Sarah travelled to London to join the other members of Unhappy Fly for a gig at Mau Mau Bar in Portabello Road. The following morning they set up for a live session on Resonance FM’s Hello Goodbye show, which was captured on video.
The self-titled LP Unhappy Fly including a rare see-through lathe cut seven inch single can be bought from Rough Trade, and a growing list of songs can be streamed through Spotify. Other tracks can be found on Youtube and Soundcloud.
We were invited to the 20th anniversary of the London Improvisers Orchestra which consisted of workshops, rehearsals and concerts at Cafe Oto. It was a great joy to return to the group after a long gap, contributing our electronic sounds from the back row of 30+ fantastic musicians, set inbetween Orphy Robinson and Louis Moholo Moholo, what more can you ask for?
The celebration was perfectly organised by Caroline Kraabel. Knut additionally offered a workshop on the freedom and limits of improvising with electronics one afternoon and during the first concert evening also conducted a new piece called Initialisation which was based around cue cards of the 26 letters of the alphabet. This is the score:
1. Think of a loved one you would like to dedicate your playing to.
2. Make a mental note of the initials of his/her name. If he/she has middle name(s) consider them too.
3. Play only when one of these initials is shown. More than one letter might be shown at a time.
Knut conducting the LIO, photo credit: Fabio Lugaro
Resonance FM’s 15th Birthday Party offered the opportunity to try out a new performance in which Knut sits still on stage with hearing aids in his closed hands, feeding back at frequencies determined by the cavity size of the hands. The evening with a Resonance typical wide range of performances also featured The Honey Hahs, Tom Paley (RIP), Adesh Sundaresen, Locus, Errollyn Wallen and a host of poets.
Our tour with Haco came to an end in London with a concert at Cafe Oto (click on the left arrow to access more photos by Fabio Lugaro) and a Clear Spot on Resonance FM which is archived below. All recordings from the tour will soon be looked at for a potential future release.
Mikroton label boss Kurt Liedwart presenting a Clear Spot on Resonance104.4fm
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of feedback music Resonance104.4fm and ORF Kunstradio linked up for a live performance by Mobile Radio who were joined in the studio by Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos, Hans W. Koch and Daniel Wilson. The show which was also broadcast by Soundart Radio in Totnes and Kanal 103 in Skopje is archived below:
Preparation for the 120th anniversary transmission (photo by Sarah Nicol)
On the 8th December 2014, exactly 120 years after Alfred Graham’s patent was granted, a celebratory concert took place at Cafe Oto, featuring Lu Edmonds, Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos, Moshi Honen, Hans W. Koch, Daniel Wilson, Dominic Stephens plus us two. Simon Lucas filmed the show and made this video of our rendition of the BLOCK piece:
And here is a recording of the duo by Lu and Knut:
Our trip was framed by two lectures for sound art students at the University of the Arts London.
Ed Baxter invited us to our very first appearance as part of the Resonance Radio Orchestra in his work Sketch for Ascent and Descent
This was a live performance at the Science Museum in London on the opening day of the exhibition ‘The Exponential Horn: In Search of Perfect Sound’, on 19th May 2014. The audience experienced the performance through the Exponential Horn, a full-size reconstruction of the giant 8 meter long ‘Denman horn’ from the 1930s, which is the centrepiece of an art installation by Aleksander Kolkowski. (Open until 27 July 2014)
The line-up for the Resonance Radio Orchestra on this occasion was:
Ed Baxter (text, score, electric bass), Dudley Sutton (voice), Adam Bushell (vibraphone), Peter Lanceley (electric guitar, voice), Chris Weaver, Sarah Washington & Knut Aufermann (electronics)
We were delighted to be invited to play at the 10th birthday party of Resonance 104.4FM and to celebrate with many of our old pals from the station. The event was held at Corsica Studios and as you’d expect, the rest of the bill featured an unclassifiable line-up:
BOB DRAKE & KAVUS TORABI
THE HAUNTOLOGICAL ORCHESTRA (feat. Johny Brown, Kay Grant, Art Terry)
KINNIE THE EXPLORER
CAROLE FINER & TOM PALEY
CHIPS FOR THE POOR
FRANK KEY vs LEPKE B (See above, in rehearsal)
BERMUDA TRIANGLE TEST ENGINEERS
We skanked to the close in the warm embrace of the 50/50 SOUND SYSTEM.
Thanks to all for a wonderful London party, the creative spirit was palpable
As the final event of the exhibition Gone with the Wind curated by Ed Baxter for the gallery Raven Row, we were invited by Ed and Richard Thomas to produce a live radio piece. Titled “Can the principle of yeast be applied to a lot of other things?” (Fischli & Weiss), this was a sonic exploration of the process of vinification from a biodynamic wine estate at the Mosel in Germany. The event was broadcast in London on Resonance 104.4FM and in Lisbon on the Radio Zero festival frequency: Rádio Real, 88.4MHz
David Motion of The Winery presents the Mosel region and the wine of Rita and Rudolf Trossen. Knut introduces our piece, which combines radio feedback and circuit-bent sounds with a wine bubbling in its cellar cask – Pyramide Riesling Spätlese trocken 2009, the actual wine the audience now have in their hands. Also prominent are the melodious words of the vintner Rudolf Trossen and recordings from vineyards, including a crop-spraying helicopter. (Not necessarily to cruelly shatter any illusions about the rural way of life, more to complete the picture of what was happening in the build-up to the performance.) A surprising motif is supplied by the music played from a car with speakers mounted on the roof which announces: “Early tomorrow, helicopter spraying!”
