AIR Artist in Residence Neiderösterreich, Krems, Austria - October and November 2021
Throughout October and November I was graciously hosted by the renowned artist residency in Krems, Austria through being invited by Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche. The residency had been postponed for over a year so I was thankful to finally be there. Sadly Jo Aichinger who invited me passed away in 2021 before I arrived so I never got to meet him aside from a brief online chat... but I could tell he is greatly missed. My host Paula Haslinger was incredibly supportive and I thank her for her time and energy.
I chose to use the residency period as an opportunity to develop the project 'Channeling' further, using some new devices and gathering different sounds from Krems and the area. Quite early in the residency I was invited to present the work in Brno, Czechia, and then later in Vienna, Austria and also as part of the NEXT Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. Below I go into more detail regarding the various activities I engaged in while in Krems.
HLUK, Bajkazyl Brno, Brno, Czechia - 23rd October 2021
Polina Khatsenka and I have been in contact for some time now, firstly through her inviting me to perform in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia last year - an event that was cancelled due to the coronavirus situation - which then led to her interviewing me online. We had spoken about meeting up in Linz during my residency as she teaches there, but when she mentioned a live event in Brno and I saw how close it is to the border with Austria I thought about attending the event. Immediately she began to enquire if I could join the event too!
The good news was I could! Event organiser Zuzana Macháčková and I discussed details and suddenly I had to prepare a new version of 'Channeling' much earlier than anticipated! Since my residency with Witte Rook in Breda, Netherlands I have been working with the recordings and, as well as considering some feedback received, decided to replace some of the devices and also some of the sounds that I use to trigger them.
It was actually my first time to visit Brno so I enjoyed an evening and day exploring this delightful little town.
The event itself was nicely programmed with Stanislav Abrahám starting proceedings with simple but effective manipulations of rocks and moving on to more percussive actions with stones and gongs. Mudaki (Polina's stage name) followed with some really nice cassette manipulations.
Then it was my turn and after a strong beginning, I had some technical issues (partly mine, partly the sound engineer's) that threw me mid-set. I'm not sure if I finished so gracefully but some of the audience seemed to enjoy it enough to want to buy my recently released cassette 'Closed System' that I had recently received artist copies of. Polina, her friend Adam and I discussed the event afterwards and I took some of the feedback onboard...
Workshop, Kinder Kunst Fest, Kunstmeile Krems, Krems, Austria - 26th October 2021
Originally invited to give a different kind of workshop when I was first invited to join the residency programme, the time I was actually able to participate coincided with the Kinder Kunst Fest, an art festival of discovery for children. We formulated a series of events based on previous workshops I have given to be suitable for all ages and with the assistance/collaboration of the wonderful Katharina Wallaberger the session ran in the exhibition space of Minoritenkirche. I showed selected examples of sound in art from the past 100 years, explaining their significance, then played some recordings to demonstrate how different sounds can be perceived when you don't see what is causing them. Some more fun listening exercises and a short recording session and we were done! We sadly lost the three young ladies you see in the first two photos below about halfway through the session as their parents dragged them away to eat lunch! They were so attentive - and it was obvious they didn't want to leave... but then we were joined by the entire Stamul family, which more than made up for the loss....
I would very much like to thank everyone involved with the workshop as it was a joy to give.
'Sinking' for Eulogies online performance event by Situated Sounds, Toronto, Canada - 13th November 2021
The Canadian collective Situated Sounds and Array Music commissioned a performance work for their online event series, and although I have turned down a large number of offers to present work in this way, I felt it was time to try and approach the medium in a way that is not simply a stationary camera pointed at a table. Also while developing the most recent iteration of 'Channeling' I felt that the section where two heat sinks are played by a spinning CD could be a standalone piece.
'Sinking', 2021. Executed at AiR Neiderösterreich, Krems, Austria, November 2021.
Sinking is part of the larger project concept Channeling which explores the sonic and performative possibilities of activating salvaged motor mechanisms with environmental sound impulses, as these cause the devices to activate in erratic and unpredictable ways. The approach falls between performance, installation and sculpture.
Sinking utilises two heat sinks, a computer cooling fan, a CD and dental floss to create myriad tones and harmonic notes. The speed of the fan is governed by the recorded sound being channeled through it, which at times is almost discernable.
The result is a lament to obsolete and discarded technology.
'Forced to Repeat Myself' reprise for Der Blöde Dritte Mittwoch, Echoraum, Vienna, Austria - 17th November 2021
For Der Blöde Dritte Mittwoch #112 at Echoraum, Vienna, I presented a new spatialised version of the 2020 Misanthropic Agenda released project 'Forced to Repeat Myself', composed from material collected while touring in 2018.
Combining recordings from the presentation at Echoraum and a rehearsal at the residency in Krems I composed the work 'Forced to Repeat Myself in the Echoraum' which is available from my Bandcamp page.
"There’s often an eavesdropping sensation at play in this scattered anti-music – intercepting distant frequencies, patching into intrepid robot cleaners as they make their rounds, floods rising in basements, small shelf trays of nuts, bolts and screws shaken by tremors. Forced to Repeat Myself sputters, sizzles and squelches appreciably, inconsistently sketched one moment and unspeakably immense the next.“
Raymond Cummings review of the CD release for The Wire magazine, January 2021.
Produced during a residency with AIR-Artist in Residency Neidrösterreich, Krems, Austria by invitation of Jo Aichinger (RIP) and Paula Haslinger - many thanks to them! Thanks also to the team of Der Blöde Dritte Mittwoch and Echoraum in Vienna, Austria.
And so many thanks to Gerrit and Misanthropic Agenda for supporting the original release.
NEXT Festival, A4, Bratislava, Slovakia - 26th November 2021
Thanks to Dave Phillips being in Bratislava just before I arrived in Krems, I was in contact with Slavo Krekovic who was in the midst of organising the amazing looking NEXT Festival. Confirmed acts included Thurston Moore, Rie Nakajima. Nicholas Collins and local artist Barbora Tomaskova. After some discussions I was confirmed to perform on 26th November. And the night of 24th November at 22:00 I received a call to say Slovakia was going into lockdown in two hours time... I could still travel there as I was going to work but the event would have to be streamed online.
I already mentioned my reticence regarding presenting work this way above, but with 'Channeling' I could actually see it being a good way to present the work. And the approach could possibly employed to then be projected behind me during shows - as many people have recommended.
So I got to see a little of Bratislava while getting a PCR test (to travel back to Austria) and I got to perform as part of a pretty great event.
Thank you to Slavo, Michaela and team - especially the very sympathetic sound guy! - for making the best of the situation!
Preparations and presentations of 'Channeling' were recorded and will be released in some form in the future....
Many thanks again to all those mentioned above plus the artists-in-residence Nicola Cani, Saskia Rodriguez, Pauline Garavan, Marketá Pilatová, Petr Gruber, István Kemény, and Flora Renhardt for all being such great company during those two months.