Posts tagged music

Lou Reed: Rock as Minimal Modernism

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For those of an art rock bent, David Cunningham’s ‘obituary’ of Lou Reed is now up as a freebie on the Radical Philosophy website here: http://www.radicalphilosophy.com/obituary/rock-as-minimal-modernism

Chinese Kunqu opera talk and demonstration, April 3rd

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Hosted by our friends in the Contemporary China Centre:

Chinese Kunqu opera talk and demonstration
London Jing Kun Opera Association, led by Kathy Hall

Wednesday 3 April 2013,  5.30 – 7.30pm
Room 451, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

Kunqu (Kun Opera) enjoys national opera status in China. It is highly refined, visually stunning and very demanding on the actor. The four elements of singing, recitation, acting/movement, and martial arts form the basis of this musical and dramatic art. Strict control and pace, but also immense fluidity, are required in the performers’ use of hands, eyes, body, and feet. Dynamic interaction between actors and musicians in performance further adds to its vibrancy. In recognition of the intrinsic value of Kunqu, in May 2001 UNESCO declared it one of the first 19 ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’.

The programme includes: a short movement demonstration, typical of the elegance of the Kunqu opera dan; slide show and talk; musicians from the London Jing Kun Opera Association Kunqu Ensemble talking about their learning and performing experience; performance with musicians, including invitation to the audience to sing some lines with accompaniment.

All welcome, but non-University of Westminster attendees please register with Dr Derek Hird: d.hird@westminster.ac.uk

The Art of Nick Cave: New Critical Essays

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We are delighted to announce the publication of The Art of Nick Cave: New Critical Essays, edited by our colleague John Baker and published by Intellect Books.

Known for his work as a performer and songwriter with the Birthday Party, the Bad Seeds, and Grinderman, Australian artist Nick Cave has also pursued a variety of other projects, including writing and acting. This collection of critical essays provides a comprehensive overview of his multifaceted career. The contributors, who hail from an array of disciplines, consider Cave’s work from many different angles, drawing on historical, psychological, pedagogical, and generic perspectives. Illuminating the remarkable scope of Cave’s achievement, they explore his career as a composer of film scores, a scriptwriter, and a performer, most strikingly in Ghosts of the Civil Dead; his work in theatre; and his literary output, which includes the novels And the Ass Saw the Angel and The Death of Bunny Munro, as well as two collections of prose. Together, the resulting essays provide a lucid overview of Nick Cave’s work that will orient students and fans while offering fresh insights sure to deepen even expert perspectives.

You can order the book here: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/books/view-Book,id=4900/

Song Books recording, December 26 2012 on Resonance

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There will be a broadcast on Resonance Radio, 104.4 fm London and online, on Boxing Day, the 26th December, of Stefan Szczelkun’s arrangement and direction of a performance of John Cage’s magnum opus ‘Song Books’ that took place at Toynbee Theatre in Aldgate earlier this year. The programme will start at 5pm, with ‘Song Books’ broadcast between 5.30 and 6.32pm. The programme will end with Stefan reading a selection of rites from ‘Nature Study Notes’, 1969. This little publication, hand-written by Cornelius Cardew, was given to everyone who joined the Scratch Orchestra and was the main common literary reference for concert performances. This leads into the next stage of the research which will go on from Cage to explore the working methods of The Scratch Orchestra. There is also a review of the performance coming out in the February edition of The Wire.

Agit Disco updates

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Stefan Szczelkun’s Agit Disco has been widely and very positively reviewed in a number of recent publications. The project collects the playlists of its 23 writers to tell the story of how music has politically influenced and inspired them. The book provides a multi-genre survey of political musics that goes beyond protest songs into the darker hinterlands of musical meaning.

In Anarchist Studies 20.2, Jim Donaghey describes Agit Disco as ‘highly effective in sparking a reconsideration of the reader’s or listener’s experience of music and politics’, in a way which ‘will surely encourage others to begin their own dialogues, and contribute to those million compilation CDs that Szczelkun hopes for’, while Phil England, in The Wire, remarks that the ‘personal selections inside, directly or indirectly, prompt all kinds of questions, reanimating them as a living dialogue in the present.

In a lengthy review in the journal Socialism and Democracy, Matt Callahan is particularly insightful: ‘The music industry long ago made pop music journalism an extension of its dominance over music production, distribution and consumption. Agit Disco has the great virtue of enabling informed discussion of music by people who clearly cherish the music they are discussing. The value of music, therefore, is of a different order of magnitude than that of a disposable unit manufactured for financial gain. What comes across is a love and respect for music, a celebration of music’s timeless role in the life of communities and in their resistance to oppression … The task Agit Disco sets out to accomplish, therefore, bears a superficial resemblance to both cultural studies and pop music journalism while on a more profound level making a critique of both. That this critique comes in the form of a praxis as opposed to a conventional polemic is actually part of the critique – targeting self-proclaimed or institutionally sanctioned “experts” who in addition to passing judgement on what is good music and its proper relationship with politics, rule out the intelligence and creativity of working-class and other supposedly less qualified people’.

