Thursday, 11 December 2014

They Go - Stack exhibition, Gallery 202

Still from 'They go' by Juan Maria Solare and Alban Low
In the past month I’ve started a new project with the Argentinian composer Juan Maria Solare. I’ve always enjoyed using words in my work and along with Juan Maria Solare we have made a film called ‘They Go’. It is based upon the repetition of designs, the repetition of our lives, the going to work and coming home again, the cycle of our working days. Taking the subverted vernacular of advertisers and altering them to suit my own sentiments and to suggest new meanings.

The film has been selected in the online exhibition Stack at Gallery 202, Northampton, UK. They aim to bring contemporary art to rural and urban communities through exhibitions and artist involvement with the public. See the full exhibition here –!untitled/c7xa

Watch the film HERE –

Aphorismen - Juan Maria Solare
This isn’t my first creative rub with Juan Maria Solare. Over the past year I have created a book jacket design and 3 album covers for this prolific musician.

Here are the albums on iTunes -
Gardel al Piano
Acuarelas Junto al Río Inmóvil

Juan Maria Solare was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1966 and has lived in Germany since 1993 as a composer and pianist. Currently he teaches Tango Music at the University of Bremen and Composition and Arrangements at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen. At the Jacobs University Bremen he conducts the Jacobs Chamber Orchestra, which repertory a stress on classical
I already have a new film on the drawing table or tripod, this one has words by Natalie, my wife and uses a sound recording of a Parker Knoll chair being dismantled as its inspiration for the score.

Ping Pong at Greenhorn Freakatorium

ArtHouse Crouch End
We were all excited and honoured that our film Ping Pong Paranoia has been selected for the Greenhorn Film Festival this year (2014). It was screened at their Animation Freakatorium in the ArtHouse Crouch End. It was a brilliant selection of short and very short films. The production values were high but where money ran low the films sailed along on strong concepts alone. This looks like one of London's little gems that we hope to return to again and again. The backbone of the films came from The Royal College of Art it seems, which must be a hot bed of originality.

Hats off to the organisers of this bijoux festival, their selections didn't contain a dud. My favourite was 'Half Wet' by Sophie Gate which was a malleable masterpiece of surrealism. Some dazzled with visuals like 'The Elephant's Garden' by  Felix Colgrave and others with leftfield stillness like Sarina Nihei's 'Small people in hats'.

Small people in hats by Sarina Nihei
courtesy of
Music was represented with the stylish video for ‘Fear & Delight’ by The Correspondents, directed by Naren Wilks. The strongest audience response was for 'Living with Jigsaw' by Chris Capel which tickled everyone's cinematic funny bone.

Thank you Greenhorn for a fabulous time.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Robin Vaughan-Williams collaboration at Filmpoem Antwerp

Still from 'What's real is home'
It has been an exciting week for us all on the project, first with the news from LA about our first international screening for Ping Pong Paranoia and now with another debut for a new collaboration with Poetry. Alban Low it seems has been busier than we all assumed in the simulated mental health ward at Kingston University and St George's University London as part of his art residency.

We are delighted and surprised to learn that another film from the residency 'What's real is home' is going to screened at the Filmpoem Festival, held this year in the Felix Archief in Antwerp in partnership with Felix Poetry Festival and in association with The Poetry Society. It will be screened on the 14th June as part of the Open Programme between 3-3.45pm.

This year Alban Low and psychotherapist Harvey Wells recorded the voices of the patients on the ward. They wanted to use these monologues as a creative springboard to explore a whole range of mental health themes. Alban already has both drawing/painting and film at his disposal but wanted to broaden the project's horizons even further. Earlier this year he gave the transcript of patient 'Sandra' to poet Robin Vaughan-Williams and waited to see what the young wordsmith would conjure up.

Robin Vaughan-Williams
Robin Vaughan-Williams and Alban Low met but a few months ago when they worked together on an exhibition of poetry and art to help celebrate World Poetry Day. Jawspring was held at the Village Hall Gallery in Wimbledon and proved a huge success with audiences of both genres. Vaughan-Williams wasn't daunted by the thorny issues discussed on the recording and with empathy he created a new poem from it painful themes. It wouldn't be a murder minutes production without a jazz inspired score and this time it was courtesy of Leo Appleyard and his quartet. They are just about to release their debut album, Pembroke Road, on the F-IRE label in September 2014.

