Radio Premiere on WDR: No One Is An Island by Vicki Bennett

WDR 3 Open Sounds presents : No One Is An Island by Vicki Bennett
Listen live on this link on Saturday with this pop up player on WDR 3:
http://www1.wdr.de/radio/player/radioplayer106~_layout-popupVersion.html
(if this doesn’t make a pop up player just follow the WDR3 pop up link in the paragraph directly below)

Vicki Bennett was commissioned by WDR (German Radio) to make a 28-minute radio work called No One Is An Island.  This will premiere, alongside 3 other separate commissions (Iain Chambers, Ergo Phizmiz and Lucinda Guy) on
Saturday, April 9, 2016, 22:05 to 00:00 (Mainland Europe – that’s 21:05 UK time).
Background info http://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr3/programm/sendungen/wdr3-open-sounds/from-britain-104.html

Update: this piece is now online at UbuWeb! http://ubu.com/sound/plu_noone.html

Thanks to the following for taking their time to give me their thoughts about ideas:
Ergo Phizmiz, Ava, Savanna,  Rowen, Mathilde, Lila, Andrew Sharpley, Cameron, Katja Seltmann, Rick Prelinger, Iain Chambers, Jeff Carey and Falco, Graham Duff, Kenneth Goldsmith, Charlie Lewis, Henry Lowengard, Tim Maloney, Kevin Hamilton, Akāshamitra, Dorian Jones and Lenny, Marcus Boon and Jesse, Saraka, Suddhaka and Sunayaka.

No One Is An Island
Where do ideas come from? Are they our own or are we channeling some spark from a larger flame? In this programme we examine the relationship between artists, writers, scientists and philosophers and the receiving, possession and transmission of ideas.
Culture is a complex process of sharing and signification. Meanings are exchanged, adopted, and adapted through acts of communication. The tools we use – the photocopier, camera, computer, encourage, in fact insist upon the act of cutting, copying and pasting – it is second nature. Through mimicry and repetition we learn.

Radio V&A at Victoria & Albert Museum and Resonance FM

V&A presents Friday Late : Radio V&A
Friday 26th February, 6.30-10pm FREE
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/friday-late/
Radio V&A broadcast live on Resonance – on 104.4FM and on DAB in central London. 

Update: listen here:

The Sound of Silence by Vicki Bennett (People Like Us)
Transmitting from speakers within the bookshelves of the National Art Library
The library encourages silence, yet it is full of words.  The broadcast medium is similar – it is all around us yet we have to tune in to actually hear it.
The radio show fishes from the wide spectrum picked up when using a radio receiver, from outer space to our inner world.
There really is no such thing as silence.  Only when we begin to be quiet do we really start to hear what is going on.

Radio V&A program (pdf)

UbuWeb new addition: Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice

Yes, now available for free download courtesy of and thanks to UbuWeb:
Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice
http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_thinktwice.html

  1. Music Sounds Better With Me
  2. Free Rod McKMoon
  3. I’m Dreaming
  4. Blue By You
  5. Summer Music For An Almost Equinox
  6. Crazy
  7. Stand By Your
  8. Once A Pun A Time
  9. Break Me, Break My Horse
  10. Recycling Is Nothing New
  11. Oh Moon
  12. Trains and Blackbirds
  13. Free (As A Chapel In The Moonlight)
  14. Don’t Think Right, It’s All Twice
  15. Singin’ Femme Fatale (with Ergo Phizmiz)
  16. Abridge
  17. The Atlantic Conveyor
  18. Panic As Usual And Avoid Shopping
  19. Eve Of Sunshine

Release date: 31 October 2013
Cutting Hedge SNIP001 

The music on this album was composed between 2006 and 2013 initially for five different live performances of moving image and sound.

Performance sources:
Lyrics in Libraries (2006) | Genre Collage (2009) | People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz Live at Cafe Oto (2009) | The Magical Misery Tour (2011) | Consequences (One Thing Leads To Another) (2013)

Some of the tracks listed above also have a moving image representation in People Like Us in UbuWeb Film

RELATED RESOURCES:

Ergo Phizmiz in UbuWeb Sound
People Like Us in UbuWeb Film

UbuWeb new addition: Welcome Abroad

Another People Like Us album now available for free download over at UbuWeb:
http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_welcome.html

Welcome Abroad {2011)

  1. Sing
  2. Happy Lost Songs
  3. Stuck in the USSR
  4. The Look
  5. Help Me To Help Myself
  6. What Will I Do
  7. Lost In The Dark
  8. Push The Clouds Away
  9. The Sound Of The End Of Music
  10. Wonderful Wonderful
  11. Driving Flying Rising Falling
  12. Ever
  13. Hush
  14. Wandering
  15. The Seven Hills of Rome (with Ergo Phizmiz)
  16. You’ve Got To Know When
  17. The Atlantic Conveyor

