Published online by Wire Magazine (June 2014), Unheimlich Manoeuvres  is a short essay on ventriloquism and the uncanny. It’s illustrated with videos of many fine ventriloquists including Ray Alan, Arthur Worsley and the great Terri Rogers. A ventriloquist and inventor of magic tricks, Rogers was famous for her haughty on-stage persona and never ending exasperation with her foul-mouthed knee pal Shorty Harris.

The article includes an interview with performance artist Dickie Beau – his act may fascinate anyone with an interest in sound and disembodiment (or re-embodiment). There are also some thoughts on my relationship with Hugo, the dummy I wired up and roboticised after finding him at a Magic Circle bazaar.

Hugo (photo Melita Dennett)
Hugo (photo Melita Dennett)

Material Culture and Electronic Sound is edited by Tim Boon and Frode Weium, with a forward by Brian Eno. Published by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (2013), this is the eighth book in the Artefact series.

I’ve written chapter 4: ‘Mimics, menaces or new musical horizons? Musicians’ attitudes toward the first drum machines and samplers’. This essay examines how musicians responded to the first commercially available drum machines and samplers in the 1950s and early 1960s. In particular, it looks at how musicians’ unions in the US and UK pitted live musicians against machines by pointing out the ‘dehumanising’ influence of machines playing or facilitating music. This repeated a tactic they’d deployed unsuccessfully in the 1920s when they campaigned for talking pictures to be removed from cinemas and pit orchestras to be reinstated.

 

Material Culture and Electronic Sound chapter list

An Individual Note (Daphne Oram)

Funded by the Daphne Oram Trust, Anomie Academic have republished Daphne Oram’s An Individual Note: of Music, Sound and Electronics – a book that’s been out of print since 1973. This beautiful reprint includes many rarely seen photographs from the Oram family library, images that help to broaden our understanding of her rich and varied life.

I’ve written an introduction to the reprint, giving an overview of Oram’s life and her pioneering work in the early days of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and in her home studio in Tower Folly, Kent. I’ve included material from Oram’s correspondence, diaries and notebooks, all of which are archived in the  Special Collections and Archives, Goldsmiths, University of London.

This reprint was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which successfully secured funds for the first 1000 copies. It was designed by Joe Gilmore (Qubik). The reprint is currently available on Wordery.

Thanks to Althea Greenan, James Bulley, Tom Richards and Mick Grierson for their advice and encouragement, editor Frances Morgan, publisher Matt Price, the Oram family, Richard Whitelaw and the Daphne Oram Trust.

Daphne Oram splicing tape

The most inventive album I’ve heard in a long while…a testament to Angliss’s imagination and sheer musicality.” Simon Reynolds, 4 Columns, New York

A highly atmospheric and compelling listen…feels like a whole universe unto itself, brimming with fresh propositions and new directions.” Robert Barry, The Wire, London

Revelatory…a phenomenal collection….exists in a preternatural state of eerie calm and alluring mystery.” Dave Segal, The Stranger, Seattle

Ealing Feeder

About the album

Ealing Feeder is a steely, unsettled love letter to London, inspired by city folklore past and present. It’s been played live at Cafe Oto and Kings Place London, The Arnolfini, Bristol, and National Sawdust, Brooklyn. This is the first album of Sarah’s solo compositions. Sarah performs Ealing Feeder as a solo set or as a duo with percussionist Stephen Hiscock.

Ealing Feeder was released in April 2017 as a download and a limited edition CD. Physical copies have sold out but downloads are still available from Bandcamp.

  1. You Taught Me How to See the Crows Sarah Angliss 5:25
  2. A Wren in the Cathedral Sarah Angliss (feat. Stephen Hiscock and Colin Uttley) 3:59
  3. The Bows Sarah Angliss (feat. Emma Kilbey) 5:28
  4. Ventriloquist Sarah Angliss (feat. Colin Uttley) 2:54
  5. Camberwell Beauty Sarah Angliss 3:05
  6. The Two Magicians Sarah Angliss 3:13
  7. The Fancy Cheese People Sarah Angliss (feat. Stephen Hiscock) 2:21
  8. Cow Heart Pin Sarah Angliss (feat. David Bramwell of Oddfellows Casino) 3:50
  9. Caul (Vardøger) Sarah Angliss 1:27
  10. Sky Bullion Sarah Angliss and Stephen Hiscock 4:08
  11. Fever Van Sarah Angliss (feat. Stephen Hiscock and Colin Uttley) 2:13
  12. The Messenger (Alexandra Palace Mix) Sarah Angliss (feat. Jenny Angliss and Flora Dempsey) 4:02

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Videos

A Wren in the Cathedral

The Bows