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bangs, taps, rattles, echoes, whispers

bangs, taps, rattles, echoes, whispers
Thursday 15 November, 6–7.30pm

To coincide with Great Noises That Fill The Air, the first retrospective by influential artist collective Bow Gamelan Ensemble, Cooper Gallery presents an evening of artists' moving image: bangs, taps, rattles, echoes, whispers.

This screening brings together moving image works that reverberate with the experimental sound practice of Bow Gamelan Ensemble and their ethos of improvisation and collaboration, presenting various modes of improvisation with sound and space.

Sea Shanties (2010) by Helen Petts and Beating the Bridges (1998) by William Raban celebrate the legacy of Bow Gamelan Ensemble member Paul Burwell and selected parts of David Cunningham’s Five Closedowns for Television (1984) originally made for Channel 4 focuses into the improvisation of sound and light.

Sea Shanites (2010) Helen Petts 17 minutes, 25 seconds

An exploration of fire, water and small sounds dedicated to a man who loved such things. Originally commissioned by Matt’s Gallery for “TAPS – Improvisations with Paul Burwell.” Burwell was one of the original members of performance pyrotechnic outfit, the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, who died in 2006.
Voice – Phil Minton
Percussion – Roger Turner
Film – Helen Petts
Roger Turner is a percussionist and improviser. Phil Minton is a vocal artist working with extended techniques. Both are widely involved in the international free improvised music scene.

Beating the Bridges (1998) William Raban 11 minutes, 15 seconds


From the wealthy suburbs of West London, the Thames flows past the familiar landmarks at Chelsea, Westminster and the City, to the industrial flatlands beyond Dartford Bridge.
The 30 bridges spanning the river provide a range of acoustic space that is featured on the soundtrack by ambient reverb and a live percussion score.

Five Closedowns for Television (1984) David Cunningham 24 minutes

The '5 Closedowns' were made for Channel 4 in 1984, as part of a television series of artists works, entitled 'Dadarama' which was initiated and produced by Annalogue Productions and broadcast in 1985. Each programme was shown last thing at night, when TV channels, at the time, closed down for the evening. Each of the pieces feature water, it's reflections and its rhythmic movement, which is also reflected in the ambient soundtrack. "I was concerned with a number of issues, an idea of ambient television, a way to use the more seductive qualities of the video image with soundtrack structures that didn't work purely within the domain of recorded sound." - David Cunningham.
Anna Ridley, Producer
John Greaves, Bass Guitar
Robert Fripp, Guitar

The 3 works being shown from the 5 for this screening are:
Green River/Yellow River


Utilising found objects, invented instruments and everyday sound, Bow Gamelan Ensemble have, since 1983, inspired generations of artists with their radical collaborative and cross-disciplinary practice.

Great Noises That Fill The Air takes place at Cooper Gallery from 27 October - 15 December 2018.

Header Image: Courtesy of William Raban and LUX, London.


With thanks to Creative Scotland, LUX and REWIND

Cooper Gallery black