Tag Archives: music

Music legend Charles Hayward brings sound is sound is sound to the Albany

We hear from Charles Hayward on sound is sound is sound, a showcase of unique musical acts from the South London area, followed by afternoon workshops, sound installations and interventions in and around the Albany. The event will be held on Saturday 24 October at 7.30pm. Click here for details and booking information. 

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There has been a long term South East London music underground that has fed into the mainstream since the days of Mark P’s fanzine Sniffin’ Glue, ATV and This Heat. There is also a committed audience for this, feeding back into the music. Lewisham Arthouse presents SOUND IS SOUND IS SOUND with the intention of building this audience and encouraging Active Listening, which is crucial.

On the night there will be attitudes and sound worlds stretching from the schismatic rock of the Balloons through to the site specific drone meditations of Aine O’Dwyer. Albert Newton will also be playing, the members of Albert Newton are Pat Thomas, John Edwards and me. John and Pat are more from the European improvised music scene, but I am basically about grooves, cubist and fractured, but still groove, so when those two worlds collide it opens up a whole new thing, half Albert, half Newton. We’ve had people hanging off the walls at gigs, so we always start itching to play about now.

The theatre is an intriguing shape, and we plan to use it extensively, moving focus across the space and giving ears a sonic sauna, from acoustic to full on electric. New project Cold As Ice will be making interventions throughout the evening.

In the afternoon we’ve got John Lunn, heavyweight soundtrack composer, in conversation with Frank Byng, who recently scored Channel 4’s The Mill and runs the Slowfoot label. The idea is to share how to work in the media; hopefully people working on their own thing will learn a lot from this and get useful information about commissions, proposals and endless reworking of material towards a finished soundtrack. I’ll be leading a workshop called The Bell Agency, it uses fire alarm bells with no more than 10 players, and there is no need to be able to play. The Bell Agency is about constant change as events unfold, building a musical shape over time, between all of us. Harmergeddon are putting together an installation in the studio, a sort of anti-chill-out room, like a fun fair side show.

After the live performance we’ve got DJ BPM, who plays Grime all over the world on tour with players like Newham Generals and has a regular radio show on Resonance FM. There will also be a techno-edge set from Vince, a young geezer with big ears.

Hope you can make it to SOUND IS SOUND IS SOUND. Active Listening!

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Project New Moon, a Chinese New Year Celebration

We’re celebrating Chinese New Year in style at the Albany with Chinese Arts Space’s, Project New Moon. To let us know more about these celebrations, Creative Director David Tse has interviewed some of the artists involved in the show. projectnewmoon Chinese Arts Space Director, David Tse, gathered some of the most cutting-edge Chinese and East Asian artists in the UK to create work based around their creative interpretation of the moon.  He wanted to reflect on the significance China’s historic Chang’e Mission lunar landing in December 2013. He commissioned British composers Ruth Chan and Andy Leung, as well as choreographers Julia Cheng and Quang Kien Van, to make 15 minutes of new work each as part of Project New Moon. Once David had left his four artists to create their work, he decided it was time to check in and see how it was all going.

First up, composer Ruth Chan:ruthchan ‘My new music piece, Moon’s Magmatism, allows me to collaborate with an exciting bunch of international musicians. I was keen to integrate Chinese and Western instruments together, so I am collaborating with a variety of musicians and we play against a video backdrop by Lavin Lee. My starting point was the relationship between the earth and moon, culminating in the crowning achievement of human exploration; landing on the moon. All this inspired me to compose my piece. My music is in three sections, representing a chronology of the moon: its birth and gravitational effects on earth; humanity’s evolving fascination and development of lunar mythologies; and technological advances leading to the Apollo and Chang’e landings.’

Next, David spoke with composer Andy Leung:andyleThe New Cola is loosely inspired by the moon because I wanted to explore modern society’s addiction to the internet and the effect that night-time has upon that. From the moon’s perspective, we can see humanity; the speed and information overload from mass media communication. My music is characterised with eclectic beats, pulsing rhythms and a stroke of jazz drumming as a foundation, decorated with experimental samples, ‘chiptune’ synthesizer and inspired by multiple electronic music sub-genres. Erhu is re-imagined for the 21st century. Armed with a foot-controller effects pedal, the traditional erhu is able to produce a growling bass-line, distorted tone and ‘out-of-this-world’ special effects. I am making this piece a pioneering collaboration, played alongside a punchy video backdrop.’ David then turned his attention to the choreographers.

Next up, Julia Cheng: juliacheng ‘While researching Silver Moon, my female trio of dancers and I explored the areas between the dark and moonlight, between harmony and unrest, where shimmers of each reside and reflect waves of motion. I looked at the elements, the glistening of water rebounding moonlight, whilst exploring the constantly changing faces and phases of being an individual, and the effects and reactions to connections that we make in life.’

Finally, David spoke with Quang Kien Van: wuangv ‘My choreography for Lunar Orbits is a visual poem married to a fantastic piece of new music composed by Philip Feeney. It is a response to the resplendent beauty and deep mystery of the moon. Drawing from ancient myth and modern science, the work ponders notions of deep space and time and our ephemeral existence amongst the stars, amidst the ever-expanding abyss. Throughout my creative process, I have been inspired by a quote from physicist Richard Feynman, ‘Perhaps if more people were willing to live with doubt and uncertainty in their lives, there would be fewer conflicts in the world?’

