Who Is Raymond? @ VERANTWORTUNG 3000, Brandenburg + Tuning Speculation, Toronto / A Long Walk To Grimethorpe @ Aesthetica, York

September – November 2016

In early September, 50 artists and musicians came together for the first ever VERANTWORTUNG 3000, a weeklong self-curated residency in Brandenburg organised by the power trio Andreas Dzialocha, Malte Kobel, and Laura Weber, the folks who run BLATT 3000 out of Berlin. It was an amazing and life-affirming thing that happened at an old distillery near the German-Polish border.


I presented a test run of a 25′ piece I spent a fair chunk of the spring working on while studying with theorist and musician Eldritch Priest in New York. The premise is simple: the protagonist, to whom I bear striking resemblance, finds a scrap of paper on the New York City subway that reads ‘Raymond looking for work’ and that includes a phone number. Following weeks of speculative sleuthing and a couple of emails, he heads off on a wild goose chase across the American south in search of the note’s author and an explanation for the trail of clues it leaves behind. Half film documentary, half music-theatre piece, Who Is Raymond probes the line between truth and fiction, and between staged interventions and real life. Do these binaries even hold water when put to the test? Major thanks to the dozens of festival attendees who took the time to offer feedback on the edit. Here’s an excerpt from the middle of the piece.

Who Is Raymond? is set for a performance-lecture outing in Toronto in November at Eldritch’s Tuning Speculation weekender, and a longer, deconstructed version for Delia Stevens and Abel Selaocoe on percussion, cello and sundry digital devices is on the cards for a wee portrait concert touring the UK in the summer. Finally, a couple more Tired Music shows: at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn in October with Fede Camara Halac and Jessica Rosen, and at Transpecos in Queens in November with David Meier & company. Woop.

Also just in: a film I made three(!) years ago with Sheffield cultural producers Hand Of, directed by Ismar Badzic, has been accepted for this year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival, up in York in England. In the film I walk the 26 miles from Sheffield University Brass Band’s lockup to Grimethorpe Colliery Band’s evening rehearsal carrying a tuba rigged with microphones, to record sounds for a brass band commission. It also documents the performance of the new work, at S1 Artspace in Sheffield. The walk happened in early January. (Cold). Here’s a trailer:

So many people came together to make this thing happen. Thanks first to Hand Of, and then to the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Town Trust, Arts Council England, and the Yorkshire Film Archive. Sick to have been a part of it. Check out the film, along with work from all over the world, between November 3rd and 6th.

Disappointment & Small Relief @ Aldeburgh Music

May 2016

In a week of outrageous misfortune (Norwegian Airlines please let me know if you find my missing laptop; Suffolk Constabulary give me a call if you ever manage to drag the stolen rental car out of the sea) something amazing happened at Aldeburgh Music with The House of Bedlam, Larry Goves, and Sam Quill with my main man Laurie Tompkins, one of the brains behind Slip. Each of us was charged with putting together a 20′ multi-movement piece for a concert that we’ll take on the road over the next year. Reeds:


I made a new live-typed text piece called Disappointment & Small Relief: Hospital Scenes, which tells the story of a doomed romance between Our Hero, a photosensitive in-patient at an eye clinic, and You: an ophthalmologist with a strobe-like smile. ‘Each passing day is one thing that is not another: Your ecstacy, and Our Hero’s worsening condition.’ Pretty sad, slightly happy, with drum machines and crass synths and saxophone and a piccolo for good measure. Viddy to follow, here for now is the second movement, in which our two protagonists fall fast and hard and head over heels.

Very warm thanks to Larry Goves, Harry Fausing Smith, Kathryn Williams, Steph Tress, and Tom McKinney for their skills, and to Aldeburgh Music for their amazing hospitality. A bunch of tunes from Disappointment & Small Relief will make it in some fresh fashion onto the forthcoming LP, a manic 45-minute odyssey tentatively titled JOYROBICS, and on track for a spring release. Shows with The House of Bedlam in Berlin and NYC to follow, but first up is at London’s Café Oto on December 5th.

Winter Roundup: London + Manchester + Copenhagen + NYC

January – April 2016

After a weeklong residency at Islington Mill with Kaj Duncan David and Danielle Dahl, Michael Cutting and I played shows in Liverpool, London, Manchester, Aarhus and Copenhagen in January. The thing we made was an hour of loosely organised chaos: flashing lightbulbs, riotous drones, cyborg pop, webcam lego races, sensitive tape machine music, spoken word, all of it unpacked and packed back up every single night. Not any of our most refined efforts, but a thoroughly and bizarrely fun evening. Thanks to all of you who came out, and to Sound and Music for the commission. Rough-and-ready video edit here, brace yourself. It was cold at rehearsals in Manchester.


