The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Savages & Bo Ningen For Collaboration
Laurie Tuffrey , August 19th, 2014 14:49

Dadaist-inspired "sonic simultaneous poem" Words To The Blind will be out in November, followed by live shows

Photograph courtesy of Simona Mizzoni

Savages and Bo Ningen have announced that they will be releasing a new collaborative work. Titled Words To The Blind, it follows on from a live performance of the same name they played at the Red Gallery in London last year, inspired by the Dadaist concept of simultaneous poetry. The result is one 37-minute-long track, being put out as a co-release between Stolen Recordings and Pop Noire, the label run by Savages' Jehnny Beth, on November 17. Just after, the bands will be playing two more shows together: head to head on a U-shaped stage (see below) at London's Oval Space on November 19, followed by a set at Le Guess Who festival in the Netherlands, 21.

Take a look at a trailer for the original show at the foot of the piece, following Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson explaining how the collaboration came about: "Zurich in 1916 and Hugo Ball is instrumental in creating the Cabaret Voltaire - a club which will become central to the performances of the Dada movement, during which the artists would experiment with forms of sound poetry and simultaneous poetry. A movement created through the horror of World War One, it attempts to understand how society has reached such an illogical decision. Through simultaneous poetry begins the attempt to delve into chaos and maelstrom, to find the voice of the individual struggling to be heard.

"London in 2012 and Savages are recording the debut album Silence Yourself, in a secluded studio in the North West of the city. In the middle of an intense three weeks, we set out one evening to see the band Bo Ningen play at Cafe Oto. A few days later producer Johnny Hostile begins to muse over the possibility of two bands playing in the same space at the same time. Concurrently I am reading about the performances at the Cabaret Voltaire. We decide to approach Bo Ningen with the idea of collaborating on a 'Sonic Simultaneous Poem'.

"As the idea begins to take shape in early 2013, we prepare for both bands to rehearse together in a studio with a loose composition based around five chapters.

"As the musicians of both bands consider how to apply themselves with their instruments to each chapter - revolving, colliding and intertwining with words sang in Japanese, French and English by Taigen and Jehn - we also envisage the physical space in which to perform.

"We imagine a stage in a large U-shape to contain as much of the audience as possible in the centre. The two drummers next to each other at the 'bottom' of the U, then leading around symmetrically (facing each other): guitarists, bassists and singers at the tips of the U-shape. Bo Ningen have a guitar extra, so we hang one from the ceiling to hit as you would a gong. Eventually we fix a date and a space for what we believe is a one-off performance that we name WORDS TO THE BLIND."

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.