Rope Press



Rope Press, [RHP] CDRs

Rope Press is the home for independent printing and publishing in Central England. Following a residency at Rope Press, artist and curator, Ryan Hughes, presents a performance-lecture on the subject of production and distribution within the digital age. Ryan works under the banner [RHP] CDRs, a limited edition record label and research unit. He will discuss his work, incorporating examples of music he has produced or released via [RHP] CDRs.


John Doran – Jolly Lad



John Doran is celebrating the publication of his first book, Jolly Lad, by reading passages from the book and also performing various incantations and rituals concerning black holes, the dismemberment of Dapper Laughs, ghosts and Birmingham bus timetables.

Jolly Lad is a memoir about the recovery from alcoholism, habitual drug use and mental illness. It is also about the healing power of music, how memory defines us, the redemption offered by fatherhood and what it means to be working class.

“This is not a ‘my drink and drug hell’ kind of book for several reasons – the main one being that I had, for the most part, had a really good time drinking. True, a handful of pretty appalling things have happened to me and some people that I know or used to know over the years. But I have, for the most part, left them out of this book as they are not illuminating, not edifying and in some cases concern other people who aren’t here to consent to their appearance. Instead this book concentrates on what you face after the drink and the drugs have gone.”


Hexadic System – talk



Ben will be giving a talk on the Hexadic System and how it relates to the 13th century monk Ramon LLull. Llull’s influence on serial and combinatorial thought, poetics and hermeticism will be addressed. In addition he will be demonstrating the system in a dual with fellow guitarist Rick Tomlinson of Voice of the Seven Thunders fame – not to be missed!

Over the last two years, Ben has assembled a comprehensive system of musical composition. Designed to free sound and language from rational order and replace calculation with indeterminacy, THE HEXADIC SYSTEM is a catalyst to extinguish patterns and generate new means of chord progressions and choices.

THE SYSTEM builds all of the tonal fields, chord changes, scales, and lyrics on this record, creating the framework for the songs with which the musicians engage. Yet THE SYSTEM is open; within the framework,
 Chasny’s own personal aesthetics—such as the production mode of loud guitars, the order of songs, the editing of length—were all conscious decisions made to communicate the pieces. The ex- act same combinatorial patterns used on this record can create infinite results, depending on the choices of the individual. Ben’s years of study have produced an operational agent that has not only built all the songs on Hexadic but is also a system anyone can use to restructure their ways of habit.


Rob Chapman: Psychedelia and Other Colours



Supersonic is partnering with Faber Social to present acclaimed author Rob Chapman talking about his new book Psychedelia and Other Colours, that explores in crystalline detail the history, precedents and cultural impact of LSD. From the earliest experiments in painting with light and immersive environments to the thriving avant- garde scene that existed in San Francisco even before the Grateful Dead and the Fillmore Auditorium. In the UK, he documents an entirely different history, and one that has never been told before. It has its roots in fairy tales and fairgrounds, the music hall and the dead of Flanders fields, in the Festival of Britain and that peculiarly British strand of surrealism that culminated in the Magical Mystery Tour. Sitars and Sergeant Pepper, surfadelica and the Soft Machine, light shows and love-ins – the mind-expanding effects of acid were to redefine popular culture as we know it. Psychedelia and Other Colours documents these utopian reverberations – and the dark side of their moon – in a perfect portrait.


Bees In A Tin



Fri 12 June 10.30 – 17:00 Millennium Point
Curzon Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B4 7XG

Tickets £6/10 and includes lunch
Booking info there are 20 free places available to Supersonic weekend ticket holders
code: superduper

Many & Varied in partnership with Supersonic are delighted to present Bees in a Tin 2015, as part of this year’s festival. Taking place during the daytime on Friday 12th June, Bees in a Tin is a gathering for people who make or are interested in unique interfaces for the world around them, featuring talks and workshops from key makers and thinkers from around the country.  If you’re interested in the spaces where the arts, science, technology, and games crash into one another: then this is for you.

