from the Sonic Arts Network
BARRY ANDERSON BURSARY
Grass roots funds for artists working in the UK
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Barry Anderson grass roots bursary. A small award of £150 is available each month for SAN members who are presenting work in their local regions. These funds are intended to help with the costs of staging an event (see the Bad Timing guide to being a promoter below). The money can be used to pay for the hire of a venue, some equipment, the production of promotional materials like flyers or with some advertising, travel expenses, the fees of a guest artist or other costs associated with producing a small-scale event.
In line with our commitment to offer members the chance to help shape Sonic
Arts Network, this will be an opportunity for you to decide who will receive
the bursary. Members will select the monthly project that will be awarded
funding through a process of online voting. Only one application will be
successful each month and the event must take place within 3 months of
submitting your proposal.
The Bursary is in memory of Barry Anderson, a founder Chair of EMAS (the former name of Sonic Arts Network) in 1979. Anderson was an accomplished composer and also music director of the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble based at the West Square Studios at Morley College. The open access evening classes he ran there, which mixed established professionals with enthusiastic starters, were glued together with Barry's infectious enthusiasm, endless energy and a real commitment to public performance.
“I met Barry after a West Square concert at St. John's Smith Square, I guess in about 1976. We shared a passion for live electronics and performance and I remember the concert included Barry's own work 'Mask' which combined performers, tapes & electronics performed from behind a huge Maori-inspired mask from his native New Zealand. We had ten years of great work ahead as close friends, as well as colleagues on the EMAS committee, sharing the IRCAM composers course in 1981 which led to his extensive work there in the early and mid 1980s. His death in 1987 deprived us of a great musician and music director.
His friendship and support for young composers and performers need not live on only in dusty programme notes but can continue through these bursaries in his name.”
Application forms are available here.
22 February – 4 March
The Inside Underneath - Neil Webb
Timebase Gallery, Hull
Neil Webb has created a Hull Time Based Arts soundscape in his installation piece 'The Inside Underneath', containing different passages or phases constructed from grouped sounds demonstrating the variety of the local soundscape.
16 February - 13 Mar
Hans Fjellestad Directs Robert Moog, tracing the history of his invention and other forms of electronic instrumentation, bringing together technical details with his own personal philosophies while tending to his organic vegetable garden. The film travels the world to meet those influenced by Moog's work, with interviews and live performances from Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Bernie Worrell, Gershon Kingsley, Luke Vibert, Money Mark, Stereolab and DJ Spooky
27th Electroacoustic Concert Series
City University, London
Programme of recent works composed for 8-channel surround-sound listening. Featuring pieces by Jean-Claude Risset, Jon Appleton, Daniel Teruggi and Mario Mary.
13th Note Cafe, Glasgow
Live electronic music from Vessel aka Gavin Toomey with support coming from Found and Tench.
Academy Concert Hall, Glasgow
A Concert of works from the electroacoustic studios of the RSAMD and Krakow Academy of Music including Tomasz Lida's Spiewna, Jakub Ciupinski's MakyoII and a new work by Diana Simpson.
Charterhouse Bar, London
Another packed night, featuring Bohman Brothers, French act Tuner, Rashamon and e/n [no.signal] (Eric Namour).
Academy Concert Hall, Glasgow
A concert featuring Francis Dhomont's Forêt Profonde (1996) and Bernard Parmegiani's Dedans-Dehors (1977). A rare opportunity to hear these works performed over the Academy's multi-channel sound system.
CBSO Centre, Birmingham
In Feb '05 sonic and electroacoustic practitioners joined BEAST and US artist Bill Fontana in an Honorary Fellowship Masterclass. The resulting works offer listeners an acoustic trace of the soundscape of Eastside. Featuring Bill Fontana, Denis Smalley and John Young and amongst others Peter Batchelor, Marion Hall, Ray Lee, Julie Parker and Justin Wiggan.
CBSO ticket hotline; 0121 767 4050
Ether: Rother-Moebius and Githead
Royal Festival Hall, London
Michael Rother (neu) and Dieter Moebius (cluster) are joined on the same bill as Githead, a new project, comprising the talents of Robin Rimbaud, better known as Scanner, Colin Newman of Wire and Malka Spigel. Completing the line up is They Came From the Stars I Saw Them.
