Sunday, 24 November 2013

Shindig Spacerock

Have pre-ordered this from Shindig Magazine. Due out on Jan 16th, seems to be packed full of goodies Louis and Bebe Barron’s FORBIDDEN PLANET, JOE MEEK THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE, PINK FLOYD HAWKWIND. GONG SILVER APPLES FIFTY FOOT HOSE, BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP  AMON DÜÜL II, NEU and ASH RA TEMPEL CHROME HERE AND NOW OZRIC TENTACLES SPACEMEN 3 LOOP SUN RA ASTRA THE HEADS and WHITE HILLS. Thats gonna be a lot of reading. Its only £6.50 available from here

Monday, 18 November 2013

Test Transmission Archive Reel 15 Garden of Earthly Delights Mix 8/11/13

Here is my final mix of the year. Which was recorded for the Head Gardener at The Garden of Earthly Delights CRMK Radio. On this end of year mix we have music from Carl Orff, John Foxx & The Belbury Circle, The National Jazz Trio of Scotland, Anne Briggs, The Greg Foat Group, Spectrum and much much more.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Vault: Music for Silent Gothic Treasures 13th - 14th December

From the Vault: Electronic musicians perform new music for 110-year-old Gothic films

The devil has the best tunes on Saturday 14 December when a collective of British electronic musicians perform new music inspired by rarely seen Gothic silent films from the BFI National Archive. The music and films will be brought together for the first time in Vault: Music for Silent Gothic Treasures at BFI Southbank as part of the BFI’s nationwide project GOTHIC: The Dark Heart of Film (8:45pm).

The ensemble was put together by Sarah Angliss, a composer, automatist and theremin player, whose singularly unsettling music was recently heard at the National Theatre as a tense underscore to Lucy Prebble’s The Effect. Angliss’ music for Gothic film will be performed by her band: recent Ghost Box collaborators Spacedog. They’ll be joined by Exotic Pylon’s Time Attendant (Paul Snowdon) who will be supplying a new work on simmering, tabletop electronics. There will also be some extemporisations from Bela Emerson, a soloist who works with cello and electronics. Fellow Ghost Box associate Jon Brooks, composer of the haunting Music for Thomas Carnacki (2011), will also be creating a studio piece for the event.

Sourced by Bryony Dixon, the BFI’s curator of silent film, many of the short films inspiring these musicians were made in the opening years of the twentieth century. The Legende du fantôme (1908) and early split screen experiment Skulls Take Over (1901) are on the bill, along with the silent cubist masterpiece The Fall of the House of Usher (US version, 1928) and more.

“There is undoubtedly something uncanny about the earliest of these films”, said Angliss. “Many are stencil-coloured in vibrant hues, adding to that sense of the familiar taking on a strange cast. They seem to demand music that suggests rather than points up the horror, a motif that discomforts as it soothes, or a sweet sound that is somehow sickly, as though heard in a fever. As with vision, sound for horror can use the art of the almost, inviting the audience to make unnerving connections of their own.” 

Jon Brooks said “the visuals suggest aural textures reminiscent of painted glass, to strange derivatives of stringed instruments. Hopefully I've conjured some playfulness amongst the macabre too."

Adding to the strangeness are Angliss’ automata, who will also be performing live. These include a polyphonic, robotic carillon (bell playing machine) and Hugo, the roboticised head of a ventriloquist’s dummy who is of the same vintage as some of the films. The event will be directed by Emma Kilbey. After the BFI Southbank performance there are plans to tour Vault around Gothic revivalist buildings around the UK. 

Sarah Angliss is grateful to PRSF for Music for financially supporting her new work. Vault: Music for Silent Gothic Treasures is part of the BFI’s Hauntology Weekend, in association with The Wire magazine (Fri 13 Dec – Sat 14 Dec)

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Peter Sykes Pink Floyd The Committee

The Committee is a 1968 film Written and Directed by Peter Sykes and staring Paul (Manfred Mann) Jones. The film features a superb score by Pink Floyd, and even The Crazy World of Arthur Brown make an appearance.  In the film Paul Jones who is unnamed, is picked up and given a lift in a car. The driver of the car pulls over because he does not like the sound of the engine. When the driver is checking the engine Paul Jones slams the bonnet of the car down on him decapitating his head. After a while Paul Jones sews the drivers head back on. The driver wakes up and Paul Jones informs the driver he does not want to drive with him anymore and he should leave. A couple of years later Paul Jones is invited to join a committee. These committee groups seem to exist to keep the system??? up and running, but really seem to not do anything. Later Paul Jones encounters the driver who gave him a lift a few years before. The driver does not seem to recognise Jones or remember having his head cut of. Jones then asks the man "are your teeth ok?" Jones then spends the rest of the film talking with The Committee Director (Robert Lloyd) about his earlier actions involving the car driver.
The film is in black and white and is quite compelling. My own favorite sequence early on in the film is when a number of suit and tie gentlemen are walking through a building, accompanied by a 1st class Pink Floyd score. The camera follows these men going to a meeting, intercut with other images of old reel to reel computers and card index machines. The musical score by Pink Floyd at this moment is a must and would not have sounded out of place on Piper at the Gates of Dawn or Saucerful of Secrets. After a very successful run in The West End in 68,  screenings of The Committee were almost non existant.  I won't pretend that I fully understood what was going on in The Committee but who cares? maybe that is what makes the film interesting, and as a slice of 60s weirdness and self indulgence The Committee is definitely out there.