Join us for an energetic day of talks, games, demos and workshops encompassing: microbiology, guided tours, research through design, impersonation of plain clothes police officers, sculptural musical controllers; …and custard. All rounded up with a keynote from the splendid Owl Project.


Key note by Owl Project

A collaborative group of artists consisting of Simon Blackmore, Antony Hall and Steve Symons. They work with wood and electronics to fuse sculpture and sound art, creating music making machines, interfaces and objects which intermix pre-steam and digital technologies. Drawing on influences such as 70’s synthesiser culture, DIY woodworking and current digital crafts, the resulting artwork is a quirky and intriguing critique of the allure and production of technology.

Bill Aitchison – The Tour of All Tours

For the last two and a half years Bill has been taking guided tours of every sort around the world and recycling them by giving his own tours of tours. These are a parasitic sort of guided tour that critically, and with a distinctive dry humour, explore the political, social and cultural subtexts of tourism.

Aste Amundsen/Apocalypse Gameshow – Computer Aided Theatre

In this playtest you are invited to take part in experiments, either as a protagonist progressing through a responsive storyline or as an audience watching and influencing the process. Exploring the ways of: processing audience information/actions during live events, writing meaningfully responsive storyworlds and cuing actors with audience data during interactive exchanges.


George Buckenham – Making videogames with squishy bits

George will be discusiing design principles learnt from making videogames that involve custom physical hardware. Games like: Punch The Custard, a game about punching a bowl of custard, Fabulous Beasts, a game about competing for resources where you make moves by stacking blocks in a tower.


Robert Curgenven – “A Young Lover’s Guide to Perceptual Pataphysics” or “How Bass Changed My Life”

Heavily phasing live sound from custom dubplates, acetates, test pressings and low-frequency oscillators are used to directly power live video projection that works on principles of colour shadows discovered by Edwin Land – the inventor of Polaroid photography and sunglasses. As much a physical exploration of architecture as it is of the audience’s bodies, both through sound and the perceptual psychology of colour and light. Comes with a warning for those susceptible to flickering lights.


Simon Farid – How To Impersonate a Plain Clothes Police Officer

We are going to commit a crime. Impersonating a police officer is against the law, even though we know they impersonate us (the public) all the time. In this workshop we’ll look to rebalance this by impersonating a plain-clothes police officer, something that cannot really be identified. Collectively examining, mimicking and enacting covert police practices will help us to better counter surveillance on ourselves and to look at notional public space in a new way.


Farmer Glitch : Farm-Yard Debris, Carboot Treasures – Petrol Can Synths…

A ‘show and tell’/performance session, showcasing a variety of hand-built/salvaged musical-instruments and sound-making devices. This will include: chip-based synthesisers housed in Kodak Brownie cameras, synths made from old paraffin/oil cans along with a rusty-broken bucket – now re-envisioned as the Atari-Punk-Bucket.


Dr Simon Park – Exploring The Invisible

In the familiar settings of our urban environments, microorganisms have established thriving and complex ecologies that are almost always overlooked. This will be a unique microbiologically informed walk and mobile workshop, which will explore the importance of this the urban microbiology, using examples found in the environment local to the Bees In A Tin event.


Swoomptheeng – Raving with Ritualised Punk Technology

A live Swoomptheeng performance showcasing their over-sized, semi-organic and brightly-coloured sculpted MIDI instruments which illustrate their influences from 80′s TV, 90′s rave and contemporary art; to folk-art, hacking and hobbyist cultures. Followed by a presentation of how the instruments work and the innovative techniques used to interface with music software such as Traktor via MIDI joysticks, Arduino and other electrical components.

Rebecca Taylor – The Rooftop Project: The Story So Far…

The Rooftop Project is an experimental project through which highly rewarding and transformational learning experiences are emerging. Opening with a lively presentation of the story so far, this session will then invite you to discuss ‘our’ awareness of doing projects such as these and pose questions such as – are we doing it for good or glory?

