Wednesday, 10 September 2008

'Ego in Exotica Sum' Online at Sound Museum FM

On September 14, Soundmuseum.FM goes online. One of its exhibits is an edited studio recording from ‘Ego In Exotica Sum’ a piece Graham Massey and I created in together in 2005 to commemorate the life of Exotic Easy Listening’s greatest champion, Martin Denny. Denny was a hugely inspirational figure for both of us; and we would avidly collect copies of his 1950s and 1960s releases from record store bargain bins and charity shops.

When Graham called me with news of Denny’s death I knew we had to do something to honour his memory. ‘Ego In Exotica Sum’ consisted of a funeral oration singing the man’s praises against a backdrop of exotic electronic sounds and Tiki images from the Massey archives. A live combo, brought together for the occasion, performed note-perfect renditions of Denny’s arrangement for ‘Quiet Village’ from the first 'Exotica' album, plus ‘Fire Cracker’, Denny’s most famous individual composition, under Graham’s musical direction. The performance took place at The Green Room Theatre . The Biting Tongues website carries a full report on the performance in its news pages, together with pictures.

'The launch of,’ according to Mediamatic ‘marks a transformation of context for sound art with its presentation of contemporary international works in optimum conditions: the virtual, dimensionless surroundings of the World Wide Web and its networked listening communities.’ The event is being marked by a special performance in Amsterdam – check Google Calendar for more details.

There are plans to perform an expanded version of Ego In Exotica Sum’ at Mondo Mancunia in the Shunt Vault on October 1. Look out for more details in the finalised line-up for the this four-day event, which should be posted very soon. In the meantime the complete text of ‘Ego In Exotica Sum: In Memoriam Martin Denny 1911-2005’ can be found in Strange Attractor Journal III. The image accompanying this post, incorporating the piece’s opening lines, is by exoticist designer Claire Harmer. 'We rob ourselves of paradise by our very presence there: to see it with our own eyes is to see it vanish before our eyes.'

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