a film about Kurt Schwitters
Where is all the time going to? I have to get the film edited in the next few weeks as the sound edit will be quite complex I imagine.
I got a bit distracted in January. I had a new bathroom installed which is great. I spent ages doing an online interview with music writer Stuart Broomer for Point of Departure magazine, an international music magazine devoted to serious study of free improvisation and free jazz. He is doing a feature about me and the films I make - including the Schwitters project. It will be in the March issue. It actually took me a long time to complete as I put quite a lot of thought into what I wanted to say about myself. It was a lot of work but really useful to think about what I am doing and great to be taken seriously. On the same front, I went to Switzerland to show 3 films I made with Phil Minton at a music festival in Zurich. Tzwei Tage Zeit. Because they were being screened in a big theatre with a very good sound system I decided to re-master the sound on all of the films with Dave Hunt. It was really worth it - especially with Sea Shanties. The stereo separation is much more enhanced in the tiny sounds, the quiet stuff. I’m very happy with it. And it will now be included in the Hatton Gallery exhibition. The other two films I screened are The Cutty Wren (Phil singing a traditional English folk song, but in his own way, with gorgeous piano accompaniment by Veryan Weston) and Two Figures in a Vortex (Phil and John Russell live at the Vortex Jazz Club but filmed very blurred and abstract, on a slow shutter speed).
I really enjoyed being at the Swiss arts centre - the Theater Rigiblick - in Zurich, but I found it hard to imagine Dada being born in such a nice, neat, tidy respectable city and there was very little acknowledgement of this legacy in the city itself. The Cabaret Voltaire “Museum” in the original venue was nothing much but the cafe was nice on a horrible, cold, wet day. The best thing was meeting the musicians playing at the festival and the people at the Theatre. I love the free improvised music scene in mainland Europe as there are always visual artists there as well, who know the music and who understand what I am doing. I always have an interesting dialogue about my work and you get the impression that the musicians do also go to art galleries and art house cinemas. Like the musicians I work with - my films are taken far more seriously and I am given far more respect - outside the UK.
I filmed two percussionists on the first night as I liked the lines of the sticks and reflections as they were playing. Sylwia Zytynska and Fritz Hauser.
But the best thing about the whole weekend for me, was seeing my films on a big screen with fantastic sound. For anyone who has only seen them on a computer - they look and sound great. Its a massive thrill for me.
Then I delayed my trip to Cumbria and editing for a week in order to go to a Cultural Olympiad drinks party at Tate Britain. This is the arts festival for the London 2012 Olympics and they funded my project. Here is my link on the website. I met Lorna Fulton who is the Cultural Programmer for the North East part of the festival. She’s great. Everyone was laughing about the BBC4 sitcom “2012” and pretending to think it is really accurate! Lots and lots of jargon and pointless bureaucracy. But Lorna isn’t remotely like that. And her boss Nigel Hinds is brilliant. He knows all about the music I am working with and used to promote such concerts.
I’m finally in Cumbria and really need to just concentrate on editing the film now. But tomorrow I am driving to Newcastle for a meeting about the workshops that the gallery are running with Newcastle University Music Department. And I need to sort out somewhere to stay while I am there in June.