Duncan Speakman – The social composition of A Folded Path

A Folded Path is a pedestrian speaker symphony; a soundtrack for a city carried through the streets by a participating audience.

Comprising location sensitive portable loudspeakers – each playing a different element of the music.The GPS position of the speaker causes different sections to be played and the movement of the people within the group changes the acoustic relationship of the composition: the audience become the orchestra.

Clare Reddington

Clare, Creative Director of Watershed will be chairing a Q&A panel at Bees in a Tin.




Collective Memory



Alfie Birds  – Custard Factory 1pm – 2pm  Saturday 31 May Free
Join Supersonic and Birmingham Loves Photographers for a discussion about the ‘Collective Memory‘. The way in which we experience live events these days is changing, with the vast majority of portable electronic devices possessing some form of recording device and we are often seen to experience events through a viewfinder or screen, rather than simple living in the moment. In this open, drop-in discussion we will be taking several perspectives into account and discussing how we experience  live events and how photography plays a part in these experiences.

For more information about Birmingham Loves Photographers, visit


Run What Ya Brung


Richard Windley’s Stroh guitar; Run What Ya Brung – If Wet #4. Photo: Pete Ashton

If Wet at Supersonic will be extending their usual Run What Ya Brung feature. In collaboration with Stryx, they will select people to show and tell by providing a platform for short, informal presentations of your sonic delights; The theme of the day is ‘Extraordinary Objects‘ you can bring anything along from a Stroh guitar you might’ve made yourself [pictured] to a dolls head theramin…

Call out: Due to anticipated demand we are running this as a call out, so if you fancy showing something for a few minutes in an informal setting then please pop us an email to discuss what you might present and we will be in touch  hello[at] Four artists will be selected by If Wet/MortonUnderwood to show work alongside artists selected by Stryx.


Bill Drummond – The 17



The 17
Saturday 31 May, 2-4pm
Eastside Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, B9 4AR
34 places are available email caroline[at] with ‘BILL_17′ in the title – first come first served and for Supersonic Festival ticket holders only.

Bill Drummond will be leading a re-enactment of  two historical performances given by The17. The first was in Moscow on the 28 September 2006, the second in Saint Petersburg the following day. The re-enactment will involve 34 people, 17 of whom will act the part of those that were The17 in Moscow, the other 17 will act the part of those who were The17 in Saint Petersburg.

If you want to take part in this re-enactment you need to have a voice, two ears. And an ability to use your imagination. We need 34 people, no more no less.

Presented in partnership with Eastside Projects as part of ‘The 25 Paintings’, the first stage of Bill Drummond’s World Tour 2014-2025 and the culmination of the life’s work of Bill Drummond, artist, legendary music maker and infamous myth maker.
Exhibition continues to 14 June, Wednesday–Saturday 12-5,


If Wet Salon



If Wet is a monthly event of sonic exploration, held in a rural Worcestershire village hall; chaired by musical instrument designers David Morton and Sam Underwood (Ore, Glatze) who together form MortonUnderwood. Part show and tell, part test bed, part salon. A place for artists to showcase their latest sonic works and research. A place for you to revel and discuss.

After a successful inaugural season MortonUnderwood have decided to extend the reach of If Wet beyond the village hall and it is with great pleasure that they will transport their distinctive event to Supersonic 2014.

They will host a salon event to introduce a selection of artists that create ‘extraordinary objects’.  This will be the first commissioning opportunity as part of Capsule’s Labs and provide a creative exploration. Confirmed participating artists will include:


Ryan Jordan

Ryan Jordan conducts experiments in derelict electronics, possession trance, retro-death-telegraphy and hylozoistic neural computation. He builds crude instruments that replicate fundamental electronic components which are the foundation of current digital technologies. Performing these live alongside high powered stroboscopic light he attempts to induce the hallucinatory and trance like states of the (oc)cult arts.