There is also an interview with Stefan Szczelkun and Anthony Iles published in BANTmag (Turkey): http://www.bantmag.com/mag/04/page/view/448

Agit Disco is published by Mute books, 46 lexington st, london, w1f 0lp. www.metamute.org

Tom Hingley talk, November 16th, 1pm

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For any aging ‘baggies’ out there, our friends in the Law School are hosting Tom Hingley in their Entertainment Law: Theory Meets Practice series. The event will take place in the University of Westminster’s Portland Hall, Little Titchfield Street building at 1.00 on 16th November 2012. All welcome.

Tom was the singer for the pop group the Inspiral Carpets, one of the key bands of 1990s along with The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays. Tom has recently published an excellent memoir Carpet Burns and he will be talking about his experiences in the music business as well as signing copies of his book. In addition, Tom may perform a few numbers from his extensive back catalogue.

Reminder:China in Britain #3: Theatre & Performance

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China in Britain: Myths and Realities
Theatre/Performance and Music

July 18th 2012, 9:45am – 5:30pm
The Old Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

You are warmly invited to the third in this University of Westminster/AHRC funded series. The day will present an eclectic programme with presentations from actors and broadcasters and academics. Dongshin Chang (City University of New York), Diana Yeh (Birkbeck College and University of East London), Simon Sladen (University of Winchester) and Ashley Thorpe (University of Reading) will present research that restores the history of China and Chineseness to the English stage, from Regency Extravaganzas, such as Chinese Sorcerer to chinoiserie theatre in the 1930s and Lady Precious Stream. We will look at subversive pantomime in Thatcher’s Britain, Poppy, and more recently Anna Chen’s Steampunk Opium Wars and Damon Albarn’s opera Monkey: Journey to the West.

The UK’s most high profile British Chinese actor, David Yip, remembered by many for his role as Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective will be talking about his new multimedia show Gold Mountain. There will be performances from comedienne, poet and political pundit, Anna Chen (aka Madame Miaow), actor David Lee-Jones, currently the lead in Richard III – the first British Chinese actor to be cast as one of Shakespeare’s English Kings – and Resonance Radio’s Lucky Cat DJ, Zoe Baxter, playing Korean Punk, Chinese Hip Hop and Reggae, Japanese Ska, Thai Country, and Singapore 60’s pop.

Entrance – including lunch and refreshments – is free of charge so for catering purposes it is essential to book your place by emailing: anne@translatingchina.info

China in Britain #3. Theatre and Music, July 18th

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China in Britain: Myths and Realities
Theatre/Performance and Music

July 18th 2012, 9:45am – 5:30pm
The Old Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

You are warmly invited to the third in this University of Westminster/AHRC funded series. The day will present an eclectic programme with presentations from actors and broadcasters and academics. Dongshin Chang (City University of New York), Diana Yeh (Birkbeck College and University of East London), Simon Sladen (University of Winchester) and Ashley Thorpe (University of Reading) will present research that restores the history of China and Chineseness to the English stage, from Regency Extravaganzas, such as Chinese Sorcerer to chinoiserie theatre in the 1930s and Lady Precious Stream. We will look at subversive pantomime in Thatcher’s Britain, Poppy, and more recently Anna Chen’s Steampunk Opium Wars and Damon Albarn’s opera Monkey: Journey to the West.

The UK’s most high profile British Chinese actor, David Yip, remembered by many for his role as Detective Sergeant John Ho in The Chinese Detective will be talking about his new multimedia show Gold Mountain. There will be performances from comedienne, poet and political pundit, Anna Chen (aka Madame Miaow), actor David Lee-Jones, currently the lead in Richard III – the first British Chinese actor to be cast as one of Shakespeare’s English Kings – and Resonance Radio’s Lucky Cat DJ, Zoe Baxter, playing Korean Punk, Chinese Hip Hop and Reggae, Japanese Ska, Thai Country, and Singapore 60’s pop.

Entrance – including lunch and refreshments – is free of charge so for catering purposes it is essential to book your place by emailing: anne@translatingchina.info

Stefan Szczelkun’s Agit Disco

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Agit Disco
Conceived & compiled by Stefan Szczelkun,
edited by Anthony Iles

We’re very pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Stefan Szczelkun’s new book Agit Disco, which collects the playlists of its 23 writers to tell the story of how music has politically influenced and inspired them. The book provides a multi-genre survey of political musics, from a wide range of viewpoints, that goes beyond protest songs into the darker hinterlands of musical meaning. Each playlist is annotated and illustrated. The collection grew organically with an exchange of homemade CDs and images. These images, with their DIY graphics, are used to give the playlists a visual materiality.

Almost everyone makes selections of music to play to themselves and friends. Agit Disco intends to show the importance of this creative activity and its place in our formation as political beings. This activity is at odds with to the usual process of selection by the mainstream media – in which the most potent musical agents of change are, whenever possible, erased from the public airwaves.

