Myself and Emma Dove's short film “boneshaker” has been selected for this years Aesthetica Short Film Festival in the Artists' Film category.
The film was commissioned by the Stove Network as part of HAME, a larger installation work completed during our residency with the Stovies.
The Festival is held in York and runs from 8 - 12 November.
I did a guest mix for the excellent Spools Out Radio on Resonance FM, featuring new & upcoming Soft Error releases + additional selections from favourite tape labels, some featuring artists our label is working with in the coming months.
Featuring: Chemiefaserwerk, Masayuki Imanishi, miki yui, Monte Burrows, Giovanni Lami, Ame Zek, Persona Mercure & myself.
Thanks to Tristan Bath for the opportunity.
All has been quiet here in D&G but I've been busy in the background working on a new commission for Sonica 2017, as well as bringing my Soft Error label out of hybernation to release a new work by Japanese Sound Artist, Masayuki Imanishi.
I'll be venturing out of the studio next month to visit Shetland Arts, where I'll be performing my Oscillon Response piece at Mareel, the UK's most northerly arts centre.
Great to see one of the oscillograms from the show on the cover of the current edition of Shetland Arts, What's On.
Emma and I are just back from the International Symposium of Sound & Music in Documentary FIlm at the University of Huddersfield where we screened "Mirror Lands" + Q&A.
The screening was in conjunction with Electric Spring Experimental Music Festival that was running concurrently at the University.
Thanks to Geoff, Pierre and Demelza.
Scott Writer reviews recent performance at Ting Shuo Hear Say Studio in Tainan over at Arts Observer Field Archive.
"Overheard Landscapes: Ting Shuo has performance Two
by Scott Writer
Tainan sound art studio Ting Shuo Hear Say has quickly established itself as amongst Taiwan’s most exciting space for all forms of extreme listening. On a recent September evening a large and enthusiastic audience came to hear another instance of the transnational mix of sound art that the venue showcases.
Arriving and taking a seat at the side of the room, I absentmindedly opened a book sitting on the shelf next to me. The first line read: “East of my home, the long ridge lies across the skyline like the low hull of a submarine”. With this, the opening sentence of J.A. Baker’s novel The Peregrine, the theme of the evening was set. Like the submarine-ridge of Baker’s novel, both performances would probe the relationship between art and landscapes real or imagined where the categories of the natural and the man-made constantly bleed into one another. (The Peregrine also possesses something of a totemic quality in the world of cutting-edge ambient electronics, since its recent re-incarnation as an album of the same title by Australian musician and sound artist Lawrence English. In this sense, too, the link was fitting.)
The first performer of the evening was Scottish sound artist and filmmaker Mark Lyken, in Taiwan as part of a residency at the Taipei Artist Village. For those of a certain vintage, the conjunction of ‘Scotland’, ‘nature documentary’ and ‘electronic music’ cannot but evoke the hazy, dread-laced sonic pastoralism of Boards of Canada. But if Lyken’s set occasionally utilised similar elements—synth tones, muffled voices, field recordings—he managed to steer well clear of BoC’s brand of Scottish melancholy. Instead, Lyken used these and other elements to present a steelier view of humans’ and non-humans’ places in the Anthropocene epoch.
Lyken’s performance combined a sonic palette of machinic hums, hisses, thrumming drones, static, and field recordings collected from wild and built environments. These were juxtaposed with a series of striking images drawn from Lyken’s series of film collaborations with Emma Dove. The images—a windswept moor, surging rapids, an empty town square, a comically desolate amusement parlour—revealed themselves slowly, reflecting their makers’ brand of ‘observational film making’ (and coincidentally recalling the poker-faced long cuts of Taiwanese new wave auteurs such as Tsai Ming-Liang). As each scene extended ever further without cut, we were not only immersed ever deeper in the landscapes pictured, but became ever more aware of how such techniques undermine our expectations. Watching ourselves watching, we could appreciate the way our attention, and our apprehension of the landscape, is structured by conventions of cinema and other artistic media.
During the performance, Lyken used a 16-side dice to determine the precise combination of sound and vision. What risked being a mere gimmick instead afforded a range of uncanny juxtapositions: man-made sounds laid over an ostensibly pristine natural landscape; the sounds of the wild set against the stark granite, brick and concrete of Scottish towns. Such chance combinations keenly evoked the contradictions of our times, where the distant actions of humans push even the wildest places into new forms of disequilibrium and animals and plants struggle to stake out some small place in the crevices and crannies of our built environment. This unflinching perspective on humanity’s intercourse with nature reflects, perhaps, Lyken’s experience working with natural scientists, a vocation typically unsuited to misty-eyed romantics."