In this presentation/performance he will demonstrate his self constructed hardware built with raw minerals and metals and then spiral sideways into theories of cybernetics, neuroscience, art, music and physiology in an attempt to piece together our fragmentary daemons and split the nine-fold reality layers of human perception; from communing with the dead to disturbing the holographic brain; from trance states to opening flicker portals in optic nerve fibres; these practitioners practice dark hypnosis in psychoactive hyperventilation clubs.



Sarah Kenchington

Sarah Kenchington builds her mechanical instruments from discarded materials. Bicycle spokes, typewriters, the inner tubes of tractor tyres are combined to create unique musical machines which emit a discordant array of moans, squeaks and chimes. Kenchington’s work offers a contemporary manifestation of a long history of the artist giving birth to machines (from Leonardo da Vinci, through to Heath Robinson, Tinguely and Michael Landy), yet Kenchington’s machines are anything but automata, remaining fundamentally dependent on an interaction with the human to come to life. Kenchington relishes the unpredictable nature of her instruments, a quality which means that despite being author of both instrument and the music it emits, she is never entirely in control of what happens. Her performances evolve in conversation with or in response to the machine, a process which for Kenchington is akin to playing an improvised duet with another musician.

watch video



Savage Pencil Q&A



Ahead of the release of his new ‘Trip or Squeek’ publication, Edwin Pouncey aka Savage Pencil will make a guest appearance at the festival, in conversation with Frances Morgan of The Wire and Strange Attractor.

Savage Pencil’s Trip or Squeek strips have been appearing in music magazine The Wire since 2002.

Acerbic, lysergic and razor sharp observations on music, art and life, Trip or Squeek continues a tradition of satirical illustration dating back to the 18th century, albeit one that has been dosed up via the ’60s freak scene, Japanese monster movies and the weird fiction of HP Lovecraft. Musical guest stars appearing in the book include: Steve Reich, Stockhausen, Moondog, Mark E Smith, Sonic Youth, Robert Wyatt, Suicide, Kraftwerk, Crass, Lou Reed, Jandek, Throbbing Gristle, Sleep and many more. Containing over 100 comic strips, collected together for the first time, the book features extensive notes, a discography and never-before-seen preparatory sketches by Savage Pencil, and an illustrated foreword by artist Gary Panter.

Savage Pencil  has been writing and illustrating for music newspapers and magazines for almost four decades. His artwork has also appeared on album covers, posters and T shirts for bands including Sonic Youth, The Fall, Sunn 0))) and numerous others.


New Music Plus…


Friday 19 October

Birmingham City University, Margaret Street Fine Art Building, Birmingham, B3 3BX

1.30pm – 6.00pm As part of the Art Of Listening extended panel

Hosted by Birmingham Institute of Art & Design
This event is supported by Birmingham City University.


New Music Plus… – making the case for cross artform collaboration


Check out the programme for most galleries, museums, film or art festivals, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a musical vein running across their programmes. As Supersonic celebrates its 10th anniversary, we’ve joined forces with New Music Plus… to put together a panel featuring: Jo Beggs, Head of Development for the Manchester Partnership Museums, Will Dutta, Chimera Productions, Andrew Ellis of Samizdat and Lisa Meyer, Co-director of Capsule/Supersonic Festival and chaired by Julia Payne. As the people behind some of the most exciting music-led inter-disciplinary work in the country, our panellists will talk about why this work is important to them, and about how they make it work – artistically and financially.

Will Dutta is a producer, composer and pianist, and director of Chimera Productions, whose work connects the dots between modern dance music and contemporary and experimental art music. Will has worked as a producer with a range of organisations, including Tate Britain, the British Film Institute, De La Warr Pavilion and the National Portrait Gallery.

Jo Beggs is Head of Development for the Manchester Partnership Museums (Manchester Arts Gallery, the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and the Gallery of Costume). Jo led on the Whitworth Art Gallery’s involvement as a production partner in new Music Plus… North West, and will be talking about the Partnership’s commitment to including music in its programmes.