Release date: 24 May 2011
Illegal Art IA124 http://www.illegalart.net

Press release

“Welcome Abroad is the soundtrack to a dream – overlaying a cabaret with the circus, a music hall with the radio, a nightclub with the movies. Finely tuned sounds from the collective unconscious, fitted together with care and clarity and skill, producing a hallucinatory landscape that shifts and slides, shimmering with each new sample. Julie Andrews duets with Jim Morrison? Damn.” –Steinski

Vicki Bennett, under the People Like Us moniker, returns from several collaborations for her first solo album in several years. Stranded in the United States for an extended period after the Icelandic volcano eruption blocked her British homeland’s airspace, Bennett derived thematic material of displacement, travel, and a longing for elsewhere, from the natural disaster that caused her own predicament. Volcanically marooned in Baltimore and NYC, Bennett utilized some of her “free” time to work on the album and even gained audio contributions from fellow experimental musicians Jason Willett (of Half Japanese) and M.C. Schmidt (of Matmos) via her extended stay.

Taking a glance at just a few tracks from Welcome Abroad, songs from The Beatles, Ennio Morricone, Danny Kaye, Bob Dylan, Rod McKuen, Elton John, Gene Pitney, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, John Denver, Julie London, and Queen are all amalgamated.  While recent mashup culture often centers on the instant gratification of seamlessly juxtaposing hooks, People Like Us tracks transform the source material into collages that are equal parts dissonance and pleasure, making artful commentaries on our culture and Bennett’s own existential amusement within such a wondrous world.

Thanks to Ergo Phizmiz, Jason Willett, M.C.Schmidt (Matmos), Virginia Pipe and Wobbly for contributing instruments, audio parts and multitracking to this album.

Lyrics on The Seven Hills of Rome by Ergo Phizmiz.

Some of the tracks listed above also have a moving image representation in People Like Us in UbuWeb Film

RELATED RESOURCES:

Ergo Phizmiz in UbuWeb Sound
Jon Leidecker (Wobbly) in UbuWeb Sound
People Like Us in UbuWeb Film

UbuWeb new addition: Blather (Pts 1-3)

Another 3 additions to People Like Us over at UbuWeb.  Many thanks Ubu!

Blather (2012)
http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_blather.html

Blather is a 3 part radio series made specially for Radio Boredcast, taking us on a journey through all the kinds of sounds that the mouth makes, whether that be for artistic, comedy, practical, mind-altering, religious or work reasons.

Radio Boredcast Blather Part 1
Radio Boredcast Blather Part 2
Radio Boredcast Blather Part 3

Full playlists for the above radio shows at http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_blather.html
Radio Boredcast: http://wfmu.org/playlists/zz

 

UbuWeb new addition: Cumulative Tails

INTERRUPTIONS #15. Cumulative Tails. 30.12.2013 (90′ 34”)
Courtesy of RadioWeb MACBA

Playlist [PDF]

Cumulative Tails is a pun upon the ‘cumulative tale’, where each part of a story relates to that which just preceded and followed it. This radio mix has been created using that process – a succession of audio tracks picked in conceptual relation only to that which was previously played. The mental connection could have been made by the title, lyric, melody, genre, atmosphere or something (usually) far more incongruous…

UbuWeb Link: http://www.ubu.com/sound/plu_cumulative.html

Cumulative Tails is a pun upon the ‘cumulative tale’, where each part of a story relates to that which just preceded and followed it. This radio mix has been created using that process – a succession of audio tracks picked in conceptual relation only to that which was previously played. The mental connection could have been made by the title, lyric, melody, genre, atmosphere or something (usually) far more incongruous…

Summary
While searching for material for my project Radio Boredcast (2012), I came across an episode of the KPFA radio show Ode to Gravity entitled ‘Segue Tech’. In the show the presenters choose each track they play in response to what the previous track reminds them of. ‘Segue Tech’ got me thinking about the creative process and how in my experience it’s rare that the idea arrives in advance, as an intact gift-wrapped and gleaming entity. More often, the “idea” is exposed through a series of connections made through the creative journey, as much emphasising the process as a particular destination or end product. Similarly as human beings, our knowledge and vocabulary first evolve through mimicry and then experimentation with varying of these repeated actions of mimicry. While discovering or just guessing a connection between something already known and something new or unknown we then go on to develop a vast ever-expanding web of cerebral connections, pinpointing all sorts of associations on a giant nonexistent map that may actually make no sense when looked at from a distance.

The word ‘Consequences’, has two definitions; it is the result of some previous action, and a game (aka ‘Exquisite Corpse’ by the Surrealists) in which a larger picture or narrative is created by way of assembling subject matter ‘blindly’ in relation to a small amount of information made visible before it as a continuation point. As a result, narrative/content can erratically or surprisingly, sometimes magically change over a short period of time or space, with every part still connected to what goes before or after it.

The subject of authenticity or the ‘original’ in relation to the ‘copy’ interests me as an artist working in the field of appropriation, collage and industrial folk culture. Nothing created as an object or product can be traced 100% to an origin –– everything is relative, literally – it has a mother and father. The identifying factors of an object are not central to it’s actual essence of being, and much like speed, dimensions, size, the terms are not fixed and are reliant upon the conditions of the person experiencing it, where they are and when, there is NO absolute, and this is reflected when very similar creative works occur at the same period by people who have no knowledge of each other’s works existence.