Making It Up As You Go Along: the Bad Timing guide to being a promoter
You might end up putting a gig on because you're looking to bring a style of music into your local scene. You might know, or be, a band or DJ, and want to play live. No matter how you come to be putting on a gig, you're going to need to organise booking the venue, ensuring anyone who needs to be paid (musicians, venue, sound engineer) actually gets paid, and making sure you've publicised the event well enough that people actually know there is something on and come down to see it.
What, when, why?
Know your local music scene, assuming there is one! Maybe there is no-one putting on what you want to see, but there may still be things you can learn from the existing scene - what kind of gigs do well, what days of the week work, what the venues are like and what kind of music goes on at them, and so on. If there are people doing the sort of thing you want to do, support them and hopefully learn from them. Also, pay attention to what kind of people come out to gigs - students, locals, people from out of town? For example, if students are going to make up the majority of your punters, keep track of their holidays so you don't book a night when they'll be away.
Every town will be different in the way that venues work, and what sort of music can go on at particular venues. If you can't find the perfect venue, don't let that stop you putting things on. What you mainly need from a venue is for it to be affordable, professional, have good sound, and, hopefully, for it to be run by people who are helpful.
Find and work with a sound engineer - go to local gigs and see who is doing a good job at the sort of nights you're interested in. If you are hoping to put on a type of music that currently isn't represented in your town, you might have to guess who would work well with your gigs. Ideally you want someone who understands the type of music you are putting on, and is experienced enough to sort problems out when things go wrong.
Why no-one came
Publicity is probably the biggest job of all, with the most potential to affect how well the gig goes. If no-one comes, no-one has a good time, and no-one gets paid. Plenty of informative and honest publicity (flyers, posters, on-line and press) is what you're looking for.
Contact the local press, listings and student magazines, and so on. Try to get preview articles where people will see them. Commercial papers are into previews, since the venues often advertise in them, and previews help people to come down. Student magazines and fanzines, on the other hand, are more likely to be up for printing reviews of your nights. Both are useful. Offer journalists free entry to your nights on a regular basis.
Everybody does it
Find out (from the web or a press release) as much as you can about your acts and write at least a few lines about them where you can. Even if you know your act really well, it pays to see how they've been written about by others, especially if they've had some publicity before. Have a web site with all your gig information and include these little write-ups. Submit a few lines to the listing magazines. Produce more detailed write-ups for press previews. Pigeonholing stuff by genre is an evil everyone in the music industry has to deal with, but don't overestimate people's knowledge or memory for the names of lesser known bands and labels. Some people will also try out new stuff based on a description or other reference points like labels, collaborators or influences.
When starting out, look for up and coming artists who need and want more exposure, rather than going straight for established acts. Once your night begins to evolve and develop, and you have a history of promoting credible gigs with new or unheard of artists, then approaching a more established artist will be easier for you, and more attractive for the artist in question. If you can show the artist that you have a firm understanding of the music scene they are part of, by booking the right support acts and DJs, this will make your night more attractive to artists you want to play.
The dreaded local support
Even if you mainly hope to bring outside acts to your town, you should still work with local acts, who may want support slots, and who may help you to bring acts and punters in.
Booking a band
Booking newer or smaller acts can help you get connections with labels and on to their mailing lists of upcoming tours. If your night goes well, you will hopefully get a good word-of-mouth rep with that artist and thus with the label. This can mean getting to book nights directly with the label/artist, rather than through an agent. But this isn't guaranteed: people on the same label may have no real connection personally, or even musically.
Booking a touring band
If you want to book an act on tour, you'll probably have to deal with an agent. Some acts will refer you to their agent, or put agent contact details on their web site. Agents will probably want to get a guaranteed fee for their artist which you must pay, no matter how well your gig does. And if by some miracle you actually break into profit on the night, you'll quite often have to pay out a large percentage of that too. You may end up having to sign a contract with the agency. Especially for these gigs, you need to be sure you can get enough punters down to pay the guarantee! On top of that, you're likely to have to pay for food and drink (the "rider"), accommodation, and local travel. Often, the involvement of agents ends up making gigs cost too much to put on, sometimes as a result of London-centric ideas of how many people will come to see a certain artist, which may turn out to be unrealistic in a smaller town.
