London Musicians Collective
The Brixton Gallery
The Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
Perfo 2 Festival, Rotterdam
Dartington College Founders Day
Space X Gallery, Exeter
International Festival of Performance Art, Bracknell
New Instruments / New Music Festival, LMC London
Opera House, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
The Ferens Gallery, Hull
Arts in Danger, Diorama, London
Whitechapel Open, Christchurch, Spitalfields
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London
Nieupoort Theatre, Ghent
Monty Theatre, Antwerp
Kaii International Theatre Festival, Brussels
Orchard Gallery (week residency with workshops) Londonderry, N Ireland
Art and Research Exchange, Belfast
Cibeal '85, Kenmare, Eire
Three week residency and 4 performances, the Anchorage, Brooklyn Bridge, New York
AIR Gallery, New Jersey
Festival Nieuwe Musiek, Middelberg, Holland
Festival Beelende Muziek, Belgium
Swindon Performance Festival
London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) 1985
GLC Games Day, South Bank
American Centre, Paris, France
Theatre der Welt Festival, Frankfurt
The Place Theatre, London (week run)
Brighton Festival, outdoor performance on the beach, for the Zap Club
Laing Gallery, Newcastle
Freiberg Festival, Switzerland
Dovecote Arts Centre, Stockton
Midland Group, Nottingham (two week residency + performances)
Third Eye Centre, GlasgoW (one week residency Dowanhill Church, + 2 performances + students)
Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh, (One week residency + two performances at St Mary's Cathedral)
Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
Visuele Musiekesdaage Festival, Shaffy, Amsterdam
Ooyevaer Musiek Festival, Belgium
In C & Air, 2 week show commissioned by, and performed at the ICA
Festival of Animated Darkness, South Shields
Nov. 5 Fireworks Display/Event for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The Fridge, Brixton, for the London Film Makers Co-op Anniversary
The British are Coming Festival, Copenhagen (4 shows)
Festival, Den Haag
OFFSHORE RIG LIFT/Watermans Art Centre
Berlin 700 Anniversary
Salzburg Festival, Austria
Festival Acarte, Gulbenkian Museum of Modern Art, Lisbon
Opening Fanfare for ICA 40th Anniversary
Nettlefold Music Feslival
Bretton Hall, Yorkshire (one week residency + performances + Nov. 5 performance w/students)
Wakefield 100 Festival
St Jean De Braye Festival, France
Sounds Unusual Festival, Jubilee Gardens, Finale in conjunction with Le Maitre Fireworks
British Council, Japan, 5 weeks constructing new orchestra and performing at SCOT International Festival of Theatre, Toga, and at KODO Drummers International Percussion Festival 'Earth Celebration', Sado
Hanover Festival, Germany
Glasgow Garden Festival (1 week residency + performances)
British Council, Cervantino Festival, Mexico, 5 weeks constructing Mexican Gamelan + performances in Guanajuarta and Mexico City
Leeds 100 Festival
Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music
Sitges Festival, Spain
THE NAVIGATORS/Port of Calls Series of water borne performances on the Thames
Nordland Fyleskomniune Festival (residency + performances)
British Art Festival, Madrid
British Council Travel Grants
Arts Council Training Awards
GLAA Artists Awards
ACGB Drama Grants
1986, ’87, ’89 Gulbenkian Research Award
Time Out Dance and Performance Award 1988
TSW (Television South West)
BBC London Plus
South of Watford
The Work, Tyne-Tees
BBC World Service (radio)
Alter Image 2, Channel 4 (on ‘51º 29.9’ N , 0º 11’ E’), 1987
BBC ‘40 Years of the ICA’
South Bank Show, Pick of the Year 1987
Central TV documentary (on Richard Wilson ‘Temporarily Installed’, including BGE)
Alter Image 3, Channel 4 (on 'Offshore Rig'), 1988
Steel Bank Films, (documentary on ‘Great Noises that Fill the Air’)
Spanish National Television, live concert
Bow Gamelan Ensemble, Cassette, released on Audio Arts, 1985
When I Grow Rich / When Will That Be, single, of BGE, released on Pulp Music, 1985
Perfo 2, Compilation, including BGE, released on Lantaren Venster Records, 1984
Offshore Rig, Cassette, of BGE live performance on Lots Ait, River Thames, released on Pulp Music
Great Noises that Fill the Air, LP, released on Klinker Zounds, 1988
Great Noises that Fill the Air, CD, re-issued on Cold Spring, 12 Nov 2018
They serve up adventures in music, sculpture and performance that dazzle the eyes, astonish the ears and stimulate the imagination of viewers with an unorthodox magic.
