Tuesday 11 December 2018, 7.30pm
Langham Research Centre and Howlround present an evening of music inspired by tape and classic musique concrète processes.
Hot on the heels of performances in Japan with Jim O'Rourke and Kassel Jaeger, LRC return with new electronic works created using obsolete technology. Howlround's performances see natural acoustic sounds manipulated live on reel-to-reel tape, with effects strictly forbidden.
And, Langham Research Centre and Howlround join forces for a rare performance of John Cage's epic 1955 work, “Speech” for 5 radios and newsreader.
Langham Research Centre formed in 2003, as producers at BBC Radio 3, based in London’s Langham Place. These were the last days that open-reel tape was used for broadcast. We loved the rich sound of tape, and the tangible personalities and imperfections of tape machines.
We wanted to keep working with tape, and recapture the spirit of the Radiophonic Workshop by making Radio 3 programmes featuring our tape experiments. An early example was Gateshead Multistorey Carpark, entirely made out of the sounds of the infamous Get Carter carpark, processed on tape.
Much like an Early Music group, but working instead with 20th century classic electronic repertoire, LRC specialise in performing works by John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Earle Browne and others, particularly repertoire which can only be performed with reel-to-reel tape and other now-obsolete devices.
We create new music from vintage analogue devices: open-reel tape, sine wave oscillators, phonograph cartridges and other discarded technology.
In 2014 we released John Cage Early Electronic And Tape Music on Sub Rosa, featuring previously unreleased John Cage repertoire.
‘First coming to prominence with hugely-acclaimed 2012 LP The Ghosts Of Bush, Howlround have now expanded to a sextet (four machines, two people) and create recordings and performances entirely from manipulating natural acoustic sounds on vintage reel-to-reel tape machines, with additional reverb or electronic effects strictly forbidden – a process that has seen their work compared to William Basinski, Philip Jeck, Morton Feldman and even the sculptures of Rachel Whiteread’.
In an age where one can create all manner of electronic music with a simple swipe of a mouse, Howlround prove not only how much fun is to be had in making things complicated again, but conversely just how little effort is sometimes needed to create a genuinely uncanny and beguiling sound-world: the rough underbelly of our pristine, Pro-Tools universe. Since then, they have released four more LPs – 2013’s Secret Songs Of Savamala, recorded almost entirely in a flooded basement in wintry Serbia, 2014’s Torridon Gate, which was created using an ordinary suburban garden gate, 2015’s Tales From The Black Tangle and 2017’s A Creak In Time. They have also released tracks on numerous compilations and one side of a split album The Blow vol. 2.