Agents tend to ask you to "make an offer" when booking an artist, rather than telling you how much the artist expects. This is almost certainly in the hope that you will offer more than they were prepared to accept. Since agents take a cut of the guarantee, you'd be forgiven for assuming the worst about this method of working. But remember, they are also trying to help their artist meet their expenses and earn a living. So don't treat this process too suspiciously, and just be honest: offer as much as you truly believe you can guarantee. If you miss out on the booking, at least you didnt bankrupt yourself.
Make sure you know what the artist's technical requirements on the night will be. Usually you will receive this information in advance. If you don't, ask for it! If you don't understand anything, ask your sound engineer or the venue. Often you'll have to improvise, but be sure to do your best getting these requirements satisfied. Check with artist or agent if you're not sure you can do it. Sometimes, tech riders can involve equipment rentals, something which obviously raises your costs on the night and you are expected to pay!
On the day
The school run
On the day of the gig, be ready to collect your artists from wherever they arrive, or to give directions if they're driving, and be able to meet them when they do arrive. The more you can do for them travel-wise, the happier they'll be.
Try to arrange early arrival times with your artists, and also early "get in" or "loading" times with your venue. This is the time when you get access to the venue, to get your artists' gear into the place.
Try to have at least a couple of hours before you open the doors to punters to fit all this in. Your artists will need to get set up, then spend time soundchecking (so your sound engineer needs to be here by now, too), then they'll probably want to eat something.
Mind your Ps and Qs
There's a lot you can do to make a gig a better experience for you and the act, with only a little effort. Being polite, helpful, and making sure people have decent food and drink, can help a lot, especially when they might have travelled a long way on the day of the gig to play for you, and need to chill out briefly before going on. Treat them as guests, and how you'd like to be treated, and everyone will be happier at the end of the night.
Will i enjoy it?
As a promoter, you might not get to enjoy gigs in the same way you do when
you're just a punter. You'll almost certainly have to fuss over musicians,
punters, venue staff, etc., during the gig instead of being able to become
completely absorbed in the music, have a few drinks and relax. But these
aspects of the gig are usually enjoyable.
Will i lose money?
Only bother putting on music you like, otherwise you're less likely to be happy on the night and if things don't go well financially, the pain of losing money will be a lot greater.
Altogether, you've got a lot to do for publicity, a lot to manage on the night, and possibly a lot of financial risk to worry about as well. So don't try to do it all on your own: do it together with like-minded friends.
Remember: it's all about the music
Last but not least: if you think you will make any money out of doing this, you're in the wrong game. You'll have to work hard just for the love of it, you'll have constant frustrations and worries, and you'll regularly be slightly or very out of pocket. But do it because you're into the music, and you won't regret it.
Bad Timing are Cambridge based promoters presenting regular nights of digital lofi, early electronics and abstract randomness. Amongst numerous other events they staged the Cambridge leg of the recent Warp and Rephlex tours. This article originally appeared in Robots and Electronic Brains fanzine, issue 14. Many thanks to both Bad Timing and R+EB for granting permission for this article to be reproduced in Diffusion.
robots fanzine website
SONIC ARTS NETWORK: PROJECT MANAGER
Sonic Arts Network is looking for a Project Manager to join the Sonic Postcards team and manage a number of innovative and creative sound projects in schools across the UK.
For further information and a job description visit our website www.sonicartsnetwork.org or call Dan Stone on 020 7928 7337
To apply please send a CV and covering letter with details of any relevant experience and skills to:
Sonic Postcards Project Director
Sonic Arts Network
The Jerwood Space
171 Union Street
London SE1 0LN
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Salary £18 000 p.a.
The post is a full-time position based in The Jerwood Space, London SE1
Closing date for applications Friday 4th March.
Interviews will take place on Friday 11th March.
TRAINING CO-ORDINATOR WANTED
Amplifier, the youth music project for Cheshire, is looking for a Training Co-ordinator. Amplifier is an innovative two-year strategic youth music programme for young people aged 13-18, across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington. The Training Coordinator post is a one year contract.
