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Scanner Curates Gothic Fest
Luke Turner , November 6th, 2013 09:29

Robin Rimbaud discusses December event featuring Carter Tutti, Gazelle Twin and Death Walz

There's a marvellous antidote to the surfeit of office party faux-bonhomie and murder-inspiring John Lewis ads this Christmas thanks to Robin 'Scanner' Rimbaud. The electronic artist is curating a night called Scanner: Lachrimae takes place on December 13th 2013, and features the following excellent mordant entertainment: Scanner will be performing his interpretation of John Dowland’s Lachrimae, Carter Tutti and Gazelle Twin are playing, Chris Turner and Anna and Maria von Hausswolff are screening films, and friend of tQ Spencer Hickman of Death Waltz Records will be gothing it up in the lounge after. We asked Scanner a few questions about the Festival, for which you can buy tickets here

How did this festival come about?

Scanner: I’ve been in conversation with Stuart Brown, Head of Live Events at the BFI for a number of years, but we were just searching for the right opportunity to spread the virus of my imagination. Stuart has been pivotal in recent years in bringing audio visual works of an exploratory nature to the main stage and screen of the BFI and having had countlessly intense conversations about ideas of hauntological sounds and ghostly scores we agreed that this Gothic festival seemed the perfect place to unsettle willing minds and ears.

I think I have always seen you in black, but were you a goth as a younger?

S: Fortunately I never succumbed to the gothic fashion sense as a teenager so there aren’t any incriminating photos of me with outlandish makeup and sky-high hair, but have always maintained a perfectly synchronised almost exclusively black wardrobe. I suppose you could say my favourite way to dress is all black so my fashion sense is second to nun ;-).

Boom tish! Do you think 'gothic' is an abused and misunderstood term?

S: Unfortunately at times it’s a term that certainly comes loaded with a particular image in a musical field but historically references an extraordinary range of creative arts, embracing frequently darkly romantic writings from Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, French architecture, cinema and so on, but for many today it conjures up a more introspective morbidly obsessed style of music, with bands such as The Cure and Bauhaus seen as the godfathers of creativity. The themes of mystery and terror, love, pain, evil, truth, euphoria, beauty and majestic imagination can be explored in so many ways but as often happens a label can be disturbingly misleading. I see much of this BFI Gothic festival as a way to redress the balance.

How did you go about putting the bill together? Why have you picked the people you have?

S: I approached artists whom I both respect and believed would respond to this invitation with a fervent creative desire, and especially who I could trust to present work of a high quality, and personally all of whom I’m extremely fond of! Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have demonstrated over their extensive career trajectory a willingness to experiment, to dig deep into possibilities so they were a perfect choice to perform a live film score to a work of their choice. Elizabeth Walling, aka Gazelle Twin, draws on the brooding atmosphere of science fiction and with her eerie live presentations seemed ideally suited to performing new unheard work in this context. The work of Swedish artist Anna von Hausswolff slips between soundscape and deliriously multi-layered harmonies but wanted to offer her the chance to create a new work with her sister Maria, a Berlin based filmmaker, so they are premiering a new film commission which is exciting.

My own work will be presented in collaboration with British filmmaker Chris Turner who I’ve established a strong working relationship now. We will be presenting a HD version of our very successful fashion film G(O)OD&(D)EVIL and I will be performing a live version of my Lachrimae audiovisual piece, originally commissioned by Spitalfields Festival in London, which explores a rhetoric of mourning and was written immediately after the death of my mother earlier this year. The fine sounds of Death Waltz Recordings will be accompanying the evening as Spencer Hickman, head vampire of the label, has done much to encourage a wider appreciation of film scores. So in all I’m hoping that the evening will take listeners on a detour around the compelling gravitas of the gothic, and despite the darkness new friends can be made!