Andrew Ellis, a.k.a. Samizdat, has acted as a conduit for new and interesting music in Liverpool for the past five years. Andrews most recent project was working in collaboration with Liverpool Biennial to produce A Crimson Grail for 100 guitars and 8 basses at Liverpool Cathedral

Lisa Meyer is the creative director of Capsule, crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences, identifying some of the otherwise indescribable connections between contemporary music, performance and art. Capsule has gained a reputation as a dynamic arts producer with a unique vision and strong track record for delivering highly ambitious projects, which include Supersonic Festival, this year celebrating it’s 10th birthday. Home of Metal, a groundbreaking heritage project, which celebrates Birmingham and the Black Country as the birthplace of Heavy Metal through a series of large-scale exhibitions, events and archive. Capsule has just been appointed as the festival producer for the new Library of Birmingham, due to open in September 2013, it will be the biggest public library in Europe.

 Julia Payne is director of the hub, a music development organisation that produces its own work and also provides consultancy, research and training services ( She produced her first music events in 1993, and has project managed New Music Plus… since 2009.

New Music Plus…is a creative and professional development programme created by PRS for Music Foundation and run in partnership with the hub to enable non-music and cross-art form organisations to co-produce dynamic live music events with hand-picked music events producers.

Tickets are FREE to weekend ticket holders (places are limited and booking in advance is essential via [email protected] with ‘LISTENING’ in the title) or £10



Counting In: The Art of Listening


Friday 19 October
Birmingham City University, Margaret Street Fine Art Building, Birmingham, B3 3BX
1.30pm – 6.00pm

Supersonic Festival with Sound and Music present a half-day extended panel discussion exploring contexts for the presentation of sound works and performances and approaches to listening. Bringing together artists, academics and industry professionals this event is an opportunity for discussion of how artists and producers can best stage work, how audiences can be best encouraged to enjoy it and how we can all become better listeners. Counting In also acts as an informal networking opportunity for artists and producers.

Hosted by Birmingham Institute of Art & Design
This event is supported by Birmingham City University.

Participants in this panel discussion include:

Artist Lucas Abela (aka Justice Yeldman) is notorious for his bloody sonic actions using amplified shards of glass. Lucas will be discussing the balance of sonic and visual elements in his work and his concerns with allowing sound to shine through his visceral performances.

Frances Morgan is deputy editor at The Wire magazine and a writer on music and film. Frances will discuss the different ways in which we experience ‘live’ music and sound, the challenges for journalists writing about it now, and how audience expectations are shaped by context.

Irene Revell
is the Director of Electra, an organisation that curates, commissions and produces projects by artists working across sound, moving image, performance and the visual arts. Irene’s contribution to the panel will focus on Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether’s ‘Reverse Karaoke’, an installation that has toured European galleries during the last seven years and is on show at Eastside Projects as part of Supersonic 2012.

Simon Hall
is a composer, sound engineer trombonist and Assistant Head of Music Technology at Birmingham Conservatoire, UK. Simon will be discussing modes of listening and the cultural deafness resulting from the sonic overload of our contemporary lives.

Tickets are FREE to weekend ticket holders (places are limited and booking in advance is essential via [email protected] with ‘LISTENING’ in the title) or £10

Art of Listening flyer


You Can Be You


Offering an insight into some of the hows and whys of maintaining an independent spirit whilst on the very edge of the avant-garde, this panel will feature a number of maverick artists. How is the drive to make art sustained under sometimes-difficult circumstances? After many years of writing and touring music, will the desire to create ever be satiated?

Supersonic Festival is now in its 10th year, beginning as a one-day event it has become an internationally renowned weekend of music, art and more. The panellists have hugely influenced the festival producers, as well as many other artists performing at Supersonic. ‘You Can Be You’ (the title of the Honey Bane / Crass EP) will offer a fascinating insight into the drive and motivation behind some of the most prolific experimental artists around.

Panellists include:

Penny Rimbaud is a musician, poet and co founder of anarchist punk band Crass in 1977. A prolific writer, he has published over 14 books, set up Dial House and Exitstencil Press plus continues to release music three decades after Crass disbanded.

“If there was one message we had in Crass, it was that ‘there is no authority but yourself’. You don’t need to accept that you’re nobody, you can trust in yourself.”

Jarboe is a musician and artist who came to prominence in the mid-1980s with the highly influential Swans. With founder Michael Gira, the duo was the core of Swans until the group broke up in 1998. Since the band’s split she has made 17 solo albums, many self released and is a prolific collaborator, often working with new and emerging artists.

Eugene Robinson is the vocalist and co founder of the legendary avant rock band Oxbow. They formed in 1989 and have since been a prolific force in the experimental music world, touchng noise rock, musique concrete, free jazz and blues over the years. Oxbow are tireless touring band and the subject of a series of films looking at the whys of art creation, touring life and 20 years in, the motivations for continuing to do what you do.

Chair – John Doran is the editor of The Quietus and a music journalist/cultural commentator for many a publication. He is a regular columnist for Vice.


In conversation with Tony Conrad


A very special opportunity to hear a legend in the sonic and visual art world speak about this work. Tony Conrad will be in conversation at this year’s festival with the help of the ever inquisitive The Quietus.

Tony will be discussing his long line of collaborative work, plus giving us an insight into early days having worked with Velvet Underground and other such luminaries.  Tony will also be discussing his cross artform  approach, moving between the world of visual art, film and sound.

Extracts from Tony Conrad’s influential structural film ‘The Flicker’:


In Conversation with William Bennett + Vice Guide to Liberia



A special Q&A will see Whitehouse/Cut Hands man William Bennett, the influence of West African sounds on his own work, his new Afronoise project and his music’s inclusion on the Vice film.

VBS TV travels to Liberia in West Africa to explore a country ravaged by years of civil war. Liberia was originally planned and founded as a homeland for former slaves back in 1821. But fast-forward over a century and a half, and a military coup, and you find the first Liberian Civil War as Charles Taylor’s US-backed opposition overthrows a government unfriendly to US interests. The film explores the current fate of the Liberian people and that of the warlords themselves.


From A to Zine



Featuring Alex Zamora of Fever Zine, Nic Bullen, formerly of Napalm Death and Charlie Woolley, archivist of a unique collection of fanzines and political ephemera dating from the punk movement and its aftermath assembled by artist and collector Toby Mott. The panel will discuss the history of zines, their inspirations and the resurgence of zine culture.


Alex Zamora is a music and arts journalist who runs Fever Zine,a quarterly publication focusing on music , art and DIY culture.

Nic Bullen is a musician and visual artist who  co founded the band Napalm Death. Bullen collected and produced a number of zines during the 1980s.

Charlie Woolley is an artist and archivist of the Mott Collection. The collection is a fascinating piece of punk history and also includes political propaganda and memorabilia.



Sirens Of Sparkhill


Home Of Metal: Sirens Of Sparkhill
Kerrang! DJ Johnny Doom will be hosting a special roundtable chat with past and present members of Napalm Death – so if you ever wanted to hear about the formative years of the world’s premier grindcore band, or if you just want to discover exactly what the bloody hell a swinging thumbjump is, you’d be advised to set time aside to catch this one-off discussion.

As part of our Home Of Metal project


Motorik Skills


Motorik Skills:Apache Beat 101 presented by Hallogallo and The Quietus

The word ‘motorik’, which literally means ‘motor skill’ in German, was originally coined by journalists to describe the minimal yet propulsive four four beat that underpinned a surprisingly small amount of leftfield German rock music from the early 70s. It was a hallmark of Klaus Dinger’s drumming for Neu!, although he rejected the term, preferring to call the rhythm the ‘Apache beat’. This metronomic approach could be heard bubbling through in Kraftwerk’s ‘Ruckzuck’, and early Can fare such as the blistering ‘Mother Sky’ and ‘Father Cannot Yell’ but was cemented as we know it now by Neu!