The post involves working with the Programme Manager and Administrator, co-ordinating professional development and training for musicians who deliver participatory music workshops.
Applicants will ideally have a minimum of 2 years‚ training co-ordination, youth work experience or teaching experience, be self-motivated and enjoy working as part of a team.
This is a freelance contract, averaging 15 hours per week for 12 months. The fee is £8,034.
Please apply by sending your CV and supporting letter to Amplifier at the address below.
Deadline 5.00pm on Tuesday 15th February 2005. Short-listed candidates will be informed on Friday 18th. Interviews will be held in Warrington on Weds 23rd & Thurs 24th Feb. The contract will be from April 1st 2005 to March 31st 2006.
For further information contact:
Janet Walmsley, Amplifier Administrator
The Pyramid, Palmyra Square South, Cultural Quarter, Warrington, WA1 1BL.
or call Martin Milner, Programme Manager, for an informal chat on
Amplifier - boosting Cheshire youth music,
Pyramid, Palmyra Square South, Cultural Quarter, Warrington, WA1 1BL.
Tel: 01925 442287
Programme Manager: Martin Milner
Administrator: Janet Walmsley
Training Coordinator: Andrew Marriott
Funded by Youth Music
CCMIX - SUMMER INTENSIVE IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC
The Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis (CCMIX) announces its 11th annual summer session. The course will take place Monday, July 4th through Friday, July 29th, in Versailles (Paris), France.
Faculty will include: Joel Chadabe; Trevor Wishart; Agostino de Scipio; Eduardo Reck Miranda and Gerard Pape. Individual studio work is at the heart of this program. New in 2005, the CCMIX announces an expansion into the visual arts. As part of the Summer Intensive, we
will also offer a series of seminars and studio sessions on 'sound and image' led by Randall Neal and Ana Paula Portilla.
Consider a creative experience in Paris this summer. More information is available by email from Randall Neal, Head of Pedagogy.
MUSIC OFFICER WANTED
Music Officer, (LO29)
Arts Council England, Clerkenwell
Salary: £27,350 pa plus package of benefits
We wish to appoint a full-time Music Officer with at least 2 years' professional experience of music performance and promotion or business development. You will contribute to the regional and national overview of Music and advise on the development and implementation of Music policy, leading on specific areas regionally and, when appropriate, nationally. Additionally, you will manage a portfolio of funded organisations and implement funding strategies and programmes to develop Music in the region.
The ability to assess proposals against published criteria and to devise and manage strategic initiatives is essential. You will be a confident decision maker with highly developed communication, organisational and financial skills.
For further information and application pack, as well as a full list of our current vacancies visit our website: www.artscouncil.org.uk
Zip Antics Theatre Company is looking for a Musician for their stage adaptation of Go Fish touring to The Brighton Fringe Festival in May.
Zip antics produces Queer Theatre and seeks someone who will write original music to play live on stage to accompany the script.
Please email Monique at email@example.com for more information if you are interested in joining our cast for this cutting edge theatre co. from Australia.
Please visit our website at http://www.zipanticstheatre.co.uk
Sonic Arts Research
5 year personal Research Fellowships leading to permanent Academic positions.The University has been awarded a number of Academic Fellowships by RCUK that will permit the progress of exceptional researchers to permanent academic positions, and will involve working with world-class scholars on projects at the forefront of core disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, supporting the University’s strategic aim to pursue international excellence in research.
All applicants should have sufficient postdoctoral experience to demonstrate their outstanding research potential, including a track record of achievement employed on high quality research projects. These posts will offer the opportunity to build on this and develop skills as an independent researcher, progressing towards a career as a permanent member of academic staff. During the first 5 years successful applicants will concentrate on developing their research profile, although it will be expected that over the 5 year period, they will increasingly engage in teaching, project management and outreach activities.
Although staff holding or promised permanent positions are not eligible to apply, applications are invited from researchers who are currently in receipt of research fellowships or grant funding.