The Bow Gamelan Ensemble… is the most stunning cross media project of the decade. Gloriously inventive, riotously funny and completely accessible.
The sheer scale of the thing is a delight to behold… the smoke and light constantly changing create a strange beauty where you would never have expected to find it
Brilliant…Brilliant…. A faster vocabulary of sound than the rock noisists can conceive of…. Brilliant
Both visually and aurally stunning
A harangue, a polemic, an education: noise lights smells fire and flood
Their tumult of noise, flames and smoke was entertaining, provocative and insidiously hellish
Veering from beauty to horror, the spectacle is utterly and literally stunning
Finishing with a coda that would have done Raymond Roussel proud
Through a masterful alternation of mood and scale, Bow Gamelan creates a changing landscape of great beauty, surprise and sophistication
I left exhilarated
For sheer inventiveness this show would be hard to beat
Sonically the performance seemed to bring to fruition the wildest dreams of Luigi Russolo and other futurist musicians…. Full of ingenious ideas
Some of the most enchanting ethnic music on the planet. Haunting, enthralling stuff
It is a cross-media project bringing together sight and sound in a context that is dramatically appealing. And yet they are so obviously flying in the face of popular culture simply because there are no concessions made to familiarity, to tradition
A rustic ethnic music of the modern day west. Unmissable...
The tribal Rituals of a culture in terminal decline where machines have become detached from their original functions and turned into accessories of some mysterious cult...
The trio explore sounds and actions which are both a celebration and an assault... Harsh aural poetry
The bridge between improvised/avant garde music and performance art had never looked quite so convincing
Deeply serious and deeply silly in their attempt to undermine---indeed detonate ---- traditional notions of ‘music,’ the Ensemble make Neubauten look like a vicar’s tea party.
The packed banks of the river Thames have never been treated to tubes of smoke filled plastic erupting from a barge, miniature helicopters buzzing round like demented owls—you needed only to look away for a moment to miss firecrackers, giant mobiles of cymbals as high pressure fired water onto them, fire filled rusting jaws of baths opening and closing in crocodile like motion, or fleeting glimpses of a colourful hot air balloon, seemingly suspended amidst the traffic of Richmond Bridge.
I was agog at the spectacle of impersonality here, a spectacle in which the girders and their adjacent surfaces were the stars, in which the Bow people submitted themselves as specks on their own landscape
The extraordinary range of at once haunting, comic, evocative, aggressive, delightful and strange sounds and visual effects which Bow Gamelan produce …. There seems no limit to the potential of this group
I’ve never seen the ICA stage so crowded….truly the art of noise/noise of art.
There’s a flying car that thinks it’s Ornette Coleman’s drummer….. enjoying an uneasy relationship with its post-industrial backdrop, veering from beauty to horror, the spectacle is utterly, and at one point literally, stunning.
They have succeeded in firing the public imagination with an unorthodox combination of elements, which transcends categories and catches the flavour of our times
If you are planning an evening stroll along the Thames anywhere between Richmond and Bow this month, beware! First of all, you’ll hear thee noise:…explosions, metal groaning against metal, shrieking whistles, ear- splitting sirens, and gentler sounds like the eerie cries of disturbed ghosts. And then you’ll see it: a huge, rusting barge, laden with scaffold-mounted junk of all sizes and descriptions, complete with cranes winching equipment in and out of the water, and above it, hot air balloons spitting fire.
