The Wire


Bass Culture 70/50 exhibition launches at Ambika P3

Free exhibition explores the work of major figures including Benjamin Zephaniah, Steel Pulse, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sir Lloyd Coxsone and Don Letts

Ambika P3 will host a free exhibition between 25 October and 23 November. Called Bass Culture 70/50, the exhibition will explore the evolution of UK music during the 70 years since the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush, and 50 years since the advent of British reggae, with the likes of Trojan Records.

On display will be unseen artwork, films, reggae label pop-up showcases and live performances. There will also be over 70 hours of individual testimonies about the experiences of black British musicians, industry practitioners and academics. Contributions will come from Benjamin Zephaniah, Steel Pulse, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sir Lloyd Coxsone, Don Letts, Blacker Dread, Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay.

The exhibition is in partnership with the AHRC, Black Cultural Archives, the British Library, SOAS, Goldsmiths University, Urbanimage, Camera Press and Fully Focused. Bass Culture Research is a AHRC-funded exploration into the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture.

More information, and links to reserve tickets, can be found on Eventbrite.

Bristol’s Brunswick club announces I Will Survive fundraising event

After losing its battle with developers, the underground music venue needs a new home by January 2019

Bristol's artist-led community and arts venue The Brunswick Club will close its present doors this coming January. The collective took up home in a working men’s club in the St Pauls area in 2017, but have since lost an ongoing battle with developers. They’re now actively seeking a new longterm home for the city’s underground music and arts scene.

A special fundraising event will take place on 10 November. Called I Will Survive, it includes discussions, workshops, films and performances, plus music by Jay Glass Dubs, Harrga, John Bence and Annabel Fraser. More acts are yet to be announced.

“I Will Survive will be a landmark event for The Brunswick Club,” declare the collective. “We’ll be debating and discussing the impact of development on the cultural life of Bristol as well as celebrating the amazing artists, musicians, film makers and supporters behind The Brunswick Club. I Will Survive is also a statement of intent. Moving on from the building is not the end of The Brunswick Club, just the end of an era – we will find a longterm home for underground culture here in Bristol.”

Regardless, its autumn programme will go ahead with a range of workshops planned including Podcasting For Young Adults and 16mm Animation, and music from Maria Chavez, Hen Ogledd and AJA. Tickets are available from Headfirst Bristol.

Raime launch new label RR with a three track release

Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews release 12" We Can’t Be That Far From The Beginning

London-based duo Raime aka Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews have released their second offering of 2018 and with it comes the launch of their new label RR. The three-track EP follows on from Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?, released on Mumdance's Different Circles label in the summer, and comes as a 12" available in standard and clear vinyl.

We Can’t Be That Far From The Beginning is out now via Bandcamp. Listen to the ghostly number “In Medias Res” below, featuring dialogue taken from various YouTube clips. .

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 11am 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 set Ma Ta Ta Bi. The music on this album was recorded a year later in New York City at The Emily Harvey Foundation, formerly home to the studio of Fluxus founder George Maciunas. Onda and Suzuki have performed together often during the last half a decade. “He [Suzuki] and I have a tendency to perceive sound as space, or to always consider sound in relation to space,” remarks Onda. “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.

“When we play,” he continues, “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.”

About the former Fluxus studio where their new disc was recorded, Onda says, “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.

“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,” he concludes. “How could this not have an effect on the recording?”

As for the album name, Onda reveals that in Japanese it means “the sound of an alarm, or a whistle to call attention to a hazardous event”. See it as a reminder to push oneself 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.