The successful applicant will be familiar with the use of new technologies in artistic practice. Applicants are expected to demonstrate expertise and innovative thinking in the design, prototyping and development of public exhibitions or musical performances using new technologies in an artistic context. Areas of expertise must be music-related and can include – robotic art, hacktivism, live-video and Vjing, new media, virtual environments, haptics, interactive spaces, software art, sound installation, immersive technologies, digital architecture, artworks using artificial intelligence or artificial life software.
The New Media Academic Fellow will be based at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) and will develop creatively-led projects in visual/video technologies which compliment the audio-based work already underway at SARC.
For further details, please contact: Mr Chris Corrigan, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Tel: (02890) 974830
Candidates for all positions are required to have a PhD and strongly developing publication track records. Fellows are expected to be in place by 30 September 2005.
The salary is likely to be within the range £23,643-£35,883 per annum depending on skills and experience.
Closing date: 4.00pm, Friday 11 March 2021
The University is committed to equal opportunity and selection on merit.
It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society.
Applications should be addressed to the Personnel Manager, The Personnel Department, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT7 1NN. Tel: 028 90973044, Fax. 028 90971040, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.qub.ac.uk/pers
NEW ROOTS PROJECT MANAGERS
The Youth Music Action Zone for Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin invites applications for two new posts based in Shrewsbury and Hereford.
Both posts will be responsible to the Director of New Roots.
Salary is £17,500 (pro-rata for the part-time post).
Belmont Arts Centre, Shrewsbury
This full-time post includes responsibility for:
* managing a programme of music activities for children and young people in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
* managing a programme of arts activities for children and young people at Belmont Arts Centre
* consultation with children and young people on the content and delivery of both programmes.
The Music Pool, The Courtyard, Hereford
This half-time post includes responsibility for:
* managing a programme of music activities for children and young people in Herefordshire
* consultation with children and young people on the content and delivery of New Roots activities in Herefordshire.
Both posts will require a CRB check.
Closing date for applications: 1 March. Interviews will be held in Shrewsbury on 11 March and Hereford on 16 March.
For further information and application form, contact Belmont Arts Centre.
Tel: 01743 360502
OPEN CALL FOR RESIDENCY PROJECT
ZeroOne San Jose are announcing an open call for an airport residency project in conjunction with the ISEA2006 Symposium. The City of San Jose Public Art Program, in collaboration with the San Jose Airport Department is pleased to announce an artist residency program as part of the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge being held in August 2006. The outcome of the residency is to create a project that activates the Airport as a gateway to the community--local, global, and festival. The primary presentation of this residency project will be on the San Jose International Airport property.
OPEN SUBMISSION EXHIBITION
EAST is an international open submission exhibition, held annually at Norwich Gallery and Norwich School of Art and Design. There are no rules about who may apply. All the works that will feature in EAST 05, visual or aural, must be transmittable through the internet or other electronic media. One of the objectives of EAST 05 is to challenge artists to extend their practice. We are looking for projects in real time of lengthy duration and which will stretch the limits of presently available technology. The project will need to be transmitted to EAST 05 in Norwich for the seven weeks of the exhibition. We will work with the selected artists to develop ways in which their ideas can be presented through the opportunities offered by new media. All the work in the exhibition will be presented through electronic media.
for more info see http://www.norwichgallery.co.uk/gallery/east/application/english.pdf
CALL FOR EARSHOT NO. 5 THE JOURNAL OF THE UK & IRELAND SOUNDSCAPE COMMUNITY
Title: NOISE: Debates, Strategies and Methodologies
Within the current milieu of the European Commission's noise mapping directive and the Greater London Authority's Ambient Noise Strategy, we welcome contributions from those of you that have been or are currently engaged in soundscape and/or noise studies within the UK and Ireland. We are interested to hear about your objectives, methodologies and findings.
Moreover we are interested in the prevailing culture and health debate surrounding noise abatement, and the addition of noise issues to, for example, the estate agent's and tourist industry's agenda.
As the built environment often defines and/or modulates our sonic environment, how are issues of sound and noise design being addressed in architectural/urban planning practitioner's education?
Not only would we like to hear from environmental and urban studies but would also encourage contributions that have explored alternative approaches, such as community arts, direct action or culture jamming. Finally, we welcome contributions to the Members' Activities and Comments pages. Submission guidelines, proposals and correspondence should be e-mailed to email@example.com
DISAPPEARING SOUNDMARKS CD
We invite listeners in the UK and Ireland to submit audio recordings of endangered sounds that are special to you, your community or your locality. For example, an endangered sound might be associated with a cultural event or a natural habitat that is declining or under threat.