I have a new album out on Broken20 label as part of their li_series.
From the label: "The latest edition of our li_series comes from fast-rising Scottish sound artist Mark Lyken, "Grubs The Size Of Thumbs" is a multi-layered tapestry of field recording, processed sounds, low-fidelity loops and pure tones across 32 minutes. As always for the li_series, it's accompanied by a beautiful photo print and an a5 print of new writing, this time from David Fyans."
You can buy the Physical and Digital Packages HERE and listen to a special mix of myself and Graham Dunning's releases below.
Busy couple of months coming up with a tour of Oscillon Response around a September residency at The Artist Village in Taipei.
I’ll also be be doing two intimate shows in Tainan & Tokyo based on sound material from the new “Grubs the size of thumbs” album that comes out on the Broken20 label later in the year.
Then back to Scotland for shows in Paisley, Aberdeen and Dumfries.
Grubs the size of thumbs - (Improvised performance), 9th September, Ting Shuo Studio, Tainan, Taiwan
Oscillon Response - 15th September, EXPO Dome, Taipei Expo Park, Taipei, Taiwan
Grubs the size of thumbs - (Improvised performance), October (Date & Venue TBC), Tokyo, Japan
Oscillon Response - 18th October, The Spree Festival, Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley, Scotland
Oscillon Response - 21st October, Dumfries Music Conference (DMC), The Stove Network, Dumfries, Scotland
Oscillon Response - 4th November, Sound Festival, The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Scotland
I'll be spending a month in residence at the Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan throughout September working on a new film and sound installation piece and performing "Oscillon Response" at the On Site Art Fest in Taipei.
Follow the link below for more on my project and the Taipei Artist Village.
Thanks to Cryptic, Cove Park, Taipei Artist Village and the British Council Taiwan.
The Terrestrial Sea is touring with Sonica as part of Made In Scotland during this year's Edinburgh Fringe.
I'll be giving three performances between the 16th and 18th of August at the Filmhouse.
I have a new remix track (actually two tracks combined and remixed) called "Branch Line Peninsula" available as part of the "Score tae the Toor" book and CD on Random Spectacular that launches this Saturday the 21st of May at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. The project that builds on the "Concrete Antenna" installation and album from Simon Kirby, Tommy Perman and Rob St John reimagined by 7 writers and 6 musicians.
Musicians: Joe Howe, Jonnie Common, King Creosote, Mark Lyken, OnTheFly, WOLF.
Writers: Fay Young, Hanna Tuulikki, Jake Bee, Nicola Meighan, Richard J Williams, Stacey Hunter, Tom Western.
You can read more about the project and listen to my contribution below.
Score Tae The Toor is a new book and CD publication / release inspired by the Concrete Antenna sound installation at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop created by Simon Kirby, Tommy Perman and Rob St John.
The trio gave a set of musicians access to their sound archive, tower instruments and compositions, and asked them to re-imagine the sited material created for the installation. Seven writers were asked to write pieces inspired by the tower and the installation, with pieces covering architecture, memory, archives, urban ecology and public art, written as essays, poetry and morse code.
Named after a phrase used by fishermen in the Firth of Forth using tall buildings on the Edinburgh skyline to orientate their sailing, Score Tae The Toor is a limited edition publication printed using a variety of techniques including risography, lithography, letterpress and computer controlled pen and knife plotters.
It is published by Random Spectacular on 21 May 2016, with a launch event at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
Looking forward to visiting CMMAS (The Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts) in Morelia in July in partnership with Cryptic.
I'll be in residence for ten days working on a Surround Sound version of "The Terrestrial Sea" that will be presented at the Edinburgh Festival as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase 2016.
I'll be giving a performance of the new 5.1 version of the work at CMMAS on Aug 6th.
My new album "The Terrestrial Sea" is out now on the Important Records.
Thanks to John Brien, Cryptic, Emma Dove, IOTA and The University of Aberdeen, Creative Scotland, Gamma Proforma and to everyone that has been involved in supporting this work in its various incarnations