Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson was best known as a founder member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil, a designer at Hipgnosis, and a videomaker for Greenback Films. In summer 2010, AV Festival commissioned him to compose a work for the 2012 spring Equinox, to be staged at Durham Cathedral, where his father was University Vice-Chancellor from 1960–1979.
Christopherson died in his sleep at home in Thailand on 24 November 2010 before completing the work. This music, film and performance event was a celebratory remembrance of his life and work.
It included the premiere of three performance sketches with Christopherson‘s original collaborators for the commission: visual artist Alex Rose, sound recordist Chris Watson and vocalist Attila Csihar.
Special guests Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti premiered live remixes from Throbbing Gristle’s nascent, and final, studio album: a 'cover' of Nico’s Desertshore, preceded by a rare screening of Philippe Garrel’s The Inner Scar for which Desertshore was soundtrack and inspiration.
The evening came to a poetic close with Derek Jarman’s The Angelic Conversation, with a soundtrack by Coil, Christopherson considered the film “truly, a timeless work of art”.
Commissioned by AV Festival 12 with producer Paul Smith. World Premiere. Supported by PRS for Music Foundation.
Attila Csihar, the baritone voice of Sunn 0))) and Norwegian black metal pioneers Mayhem, created his first ever intimate solo durational work. Inspired by the theatre, science and ancient mythology of alchemy, he performed a specially created text in the Enochian language within a scrying ritual. Central to alchemy, scryers often used bridges and towers as portals to access visions of the past or future. It was also considered as a way to communicate with God through Angels, which John Dee famously turned into the Enochian Dictionary in the 16th century.
In this radical new work Csihar connects together the North East landscape from Lindisfarne to the Tyne Bridge with past, present and future.
Commissioned by AV Festival 12. World Premiere.
This live performance for voice makes use of the unique acoustics of the Civic Centre entrance dome. It represents the Equinox as the equal point between night and day, and takes us through multiple time cycles. The performance, by Susan Stenger and Attila Csihar, took place within the last 30-minute cycle of Stenger’s sound installation The Structures of Everyday Life: Full Circle.
The Structures of Everyday Life: Full Circle unites Western harmony and Eastern philosophy to mark both the birth and death of John Cage. It responds to the unique acoustics of the Civic Centre entrance dome by slowly building and dismantling dense drones in evolving cycles. Across a six-hour day, time is unfolded on multiple scales, across clock time, lunar waxing/waning, and seasonal celestial cycles. Full Circle embodies the unity of constancy and change reflected in the I Ching.
Commissioned by AV Festival 12. World Premiere. Supported by PRS for Music Foundation.