The recordings should not exceed 5 minutes and should be submitted on an audio CD. Please ensure that you hold all rights to the material.
Please include your name, the location of the sound, the date and time of the recording and accompanying notes (250 words max.) describing the physical environment, why it is of value to you and what are the reasons for the sound becoming endangered.
Please send submissions to:
c/o Dr John Levack Drever
Music Department, Goldsmiths College,
University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW, London, ENGLAND
CALLS FOR PROPOSALS
The 7th Symposium on Systems Research in the Arts
"Music, Environmental Design, and the Choreography of Space"
to be held in conjunction with the 17th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics, and Cybernetics
Proposals are invited for the 7th Symposium on Systems Research in the Arts, to be held in conjunction with the 17th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics, and Cybernetics, August 1-7, 2005 in Baden-Baden, Germany. The study of systems within the scope of traditional arts-related theory, or the application of general systems methodologies to the analysis of music, architecture, interior design, dance, theatre, and the visual arts are areas of particular interest.
Proposals for presentations/papers of approximately 200 words should be submitted by April 15, 2021 for evaluation. Please visit the Symposium Web site at http://www.choreographyofspace.org for more information.
For additional contact information and details, please visit the IIAS home page at http://www.iias.edu
James Rhodes, PhD
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Jacksonville, Florida 32211
CALL FOR WORK
Year of the Machine, a minimal techno netlabel is starting a new netlabel
and hub for experimental art projects and collaboration. www.yearofthemachine.com/robotopera
We’re looking for sound art and ambient work - full-lengths, short pieces,
improv sessions... Just about any format so long as it can be released an
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in
Time Frames introduces three films by Emily Richardson and includes an audio CD of the soundtracks by Benedict Drew.
Redshift,Nocturne and Aspect are outlined in three essays by Nicky Hamlyn, Mark Edwards and Ed Baxter. They describe dark, haunted landscapes full of unsettling anticipation and engaging detail. The darkness, light, colours and texture of Richardson’s films are illustrated throughout by beautifully reproduced stills arranged filmstrip style. I have yet to see the films, but there is a revealing fascination to be had running the images together as flickering storyboards whilst absorbing the soundtracks. Pause to study, and there is an immediate tension which dominates these places and lures the viewer inside.
The night skies of Redshift demonstrate there really is something out there, and the audience is invited to look up and discover what whilst straining to catch the smallest detail across a deep yawning expanse where colours modulate with distance and time. Look, and you have to listen to the rhythmic communication intercepts and thrumming analogue overload tones of Drew’s accompaniment.
Nocturne abandons the observer in the industrial part of town after dark. Urban fox or lost human soul, they share the same perspective here, standing, waiting at one end of the street and looking into the middle distance. Is there baleful intent or beauty all around? Either way the suggestions posed by these street scapes are compelling and deeply suspicious. The atmosphere is richly processed and reminiscent of the nightmare sonic world Alan Splet created for ‘Eraserhead’ but Drew cannot hide the distant human reverberations of machinery and traffic that must surely be coming from the next street. There is no-one here, but, believe me, you are not alone.
Filmed on location in King’s Wood, Challock, Aspect squeezes a filtered view of daylight through a mixed coniferous/deciduous tapestry representing in nine minutes the annual forest cycle. This is one of my favourite habitats and there is something so special about seasonal woodlands around these latitudes. Temperature, humidity, acoustics, light, shade, pattern and chaos. Scan the images, extract the detail, is it day break? A sudden sonic down draft from the canopy marks the dawn chorus but there are no goldcrests or siskins singing here, not at least in our temporal plane. Acidic streams cascade and wobble unseen below a carpet of pine needles and gather in dark, non reflective pools created perhaps by the tyre ruts of huge harvesting machinery. This film, premiered in the forest, must cross a divide, projector beam scanning both reality and screen alike, commercial resource meets the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a family day out, but not into the wild wood. Our innate suspicion of where the wild things are follow just a few silent paces behind, perhaps just over your shoulder. Look out, and listen...