An exploratory residency with Erratica also happened in London the same month, and big thanks to Jethro Cooke for the tech wizardry, Liam Byrne for the digs, and Leonie Brandner for food. Tired Music happened a couple of times too: once at Spectrum in NYC – thanks to Michael Rose and to Lester St. Louis – and again at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, alongside new work by Adele Fournet and Viola Yip – big up to Kim. Finally, I wrote a little number for the New York ensemble loadbang called Big Mouth, for mixed ensemble, click-track and video, performed in a huge room at DiMenna Center. Coming, perhaps, in a one-man format, to a tiny black box near you at some point in the distant future. To close, a deranged cut from the Erratica sessionswhich sounds like how I imagine winter feels in Hawaii. 

Update: Fleck Flob Flop Film @ Vivid Projects, Birmingham

August 2015

Following the European leg of the ACM Fleck tour, we spent a weekend at Vivid Projects in Birmingham putting together some video versions of the piece with filmmaker Ismar Badzic and sound recordist Sam Hanlan. Here’s the fifth slice of Fleck Flob Flop, Brittle Love. Videos for Verjaardag and Lada will follow soon. Big thanks to Laura Milner of the mighty Vivid, and now of Birmingham University, for hosting us. Go fullscreen for the cinematic experience.

In other news, I’ll be making a new live-text piece for Larry Goves‘ ensemble The House of Bedlam over the next half year or so, which is an ensemble I entirely fell in love with years ago at university. There’ll be a residency with London’s Opera Erratica  for a new opera-like work in the winter, and Michael Cutting and I just got news of a fresh Sound and Music commission for  UK and Denmark tour in the new year. We’re scheming. Also I just moved house. Come visit.


Seven Simple Songs for Schulz: Café Oto + Abbeydale Picture House

August 2015

Argh, the Slip crew are going from strength to strength at the moment. After a couple of great shows in Berlin at Del Rex and London at Rye Wax with folks from across the roster and the world – including sweet debutants Paul McGuire and Sean C. Stevens – they did a night’s takeover at Café Oto. Together with percussionist Delia Stevens, it was a total pleasure to write and premiere a 25′ live-typed text piece called Seven Simple Songs for Schulz (or, The Possible Death of a Man I Did Not Know) on August 4th. It’s about Match of the Day, fatherhood, and trying to understand other people’s losses, and it’s all backed up by the saddest latinate-cum-Nashville chamber music you’ve never heard.


This shot from the show is by Ralph Pritchard. A lot of Seven will end up on the next full-length effort, but if you’re so inclined, you can give the track High-Rise an early little listen-viewing right here. Big thanks to Tom Rose & Laurie Tompkins for setting it up, to Owen Roberts and Susie Whaites for playing winds on the soundtrack, and to Louise Snape, Rob Hughes and Ismar Badzic for hosting Delia and me at the amazing Abbeydale Picture House for the documentation shoot.

Laurie did a two-hour slot over at NTS in the run-up, and the broadcast is available hereBrittle Love featured alongside a host of work by folks involved in the Slip project, and it’s a sweet listen for anybody looking for a way into the scene. Finally, Delia and I done made a recording at the incredible Abbeydale Picturehouse in Sheffield, which is run by Hand Of. Available soon, along with a bunch of new pieces for new people & places, including something really big…

In a quietly concerted way, I’ve been penning short texts on why music is great. One of them is sold-out published over here, another in the Berlin operation BLATT 3000 here, and one happened orally at the stunning Echo Bücher on a glorious evening in April. There are a total of one hundred in the works, stay tuned.


In other news, there were a couple of Tired Musics for Dear Serge shows down south in May and July; one in Hastings with Bartosz Dylewski and Prinzhorn Dance School, which streamed over at the DFA Records site, and involved the seaside.

ACM + Joe Snape: FLECK [EU Tour]

June 2015

Yes! The European leg of the tour with ACM and Sarah Hill totally happened, and it was more fun than I could even have hoped. We met in Amsterdam for early rehearsals with our amazing guest Genevieve Murphy, then went to play the opening gig a couple of days later in Berlin with stalwart Laurie Tompkins. After a show at Aarhus’s Spanien 19B and a seminar at the  Royal Academy of Music there, we headed to Mayhem in Copenhagen with local boy Kaj Duncan David. The van died, Avis was visited, late shows rolled seamlessly into 5am flight check-ins, and in a transitional haze we made it to Amsterdam for a packed last show at Splendor. Here’s a shot by Sarah of our Berlin gig at Del Rex, which was every bit as sweaty and delicious as the one in London the month before.

FFF Berlin 2

There’s a nice little interview about the project in a mixture of Dansk & English about the project at the SNYK site here, and there’s a film of the tour to drop soon. Finally, in July the gang & I were back in Birmingham at Vivid Projects filming Fleck Flob Flop in its entirety, and there’s a bitesized rough cut of that session previewing here. Big thanks to Laura Milner at Vivid, and to Amsterdams fonds voor de Kunst, Københavns Kommune, AUT, SNYK & CLS for their immense support. Without you this simply wouldn’t have happened. We’ll be back on the road in early 2016 in Central & Eastern Europe.