Mercury Over Maps is an extended residency by Bill Thompson at Hundred Years Gallery featuring performances, installations and talks with various collaborators and guest artists.
The evening is a special edition of the series on three counts – it’s the first one beyond the initial 10 event run; it is also a CD release party for an upcoming CD (Intraspect) with Phil Durrant and Bill Thompson on Burning Harpsichord Records; and it’s the first of the Mercury Over Maps events to make use of the new PA at Hundred Years Gallery.
The evening will feature three sets: a duo by the excellent live electronics group HARMERGEDDON (Polyphoniefae and Nathan Greywater), a solo audio/visual performance by Rob Hart (who several years ago released Bill’s first UK CD, Tripartite Collision, on his label State Sanctioned Records), and a duo by Phil Durrant and Bill Thompson.
Empowered electronics, kinetic pulse, drifting texture, undulating drone, amber cloud, alternating current, corrosive rain, dots behind the eyes, light becomes sound, rebuilt from the ground up with whatever comes to hand.
HARMERGEDDON is Nathan Greywater and Polyphoniefae, Dungeness based a/v performance art duo formed in South London in the autumn of 2010.
Their live show blends sound and light in a feedback loop using photophonics (sound carried on light beams), electro magnetic fields and consumer electronic junk, taking Industrial from its scrap metal past to the electronic fallout of late capitalism with a basis in improvisation and psychedelia. The result verges on sensory overload.
Since their inception they have played internationally in venues as diverse as a cave (Grobbia Artist Residency 2017, Italy), a forest (Ambiosonic 2016, France), a moving train (Resting Place, Platform-7 & Dawn Cole) and the legendary MS Stubnitz. They played Splice Festival 2018, streamed live to Montreal for Sight & Sound 2016 and Winnipeg for the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival 2017 (in collaboration with Guillaume Vallée). Recently they supported This Is Not This Heat for their ultimate European Shows at The Albany, Deptford.
In addition to their live show they have also provided live visuals for Ben Vince, Lia Mice, Merkaba Macabre, A’Bear and Dronica Festival. They have shot and edited music videos for the bands Warren Schoenbright and Lofe and are currently running residencies as ‘Welfare Unit’ from their base by the Dungeness coast.
For more information: https://harmergeddon.tv
Rob Hart (sound artist and experimental filmmaker)
Rob Hart is a London-based sound artist and experimental filmmaker. In his original incarnation as noise artist ‘Eaten By Children’, he worked to befuddle the audience with moments of apparent failure before expelling an excess of audio-visual stimuli. This has developed into a less combative practice in which hypnotic textures are haphazardly coaxed from a disarray of homemade electronics and antiquated technology. His collaborations include ‘The Hellfire Project’ (with Alice Colley) and Swab (with Nick Wilsdon). He also works as a sound designer and composer for theatre.
‘Clamour In The Gulch’ is a live performance for sound and projection. Loops of Super-8 film are thread through modified projectors and delicately manipulated to reveal striking and unexpected images. As the performance progresses, the images degrade and distort through exposure to the heat of the projector beams, leading to their destruction by the end of each showing.
Meanwhile, the mechanical movements of the projectors are translated into a jarring and rhythmic hoard of sounds as they physically strike and agitate a collection of junkyard objects. Once the projected images become sufficiently mangled, they begin to communicate with a series of homemade electronic devices. These translate the flickering light into audio signals that are corralled into a dense, dreamlike soundscape.
For more information: www.robhartav.com
Durrant & Thompson: Intraspect
Intraspect is a Limited Edition CD release on Burning Harpsichord Records featuring Phil Durrant (modular electronics) and Bill Thompson (Moog guitar) performing live and in concert at the Intraspect Concert Series in Guildford (2018).
This is the second CD release on Burning Harpsichord Records and the first (ever) document of Durrant and Thompson’s improvised drone-noise duo that they have become well known for over the past few years. Durrant plays a modular synth weaving bass tones and well placed high frequencies against the undulating drone of Thompson’s Moog guitar punctuated by interference from the odd found object or electromagnetic field.
Intraspect (the concert series) was founded by Bill Thompson in 2017 and has featured several preeminent artists including Phil Durrant, Jan Hendrickse, Phil Julian, Tom Mudd, John Wall, Mark Wastell, and Christine Webster amongst others.
Phil Durrant (modular synth and electronics)
Born near London in 1957, Phil Durrant is a multi-instrumentalist improviser/composer/sound artist who currently performs solo and group concerts.
As a violinist (and member of the Butcher/Russell/Durrant trio), he was one of the key exponents of the “group voice approach” style of improvised music. In the late 90s, his trio with Radu Malfatti and Thomas Lehn represented a shift to a more “reductionist” approach.
Recently, he has been performing solo and duo concerts with Bill Thompson, Mark Wastell, as well as his seven-piece group ‘If Herbie Went West Coast’, using a modular synthesizer system. As a mandolinist, he has been performing with guitarist Martin Vishnick, mandolinist Richard Scott and drummer Emil Karlsen.
Durrant still performs regularly with the acoustic/electronic group Trio Sowari (with Bertrand Denzler and Burkhard Beins) and Mark Wastell’s The SEEN.
Bill Thompson (solo Moog guitar + detritus)
Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer. He performs as a soloist and with a number of groups including M/H/T with Jan Hendrickse and Tom Mudd, Airfield with choreographer Ian Spink, and in the past with Keith Rowe, Faust, EXAUDI and others.
Although originally trained as a guitarist, Thompson has worked with live electronics for the better part of 15 years. Since 2016/17, however, he has returned to guitar using one built by Moog combining built in electronics with miscellaneous table top devices, found objects, flashing lights, and the occasional vibrator.
He has earned numerous awards and commissions including the PRS for New Music ATOM award, the GAVAA visual arts award, a PRS for New Music Three Festival commission, the 2010 Aberdeen Visual Arts Award, and was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2012.
For more information visit: www.billthompson.org like. More.