If you’ve never experienced the extremes of fear and fascination in the same five seconds, you’ve never had the pleasure of a ringside seat for the Bow Gamelan Ensemble. Put simply it is the most stunning cross media project of the decade—sonic choreography meets visual drama. Shattering glass, a free fall of rhythms, klaxon horns, the drone of what sounds like a bagpipe but looks like an octopus revolving from the ceiling, the rattle and roll of tin plates in tumble dryers: the instruments are oddments of industrial and domestic waste, some are nicked from skips, some fished out of the bottom of Bow Creek recycled with an eye for sculpture and an ear for sound. John Cage, the Dadaists, ‘80’s noise groups like Test Department, they are all kindred souls of a kind: as for straight forward comparisons, there are few if any at all. Their ICA season is specially commissioned…. Me, I can’t wait
The most spectacular piece in the London International Festival of Theatre is non-verbal… The Bow Gamelan Ensemble … are joined in Offshore Rig by American artist and percussionist z’ev. The work is presented on an offshore island in the Thames… using a derelict dry dock with three enormous sheds they stage their spectacle. Exploring experimental areas in sound, performance, light and sculpture, Bow gamelan create a work of great elegance and originality that is accessible without being compromised. A stream of semi-rehearsed, semi improvised ‘music’ created from fireworks and industrial junk (chimes, steam whistles, long swinging ropes of firecrackers) is interwoven with a variety of lighting effects (spotlights, flares, searchlights, coloured lights and gases) Subtle changes, or sometimes bold and sudden ones, create changing vistas and aural perspectives and rich sculptural silhouettes.
Bow Gamelan Ensemble was the highlight of Lift’s first week…. What they do successfully evades categorisation and amusingly blurs the highbrow-lowbrow distinction which dogs most performances. The sheer scale of the thing is a delight to behold, the unexpected explosions a regular cause of spontaneous laughter. The smoke and light constantly create a strange beauty where you would never have expected to find it. Offshore rig… is literally wonderful
Ever imagined what rusty lengths of piping sound like when played with gas jets? What about amassed choral of hoovers? Or a percussion orchestra ranging from bell trees made out of hubcaps, to metal plates thrown around in an industrial dryer, even a car with its doors and boot slamming in polyrhythmical fury? The Bow Gamelan Ensemble turn all of these and more into an awe-inspiring cross-media extravaganza. The worlds of Improv., sound sculpture and performance art combine at the South Bank.
Their performances boast a rare magic; scary, hilarious, alarming and also quite beautiful….. huge horn gramophones play four-foot records, littered with crushed glass. Squadrons of hoovers patrol the ceiling, plastic tubes writhing and manipulated into sound by the performers. Devices fixed to walls around the space activate, click, whirr, flash. Trees of electric kettles fixed with sax reeds, boil and start soling. Huge pinwheels describe blinding coronas that fill the stage. Handfuls of tiny toy explosives are hurled against walls to crackle and sparkle. Weird constructions attack each other and themselves. Snow falls.
Brilliant! The dingy ICA theatre has been transformed with the pickings from a hundred East London skips--- the wreckage comes alive…. That car starts to float across the stage, headlights and doors flashing and slamming, starts to dance. Brilliant. You can’t believe your eyes. And then, then the stage turns out to be all trapdoors, trapdoors which open and gape luridly, then slam in deafening symphony. How do they DO that? There’s underwater percussion, music from welding, prepared and invented instruments, prepared and invented instruments, automatic music, a symphony of fire alarms…..Tonight was a wealth of stunts and japes aural and visual,…Bliss… Brilliant.
Helium filled balloons soar with piercing sibilance towards the darkening canopy of the sky. As night falls, caped performers stalk up and down tensely, like besieged city dwellers, the fires below the eerily whistling boilers casting a flickering glow.
