ONLY CONNECT FESTIVAL OF SOUND 2014:
Langham Research Centre
Friday 23 May 4 pm
Langham Research Centre is a UK group devoted to authentic performances of classic electronic music, as well as generating new sounds from their vintage analogue instrumentarium. Muffled Ciphers is Langham Research Centre’s response to J.G. Ballard’s 1970 novel The Atrocity Exhibition.
J.G.Ballard is inspirational to Langham Research Centre - England's leading musique concrète group - and is the perfect modernist companion to their music. For this piece LRC have lifted descriptions of sounds from the book to use as sonic building blocks, and devised a structure suggested by the novel’s collage of discontinuous moments, interweaving archive recordings featuring the voice of Ballard himself.
Prompted by the novel's descriptions of hugely blown-up images of tiny details, sounds are vastly magnified in this performance, using contact microphones and vintage gramophone cartridges. Sounds are also degraded and fragmented, echoing the decay of Ballard's dystopian vision. ¼” tape machines are used in composition to process sounds, revealing their hidden grain. Interwoven are related archive recordings of J.G.Ballard himself. The piece is a visceral celebration of Ballard and his most avant-garde creation.
Thursday 22 May at Diorama/Stenersenmuseet, Langham Research Centre will host a Live Jukebox where the group will explore their relationship to J.G. Ballard through an audio-illustrated talk.
Langham Research Centre formed in 2003 as producers at BBC Radio 3, in London's Langham Place. Reel-to-reel tape and tape machines were about to be rendered obsolete by the BBC's conversion to digital broadcasting, so they were inspired to try and recapture the spirit of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop. LRC love the rich sound of tape, and the personalities and imperfections of tape machines, and they use vintage equipment to perform works by Cage, Lucier and others, particularly repertoire only possible with obsolete devices. They compose new music using this vintage instrumentarium, and in 2014 released John Cage – Early Electronic and Tape Music on Sub Rosa.
22 - 24 May 2014