The Witching Hour is a new series of live events, curated by Ross Whyte, which showcases the best in local ambient electronic music. Sessions will also include poetry, theatre, dance and film. The Witching Hour series will take place at Woodend Barn, Banchory.
In the past few weeks I’ve become a bit preoccupied with using recordings of air traffic control transmissions. I think that there’s something strangely melancholic about these distorted instructions floating about in the ether. This has been put to great use in movies – particularly sci fi movies. I always found the final scene of Alien 3 where Ripley’s transmission (recorded two movies back) plays to an empty room, quietly devastating. In a similar sci-fi vein, here’s a little experiment that combines ambient electronica and ether voices with some NASA footage remixed from Sammy Fontanez’s own found footage remix:
Exhibition opening Monday 28 October 6pm (Exhibition will run until Sun 3 November)
This exhibition sees the culmination of an adventure into collaborative partnerships between visual artists/designers from Gray’s School of Art and musicians/composers from the University of Aberdeen’s Music department. You are warmly invited to view/listen to what the collaborators have created.
On the 1st November, I’ll be performing a live solo electronics set at The Tunnels, Aberdeen. This will be followed by a noise dance-theatre set by Sextoys with Bill Thompson, Ian Spink and Kirsten McLean.
On the 25th October, I’ll be doing a late-night live solo set at Musa, Aberdeen as part of this year’s Sound Festival. The set will include ambient electronica and piano and several pieces from The Witching Hour series.
This week, as part of the Haddo Arts Festival, I’ve been running a series of experimental music workshops with children from various primary schools around Aberdeenshire. The participants have been exploring man-made and natural sounds. Each workshop has ended with a performance of a composition created by the participants. It’s been really great for me to hear the amazing creative talent that these kids have to offer.
The festival runs until the 13th October. There’s a lot to see and hear! A personal favourite of mine is photographer Chris Heppell‘s solo exhibition - well worth a visit.
Further details of the festival can be found here.
Today was the last of the ‘Scratch’ workshops. Participants combined found sound with the films that they had created in the previous workshops. The results will be screened at the Belmont Picturehouse in Aberdeen on Sunday 3rd November from 7.15pm. The event is free and open to everyone.
In the meantime, here is the complete set of 16mm experiments from the first workshop led by Mark and Jo of the OKO Lab:
Friday 4 October, 7pm, Auris Lecture Theatre, University of Aberdeen
Free – All Welcome
Bill Morrison: Spark of Being (68mins.)
Over the past twenty years, Bill Morrison has built a filmography of more than thirty projects that have been presented in theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls worldwide. His work often makes use of rare archival footage in which forgotten film imagery is reframed as part of our collective mythology. Spark of Being is an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein using found film footage, with an original soundtrack by Dave Douglas. This screening marks its Scottish premiere.
Saturday 28 September, 7pm, Auris Lecture Theatre, University of Aberdeen
Free – All welcome!
George Barber: Beyond Language
A pioneer of British video art, George Barber was a founding member of ZG Magazine and a leading figure in the Scratch Video phenomenon of the 1980s. Moving away from Scratch in the early ’90s, Barber created many lo-tech video pieces and was influential in defining the then-emergent ‘slacker’ aesthetic. Narrative is at the centre of much of his work, whether deconstructing it as in Scratch, or creating humorous and absurd situations to find existential meaning in the margins of modern life. Beyond Language presents a broad selection of Barber’s influential video work from the past 30 years from proto-Scratch works of the early ’80s to his recent return to assemblage and appropriation. The programme was curated by the LUX Archive.
Today’s workshop was led by Mark and Jo from OKO Lab. Working directly with 16mm film – some blank, some “found” – participants were able to create their own experimental audio-visual works. A variety of lo-fi techniques were explored including scratching and drawing upon the celluloid and optical sound strip, splicing and producing loops. All the results were combined to produce a single projected film. Some still images below – click to enlarge:
The next workshop will explore accessing digital online archival footage and editing “found” film together. The final workshop will be devoted to producing a soundtrack to the films created during the previous sessions. The final results will be screened as part of the Sound Festival at the Belmont Picturehouse on the 3rd November from 7.15pm. The event is free – all welcome! Further details here: