Self Cancellation: LMC London-Glasgow Festival


The self-cancellation gigs involved ice, burning harps and tubas slowly filling with sand.

People crammed into the Beasconsfield Gallery to see and hear the fantastic pieces that had been pulled together to celebrate what is the last LMC festival, due to Arts Council cuts (hence the name).

The set up was to create four light to sound converters (basically amplifiers with LDRs as an input) and place the LDRs along the middle of the projector screen. The output of each amplifiers was then EQ’d and compressed before being fed into the main P.A system.My involvement was to create a way of turning Gustav Metzger’s “Acid Action Painting”  into sound. The piece involves painting hydrochloric acid onto nylon slides which then, rather quickly, were placed into  projector. The image projected then is one of the slowly mutating colours and shapes as the acid eats through the nylon leaving a white screen.

The result was very pleasing with the sound being firmly a “product” of the movement on screen. Metzger in later interviews has said [regarding the LMC event]

Yes, it was astonishing because colour came through. When I originally projected acid on nylon, beginning in February 1963, all the images on the screen were black and white — and here, for some reason or other that I could never understand – they had colour on the screen and it was indeed breath-taking and startling and a completely fresh experience for me and for the audience.

I was also lucky to play electronics in a group piece by Rhodri Davies called Palimpsest, which uses overlaid Sudokugames as a graphic score.

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