Archive for the 'Music' Category

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Colour Deaf

colour deaf

Vis-com-des person Sisi Lu is performing as part of Colour Deaf, initially developed with the Telfer Gallery, and now part of the Cryptic Nights Programme:

Thursday 7 June – Friday 8 June 2012, 8:00pm, Adult: £5.00

Installation open from 8pm, Performance begins at 9pm

“Colour Deaf is a cross-disciplinary collective, offering audiences an alternative experience in visual art and live music through installation and sonic design.”

via Cryptic Nights presents: Colour Deaf

Also to be recommended at the CCA this week: friend of vis-com-des: Momus.

While these events do clash with degree show, it may be possible, with a bit of space-time-continuum wrangling, to fit them all in.

Tractor Man

In There Is Business Like Show Business* on Radio 4, Will Young (yes, I know, bear with me) examines the intriguing world of Industrial Musicals — lavish and complex musical theatre devised in the post-war years by corporations to play as informative, entertaining and supposedly morale-boosting features within trade-conventions — mainly to private audiences comprising of corporation staff. It cites examples such as ‘Tractor Man’ — a whole musical devised around the benefits of productivity enhancing Ford Tractors — as examples of a time when corporate budgets (and optimism in the power of consumerism) were at an all-time high, and provides an interesting insight into a very different way of thinking about brands, design and marketing — one which manages to be simultaneously sinister, nieve, and endearing, in a nostalgic kind of way.

I was interested in this as lately I’ve been reading a bit about Fordism and Post-Fordism — the influence of mechanisation on our way of thinking about the world, and the subsequent paradigm shift to a more ‘flexible’, ‘knowledge’ based economy. If you’re interested in exploring this more, this book is a good starting point (in an art and design context). I’ve also really got into this dictionary of ‘Critical Theory’ lately**, and have found it to be a handy route in to a lot of the phrases, terms and people that crop up in articles, discussions etc, but which I know nothing about. There’s a clear and easy to understand definition of Fordism and Post-Fordism in that.

* Available to listen again till Saturday.

** Realise that for the ‘haters’ out there, it’s going to be difficult to decide whether to ‘disrespect’ me for promoting a Will Young radio-show, or touting a dictionary of Critical Theory.

*** The clip used to illustrate this post is not really from the ‘golden era’ of Industrial Musicals – its from a slightly later period, and therefore lacks the production values (and budget) of some of its predecessors. But it was one of the few clips I could track down online. It was made by Allied Chemicals, and this ‘number’ is ‘The Great American Consumer’, from Seein’ the Light, 1978.

Living Under the Gun

From Solveig: If you like Music, Palestine, Poetry, or Socialism, then you should buy a ticket for this fundraiser.

starring: Alasdair Roberts, Liz Lochhead, Tom Leonard, Roy Bailey, and more!
Tickets £10 -Unwaged,
£13 – Waged.
Phone 0141 352 4900 for tickets.

Poet, Playwright, and Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead, will be reading;
Singer and guitarist, Roy Bailey, (the man Tony Benn called “…the greatest socialist folksinger of his generation,”) will be playing;
The inimitable poet, essayist and activist Tom Leonard will perform;
Acclaimed folk artist Alasdair Roberts will play a solo set;
Gaelic musician Gillebride Macmillan will be singing;
And rising star of the Scottish Poetry Scene, Billy Letford, will read from his upcoming collection.

All profits will go to funding a trip for Musicians and Poets in Glasgow – including Billy, Liz and Gillebride – to go out to the West Bank, run workshops in the refugee camps around Bethlehem and perform in East Jerusalem. A return trip for Palestinian writers and musicians in planned for 2013, and hopefully we will form an ongoing cultural link and forum for Scottish solidarity with those in Glasgow’s twin city in occupied Palestine.

W.I.P. A.P.

You’ve read about the exhibition, now consider the possibility of perhaps coming to the after-party.

The Serving Library Media Archive

“You are sat in a pitch-black room. Your head is gently buzzed with whisky. Out of the darkness you hear a recording of my voice.”

Some interesting podcasts, via The Serving Library.

Colour Deaf


Vis Com person Lu Sisi collaborates on Colour Deaf, a forthcoming exhibition and residency at the Telfer Gallery. The gallery is run by other vis com person, Natalia Palombo.

SiSi in CR

Vis Com person Lu SiSi features as one of 5 to watch in this month’s Creative Review Graduate Special. A nice wee feature on one of 2011’s top graduates.

(It’s obviously been a long time since I paid money for a magazine – five pounds and ninety pence it was!)

Pulp V JME

Owen Hatherley plays various Pulp records in connection to his new book Uncommon, he also mentions a brochure for the Urban Splash ‘regeneration’ of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate designed by the Designers Republic, of which this is the best photo I could find.

Followed, seemingly strangely, by Dan Hancox speaking about the importance of grime during the London student protests.

