Vinyl is Alive!

Following on from our 13 picnics polaroid exhibition in Bara Menyn Bakehouse, Cardigan, we have installed a new work for the season…

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With a particular interest in the visual aesthetics of the horror genre, this changing selection of records combines rock and pop, classic soundtracks, spoken word and sound effects to explore the diverse and evocative imagery in celebration of the Halloween season.

 

Absent but not Forgotten: V – Halloween at the Abacus

To kick off a series of events for ABNF V (celebrating our fifth year of Absent but not Forgotten) we held a one night only retrospective exhibition in The Abacus, Cardiff.  An amazing space to show in, we were able to include a number of works from the last 5 years.

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As well as the installations and artworks we offered evil home-brewed refreshments and toasted the event with our special reserve ‘666’ blackberry wine (brewed from 666 blackberries). Live Halloween sounds were created by Jacob Whittaker and his vinyl loops of horror and a new performance from invited artist Ian Watson, a truly terrifying blend of electronic noise, mask and sportswear!

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Our interactive corner invited some homespun ghostly shenanigans – thanks to all our Sheet n’ Tweeters!

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Halloween MMXV

Come and join us for Halloween to start our 5th birthday celebrations.  We are in The Abacus on the 31st with a selection of installations and works from the last 5 years.

The Abacus, Wood Street, Cardiff CF10 1ER
 Saturday 31 October  6pm – late

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To make it extra special there will be live performances from Ian Watson and Jacob Whittaker, possibly others (tbc)…

Jacob has brewed a very special wine made from 666 blackberries which may or may not be fatal/palatable/satanic/available ….

This probably isn’t it being made…

The Last Supper

To celebrate Friday 13th and the end of our thirteenfridays project in December 2013, we invited 13 guests to partake in a Lussinatt feast of 13 at Small World Theatre in Cardigan.

December 13 is the festival of St Lucy, particularly celebrated in Scandanavia – the festivities celebrate light in the darkest part of the year – but there is also an older tradition on the same day –Lussinatta, the Lussi Night. On the night of December 13 Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a witch was said to ride through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. According to tradition, children who had done mischief had to take special care, since Lussi could come down the chimney and take them away. The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak.

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Our masked waiters (the lovely – but truly spooky – Nick and Beth) greeted guests with traditional Lussekatter saffron buns and a glass of 13 Ingredient non-alcoholic Glogg – a hot, mulled drink with fruit and nuts (with a tot of vodka for those needing extra fortification!).
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With this appetiser guests were invited to select a small envelope containing a numbered badge.  The randomly selected numbers gave us a seating plan, seats marked by a small numbered bottles of wine placed on the table.
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Thirteen guests at a dinner table is considered bad luck – so we laid a 14th place setting where we projected images of all the dishes created during the 13 previous weeks (each image displayed for 13 seconds).
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Our menu presented 13 dishes, each themed either in multiples of 13 or made with 13 ingredients:
13 goat cheese and fig crostini; 13 mini parmesan and potato pasties; 13 homemade oatcakes with mackerel pate; 13 ingredient salad with spinach, nuts and pomegranate; 13 rice stuffed sweet peppers with cheese crust; 13 mini baked potatoes with sour cream and chives; 13 antichristi (antipasti selection); 13 feta cheese and spinach filo parcels; 13 Cajun prawn parcels; 13 mini lentil bakes; 13 ingredient salad with egg; 13 mini quiche tartlets; 13 ingredient vegetable soup with 13 bread rolls creme fraiche and seeds to top.

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During the meal, whilst guests tried to guess the contents of the mini wine bottles, (each a different variety of country wine), we showed a selection of 13 film clips of dinner table scenes from vintage films.

Throughout the evening our waiters without faces slowly and silently served wine and cleared empty plates, approaching guests with dishes and awaiting their attention – quite disconcerting!

During the evening we showed a compilation of our previous Absent but not Forgotten projects around the venue.
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We asked our guests to contribute a choice of spookily themed music to the evening and we were honoured that singer, Julie Murphy chose to sing us a beautifully haunting song.

