Filming in the Rain 6 minutes, 19 seconds "Filming in the Rain"
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A film crew on Toynbee Street in East London is surprised by a thunder- and hailstorm descending from out of nowhere on a mild September night.
Flyover 2 minutes, 38 seconds "Flyover"
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Under a flyover in East London, the passing cars create interesting rhythms while driving over a joint in the structure. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
Please Place the Item in the Bagging Area 2 minutes, 54 seconds "Please Place the Item in the Bagging Area"
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Now omnipresent at supermarkets across the UK, at the time automated checkouts were a novelty. I am still fascinated by the cacophony of disembodied female voices giving friendly but firm instructions on how to shop with the help of a machine. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
South Bank Skate Park 2 minutes, 36 seconds "South Bank Skate Park"
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A cavernous space with walls covered in graffiti, the skate park at the South Bank Centre is somewhat reminscent of the sites of prehistoric rituals. In this place, youngsters daily worship the cult of the four wheels attached to a wooden board. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
The Original Magnetic Bracelets 5 minutes, 34 seconds "The Original Magnetic Bracelets"
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Market criers touting their wares at Sunday’s Petticoat Lane market in East London. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
Ball Games 2 minutes, 54 seconds "Ball Games"
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A group of children from the local Bangladeshi community playing ball games in a side lane off Commercial Street on a Sunday afternoon. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel 3 minutes, 47 seconds "Greenwich Foot Tunnel"
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Opened in 1902, Greenwich Foot Tunnel runs under the river Thames, connecting the Isle of Dogs with the borough of Greenwich. Its rounded diameter and tiled walls give it peculiar acoustics, which are being explored here by children imitating police sirens. Recorded for the D-Fuse project Undercurrent.
Rhythms of Resistance 4 minutes, 00 seconds "Rhythms of Resistance"
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On 20th March 2003, the day after the invasion of Iraq, demonstrations were held around the world in opposition to the war. In London, people gathered in Parliament Square in the afternoon, shouting slogans at the Houses of Parliament that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up centuries earlier. Later in the day, drum band Rhythms of Resistance joined the protest with their infectious rhythms, making sure the noise of public anger will penetrate the shielded corridors of power.
Anarchy in the UK 15 minutes, 00 seconds "Anarchy in the UK"
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On May Day 2001, there was a multitude of anti-capitalist protests across London, including mass cycle rides at King’s Cross and Euston, Reclaim the Streets in Elephant and Castle, and rallies at Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street, where most of the shops had been boarded up in advance. After police had penned in protesters for hours at Oxford Circus without water or toilets, a small group of anarchists broke free and advanced to nearby Tottenham Court Road. There the situation was entirely different. With a handful of police charging but soon losing control of the situation, rioters were roaming the territory unconstrained, smashing the windows of banks and shops, in a precursor to the much broader public anger that is challenging the dominant economic order since.
Brixton Station 2 minutes, 23 seconds "Brixton Station"
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At the time, Brixton station was a kind of micro-melting pot featuring a set of regularly appearing characters who collectively caused commotion on a daily basis. Some of them were known by names derived from the sounds they contributed to the local soundscape: the Biggie-Biggie man or the Incense man for example. These two were supported by an assortment of preachers from various Baptist and Pentecostal churches, market criers, ticket touts, Underground staff and others. Since the attempt at gentrifying the centre of Brixton things have become a lot less interesting. Leaving the station now, one is not greeted by the lively hustle and bustle, but by the sounds of cars and buses going past.
This recording was released on Peter Cusack’s CD Your Favourite London Sounds (2001).