This beat has retrospectively come to be seen as the war drum of modernity; the pulse pushing music and the listener into the future. It is often associated – with good reason – with the great transport networks of Germany, the railway lines and the autobahns. In fact the rhythm even mimics that of a car speeding along the open road or a train clattering along the rails: fast, measured, travel never ending across Europe endless. It was the rock beat stripped back to a glittering chassis. It was the minimalist framework on which subtle improvisation could take place.

Of course, when I had the temerity to say all this to former member of Kraftwerk and Neu! guitarist, Michael Rother, he laughed and said that in fact the inspiration for this measured German rock beat had come from something altogether less mechanistic and more fluid: a game of five-a-side football including himself, Klaus Dinger and Ralf Hutter.

As a bonus to fans we’ve invited Michael Rother on stage to take part in a Q and A discussing the motorik beat, hallogallo, Harmonia and Neu!.

Hosted by  The Quietus



Fear Of Music


Panel discussion: ‘Fear Of Music’: Why Do People Get Rothko But Don’t Get Stockhausen?

David Stubbs’s Fear Of Music pivoted on a fundamental question: why do people get Rothko and not Stockhausen? While the general public has no trouble embracing avant garde visual art there is mass resistance to experimental music, although both were born at the same time and under similar circumstances – and despite the fact that from Schoenberg and Kandinsky onwards, musicians and artists have made repeated efforts to establish a ‘synaesthesia’ between their two media.

For this event, a panel made up of David Stubbs, Brian Duffy (Modified Toy Orchestra) and Christian Jendreiko (God’s White Noise) will discuss the parallel histories of modern art and modern music and wonder why one is embraced and understood while the other is ignored, derided or regarded with complete bewilderment.

About the panel:
David Stubbs is a freelance British music journalist and author. He has been a staff writer at Melody Maker, the NME, and The Wire, and he’s work regularly appears in The Guardian, Arena, The Wire, Uncut and When Saturday Comes.

Brian Duffy is the originator of the Modified Toy Orchestra, who make experimental electronic music using a series of children’s toys rescued from car boot sales. Each toy is modified to utilise new connections, and liberate the surplus value within their circuits.

Christian Jendreiko is an artist who seeks to reconsider acoustics as aspects of how body and mind are constructed, through a decentralized and sculptural approach towards performance; he transforms groups into social sculpture.

Tony Herrington first contributed to The Wire magazine back in 1987, and has been a member of staff at since 1992, before going on to be Editor-in-Chief and Publisher.

Supported by Ikon hosted by Wire Magazine


Home Of Metal


Home Of Metal – Theatre Space/Saturday

For too long Birmingham and the Black Country have failed to celebrate what is rightfully theirs, to claim the city and the region as the birth place of Heavy Metal.

‘Home of Metal’ aims to create a legacy to celebrate the innovators of the genre and those that continued to develop it: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Napalm Death and Godflesh. Bringing people together to share their passion for the music by creating a digital archive, heritage tours, exhibitions and ultimately a permanent collection dedicated to telling the story of Metal and its unique birthplace.

Its time to start celebrating!!!

Join Kerrang! Radio DJ – the legendary Johnny Doom, a stalwart of the Midlands Metal scene who will be accompanied by special guests Sunn 0))) duo Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson discussing both the project & the influence of music from the region.

Metal and the Male Monster presented by Dr Niall Scott
Niall Scott is Senior Lecturer in Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and the co organiser of Heavy Fundametalisms, the first global conference on heavy metal.  As part of our Home Of Metal series he will be presenting a talk that explores the notion of the monstrous male figure within Heavy Metal culture, the boundary between the imaginary and the real, the irrational and the rational.

Followed by a screening of the controversial VSB TV documentary TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL

Home Of Metal acknowledges support from the Heritage Lottery Fund


Celebrating Independence!


