creatures

11 events happening between June and November investigate music for non-human beings

Curated by OTO Projects, Music and Other Living Creatures is a new series at Cafe OTO running on various dates between 23 June and 5 December. It's dedicated to “music about, with, or by other living creatures”. That's birds, tigers, chickens, insects and more explored through a variety of methods from sound-walks and commissioned performances to live responses and discussions.

Events include Evan Parker with birds (Evan Parker / John Coxon / Ashley Wales / Mark Sanders) + Seymour Wright performs Anthony Braxton's Dog on 26 July; a night hosted by David Toop titled Other Creatures, Entities and Faint Beings on 28 August; Animal Music featuring Lara Cory, Tobias Fischer and others on 12 September; Mark Harwood of Penultimate Press presenting Henning Christiansen's work Symphonie Natura – a collage of electronic drones and animal sounds recorded at the Zoo in Rome in 1985; and Apartment House Play Animals. With 11 events in total, full programme can be found on the the Cafe Oto website.

hcmf announces 2019 Composer in Residence

Hanna Hartman will be in residence at the event that runs from 15–24 November

Swedish sound artist, composer and performer Hanna Hartman has been announced as Composer in Residence at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival for this year's event. Her work focuses on field recordings and found objects, with new pieces at the event featuring a 40 minute composition commissioned by the festival and performed solo by the artist herself on 17 November.

Also announced is a performance from German string quartet SONAR with soprano Juliet Fraser on the opening night – they'll be presenting a world premiere of an hcmf-commissioned work from composer Naomi Pinnock. Also that night will be a UK premiere of Heinz Holliger’s Increschantum, a six-movement setting of poems by Luisa Famos, while The Riot Ensemble present a portrait concert of the Irish composer Ann Cleare who recently received the Ernst von Siemens Prize.

hcmf takes place between 15–24 November. Other artists set to perform will be announced soon.

Stop gun violence dubs from Seekersinternational

The Guncontrolla claims it is “the gun tune to end all gun tune”

A new release from Seekersinternational features fields recording from a workshop on field-stripping, the process of disassembly and reassembly a gun for the purpose of cleaning. The recordings were made during a demonstration by a Cold War veteran at a military surplus shop and features a Colt British Service Pistol, a Glock 34 Competition Pistol, a Kalashnikov 1967 Soviet Rifle and a Springfield M1 Garand Rifle.

The album is made as a pacifist dub statement making it clear its aim is not to romanticise gun use. Crucially not a single shot is fired on the record.

The Guncontrolla is released by ICS Library Records.

Oram Award winners announced

Ceremony will take place on 15 July with performances from Klein, Loraine James, Sally Golding and Beatrice Dillon

The winners of the 2019 Oram Awards were announced on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction on 13 June. Now in its third year, the awards were set up in honour of Daphne Oram to recognise emerging female and non-binary artists working with music and sound.

The six winners are Ain Bailey, Andie Brown, Cee Haines (CHAINES), Natalie Sharp, Nwando Ebizie (Lady Vendredi) and Steph Horak (SheIsRevolting).

The awards ceremony is to take place on 15 June at Kings Place as part of Venus Unwrapped and is hosted by Tina Edwards (Worldwide FM). Artists performing are former award winners Klein, Loraine James and Sally Golding, this year's winner Lady Vendredi, and Beatrice Dillon playing a DJ set. Awards are presented by Matthew Herbert, the composer and director of The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

You can listen to an Oram Awards playlist featuring Ewa Justka, Klein, Lone Taxidermist and others on Spotify.

Numero release video game

Escape From Synth City started life as compilation featuring video game concept packaging

Numero Group have release a homage to 1980s gaming. Escape From Synth City was originally conceived and released as a synth based compilation with video game concept packaging, but now it's been realised into a full 1980s style side scrolling platform video game.

Inspired by NES classics the game takes its player on a quest to Synth City. “Across 6 levels you uncover the sinister undertakings of a corporation over-exploiting the city’s natural resources. You become intertwined with the destiny of the city and its inhabitants, unwittingly leading the charge against the powers that be,” says Numero, confirming it as a manifestation on their Cabinet of Curiosities series.

The game's characters come from across the Numero universe and feature appearances from Laraaji, Isabelle Antena, Terry Ork and others.

The game was developed by Ali Najdi and Thomas McCloskey, a pixel artist based in Northern Ireland. The soundtrack is made up of chiptune renditions of the original Escape From Synth City record release earlier this year and was arranged by Ireland's Ansonix.

Its officially released and freely available to play online within the first two weeks of July. Collectors can purchase a limited edition NES inspired controller and the game's soundtrack on 7”.

Unheard Miles Davis studio album set for release

Rubberband is released on Rhino/Warner records, 60 years after Kind Of Blue

A previously unheard Miles Davis album is set for release in September. It was recorded in October 1985, the year that Davis left Columbia Records to join Warner Bros Records. Davis began recording Rubberband in Los Angeles at Ameraycan Studios with producers Randy Hall and Zane Giles. Planned vocalists set to appear included Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan, however the album was shelved and its tracked remained untouched for over 30 years. The following year Davis would release Tutu.

Last year a four-track EP of the same name was put out on Record Store Day. This September however will see the full 11-track LP released on CD, LP and digitally. It was finished by the original producers Hall and Giles and Davis’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr who also played drums on the original session recordings. New vocals have been recorded by Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi.

Album artwork By Miles Davis

Davis plays both trumpet and keyboards on the album and is joined by keyboardists Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey, percussionist Steve Reid, saxophonist Glen Burris, and Vince Wilburn Jr on drums.

Listen to “Rubberband Of Life” featuring Ledisi on Spotify.

Rubberband is released on 6 September on Rhino/Warner. It will include liner notes from The Last Miles writer George Cole.