From the creators of The Wire magazine comes Off The Page, a 3 day literary festival dedicated to contemporary sound and music, with exhibitions of archival research from the deep well of musical history, in the flesh discussions and interviews and A/V presentations. Off The Page features a formidable cast of music critics, academics, authors, musicians and artists.
On the Sunday there will be a new talk and presentation by Mississippi Records’ Eric Isaacson, a reading from Dean Blunt’s ‘Black Metal’ album and a screening of Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s film ‘A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness’
plus a Pub Quiz hosted by The Wire and more tba.
“Black Metal”: A Reading
A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness
A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness follows an unnamed character through three seemingly disparate moments in his life: in the midst of a 15 strong collective on a small Estonian island; in isolation in the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland; and during a concert as the singer and guitarist of a black metal band in Norway.
Written and directed by visual artists Ben Russell and Ben Rivers, and starring musician Robert AA Lowe (best known for his intense live performances in Lichens), the film lies somewhere between fiction and non-fiction, a document of experience and an experience in itself, an inquiry into transcendence that sees the cinema used as a site for transformation.
A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (trailer)
A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music According to Mississippi Records
A combination of film, slide show, lecture and soundscape, this talk by the founder of Portland, Oregon’s Mississippi Records will attempt to chart the entire history of recorded music, from the birth of the first star in the universe all the way to the dark ages of the 1980s.
Drawing on materials from Mississippi Records’ vast archive of film, music and art, the talk will touch down at various points in the evolution of recorded music, from the cosmic patterns that resemble music generated by stars being born and dying to the musical patterns in the natural world that work on the same principles as music; from the untold early history of recording technology (including tales of archeoacoustic technology that allows us to hear recordings from 2000 years ago, cat pianos and the phonautogram, which reproduces sounds from dust) to the rise of the blues, rock ’n’ roll and other revolutionary music forms. The talk will include archive footage of some some the greatest musicians on Earth (as well as some novelties) including Bo Diddley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Collins Kids, Reverend Gary Davis and The Staple Singers.
Eric Issacson runs the US label Mississippi Records, which has issued more than 280 releases on vinyl and cassette.
There will be a number of extra events taking place throughout the weekend, including film screenings and workshops, plus listening posts and a library stocked by The Wire. Details of the full programme, including additional speakers and talks, will be announced in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, festival passes and day tickets are available now.
Produced by The Wire Magazine in association with Qu Junktions and Arnolfini
Fri 26 September, 8-10pm
Sat 27 September, 11am-11pm
Sun 28 September, noon-5:30pm
Three day festival pass: £30
Fri ticket: £10
Sat ticket: £20
Sun ticket: £8