'What's real is home' is the first collaboration between Art and Poetry on this project and one that we hope will continue. Please find out more about the Filmpoem Festival HERE and follow them on twitter. Download the full festival programme here if you would like to experience it first hand!

This year Filmpoem will posting all the available films live on their website from Monday 16th June on 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Ping Pong Paranoia at MORPOS Los Angeles

Vortex Dome LA
We have just received the news that 'Ping Pong Paranoia' will be receiving its international premiere in Los Angeles, California later this month. It will be shown as part of MORPHOS Immersive Video Dome Art festival on the 27th June 2014. MORPHOS is a one night immersive video experience featuring the world premiere of new experimental immersive and interactive video art in the Vortex LA Dome.
Alban Low has been immersing himself once again in the world of the simulated mental health ward. Now in his second year as artist-in-residence on the ward at Kingston University and St Georges University London he has already produced 2 films with 2 still to come.

Ping Pong Paranoia film
This current crop of films use sound recordings taken from the simulated mental health ward itself as its inspiration. The first film features both the voice of role-player Lindsay Shepherd and a soundtrack by experimental improvisation trio Toy Rokit. The film, Ping Pong Paranoia, explores the ever increasing anxiety and feeling of claustrophobia felt by the paranoid patient 'Sandra' as she voices her concerns about being stuck on the ward.

The film was first screened at the 'Art of Medicine' series at St George's University in April 2014.

To read more about the event and buy tickets - follow the link
MORPHOS Immersive Video Dome Art • Los Angeles

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The River at the Twickenham Film Festival 2014

Special Mention Trophy for 'The River'
Its has been a busy month for us on our art and jazz odyssey at the Murder Minutes project. They'll be more to follow but we have our first collaboration and first success to report with improvisation trio, Toy Rokit. We are also just packaging the last few copies of the album we made for the Art Jazzed Up exhibition, and we're obviously excited to show you the results.

Before all that, we have some really good news. The first ever film we made, The River has been awarded a Special Mention at the Twickenham Alive Film Festival this week. Now in its second year the Festival celebrates the ingenuity and originality that is bubbling up in the local area as well as internationally.

10 films were screened on the night with 3 major awards presented for Original Cinematography, Young Filmmaker and International Drama. There were a further 7 Special Mentions, of which we were the proud recipients of one.

The River is one long continuous drawing of the River Crane in Twickenham created by Alban Low. The soundtrack is by Partikel (Eric Ford, Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert) and was inspired by the River Thames at Kingston where two of the trio used to live. There is talk of a further collaboration between Low and Partikel, as the latter's 3rd album is now recorded.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Art Jazzed Up, up and away

Mike DiRubbo & Duncan Eagles
Photo: Chetna Kapacee
It has taken three weeks but the dust has settled at last on the opening night of the Art Jazzed Up exhibition at the Shaw Gallery, Croydon. With 80 artists showing their 250 artworks on the walls of the gallery it proved a monumental task all round. The Shaw Gallery hanging committee did a fantastic job with bringing the work together and providing the platform for the musicians to entertain us. A special thank you to Alan Carlyon Smith for curating and Trinity School for hosting us with plenty of refreshments.

Art Jazzed Up Submissions in their CD cases
 Photo:Melanie Ezra
The night itself saw a strong and inspiration performance from the musicians Mike DiRubbo, Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert, Dave Storey and Bill Mudge who spent most of the evening behind 3 giant paper canvases. I was on their side of the huge paper wall too, with the unsuspecting audience on the other side as they watched the drawing slowly appear.

This was a celebration of our creative community and a truly
 international event with artists of all ages from England, Wales, Scotland, Serbia, USA, Portugal, Germany, Austria, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Ukraine and Bulgaria participating. It was only fitting that the Private View climaxed with Mrs MacDonald, the Trinity School potter and Chris O’Brien from the Upper 6th joining myself for a live drawing finale as the band played out. Along one wall of the gallery hung the framed shortlisted artworks and it proved a difficult decision for the curator to decide the overall winner of the Album Art Award. Well done to Chris Holley who bagged this accolade and there were also prizes awarded to Louie Stoneman and Lilian McCann from Trinity School.


Dan Redding - left
Alban Low - Centre
Musicians - Mike DiRubbo, Duncan Eagles, Max Luthert,
Dave Storey and Bill Mudge from left to right
The whole event was filmed by Jazz filmmaker Dan Redding and the music recorded by Nick Pugh. As soon as I get my hands on this footage I will post it up here. A special thank you to everyone who took part and came along on the night, braving the driving rain and the travel chaos of Croydon. Two intrepid Welsh artists made it all way from Swansea, Melanie Ezra and Judith Parry we salute you. Read about Melanie's adventures here.

