Edited by Andrew Lister & Matthew Stuart

Book Launch / Exhibition 30th March, 5–8.30pm
Exhibition on view from 28th March–3rd April


53 Fashion Street
London, E1 6PX
United Kingdom

The exhibition opens on 28th March and remains on view until 3rd April. It presents issue 2 as both unbound sheets and a bound publication, and is accompanied by a soundscape of field recordings made by Daphne Oram in Trinidad & Tobago and compiled by James Bulley. This latest issue of BFTK features contributions from (in order of appearance) Ryan Gerald Nelson, James Bulley, Daphne Oram, Céline Condorelli, James Langdon, Scandinavian Institute for Computation Vandalism, Mark Simmonds, Dave Whelan, Flights and Fissures, Ron Hunt, and Rose Gridneff. And includes pieces on, among other things, the sound-film work of Daphne Oram and Geoffrey Jones; monuments to Kazimir Malevich, Rosa Luxemburg and Walter Benjamin; the relocation of a defunct bookshop from Amsterdam to Epsom; a conversation on the politics of display and ‘Agatha Christie smoking Asger Jorn’s cigar’. 

Copies of BFTK#2 are available for a limited preorder price (£10 standard edition / £12 with limited edition signature-wrap print / £18 combo: BFTK#1 + #2) through the website up until the beginning of April. On the night, copies will be on sale for £10.

Holy Mountain

I've been recording in Holy Mountain studios in Hackney recently, and been pretty blown away by the results. Misha Hering, who runs it, has an unbelievable and unique array of equipment, and a great sounding live room (as well as being a wonderful human being) - check it out here, it's a pretty incredible place. Here's a photo from a recent session – pictured are the Prophet T8, Moog Modular and Moog Voyager.

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Still Point article in FACT

Still Point at St. John's Smith Square, June 2016. Photograph: Alice the Camera

"The success of the performance at St John’s Smith Square is palpable, and Feshareki and Bulley’s achievement is huge, but whether ‘Still Point’ becomes canonical is anyone’s guess. The material is certainly there – the duo have been meticulous in their documentation, collating notation, Oram’s and Davies’ writing and orchestral instruction onto a single score – but it remains singular, without clear successors. The muffled, hypnagogic records of Indignant Senility or The Caretaker might be the closest in actual sound, but certainly not in spirit. Both have incorporated repurposed and anaesthetised classical passages in their music – Wagner for the former, myriad Romantic piano pieces for the latter – but these are used for textural and nostalgic effect. Oram’s score, on the other hand, was entirely original, and her specific manipulations tied into a loftier artistic ethos.
But the mere recognition of the piece feels just as crucial. Oram must have felt intense frustration in 1949, knowing that she had produced a radical work. It predated both the concrète proto-sampling of Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (of whom Oram was vaguely aware at the time) and the purer electronics of Stockhausen and the Cologne School (of whom she was not) in its use of sampling, recording and electronic manipulation. In Britain, where Benjamin Britten and Vaughan Williams represented the apex of experimentation, Oram’s leaps of ambition were especially unprecedented."

The full article can be read here

Tom Richards' Mini-Oramics on BBC World at One

Tom Richards' Mini-Oramics project was featured on BBC Radio 4's World at One yesterday, with Jo Thomas and I discussing our experiences of composing with it.

You can hear the piece in full here

The Original Turntablist - Daphne Oram by Shiva Feshareki

Daphne Oram, courtesy of Oram Trust and Fred Wood

Daphne Oram, courtesy of Oram Trust and Fred Wood

"I then noticed a small, hand written piece of paper written by Oram which stated “Still Point: For Double Orchestra, Microphones and Three pre-recorded 78 RPM discs (1949)” and I was stunned to realise this piece was for turntables and orchestra! It is likely that had it been performed in 1949, it would have transformed the development of electroacoustic music as we know it today.
At the moment, it is a stand-alone piece, that doesn’t fit into any known medium of the time. For me, it was particularly stunning, as my compositional practice is centred around concert music for turntables and orchestra, and I have always seen the turntable as a classical instrument. All of a sudden, the way I had developed my turntabling practice for the past decade, made sense to me. It all felt very surreal and destined."

Read the full article here

Music Hackspace talk

Tonight, Daniel Jones and I will be talking about our recent collaborative work and a future project at Music Hackspace, Limewharf, Vyner Street, London.

More details here.