The game Consequences can be compared to the artistic process, whether that be the laying out of notes for a text, making a storyboard or the construction of a film narrative. Consequences is an index of possibilities and daydreams that in fact need no end outcome, it is all about the journey. When played as a ‘game’ it’s an entertaining way of finding out about one’s own memory, making visible the hidden patchwork quilt of an individual’s knowledge banks – hinting at how we make connections within ourselves and to each other all the time. We are able to visualise the scope for making tangents within the overall journey where every direction is permitted, and sometimes discover the limitations of our own hard circuitry (our memories). With internet search engines, forums and databases we are not limited to just our own recollection of a song or a text or a movie scene, we can search other peoples memory banks too through keyword searches – the whole of the internet is a massive thesaurus of unrealised new connections and potential creations.

Teaching / Education pack for Citation City

We’ve just made a “teaching pack” to accompany Citation City.  This is written in inverted commas because we don’t claim any formal knowledge when it comes to teaching, but it is good to share information about the creative process.  What we have done is make a document explaining the process of making this work. The pdf is intended as a companion to the audiovisual work, giving examples of the process one might undertake to create new work when sourcing from a large media database. This particular example relates to moving image and musical composition, but the methods can translate to other platforms that use composition, directing, editing, creative narratives and story telling.

Citation City education/teaching pack
PDF download: citation city teaching pack

CITATION CITY

Update (2018) :
The soundtrack is now available for sale as a digital download:
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com/album/citation-city-ost

citation city banner

Citation City is a 42 minute audiovisual performance work which sources, collages and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell?

“The result is a sweeping panorama of London, a London as represented through cinema – not the real city at all, but one that exists in the collective imagination of moviegoers throughout the decades.” Filmmaker Magazine

Please note: this is now retired.  However, we occasionally make edits available as stand-alone movies for cinema screening.

A time-travelling voyage through one city, assembled from hundreds of movie clips and inspired by the wanderings of Walter Benjamin. A patchwork of over 300 features either filmed or set in London, Citation City combines multiple narratives to create the story of one city in a period of enormous change. Pieced together by audiovisual artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us), this beguiling, labyrinthine work takes its cue from Benjamin’s Arcades Project, an ambitious attempt to map out Paris in fragments which was cut short by the author’s death in 1940. Flatpack Film Festival

Interview with Kenneth Goldsmith in Found Footage magazine about Citation City

Interview with Peter Jaeger in filling Station Issue 63 featuring Citation City

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Recording of Off The Page 2012 – Collateral Damage

collateral-damage

Vicki Bennett, Chris Cutler, Scanner, Blackest Ever Black label head Kiran Sande and The Wire‘s Tony Herrington discuss the impact of digital technology on music making and consumption.

Download or listen here 1:07:36
Vicki Bennett’s Essay in The Wire

In recent years, the internet and a raft of new technologies have transformed the ways in which we produce, perceive and consume music. And as the reality of music’s new digital economy starts to bite, musicians and labels are having to rethink both philosophy and practice, addressing the issue of how they create and disseminate work – while some decry the free movement of music across file sharing networks and the collapse of traditional record industry models, others look to exploit the new possibilities offered by crowd sourcing and social networking.For this panel discussion chaired by The Wire‘s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Tony Herrington, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Chris Cutler (ReR Records), Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and Kiran Sande (FACT, Blackest Ever Black) discussed possible responses to the challenges posed by music’s changing eco-system.

The Wire and Sound And Music‘s Off The Page festival took place 24–26 February at The Playhouse Theatre in Whitstable.

The Wire article and audio file

The FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS by Gregor Weichbrodt & Vicki Bennett

THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS
new book by Gregor Weichbrodt, Vicki Bennett
Paperback & pdf, 569 Pages 

Buy the paperback book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/gregor-weichbrodt-and-vicki-bennett/the-fundamental-questions/paperback/product-21696219.html
You can now also purchase the book from The Wire magazine bookshop
Free downloadable pdf here or here

You may be familiar with the music, film, radio and stills work of People Like Us but this is the first step into this medium.  Although we’ve written essays, we’ve not written a book before.  And we still haven’t!  This content is sourced from online, developed online over the course of a 10-day conversation with Gregor Weichbrodt after we observed that searching for answers on a particular internet website possibly reflected and paralleled deeper questions within life…

Who am I?  Where do I come from?  What is my purpose in Life and what happens when I die?
For centuries people have tried to come up with answers regarding the fundamental questions of life.
Then the internet was invented and these questions have finally been answered – by users.
The book The Fundamental Questions captures them in an inspiring record of epic proportions where every individual verse becomes a mantra of a mind-expanding collective thought. It reminds us, that one single answer is never the answer.
Thousands of user profiles from the web were parsed, matched according to four questions and sorted in an alphabetical order.
Writings!:

cover photo i am. Continue reading