Check out all the artists who participated by visiting Exhibition Artists page.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Award Shortlist - Art Jazzed Up

Peter S Smith - Inspired by the music of Mike DiRubbo
There have been some furrowed brows in South London and New York City over the past 3 weeks. Straight after the deadline for submissions all 250 artworks were sorted into their relevant categories and sent to the 5 musicians concerned. Each player had to choose 3 favourite images that were inspired by their music, some were influenced purely by personal taste and intuition but others considered the image's relevance to the music.

Dean Reddick - Barra
Bill Mudge had a particularly difficult assignment, with 4 tunes completed as part of the Murder Minutes project he had to decide upon 12 artworks in total. He said "It was so exciting, I got down to 4 or 5 in each section and then it got harder work to whittle it down to my top 3".

In the Barra Category he selected -
Wojciech Antoni Sobczynski
Pavel O'learo
Dean Reddick

Tracy Boness - Dancing
In the Dancing Category
Jovana Mitic
Effra Aye-Maung-Hider
Tracy Boness

Monika Fischbein - Murder 1
In the Murder 1 Category
Monika Fischbein
Ann Kopka
Sharon Read

Teodora Nitslova
In the SchoolRun Strut Category
Wayne Sleeth
Teodora Nitsolova
Effra Aye-Maung-Hider

Despite being on the road with jazz trio Partikel, both Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert wired in their choices from deepest Scotland. Luckily they'll be back in time for the Private View on the 11th November. It has been a particularly busy period for bassist Luthert, with a visit to Clown's Pocket Studio to record his debut album.

Malc Dow
Max Luthert's Top 3 -
Malc Dow
Chris Holley
Ella Penn

Duncan is one of my favourite players & composers on the scene and so I especially valued his opinion, after all I've worked on at least 3 album covers for him in the past 2 years. He wrote to me "They're all looking good but I would go for the Mark Lomax, Tracy Jones and Ann Kopka. Nice one!"

Ann Kopka
Duncan Eagles Top 3 -
Mark Lomax
Tracy Jones
Ann Kopka

I have some bad news concerning the exhibition on Monday, we will be without Peter Ibbetson because he is currently on tour and unable to fly back to Croydon. During one of his downtime moments he got in contact  "This is really astounding stuff, i feel very humble that this is happening!  thanks for getting my music involved in this." So thank you to all the artists that were inspired by him and congratulations to the 3 below.

Sharon Read
Peter Ibbetson Top 3
Gwen Black
Sharon Read
Chris Holley

Finally we have the choices of New York alto player Mike DiRubbo who arrived in the UK on Monday for his European Tour. On Tuesday he played Ronnie Scott's in Soho followed by an absolutely cracking night at Twickenham Jazz Club with the Bill Mudge Trio. He has found the whole experience very flattering and was impressed by the creativity from all four corners of the globe. As I write this he is riding the London Eye but he'll have his feet firmly on the ground for the exhibition/recording on the 11th.

Francesca Centioni
Mike DiRubbo's Choices
Peter S Smith (Top image)
Francesca Centioni
Jill Smith

Today I dropped off the huge bespoke drawing frames ready for the live drawing at the Shaw Gallery. It's huge task to hang all 250 artworks and the gallery was a hive of activity. The Hanging Committee were deep in discussion and we all agreed to enlarge the shortlist to reflect the role of the Artist (rather than all Musician choices) in this exhibition. The hanging group of artists decided upon 3 more shortlisted works which are by......

Hanging Committee Choices
Lilian McCann
Louie Stoneman
Jamie Rogers

Thank you to all the artists who have contributed to the exhibition. It has been really hard work but worth it. When I create these exhibition I hope to inspire my fellow artists and enjoy rubbing shoulders with them artistically and sometimes physically. It is a little like gambling, a throw of the dice to see whether we win with our publicity, sales or friendships. Wish me luck on Monday night when we turn the tables and see how Music is inspired by Art. I'll be drawing on huge paper canvases while the band play along to my tune for a change. It is being recorded by sound engineers and film makers so I'll be able to post up the evidence in the following months.

Alan Carlyon Smith is considering his overall winner at the moment and we will announce this on the 11th November, when we'll be handing over £100 in cash to one of our shortlisted artists.