Saturday 1 October 2022, 7pm
Celebrating 40 years of activity
Claire M Singer
+ A Short Film by People Like Us
Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University of Oslo. Jana focuses her work around audio environments and ecosystems which are hard for humans to access, both physically and aurally.
Simon Scott is a sound ecologist from England. His albums ‘Soundings’ (Touch), ‘Insomni’ (Ash International) and ‘Below Sea Level’ (12k) explore the creative process of actively listening, the implications of recording the natural world using technology and the manipulation of natural sounds used for musical composition (Field Recording).
He plays the drums in UK band Slowdive, runs his SPS mastering studio from his Cambridge home and has also collaborated with artists Fennesz, Philip Jeck and Clair M Singer (Spire), Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer (Between), The Sight Below, Mike Weis, Nils Frahm and James Blackshaw.
‘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.
Under the name “People Like Us,” artist Vicki Bennett has been making work available via CD, DVD and vinyl releases, radio broadcasts, concert appearances, gallery exhibits and online streaming and distribution since 1992. Bennett has developed an immediately recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture. She sees sampling and collage as folk art sourced from the palette of contemporary media and technology, with all of the sharing and cross-referencing incumbent to a populist form. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is both preposterous and redundant. Most of the People Like Us back catalogue has been available for free online since 2002. For many artists, profit and publicity is more likely through free distribution (the gift economy) than independent publishers and distributors, which often struggle with limited resources. Online self-distribution allows an artist to keep their work available, resolving a tension between label production costs and the desire of an artist for work to be available. UbuWeb generously hosts the discography and filmography of People Like Us.
This year marks 30 years for People Like Us, marked by a cover feature in The Wire Magazine (May 2021, a touring of Gone, Gone Beyond, a 360 immersive cinema installation to nyMusikk Oslo, SPILL Festival Ipswich, Attenborough Centre (ACCA) Brighton and London Barbican, and an evening hosted by People Like Us at their favourite venue Cafe OTO.
Claire M Singer is a composer and performer of acoustic and electronic music, film and installations. Known for her experimental approach to the organ her work draws inspiration from the dramatic landscape of her native Scotland, exploring rich harmonic textures and complex overtones that create ever-shifting melodic and rhythmic patterns disappearing almost as soon as they emerge. Her three critically acclaimed releases on Touch feature Singer playing both organ and cello (‘..each piece is timeless and genuinely magical’ – The Quietus). Performances include Queen Elizabeth Hall; Glasgow Cathedral; Tate Modern; Westerkerk opening for Low and the Barbican opening for Stars of the Lid. The Guardian wrote ‘Claire M Singer really knows how to wring the best out of this magnificent instrument, creating moments of sustained rapture’ Most recently in December 2021 her solo organ work The Molendinar featured in The New York Times '5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Organ'.
Awards include the Oram Award in 2017 for her innovation in sound and music and the Festival Castell de Peralada Award for best film score in 2019 (Tell It To The Bees). In 2020 her work Gleann Ciùin was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award, which was commissioned by the London Contemporary Orchestra. Recent projects include a collaboration with Chris Watson for organ, field recordings, orchestra and choir premiering at her festival Organ Reframed at Union Chapel in 2022.
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is a contemporary artist, researcher, writer and theorist. Working across diverse media, such as sound, text, and moving image, and incorporating various technologies such as sensors, AI, and Machine Learning, Chattopadhyay produces large-scale installations and live performance addressing urgent issues such as the climate crisis, human intervention in the environment and ecology, migration, race, and decoloniality. Conceptually, Chattopadhyay’s work inquires into the materiality, objecthood, site, and technological mediation of lived experiences, and considers the aspects of subjectivity, contemplation, mindfulness, and transcendence inherent in listening. His artistic practice is deeply committed to social and environmental activism, and intends to shift the emphasis from object to situation, and from immersion to discourse in the realm of sound and media arts as necessary actant. As an artist, Chattopadhyay is an attentive and (com)passionate listener of the world around him, endeavouring to connect the disparate resonances across the borders and cultures, past and present, tradition and hyper-modernity, through an activating practice advocating for reciprocity and equality in the contemporary societies...[more]