Sink release their latest EP, Hoy Sound, as part of the RESONATOR festival in their very own Pianodrome on Saturday 7th December.
The trio, who have been creating new music for over a decade, captured this all-improvised recording in collaboration with bassist Matt Webb in the extraordinary acoustic of an empty oil tank at the Lyness Naval Base in Hoy, during a five day ‘Resonancy’ on the island.
Sink’s second official release, the EP presents a haunting sonic response to the luxurious wash of the 20-second natural reverb defined by the cavernous space inside the giant empty oil tank. Listeners can hear the crunching of footsteps on the rusty floor and crashes of metal pipes along with bells, acoustic and electric bass, voice, viola, soprano saxophone, accordion and sanzula used by the band in their improvisations.
Prize winning author Alice Albinia first commissioned the work as research for her forthcoming book The Britannias (Penguin), which she describes as a portrait of Britain told through its islands. At the launch party Alice will read from the first chapter which documents her explorations of the many Neolithic chambered cairns to be found on the Orkney Isles. Projection artist Mettje Hunneman, who took part in the Hoy Resonancy, will also present the world premiere of a new 25 minute film to accompany the online release of Hoy Sound.
Centred on the lifestyle of the titular Inuk and his family, Robert Flaherty’s filmic examination of Inuit culture in the icy Canadian Arctic frontier came at a time before the concept of ‘documentary’ had even been solidified.
This is a story of one indomitable human, undaunted in the face of the most extreme conditions of hunger and cold, improvising with scant resources to carve a life that, if short, is radiant with joy. In the opening title cards of the film we learn that Nanook – Eskimo, protagonist, great bear, hero, hunter, family man – subsequently ‘ventured into the interior hoping for deer and starved to death’. In this light the film that follows; as shining and ephemeral as his life, not to say his way of life; may serve as an epitaph. Though created nearly a century ago its microcosmic struggle presents an increasingly apt metaphor for the contemporary challenges faced by humanity due to our growing global environmental instability.
S!nk present a new live musical score which seeks to juxtapose a sense of pervading and overwhelming environmental harshness with the humorous and resourceful spirits, captured through the admiring lens of this protean documentary film-maker, who inhabit it. As the film progresses, heavier electronic sound-elements underpinning the enormous weight of environmental burden find synthesis with the improvised ‘found sounds’ made using, amongst other items, ice, bone and leather with which we endeavour to describe the lightness, ingenuity and humanity – by turns comical and tragic – of Nanook and his family.
During the making of this film lots of animals were killed and eaten.
Nanook of the North was listed as the seventh best documentary of all time in Sight & Sound’s 2014 poll
In their 7th film score commission for Filmhouse, brilliant multi-instrumental trio S!nk return to perform a new live soundtrack to Carl Boese & Paul Wegener’s absorbing silent feature. One of the first horror movies ever made, the film takes us to 16th century Prague, where Rabbi Loew, spiritual leader of the Jewish community, divines from his astrological tables that a disaster is imminent. He decides to summon the dead spirit Astaroth and build the Golem, a huge clay figure which will serve the man who gives it life. Lust drives the initially helpful clay terminator to the perpetration of terrible acts of violence. This may serve as a timely reminder of how, periodically, the embodied hopes of passionate masses manifest a monster to doggedly pursue self-defeating and disastrous consequences.
Five is a powerful number in the mythology of this film and as such provides us with an interesting starting point for compositions exploring the inherent supple power and layered syncopation of five beats to a bar.
Winner of the Lustrum Award for Best Fringe Moment 2018
Winner – Best Venue – Sustainable Fringe Awards 2019
Musical inventors, multi-instrumentalists and improvising ninjas S!nk play an intimate concert in the round. With a different guest act each night and a specially designed light show, Pianodrome Live is an unforgettable evening of inspired live music in an exceptional setting. Two shows in one in the biggest small venue in town.
Brilliant multi-instrumentalists S!nk host a nightly cornucopia of new music, movement and more in the world’s first ever #Pianodrome.
This bespoke 100-seater amphitheatre made entirely out of upcycled pianos appears, serendipitously, under a geodesic canopy in the verdant tranquility of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Free for all to play on, in and around during the day, and animated by night with the fire of real people doing cool stuff – you have never seen or heard anything like this before. ‘Your life will be enhanced’ (Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3).
The #Pianodrome is a playable 100-seater amphitheatre built entirely from disused pianos, which will become an active community arts pavilion at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) in August 2018. A pioneering up-cycling project, with community engagement at its core, the Pianodrome is a transformative space where everyday barriers to creativity and play are forgotten; where new and surprising ideas, experiences and interactions can emerge.
Functioning as interactive sculpture, acoustic concert venue, lecture theatre and musical instrument, the Pianodrome becomes a natural focus point at the intersection of multiple art forms, science, history and the local community. A creative and playful response to a waste-heavy consumer society, the Pianodrome breathes new life into the relics of a bygone era.