Agit Disco Selectors: Sian Addicott, Louise Carolin, Peter Conlin, Mel Croucher, Martin Dixon, John Eden, Sarah Falloon, Simon Ford, Peter Haining, Stewart Home, Tom Jennings, DJ Krautpleaser, Roger McKinley, Micheline Mason, Tracey Moberly, Luca Paci, Room 13 – Lochyside Scotland, Howard Slater, Johnny Spencer, Stefan Szczelkun, Andy T, Neil Transpontine, Tom Vague

Publication Date: January 2012. RRP: £11.99. ISBN: 978-1-906496-51-7

Mute books, 46 lexington st, london, w1f 0lp. www.metamute.org
Contact: Caroline Heron, caroline@metamute.org, 020 3297 9005

Usurp + Disinformation – Neurogenesis + सूकिर+ Jean Genet

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SCREAM HOWL SPEAK!
Kusum Normoyle, Alan Tomlinson, Steve Beresford + Disinformation
Live at Usurp, Tues 8 Nov 2011, 7pm sharp
Usurp Gallery, 140 Vaughan Road, London HA1 4EB

What is the connection between the works of French burglar and prostitute Jean Genet and of the 19th century Swiss crystallographer Louis Albert Necker? As an articulation of Jean Paul Sartre’s discourse on Genet’s embodiment of “the negative”, Disinformation remixes audio samples from the final interview with one of modern France’s most notorious writers, exploring perceptual ambiguities which link experiences of auditory and visual illusions.

Alan Tomlinson is a trombonist “who manages to be simultaneously the best & the funniest you have ever seen”. Alan was a long time member of Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra, has his own trio with Dave Tucker and Phil Marks, a trio in Berlin, and a duo with Romanian poet Virgil Mihaiu. Recent solos have been with a glass trombone, accompanying a fish & chip van and in the River Seven.

Kusum Normoyle works with extended vocal technique and noise for both performance and installation. Central to her practice is the idea of public space, intervention, and the displacement of normal expectations of the female body and voice, performing brief high-intensity vocal incursions which are extremely physical, dragging the audience into a hard, fast displays of screaming, amplification and feedback.

Internationally known as a superb free improviser on piano and electronics, Steve Beresford also composes scores for feature films and numerous TV shows and commercials. Steve has worked with hundreds of musicians, including Christian Marclay, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Ivor Cutler, Ray Davies, Najma Akhtar, Evan Parker, Adrian Sherwood, Otomo Yoshihide and John Zorn.

Further info at: http://www.usurp.org.uk/events/scream_howl_speak/

See: http://instituteformodern.co.uk/2011/neurogenesis-by-disinformation-usurp-signature-version

Emma McEvoy on Gothic Music and Performance

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A quick plug for a superb blog by IMCC affiliate Emma McEvoy, about late eighteenth-century gothic music and performance, on Stirling’s The Gothic Imagination site. As Glennis Byron puts it in the Comments: ‘The post, is, people, pretty amazing … As we plod along, talking about Twilight and True Blood and Zombies and all that ephemeral rubbish, and repeating the same old points about gothic over and over and over and over, some people are actually doing real research’. Read it here.

Joe Banks, AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts, joins IMCC

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Disinformation "Fire in the Eye" copyright Joe Banks 2004

We are thrilled to welcome Joe Banks to the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster, London. Joe is AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts, and his current ongoing major project ‘Rorschach Audio’, studies ambiguities of acoustic perception, with particular emphasis on relationships between artistic and perceptual creativity and illusions of sound. Joe’s experimental music and installation art project Disinformation recorded 8 commercially published LPs and CDs (pioneering the use of electromagnetic noise from electric and magnetic storms, live mains electricity, industrial, domestic and IT hardware, transport infrastructure and from the sun etc., as the raw material of electronic music and sound art).

Scratch Orchestra Dealer Concert Report

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Stefan’s report on the most excellent Scratch Orchestra event at the Culturgest, Porto, as part of their Cornelius Cardew: The Freedom of Listening exhibition, is now available here and also below the break.

Continue reading Scratch Orchestra Dealer Concert Report

Revisiting the Scratch Orchestra

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The IMCC’s resident activist artist, and ex-member of the Scratch Orchestra, Stefan Szczelkun, will be taking part in a performance, with Keith Rowe and Carole Finer, as part of Cornelius Cardew and the Freedom of Listening, curated by Dean Inkster, at the Culturgest, Porto on Saturday 15th May. Later on the same evening Stefan will also be in conversation and showing a selection of excerpts from his Active Archives video project.

The Porto exhibition traces the career of the English avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew, and includes scores and vast archival material of the experimental performances developed by Cardew and the members of the Scratch Orchestra, which he co-founded in 1969, along with posters from the period following Cardew’s decision in the mid-1970s to renounce his work as an avant-garde composer and devote his energy to politics.