Tuesday 17 December 2019, 7.30pm
‘Acció Santos’ is a one-off event held in honour of the late Catalan conceptualist composer, Carles Santos, with very special guest, the athlete and speaker, Derek Redmond.
'Acció Santos' is presented as part of a London-wide survey of film-work by Santos’ lifelong collaborator, Pere Portabella. The event will celebrate and reinterpret the works Santos made alongside Portabella and other frequent collaborator in film and performance, Joan Brossa: a trinity of musician, filmmaker and poet who sought to transform their respective mediums and tear apart Spain’s then-fascist state in the process.
‘Acció Santos’ will honour Santos' extraordinary body of work through sequenced piano (and thrown objects—and people—at the piano), motorcycle-playing, live ceremonial suit-making, Bacharach cut-ups, Brossa recitals, Portabella projections and the ritual howl of Catalonia's gralla.
Organised by Tom Wheatley and featuring an international roster of collaborators: Daniel Blumberg, Ilana Blumberg, Magí Canyelles, María Mallol, Winstanley Schtinter, Ona Ballõ Pedragosa, Billy Steiger and The Filmmakers Choir, the event will be hosted by award-winning athlete and Olympian, Derek Redmond. Within his strikingly broad oeuvre, Santos wrote the music for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, at which Redmond ran his last race - one of the most remarkable events in Olympic history, frequently referenced by Barack Obama.
To mark this event the 'anti' record label ('anti-everything') purge.xxx will release in a vinyl edition of 130 copies the seminal Santos’ soundtrack for what is perhaps Portabella's best-known work, the Chrisopher Lee-featuring, Vampir-Cuadecuc.
'Acció Santos' is presented as part of 'A WORM'S TAIL VIEW IS OFTEN THE TRUE ONE: FILMS BY PERE PORTABELLA', the most complete survey of radical Catalan director Portabella, organised by Winstanley Schtinter for the Liberated Film Club and taking place across London.
One of Britain’s most famous athletes, Derek Redmond is a World and European relay champion. Having broken the British 400m record on two occasions, Derek was one of the country’s best athletes during the 1980s and 1990s. A key member of the relay squad that won gold at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, he competed at the highest level for over a decade.
He first rose to prominence in 1985 when he broke the 400m British record achieving a time of 44.82 seconds 12 months later he was selected in the 4x400m relay team for the European Championships in Stuttgart.
Great Britain won gold in what was a sure sign of things to come. A year later they won a silver medal at the World Championships in Rome. By the time the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo arrived Derek had established himself as one of Britain’s best athletes. Alongside Kriss Akabusi, John Regis and Roger Black he then stunned the sporting world as Britain triumphed over the favourites USA to win gold. Their run remains the second fastest 4x400m run in history.
Having now proved himself as a relay athlete, Derek went about trying to do the same as an individual runner. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, representing his country he became part of one of the most inspirational scenes in Olympic history.
In the 400m semi-final Derek went into the race amongst the favourites but as he passed the 250m mark he tore his hamstring. Determined to finish the race he hobbled to the finish line with the help of his father as a 65,000-strong crowd cheered him on. This incident has since been voted one of the Olympics’ most inspirational moments by US network NBC and even referenced by Barack Obama in a presidential speech.
This injury signalled an end to his athletics career, but, committed to not letting his injury keep him down, he has since played basketball for England and played rugby 7s.
Derek’s story is truly inspiring and he now works as a motivational speaker sharing his remarkable story with audiences up and down the country. He has worked with a wide range of high profile brands delivering his inspiring stories from the track in corporate environments.
Tom Wheatley is an artist and musician based in London
His current projects include:
- A duo previously containing clothes, stands, close-mikings and dog hair with Ilana Blumberg, documented here
- A long-standing duo with Billy Steiger, releasing it’s first public material soon
- A new recording project with Iain Hetherington
- Various lineups & outputs with Daniel Blumberg, often including Billy Steiger, Ute Kanngiesser, Elvin Brandhi and Jim White
- A duo with Grundik Kasyansky, currently finishing it’s first release, and the trio Denis D’or, with Yoni Silver also
Winstanley Schtinter has been described as an 'artist' by the Daily Mail and as an 'exorcist' by the Daily Star. On October 31 in 2019 he presented his most ambitious work to date: The Festival of Great Britain (and Northern Ireland), in Salford. His film work is represented by Light Cone, Paris. He curates the Liberated Film Club and runs purge.xxx records.
Daniel Blumberg is an artist and musician from London. Over the past decade he has released an extensive catalogue of music under different names, while forging ongoing collaborations with musicians, writers and filmmakers such as Neil Hagerty, David Toop and Brady Corbet. He is a prolific visual artist, described by Hans Ulrich Obrist as “one of London's most exciting emerging new artists”. Most recently Blumberg has been playing and recording at London's Cafe Oto, working intensively with a core group of improvisers consisting of violinist Billy Steiger, saxophonist Seymour Wright, double bassist Tom Wheatley and cellist Ute Kanngiesser. These regular sessions have culminated in the release of his debut eponymous record Minus on Mute Records (May 2018), accompanied by a companion LP of solos by the key players on the record including Dirty Three's Jim White. Alongside this OTORoku have released a live recording of the group and two discs by GUO, Blumberg's duo with Seymour Wright. Minus is a powerful and highly personal work, one that weds a free-music ethos to the rawest emotional songwriting. Live the material is radically reimagined from show to show, with a rotating cast of players pushing Blumberg's fragile songforms to their limits.
Billy Steiger was born in Howth on the 16th December, 1986. Now he plays the violin.
“Then he sat down by a pond and began to play a tune. As he played, the most extraordinary thing happened. One by one the fish in the pond began to jump out and fly about in the air. And what is more, they were all different colours and they were singing to the music.”
Patrick, Quentin Blake.
Canyellas’ first instrument is the gralla, a traditional Catalan double reed instrument in the shawn family, stemming from the ancient xeremia, a medieval instrument largely used until the Baroque period. Canyellas has performed under the directorship of Carles Santos himself, in extensive recitals of his diverse body of work. He also regularly performs traditional Catalan music.
Gratuating from Popmeu Fabra University (Barcelona) and Sorbonne (Paris), Balló Pedragosa is a programmer and researcher in narrative interbreeding between music and image. Her dissertation, carried out in collaboration with Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (INHA), deals with the musical thinking of composer Carles Santos on Pere Portabella’s film work. She also works professionally as a sound recordist for film, and writes about art and cinema for different media.
Mollol Moya is a Colombian artist based between Turin and Barcelona. Graduate of El Timbal School of Theatre, EMP Academy of Music and Escola Massana (Barcelona), she performs as Galilea Molol, The M.M.M and Natura Morta: using field recordings from the Amazon, Colombia and Peru. As a singer and drummer in several bands, she has released work on labels including Alien Snatch Records, Holiday Records, Pouet Shallplatten Records and Hyle Tapes.