An iconic sculptural work, the installation will remain on site from 3rd – 27th August and open to visitors daily from 10am – 5pm free of charge. In partnership with the RBGE, a series of acoustic music and dance events, community performances, art, science and nature talks and workshops, and artists’ ‘Resonancies’ will be programmed. These events will form the highlight of the RBGE’s Summer 2018 arts programme.
Following 12 monthly development residency concerts and 3 viral video clips, this ruthlessly creative approach to experimental pop music delivers eastern-influenced anthems, under spoken elements that attempt to challenge and address divisive rhetoric recently prevalent in society.
Ahead of an LP release on Lost Map produced by Danalogue (Comet is Coming) and Kristian Capitol K in early 2018, the show described in the Guardian as “a reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be” enjoys an emphasis on candid interaction, humility and warmth.
Based in underground East London’s Total Refreshment Centre, saxophonist and spoken word artist Alabaster creates a new band each month in his development residency Peach. PRSF has funded his forthcoming 4th LP The Corner of a Sphere, following recent performances for BBC Radio 3, National Theatre and clubs festivals and theatres around UK. Tonight his group comprises Ed Dowie, Sink and players from the rest of the show.
“Totally unique… Very, very brilliant indeed” – Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3
“Takes the biscuit” – DJ Magazine
“a torrent of words and ideas that never fail to inspire” – CLASH Music
Ed Dowie learned the piano and the organ as a child from his father, before becoming a chorister and an organist in Dorset. His music career began in earnest in 1998 when his Bournemouth-based psychedelic-dub-pop band Brothers in Sound – stablemates of the legendary Beta Band on cult Parlophone subsidiary Regal Recordings – released three EPs and the album Family Is For Sharing, all of which were met with considerable critical acclaim. After Brothers in Sound’s untimely demise, Ed spent several years studying experimental music in Leicester, Montreal and York, before moving to London in 2008 and joining puppetry/animation/film company The Paper Cinema as a composer for various theatre, short films and art projects. He has played at venues including the Tate Britain, the Barbican and the National Portrait Gallery, as well as further afield at festivals in France, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Azerbaijan.
Ed’s debut album The Uncle Sold takes its title from the 1995 Kazuo Ishiguro novel The Unconsoled, a unique and inspirational book that takes the reader on a continually evolving, dream-like journey around a non-specified city. Recorded in London at studio spaces in Dalston and Haringey, it’s a sometimes wistful, sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting and at all times surprising listen that paints a picture of a range of characters struggling for certainty in a metropolis beset by continually changing forces, be they political, personal or financial.
Two extraordinary resonant spaces on the Orcadian island of Hoy bring together resident writer Alice Albinia with a collective of Edinburgh based contemporary sound explorers.
The Dwarfie Stone is believed to date back five millennia to a time whose cultural practices must remain largely beyond modern comprehension. Through acoustic engagement with the space, focusing on interactions between human voices and in particular their harmonic and healing aspects, we hope to perform an anecdotal investigation of possible original uses of the Dwarfie Stone, contribute new threads of composition to the already rich musical tapestry of the island and record the sounds and the story of these experiences to be shared with wider audiences through media and in particular Alice Albinia’s book. This part of the resonancy will be lead by Darla Eno, Tamsin Waites and Tim Vincent-Smith with Dave House acting as sound recordist.
The gigantic tank at Scapa Flow visitors centre, formerly Lyness Naval Base’s fuel pumping station, once held 12000 tonnes of oil. More recently experimental musical performances have filled it’s powerfully resonant interior with sound. As a contemporary counter-foil to the healing voices at the ancient Dwarfie Stone and an opportunity for local audiences to participate more directly in Orcadian Resonancy a concert will be organised in this space. This will include performances by experimental acoustic trio Sink, found sound electronic musician The Reverse Engineer and local singers from Hoy lead by Darla Eno and Tamsin Waites taking inspiration from their work at the Dwarfie Stone. Our intention is to animate two man-made spaces, united by their proximity and extraordinary resonant properties but greatly divergent in their original purpose, material construction and historical context with a view to examining deeper themes of how humans interact with environment and the transitory nature of our present culture mirrored by a Neolithic culture that has long been extinct.
Max Reinhardt thank you. Three consecutive days of plays on Late Junction – almost our entire set! Proudly we shared this stage with our old Edinburgh pals Lizabett Russo and Tinderbox Orchestra and others new and exciting to our ears including Iona Fortune and Sefo Kanuteh – here them hear and more – an embarrassment of sonic riches!
Portal to BBC opening at 23.30 on Saturday 15th July when, by special invitation, we Sink the ‘introducing’ stage. Some old favourites and some new songs in a short sweet set. Also to look out for on this stage at this festival our friends The Tinderbox Orchestra and the wonderful Lizabett Russo.