Listen here

London Study Trip

1st Year Department of Visual Communication

London Study Trip
24-27 January 2011


VISIT / 10.00am
Company / Alex Swain
– An informal insight into business acumen combined with how to take a client on a creative journey.

VISIT / 11.30am
The Association of Illustrators / Paul Ryding
– There is very little former graduate Paul Ryding does not know about contemporary illustration.

VISIT / 1.00pm
Tomato / Michael Horsham
– An intimate sharing of large and small projects from one of the most influential agencies. There portfolio goes back to 1991 and are continuing to work with Underworld.

VISIT / 4.00pm
Pentagram / Jane Pluer
– One of the most impressive offices in the creative industries with a workshop to match. Imperious work delivered with style and elegance.


VISIT / 11.00am
Browns Design / Jonathan Ellery
– Jonathan engaged with the students immediately by asking how they defined art compared to design. Award winning work from a man who applauds the students form outside London including The Glasgow School of Art.

VISIT / 1.30pm
Field / Vera-Maria Glahn
– A German duo working with all the latest programming software and code to produce really beautiful ‘cross-media’ work. Cool rooftop garden with views over to the City of London.

VISIT / 4.30pm
Build / Nicky and Michael Place with former graduate Lynne Devine
– Michael allowed us to touch, feel and sniff the quality of his best design for print. Designers Republic guru happy to be working in a small agency with one of our best graduates.

Momus: 27 Lies About the Mackintosh Building

Friday 18th Feb: 5.30 pm Mack Lecture Theatre

Following his own maxim that “every lie creates a parallel world in which it is true”, Momus (Scottish musician and author of The Book of Scotlands and The Book of Jokes) sets out to tell twenty-seven fantastic lies about things which happen, have happened or will happen in Glasgow School of Art’s most famous building. His attempted lies will sometimes falter and fail, falling back into truths, reasonable and useful suggestions, and thoughts about lying itself.

Hosted by GSA / State

Free but Ticketed: Momus: 27 Lies About the Mackintosh Building – Eventbrite.

Bring the Beat Back

Make your own Google music

Descargar, Download

(This blog post should be read aloud whilst listening to this).

This weekend I was looking through the highly impressive Ubuweb and stumbled upon this film, Production of Meaning, by Adbusters. I’m interested in this because while I broadly agree with the sentiment, I was really struck by how outdated and simplistic the analysis seemed to be. I used to buy and read Adbusters and have been away from it for a while, but wonder whether post Naomi Klein and No Logo, the arguments need to be more subversive and more sophisticated in equal measure.

The second benefit of roaming Ubuweb was that I came across a link to this download of the entire Ken Nordine album ‘Colors’, which wholeheartedly satisfied my jazz/colour analysis needs.

Barry Esson, Wed 10th Nov.

Sound in Context (Full Film) from Sound and Music on Vimeo.

While the film above is talking about sound in an ‘art’ context, its useful to translate some of the discussions across to its use in design. The following outlines an interesting position; “In fact, music is never just about music: it is always the product of its wider situation[1]. Some musics reinforce the status quo[2] . Other musics try to affect the collective conditions of existence. We’re interested in the later: not once radical, now stagnant scenes, but musics that continue to develop useful ways of acting and thinking outside dominant ideologies; musics as part of that wider situation, with something to say about and offer back to it.”

The video features Barry Esson, co-director of arika, who will be speaking at one of the forthcoming GSA open events on the 10th Nov.

[1] Isn’t music always produced through interacting social, cultural, philosophical and ideological factors. (Is it cowardly/reckless/naïve to abstract away from these?)

[2] Don’t you find that most music (incl. most experimental music) simply fortifies false notions of freedom and possessive individualism, of art as lifestyle choice lacking the will/ ability to say anything other than the simply musical?

Awesome all over

Awesome Tapes from Africa does exactly what it says in the URL. A lucky find, thanks to Sarah Usher. The covers require no comment (other than awesome).



Arika have their nice brochures available online. They also have an interesting festival coming up next week. (Some of which outlined below by David Kerr).

Image by Jez Burrows:

Robert Ashley

A while back David Coyle sent me a link to some footage of American composer Robert Ashley, performing excerpts from his early 1980’s ‘TV opera’s’. I was quite amazed by them. You can find out more about Ashley here.

Max, Max, Max…

Rock the Shop

The Life of Brian

Note-to-self (2): remember to watch Arena: Brian Eno

Momus aka Nick Currie

Hi, my name is Dick Murray, and I have a total hatecrush on Momus. And he’s written this stupid book. And he even writes (or wrote) for these idiotic magazines and blogs; WiredViceIndex MagazineAIGA Voice, and Design Observer.

Seripop at Baltic


If you’re anywhere near Newcastle at the end of July, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art presents three days of printmaking, illustration and live music with Canadian art duo, Seripop from Friday 31 July to Sunday 2 August 2009.