Reviewed by Chris Watson
A sound recordist with a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world. http://www.chriswatson.net/biography.html
Timo Reuber is perched on his 1980's Fiero dressed in tight charity shop western wear and holding a large phallic dart gun. First impressions are everything and considering there is a freshly hunted teddy bear on the hood of his car, I didn't know what to expect. Perhaps it's purely a jab at Ted Nugent style cover art or a reference to Reuber's sense of cinematic adventure he aims for on his third solo album. After a first listen I found a Hunter S. Thompson comparison more appropriate. Reuber constructs a morphine fuelled journey from a wide range of source material and collage style production. Kintopp is really meant to be listened to from start to finish; like watching a film or reading a work of fiction. It's thirteen tracks mix together seamlessly and sound more like a DJ mix album than a solo work. It shifts from Orb like ambient affairs into campy exotica percussion, spaghetti western horse chases, Buddhist self discovery, symphonic love scenes and even a thrash metal bank heist. Yet through his skilled editing Reuber knows how to chain the sequences together and keep the plot from falling apart.
Reviewed by Justin Hardison
Justin records under the name My Fun and aims to create narrative work using small microphones, sampling, and assorted software sound generation. He lives with his wife and cat in London. http://www.thelandof.org/
The CD comes packaged in a slender, understated yet striking, cardboard sleeve. Unfold to reveal the contents. A disc and some brief liner notes printed on greaseproof style paper. The paper type here may not be all that significant, but its potential in the kitchen is perhaps more inspirational than the text contained upon it; an unnecessarily pretentious rambling that alienates its readers and lacks even a basic critique of what psychogeography is. Here’s my explanation: Psychogeography; A study of how the geographical environment affects the behaviour of individuals and society. It is often connected to the ideals of the Situationist International [SI].
The basic concept, as personally interpreted, seems to be that sonic experiences in a rural space can be captured and imported into the city whereupon the listener can construct their own abstracted environment, a ‘constructed situation’. Sounds are relocated so that “an underground station in Paris all of a sudden becomes reminiscent of a country backyard”. Similarly, the aural characteristics associated with the city, sounds of automated industrialisation and electronic tools, might be manipulated to mimic the complex relationship between sounds in rural surroundings.
Insert the CD. The opening twenty minutes comprises four tracks of faintly manipulated environmental recordings. Beautifully captured though they are, especially Geoff Dugan’s binaural recordings near Lake Otsego, rural New York State, they’re perhaps a little deceptive of the textural architecture that comes to characterise the rest of the compilation. Indeed, it isn’t until we arrive at track five, a composition by Andrey Kiritchhenko, that we get a true insight of the CD’s nature. ‘Babai’ is the first composition that cuts and splices field recordings and combines them with anomalous sounds, here some freely improvised acoustic guitar and bubbling sine wave bleeps.
The geography of the CD, the positioning of the tracks, causes some confusion on first listening. Unlike most contemporary music albums, which give each artist’s work its designated plot of digital space, ‘Rural Psychogeography’ emphasises a continual mix from track four onwards. The experience isn’t unwelcome though. Taking the mastering process of a contemporary album to this new phase emphasises more acutely the ‘journey’ aspect of the disc. Each of the sixteen tracks states a dedication to a particular location on the planet, ranging from Arizona [USA] to Huia [New Zealand], passing through Korea and Ukraine, the homeland of the releasing record label, Nexsound.
Despite the initial troubles, this album proves itself on compositional elegance alone, with well-known composers such as Francisco López, Kim Cascone, Rosy Parlane [Touch records] and Radian [Thrill Jockey records] contributing to the project. Its terrain starts at a reasonably low, minimalist level and gradually crescendo’s toward the pinnacle, to the heightening pressure from feedback and fractured connections of kouhei and freiband’s live set. Upon hearing the sound of the disc spinning down, it begs to be revisited. This won’t become a dusty shelf-filler. Sit back and enjoy another journey. Where will your ears take you?
Reviewed by DJC de la Haye
A composer and bassist who’s recently completed an MMus at Newcastle, I am available for all types of musical debauchery. email@example.com