If this has whet your appetite then don’t miss your opportunity to see exciting new work in Project New Moon on Saturday 21 February, 7.30pm. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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Baba Israel on creating The Spinning Wheel in memory of his late father

The Spinning Wheel - Brochure imageTheatre and Hip Hop artist Baba Israel is celebrating the life of his late father Steve Ben Israel, a New York jazz musician, stand-up comic, counter-cultural activist and member of the iconic Living Theatre, with an exciting international collaboration with Unfinished Business Artistic Director, Leo Kay. Combining spoken word, live music by Yako 440 and video by AlbinoMosquito, their dynamic show The Spinning Wheel is here this Saturday 22 November, 7.30pm. Baba Israel  answers some questions ahead of its only London performance:

Why were you inspired to make this show for your father?

Losing my father was very difficult and early on I knew that creativity would be an important part of the healing process. I did a poem for my father 8 days after he passed at his favorite jazz club smalls in the village with Omer Avital’s band. This was the first moment I started to dream about this show. I also made a promise to my father hours before he passed that I would carry on his creative legacy. I did not want his work to be lost and wanted to share it with new audiences. I felt that it was relevant and that there were people who did not encounter him who would dig his material. Another key inspiration was when I was Artistic Director of Contact in Manchester and I presented my collaborator Leo Kay’s show it’s like he’s knocking which dealt with the loss of his father. It has been important to have a co-creator who has worked with such personal material but also brought an objective eye. Leo also really challenged me to find a honest an open space as a performer and writer that I think makes the show deeper, richer, and more present for the audience.

What is the influence your father has had on your work?

My father introduced me to jazz and to improvisation. He also nurtured my love of poetry, humor, and bringing politics into art. I started going to my father’s shows at the age of 4 and was raised in the theatre world. I also witnessed his artistic interventions in the everyday world of parks and subways and as part of protests. He was committed to art as a medium to inspire change and to find utopian moments in the midst of the injustices of our modern world.

What do you think your father would think of The Spinning Wheel?

I think he would have dug it.. His intention was for people to leave his shows laughing, thinking, uplifted, and connected to what makes us human. So far we have been getting feedback from audiences that they are having similar reactions to The Spinning Wheel.

Are you excited about performing at the Albany? And why?

I am very excited! I have a lot of respect for the Albany and its engagement  with community and its diverse and rich program. It is also the first place Yako and I ever performed in London so it is special for us.

What do you hope London, and even Deptford, audiences will get from this production?

I hope that they will enjoy a personal story and enjoy learning about my father’s work and journey. I also hope that it will connect with their own experience of family  and of the need to stay engaged with making the world a better place to be. Plus there is some great music from Yako 440 and stand out visual work from Richard Ramchurn of AlbinoMosquito. Hope to see you there!

Baba Israel, Contact Manchester

Baba Israel hits the stage this Saturday 22 November, 7.30pm in The Spinning Wheel as part of EFG London Jazz Festival. For more information and to book, click here.

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My First Time was with an Orange Dog

Mixing a variety of genres and artforms, 154 Collective‘s innovative Dancing with the Orange Dog stretches the boundaries of storytelling. Formed of an art exhibit, theatre performance and a music gig with The Housekeeping Society, Dancing with the Orange Dog is not your typical show; it asks you to absorb what you see and hear to reflect on the stories told in different artforms, and runs here on Friday 10 October. One of their collaborative artists, Benjamin Rabe, wanted to let us know about his experience performing in the show.

We all remember our first time, right? It’s usually not great, or smooth, or exciting, but always special. Well, mine was great, smooth, exciting and special! And that even though it was lasting just for 6 mins and 32 secs!

I am talking about my first live performance during Dancing with the Orange Dog.

Dancing with the Orange Dog: is it a play? No wait, is it a collaborative art exhibit? Hold on, it really is a big music-show, no?

You guessed right, it is all of the above. Initiated by the 154 Collective (lead by Fabric Lenny and Dan Mallaghan). I got involved early on by contributing artwork I created using different apps on my iPad. It was at this time that I took my first steps in collaborative live drawing and animation projection using an iPad based app called Tagtool. I was already happy having had the chance to contribute some artwork to the show, but when I was invited to perform live projections during the play, things got really interesting.

I remember coming into the venue in Manchester for the first time, entering the immersive space Dancing with the Orange Dog created. It was a world of its own, filled with artwork, part gallery, part living room where you could connect to elements of the play before you even knew it. That was one thing. But then what followed was a tour de force 2-person play, a thick layered stack of different stories that would magically connect in the end……

Only the end wasn’t the end, there was still my 6 mins 32 secs to come! Together with Fabric Lenny and Matthew Watkins, I got my first time as a live performer during the gig from The Housekeeping Society (part 3 of the show) – did I mention it was great, smooth, exciting and special? And it **was** great, smooth, exciting and special for one reason: only because Dancing with the Orange Dog was. A great mix, an exciting mix of different facets of the arts: poetry, play, exhibition, music and live visuals.

If you have the chance to see it: do it. It’s a first time you won’t forget.

 

Benjamin Rabe for 154 Collective 

Benjamin is an Artist and Web Developer based in Hamburg. 154 Collective are pleased to collaborate with him on a regular basis.

 

Dancing with the Orange Dog runs here one night only on Friday 10 October, 7.30pm. For more information, to watch the trailer and to book, click here.

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