Celebrating Independence! Saturday/Theatre Space

Over a quarter of the UK’s independent music stores went out of business last year, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association, in the record store heyday of the 1980s there were 2,200 stores; by 1994 there were 1,200, today only 305 remain in the UK.  Another recent blow to the independent scene has been the sudden closure of Plan B magazine; Supersonic brings together a panel of guests including the manager of Rough Trade East Spencer Hickman, Allison Schnackenberg of Southern Records and former editor of Plan B Louis Patterson to discuss the future of independent music.
Chaired by Emma Petit editor of the book Old Rare New: The Independent Record Shop

Followed by a selection of music shorts chosen by the multi talented Norwegian electronic musician, graphic designer, illustrator & filmmaker KIM HIORTHØY


Goblin Q & A


Goblin Q & A Theatre Space/Sunday
hosted by Alex Fitch, deputy editor at Electric Sheep

It is with great honor that Supersonic presents Italian legends GOBLIN, their first UK show in over 20 years.

The name Goblin first appeared on the map in 1975, when the band recorded the soundtrack for Dario Argento’s “Profondo Rosso”. This was the starting point for a decade long, highly creative and widely influential collaboration between the eccentric film maker and Goblin, that made the group become the aural signifier of the Italian horror film movement of the seventies and the eighties, creating sound tracks to such cult classics as “Suspiria” (1977) and “Dawn of the Dead” (“Zombi”, 1978). Goblin created some of the most thrilling pieces of soundtrack music ever made. While Argento undisputedly masters color and composition, Goblin’s suggestive and complex symphonic scores evocated dark atmospheres, suspense and stirring drive. In combination they create the unique, highly stylized, surreal and psychedelic experience, that made the movies become cult classics. 


Home of Metal


5.15pm Saturday 12th July
Theatre Space

For too long Birmingham and the West Midlands have failed to celebrate what is rightfully theirs, to claim the city and the region as home of “Heavy Metal”. 2008 is the 40th anniversary of when the phrase “Heavy Metal” was first coined by journalist Lester Bangs. To follow on from last year’s series of talks and round table discussion we continue the exploration with a pair of presentations from experts in the field:

Mark Pilkington 

‘From Heretics To Headbangers: Occultism, Rock and Pop Music in the UK’

Exploring the roots of contemporary British occultism and considering its baleful influence on 20th century popular music.

Mark Pilkington publishes and edits Strange Attractor Journal, an irregular anthology of cultural marginalia and ethnographic esoterica, and curates events under the Strange Attractor banner. His writing has appeared in The Guardian/ Fortean Times/ Arthur/ The Wire and Plan B amongst others.

Nicholas Bullen

‘The Aesthetics of Grindcore’
Nicholas (b/1968) is a musician and sound artist whose work explores approaches at the extremes of sound. In his twenty-five year history as a musician (as a founder member of Napalm Death – creators of the ‘Grindcore’ genre – and Scorn), he has appeared on numerous recordings and performed extensively across the globe. He maintains a number of ongoing musical projects including the electronic group Black Galaxy and the Monium label.

Home Of Metal
Home Of Metal began in 2007 with a Metal Symposium held at New Art Gallery Walsall and continues with the development of an online archive mapping the regions heritage, Metal memorabilia, collections and oral histories will be collated through a series of 3 public open days held at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and New Art Gallery Walsall.


Pierre Bastien


Pierre Bastien
Installation as part of FLUX FEST at Vivid 24th June – 13th July

Performance Sunday 13th July

Theatre Space

At VIVID French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien presents a robotic ensemble comprised of household object. Instead of music instruments, the robots creates sounds out of an array of household objects including a teapot, comb, toothbrushes, a saw, an ashtray, scissors, a letter-scale and a hammer.

In collaboration with Vivid. Dedicated to the development of contemporary media art and interdisciplinary practice, VIVID supports and commissions research, new works, publications and provides a resource for artists and curators.

Opening 12-5.30 Wed to Sun Free Admission
140 Heath Mill Lane . Birmingham