Tuesday 15th August

August 15th, 2017


A summer day visit to the Funkhaus, home to East German radio until the wall came down, designed by Franz Ehrlich (bauhaus) and full of extraordinary recording studios with revolving varied surfaced wooden panels to adjust size and acoustic of spaces inc. sublime clocks to keep everyone working within this vast complex to schedule. I’ve come to decide which space might be best for Sonic Bed to be installed in for LOOP conference in November. We decide that the one you can see to the left of this staircase is too small, and opt for the one on the RHS.  It’ll be the first time a Sonic Bed has been installed in Berlin, surprising, and hopefully, it’ll be able to stay.  Give us a shout if you know of anyone/space that could be interested.  Are you interested in making a piece for it?

Tuesday 1st August

August 1st, 2017

 

I’m back home to Berlin, and back from Kassel. I’ve been at documenta14 with a bunch of Berlin pals handling non stop rain and the massive volume of work you’d expect to experience there. This was was my 1st time and I’ve wanted to go for years, so again high but also no expectations. Also there’s been loads of criticism, but I’ve come away blasted.

We were only there 2 days but with an unexpected itinerary laid out by our Pav Kreuzberg hosts on arrival, inc. suggested durations between and in each venue, I experienced the entire thing as one vast work. The Tofufabrik was our kick off where a damp fresh meat smelling concrete space is showing Commensal (2017). It’s a new film installation by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor exploring the story of a guy who murdered a woman and engaged in acts of cannibalism. The shout around Kassel is that it’s that extreme piece around cannibalism. I think the shout should be that in your face number presenting overwhelming male desire for absolute consumption of female. The guy eats something raw and dark and meaty on screen, having first of all murdered then had sex with and eaten parts of his female victim, talking about it all the while. Go see.

Some of the artists whose work I came away with in my mind were Miriam Cahn and Gauri Gill with Rajesh Vangad, snapped below.  Interestingly, both are female. It’d be good to get to Athens.

 

 

Monday 17th July

July 17th, 2017

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I’m at the Natural History Museum to visit the new whale exhibition, “Beneath the Surface”. Remembering the “Deep” show at the ArtScience  museum, Singapore some years ago, I’d imagined an immersive, dark and watery experience with underwater sound and floor to ceiling video, the displays and skeletons and facts installed within. However, disappointingly it was a pretty old school British museum style show. Information and new things to learn simply laid out in the dark. Videos small and apart from the echo-location game that no-one could fathom and the humpback whale juke box, not the blast of cetacean inspiration I’d expected.  If this is what you’re after, you might do well to save your £14 entry fee, spend it on a copy of Philip Hoare’s fabulous book Leviathan and watch Inside Nature’s Giants:Sperm Whale instead.

OK. Maybe I should come clean. I’m researching a new project. In search of the Sperm Whale, and I’ve got high expectations. The Natural History Museum is always worth the visit, and donations are gladly given, but gazing up at the Blue Whale skeleton in the Hintze Hall for 20 mins could also just be enough.

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Monday 10th July

July 10th, 2017

another taster from Ya slip ta bang in Dublin. Hope you get there to ride. DETAILS

Monday 26th June

June 26th, 2017

 

Mia rides ya slip and sends a list of her favourite moments : –

–  the Rules over the lunchtime commuters at Grand Canal Dock (sublime contrapoint of text and location)

–  that massive surge of trance music over the Sam Beckett Bridge (omg, I was flying)  (? trance music ? you mean the massive violin slab? cool! – kaffe)

–  diving/Granny’s sigh has a lovely and surprising quality (up O’Connell St after the Dublin Spire)

–  ‘where’s me stuff …,’  loved the energy in the text & music here (coming down Dorset St)

–  the last bit coming down Townsend Street (Nayler’s fleet assassin) – loved the change in vocal tempo

–  also there was an incredible bit when I went under a bridge on the way to Grand Canal & the sound just boomed out, brilliant.  ( o yeah – the acoustic under that small bridge over the cobbles is awesome, try riding really slow –  kaffe)

Loved all your loops & music & sounds. With more time I imagine they could have been even more complex, but they were soothing and stimulating and gorgeously mixed – I missed them when I went back to my normal bike Winking smile..