Lovely for us to catch up with our ‘home crowd’ and rejoin the Resonance fold, however briefly. The station was broadcasting for the duration of the festival from a booth at the back of the room. A warm hug to Vera for serving the wine, now everybody seems to be aglow. (That’s one good way to keep an audience happy!)
The Walter Marchetti pianos in the exhibition were a delight, Max Eastley’s work was equally sublime, with tiny scratchy wires stuttering across pieces of paper and a beautiful sound installation on the roof of the gallery which was periodically played live on Resonance. It’s wind-motivated metal plates were quiet and active by turn, blending with the London cityscape on the edge of the (noticeably bird-less) financial district. In fact we had joyfully listened to the installation from Germany during the festival, without knowing that it was soon to be clanging on our roof-light all night long during our stay at the gallery. That’s what you call presence!
Thanks to Derek Washington who took all of the above photos
Finally a word about the Resonance competition for self-powered sound devices which we were asked to help judge. A room in the gallery was brimming with all manner of chattering, whizzing and bashing, however the winning piece had been removed due to a problem with flies. It was an old radio powered solely by fermenting fruit, which of course had decayed beyond the staff’s comfort zone over the course of the exhibition! Also high in our estimation was this Lego glockenspiel player. Not directly because of its looks or the type of sound it produced, but purely on merit of the ingenious system of varied length wheel-chains and sizes, which created perfect mechanical randomness
A concert at the current home of all things experimental, Cafe Oto at Dalston Junction. Kicked off by a Tonic Train duo performance, then a solo from Haco ending in a trio by MRB. It was a treat to play on our long-lost ‘home turf’, and to such a welcoming audience. It’s a great venue
Haco’s solo performance
The first performance of the newly formed Mobile Radio Band – L-R Sarah Washington, Knut Aufermann & Haco
Rhodri Davies, inspired by and in collaboration with Gustav Metzger brought together a collection of musicians to look at ways in which music and sound can cancel itself out, can auto-destruct during performance. The first Self-Cancellation concert was held at Beaconsfield in Lambeth, commissioned by Arika & the London Musicians’ Collective and developed with Beaconsfield – part of a series of events including talks and radio works
Something to cheer Sarah up before her scary solo. She decided to cancel a crucial part of herself out for her performance – her ears. She didn’t want to hear what she played, and she also cast the space into darkness so that she couldn’t see what she was doing. All she was aware of was the thumping of her heart and the rushing of blood
The collaborative work for the concert was called Sudoku and was conceived by Rhodri Davies. A succession of sudoku puzzles were projected on a screen, with each square lit up in succession. The players were assigned numbers – they could play when their number appeared until it appeared again, and so on throughout the piece
A peep at the safety precautions that were needed to carry out Gustav Metzger’s Acid on Nylon
The dissolving nylon was projected onto a screen, with light sensors attached to transform the squirming image into sound
Open the doors and evacuate the audience, don’t let them see the scary men behind the screen!
We went to take part in some events at the Tate Modern. Sarah had a concert with Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos and we both had radio live shows which broadcast from the museum on Resonance 104.4FM. Sarah’s radio show was part of her commission from the Tate to make a radio art series. The live show which she did with Julia Lee Barclay and Apocryphal Theatre was open to the public and took the form of a language game, with participation invited from the audience.
‘The Spiral’ record deck and vinyl cutter installation set up in the Tate by Mathieu Briand was the setting for some mayhem…..
Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos and Sarah Washington amuse themselves and the audience in the Turbine Hall. Photograph Simon Lucas
The audience have to earn their place at our performance….
But they are so hard to get rid of when we are finished
Knut hosts a series of radio discussions called Shut Your Eyes to Art. The guests are Robin McGinley, Xper.Xr and Bob & Roberta Smith
The events at the Tate were part of The Long Weekend and we were delighted to catch up with many of our friends there. Left – AVVA in performance, Billy Roisz and Toshimaru Nakamura. Right – luckily for us Ed Baxter had booked John Giorno for a radio slot who gave an inspiring performance
Oscillatorial Binnage gave a sparkling performance of Dan Wilson’s Corrosion Suite
Another edition of Shut Your Eyes to Art with Kersten Glandien, Salome Voegelin and Sebastian Craig submitting to the blindfolds. The quality of the discussion was very different to a sighted one, softer somehow
During our stay in London we played a house concert for John Wall and friends in John’s studio. The tiny room was completely full with the addition of eight audience members, who offered a welcoming and gentle atmosphere.
Making a mess on the studio floor……
John and Kay looking forward to the next crop
News travels fast in the Resonance studio – great to catch up with Richard, Tom and the rest of the gang
Knut enjoys playing in the London Improvisers Orchestra again. Terry Day was in full swing…