Blogging about some of the things happening at Wysing, or influencing what happens at Wysing.

Archive: June 2013

Venetian Snares  26 June 2013

Ok, if you want to know why we (me and Wysing Curator Gareth Bell-Jones) have invited Venetian Snares to headline our festival this year, watch this. He – Aaron Funk – is one of the most exciting live performers you are ever likely to see.If serious intensity is your thing, as much as it is ours, then book a ticket! Here. Venetian Snares, in Bourn… a dream come true really. 

Tags: spacetime13 | 


Luke Abbott  24 June 2013

One of the best things about organising a music festival is that it gives you an excuse to go and see loads of live music. Last week I went to the Electric Brixton to see Luke Abbott and Gold Panda. I’d never been there before but it’s really great venue – next to Brixton Town Hall, a semi-circular space, very intense and stiflingly hot, in a good way! The evening was sold out and the place was absolutely jam-packed. Luke Abbott was our first ever musician-in-residence last autumn and he played an experimental set of new compositions at Wysing at the end of last year. This was totally different, much more clubby, but still incredibly precise and intricate. Really fantastic actually - wonderful live performance from a while ago here. He was followed by Gold Panda who of course set everyone off in some euphoric dancing. Gold Panda had some great visuals too which I think were by Dan Tombs. Anyway, the result of it all is that Luke will be headlining our Amphis Stage on 31 August – in between Cut Hands and Venetian Snares on the main stage, all timed so that you won’t miss any of them. Before that Luke and Gold Panda will be heading off on a US tour together; they're touring Europe at the moment. We really do have an incredible line-up this year, all for just £15! Info on who's playing and how to buy a ticket (early bird offers end in less than a week) here.

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The Mirror  20 June 2013

What to say about Keren Cytter. She's an amazing New York based film-maker who was born in Israel and whose work explores love, violence, sex and often, murder. We have commissioned her to make a new work in collaboration with Kiera Fox and Charlie Feinstein of the band Maria & the Mirrors, and David Aird of Vindicatrix. All of them will be in-residence at Wysing over the summer working on the new piece. They'll perform the first live version of it at the festival - 31 August in case you didn't know - before working on it more and then performing at the ICA. Maria & the Mirrors played one of the most chaotic and exhilarating live performances I have ever seen at our festival last year so it'll be interesting to see what emerges from the collaboration... In case you don't know Keren's work, here's a link to the wonderfully scripted and choregraphed video Der Spiegel which you shouldn't click on if you object to nudity and swearing (in German). Covering submission, hope, self-delusion and lies the work identifies an interesting relationship between performer and viewer which Keren has taken further in more recent work. There's a breath-taking Beckettian line towards the end that appears to offer an excuse for some rather bad behaviour  "Madam, we are not the choir, we are the mass, we sound and look like a choir." ... Der Spiegel of course means, The Mirror.

Tags: spacetime13 | 


Blood Music  19 June 2013

Gareth went to see Blood Music when they were playing on the same programme as the amazing Russell Haswell in early June and was blown away by them. The second video here is from that gig. Dark, sinister post-punk brilliance. They've been getting some airplay on Tom Ravenscroft's show on 6 Music. I can't wait to see them live!  They’re on the Main Stage which I’m stage managing, after a fashion... Have a look here.

Tags: spacetime13 | 


Tailor Birds  17 June 2013

Ok, from now, this blog will only be covering some of the amazing people who will be performing in our music festival on 31 August. At least until the tickets sell out! Starting with just confirmed over the weekend, Australian band Tailor Birds. I had a really nice time on Sunday, when I was covering reception and trying to write our Arts Council annual submission, listening to loads of good festival music on the worlds most expensive headphones, which Luke Abbott made us buy when he was musician-in-residence last year. Makes all the difference. Tailor Birds are a bit like Warpaint, but more electronic. The main person, Sophie Kinston used to be in a band called The Sophie Burgess Trio and she's an electronic violinist who uses various loops, delay and wah wah pedals, turning everday objects into sound sources. They'll be performing on the Amphis Stage.

Tags: spacetime13 | 


Piercing Brightness  14 June 2013

I’m looking forward to seeing Shezad Dawood’s Piercing Brightness at Cambridge’s Arts Picturehouse next Monday evening. It’s a science fiction film directed by Shez and scripted by cult novelist Kirk Lake. The score is by Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple (who played one of the best gigs I have ever seen at Cambridge’s Portland Arms a couple of years ago and who are coming back this October). The film also features music by Alexander Tucker who in fact has played in the past two Wysing music festivals. I’m doing a short intro as we worked with Shez on another film, Feature, in 2007. Come along! Timings and info here.

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Venice  5 June 2013

So I was in Venice last week for the launch of the Biennale. There is so much online this year about it all that I’m hesitant about adding yet another summary. But having trudged diligently in the rain to just about every pavilion – though I still managed to miss loads – I feel that I should give a quick few thoughts. The main exhibition, which occupies the giant Arsenale space and the Italian Pavilion in the Giardini, is very good. In fact, it’s better than it sounds on paper mainly because of the focus it gives Outsider art as a way to unlock the potential for not only new insights, of an intuitive nature naturally, but also for a kind of controlled insanity. The exhibition in the Arsenale leads to a pivotal moment about halfway through when everything seems to tumble into some dark parallel universe, hinted at by Cindy Sherman's curated room and typified perhaps by Ryan Trecartin’s videos of a world that appears almost post-human, and compulsive viewing. Although that work, like so many presentations in the pavilions in the Giardini, was almost ruined by unnecessarily over-produced presentation structures. The videos were amazing though and even though there was so much to see, I watched them all from start to finish. The content of Trecartin's videos stood up to the elaborate presentation but in general I came away from quite a few of the pavilions feeling that the focus seemed more on architectural installations and less on the works they had been created to host. Jeremy Deller's British pavilion also stood out as thoughtful and modest. My favorite pavilion was Poland’s presentation of Konrad Smolenski’s work, in which two giant bronze bells began a series of (computer) programmed rings which were then fedback via some very large speakers creating a low level audio hum that slowly built up in the space, layer upon layer, until it caused a series of metal lockers to violently vibrate. It was an overwhelming work that really made sculpture out of sound and I was glad to have experienced it. Back to the curated exhibition again – The Encyclopedic Palace – and just to say that this current trend for curating non-art objects into exhibitions - and there were some incredible objects not least Jung's famous Red Book - as a way to unlock new readings, can be found closer to home – in Mark Leckey’s curated exhibition currently at Nottingham Contemporary, Brian Dillon’s Curiosity at Turner Contemporary, which I am going to see next week, Ralph Rugoff's forthcoming exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Rosemary Trockel’s recent A Cosmos at the Serpentine as well as our very own Relatively Absolute. Venice this year for me didn’t point to a future direction in art, rather it oddly closed a moment. I enjoyed it though.

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