Overall,  I think my biggest surprise was how sensual and pleasurable the whole experience was. I loved feeling the vibration of the bike through my body, and I felt bathed and surrounded by the story and the soundscape, like I was being accompanied by it. It was oddly nurturing. At one point two vocal pieces played over each other (the party and the offer) – probably because I left the route and came back to it? – but it was actually really exciting and surprising to listen to. Also the sounds didn’t distract me one bit from the traffic. If anything I felt safer cycling on an SB because I felt I was carrying a much bigger energy field around with me that normal – make sense?

Also loads of people turned & looked, and one guy (not Irish) on a folder bike started chatting to me, asking about the bike and was it a guided tour. He loved it!

 

Friday 23rd June

June 23rd, 2017

News in from Dublin that ya slip riders are returning  ‘ – amazed, transported & weirdly & profoundly nourished ‘, the spirit lifting intensities on the Samuel Beckett bridge  also causing some comment. However, check what happened to Alexander .. above.  Yup. He returned home with no GPS receiver. It’d been snipped off on top of the bridge. Watch out for those wanting to chat if you stop passers-by riders!

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Wednesday 14th June

June 14th, 2017

 

I’m at the Charterhouse in Coventry being told that there used to be an order of Carthusian monks living here in silence in the 14th century. The house and garden are also on the heritage bike trail  for which I’m making a sonic bike opera for 2021 with Imagineer Productions.  Today, we’re exploring the route of the trail, along the river, through a hole in the fence and a scramble up to the old overgrown railway line that even the locals don’t seem to know is there, down at the other end, past the Green, down Fargo and back. So it’s only a couple of miles.

Intriguing to have 5 years to make this. Right now, beginning the compositional research with a residency, just me alone in silence at the Charterhouse next summer, seems like the ultimate start. Let’s hope they think so too.
 

Thursday 8th June

June 8th, 2017

 

Ya slip ta bang is in. Opening at 5pm today. Marjorie, Nancy, Linus, Pierre, Erna, and Alexander with mute Lee accompaniment bike, are all loaded with map and music to play as you ride the city streets following that route for 50mins. 60 if you get into the play part at the Docklands. Many thanks Science Gallery team for support and enthusiasm on every level. SOUND CHECK sounds and looks like a great show.  Hope you get to visit people. It’s OPEN until 26th September 2017 amd is FREE.  To book a sonic bike ride go to dublin.sciencegallery.com/events

Wednesday 7th June

June 7th, 2017

 

I’m again impressed with the accuracy of the GPS. The indicators are all in – many re-adjusted to bang in earlier allowing for tricky traffic negotiations – but successfully sounding which way to turn.  Am also needing to deal with the Luas line roadworks which could all be gone by August, so the Dame St route home might work as the optimum version to take. Mia’s final text certainly sits well along the impersonal and human scarcity of Fleet St to Townsend, alone, intense and clear. So it’s been a three full rides day and I’m exhausted. On the last ride, when I could finally say that the piece was finished I’m arriving back at SG going,  ‘ wow.. now that’s a movie… god, it’s sad ‘, then wondering is that a bad thing? But the opening sounds play again just as I arrive at the T-lights and their pitch and pattern give a lift and a space and a reflection of optimism.  They weren’t placed there for that purpose at all.  Ah the delights of bicrophonic composition.

Tuesday 6th June

June 6th, 2017

 

Torrential rain plus wind plus Bank Holiday Ireland restricting charger access equates a tricky street testing weekend for bicrophonic composers. However, today proves that the studio work did realise what was intended as the piece now rides pretty much in place. Voice, sounds, music, traffic and riders legs are working well together with just a couple of fine tunings such as – 1. the intenstiy of violin blast over the Sam Beckett bridge as the sea wind fills your nostrils riding over the Liffey and 2. the swell on the anthemic nomorePa  song heading up O’Connell St amongst the roadworks and shoppers, the Dublin spire vibrating high into the sky above you – still to make. After that, it’s just the indicators to pop in.