Mission//Misplaced

Mission to the Land of Misplaced Words: “Shebeen Sounds”
Shebeen Sounds research period will collect, via audio and photographs, folk songs, music and the associated memories that accompany them. The audio will form the basis of a soundscape that is played throughout the public residency and the images will form part of the visual projections culminating in May 2016.

For Birmingham Heritage Week, as a Data Thief, I curated the launch of Shebeen Sounds, an experimental research project exploring the memories which reside in self-proclaimed cultural spaces, or “shebeens”, around Birmingham. We are going to work with Afro-Caribbean, Polish, Bangladeshi and Congolese communities to research and learn about their shebeen spaces. In May next year we will turn our findings into a piece of immersive sound and art.

At the launch event,  Shebeen Kings and Queens Caroline, Ken and Ian, told our guests about the project over Congolese tea, curry goat and rice and Polish cake.  I created pink noise for the memory collection room which was interspersed with cosmic themed DJ sets played by Gary and I. The aim was to immerse our guests into a chilled vibe to ease their memories being collected by Mission//Misplaced captain Gaylene Gould.

Here are some pictures from our launch event at Vivid Projects, taken by Marcin Szymczak.

X

vanley and ian
(Photographer Vanley Burke with curator Ian Sergeant)

‘X’ was revolution no. 20, under the Free School events curated by Ian Sergeant. It was inspired by an intriguing, enthralling and what John L. Williams calls a tragicomic story of black political activist Michael X.

Initially Ian Sergeant wanted a performance inspired by black British politics in the Midlands. Shamefully, knowing very little about black British politics I penned some ideas for an audio-visual performance, calling in artist and musician Matt Watkins to assist. Ian had just started reading the John L. Williams book and quite quickly his ideas changed…. Michael X became the focal point. I have to admit, I was resistant, having reservations because I was invested in the first idea, but once I read the biography it all made sense. I am glad Ian made that change! Continue reading “X”

Busy bee

 

44_michael-x

This summer I have four composition projects on the go, I have never composed so much in my life! It is great but I can’t wait to have some down time (which means only thinking about one piece at a time… ) It has been a busy summer.

 

Fun with Cancer Patients

I have just completed work on a project commissioned by Fierce Festival called ‘Fun with Cancer Patients’. Lead (performance) artist is Brian Lobel:

Brian Lobel has drawn on his own experience of cancer treatment as a young adult to facilitate a series of ‘actions’ by Birmingham teenage cancer patients. These actions are self-initiated and designed to be of value to the teenagers themselves in processing their experience of cancer. These actions took place following a workshop process over the summer of 2013. The exhibition documents these activities, alongside reflections from medical professionals. “

Continue reading “Busy bee”