In a recently launched monograph on her work, Self Etc., the writer Dominic Johnson says: Anne Bean is a noted international figure who has been working actively since the 1960s. The art of Anne Bean makes strange our sense of time, memory, language, the body, and identity, particularly through solo and collaborative performances along a vital continuum between art and life.
Anne Bean has shown in major galleries including, in London, Tate, Hayward, Serpentine and Royal Academy and has received several large-scale awards such as a Millennium Science Commission by the Royal Society, British Council Creative Collaborations to work internationally with women from countries of conflict and a Tate/LADA Legacy: Thinker in Residence Award, resulting in TAPS, exploring improvisatory experimental practice.
She has had several solo shows with Matt’s Gallery, London, including Radiant Fields, Autobituary, WAKE and Moments of Consciousness and...
In 2018 and 2019 she had solo shows in London at Coleman Space and England & Co. and group work at South London gallery, Cooper Gallery, Dundee and Unlimited Action, at Tate Britain, as well as in 2020 a group show at England & Co. Intellect Books and Live Art Development Agency published a major monograph on her work, Self Etc., in 2018.
Richard Wilson is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors, internationally celebrated for his structurally daring interventions in architectural space which draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.
Wilson has exhibited widely nationally and internationally for over forty years and has represented Britain in the Sydney, Sao Paulo, Venice Aperto Biennials and Yokohama and Aichi Triennals.
He was nominated for the Turner Prize on two occasions and awarded the prestigious DAAD residency in Berlin 1992/3. In 2006 he was elected as a member of the Royal Academy and was exhibition co-ordinator for the 2016 Summer exhibition. He had a major solo show at the Annely Juda Gallery in 2017 and sited a large permanent sculpture in Shanghai, China in 2019.
Paul Dean Burwell (24 April 1949 – 4 February 2007) was a British thaumaturge and percussionist, influential in the fields of free improvisation and experimental art.
As a teenager he studied drums with dance band legend Max Abrahams
Born in Ruislip, he went to Ealing Art College, taking part in the workshops organised by drummer John Stevens. He then studied in The Environmental Media department of the Royal College of Art.
Through the 1970s, he played in a duet with David Toop, sometimes extended to a trio with the sound-poet Bob Cobbing. He was also a founder member of the London Musicians Collective, holding membership card no 1, and wrote for the magazine Musics among others.
In 1977 Anne Bean and Paul Burwell started to work and tour together, forming the label PULp Music.
Paul was also a member of the Resisters. The Resisters played gigs in London and Germany in the late 1970s.
During the 1980s he formed the industrial performance group Bow Gamelan Ensemble with Anne Bean and Richard Wilson.
In 2000, Burwell moved into the old Kingston Rowing Club in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, turning it into an experimental art space for both local and nationally recognised artists and musicians. Few recordings of his work exist; his work was primarily live and acoustic.
Two 7 inch singles, "Low Flying Aircraft" with Anne Bean and "When I Grow Rich", Bow Gamelan Ensemble and a Bow Gamelan album “Great Noises that Fill the Air” were released. He also featured in David Toop's Sonic Boom booklet from the Hayward Gallery in 2001, and on Richard Wilson's Turbine Hall Swimming Pool performance album.
He was featured in William Raban's film, Beating the Bridges.
Bow Gamelan Ensemble have been included in many books, including:
A Guide to the Gamelan by Neil Sorrell, (Faber & Faber, 1990)
Richard Wilson, (Merrell Publishers, London, 2001)
The Turning World: Stories from the London International Festival of Theatre, by Rose Fenton & Lucy Neal, (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 9 Oct. 2005)
Anne Bean: Self Etc. (Intellect Live) Edited by Rob La Frenais, (Intellect Books 2018)
Library of Light 2018: Encounters With Artists And Designers by Jo Joelson, (Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd, 2019)
Being in Time: Performance Art by Marty St James, (Zidane Press, 2020)