Here’s the rest of the soundtrack…

A chance to chat and digest….then cue the Omen soundtrack…it was time to introduce the 13 desserts…

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With the exception of a dangerously delicious 13 ingredient Ice cream (red gooseberries, apple, star anise, cloves, cinammon, ginger, chilli, eggs, sugar, milk, cream, rum & paprika) designed especially for the event by Mari Beynon-Owen and 13 pieces of Cardomon barfi made by Jacob Whittaker, the desserts were all made by the amazing Kirsten Hinks – a truely exceptional feat of baking! They were – 13 Macaroons with Cardigan picked blackberry buttercream; 13 Peanut butter and Brownie Stacks; 13 Mini Chocolate Tarts; 13 Mini Lemon Tarts; 13 Vanilla Ghost Biscuits with raisin eyes; 13 Rosemary Cakes with satsuma icing; 13 Honey and Pistachio Nut Cream Meringues; 13 Profiteroles; A 13 choux bun Gateau Saint Jude; a 13 ingredient Chocolate Cake (Maltesers, Eggs, Caster Sugar, Brown Sugar, Self Raising flour, Wholemeal flour, Butter, Baking powder, Cream, Icing sugar, Margarine, Cocoa, Vanilla essence); a 13 ingredient Ispahan Tart (the evocative name for the taste combination of Lychees and Rose Water).

Shortly after revealing the desserts the waiters joined us for the remainder of the evening while witches could be seen flying overhead…

We would like to thank all our guests for coming to our thirteenfridays Last Supper.  Special thanks to Small World Theatre for the venue, our waiters Beth Guiver and Nick Johnson for their wonderfully sinister silent service, Marc Hayes and Sam Vicary for taking some lovely photographs, Mari Beynon-Owen for the Ice Cream, and Kirsten Hinks for the terrifyingly good dessert trolley!

Score Valley, Ilfracombe

Score Valley

Absent but not Forgotten have created new work for Ilfra Expo based on our recent visit and stay in Ilfracombe’s Score Valley.
You can see the work at the Olde Thatched Inn, Hillsborough Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 9PG  from 14/07/13 – 04/08/13.

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Join us 11am – 1pm Ilfracombe Museum, and 7pm – 9pm at The Olde Thatched Inn
Come and be photographed as a Ghost-in-a-sheet with artists, Kathryn and Jacob (Absent but not Forgotten) and join our spooky online gallery of spectres!

See more from our ghost gallery here.

Whistle Quietly

Absent but not Forgotten: ‘Who is this who is coming?’
(Technical processes)

The installation for Oriel Davies consists of 2 main elements; A video presented on the vintage television and a 4 channel sound work allied to the table setting.  Derived from the incidental audio within the breakfast scene, the sound emanating from the table is presented as 2 separate stereo works. A number of techniques and ideas were used in its production.

First of all the scene was examined to identify all of the sounds that contain no dialogue – the silences between words; cutlery on crockery; sounds of the professor eating etc. were extracted and placed in a time-line. While the volume was increased, the durations and relative positions of these clips were maintained to keep the random rhythmic structure of silences within the scene.

The very short, sharp sounds of cutlery and crockery were extracted and condensed to remove the gaps in between and create a single sample. This was then treated using software dedicated to time-stretching, changing the 4 second sample into 4 minutes. This element in the overall sound is the more musical, orchestral, composed sounding piece. The musical tonal qualities coming from the ringing sound of the original samples.

The clip of condensed sounds of the cutlery and crockery was added a second time and time-stretched to 15 seconds, this time allowing the samples to pitch shift with the duration change. Finally the unprocessed, individual cutlery and crockery samples were reintroduced to the time-line and scattered randomly throughout the time-line, repeating to spread them across the entire duration.

These 3 elements were then combined into 2 stereo files, each containing the more musical element in both channels and the silences or cutlery placed in only the left or right channel. Playing together as separate sources allows small variations in the timing which when combined with the sound on the television create a complex, subtly changing work.

The use of recorded silences has been important within Absent but not Forgotten since it’s inception in 2010. It’s use is derived from ideas surrounding paranormal investigation and EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), and in particular the studies undertaken by my grandfather who used to attend spiritualist meetings, record the medium and analyse the silences within the recordings to try and find evidence of the voices. We have adopted this technique and used it as a starting point within a number of our video and installation works.

The video is a simple corruption of footage from ‘Whistle and I’ll come to you’ using filters which emulate analogue detuning and static interference. The breakfast scene emerges from the distorted, detuned footage roughly once every 10 minutes. The white noise soundtrack within the video is created by processing silences extracted from the breakfast scene, with the volume modulated randomly, the scene itself has it’s soundtrack left intact.
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(The video below uses a stereo version of the same audio described above)