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Phil Hession

1 February – 3 March 2015


Phil Hession is a visual artist based in Rotterdam, who works in performance and video. His practice explores the oral traditions of song and storytelling, and is conducted predominantly through social and cultural exchanges. These exchanges involve the documentation and archiving of song and story, and include teaching traditional Irish song, and performing songs within public spaces.

Phil cycled throughout Digbeth for the duration of his five-week residency at GU, touring his DIY record cutting lathe by bicycle trailer. The lathe “cuts” audio onto DVDs so that they can be played back on a record player. Phil made field recordings of the soundscape of Digbeth, recording his own recital of Irish traditional songs in specific locations and worked with various groups in the area to produce new sound pieces.

Artist Talk at Grand Union
Thursday 26 February, 6.30–8.30pm
Phil talked about his residency at Grand Union and the work he developed during his time in Digbeth.

Artist Performance
Friday 3 April, 7pm

Phil will perform with Giant Axe Field, remixing recordings made during his residency, with Alisha Kadir and Khrystine Blount singing live.

Featuring Recordings from:

Alexander James – Trumpet
Alisha Kadir – Vocals
Chad Arissa – Guitar & Vocals
Christy Carey – Guitar
Gareth Jones, Crumpled Up Guy – Vocals
Khrystine & Courtney Blount – Vocals
Lee Griffiths – Spoken Word
Maureen Slattery Marsh – Vocals
Natalie Mason, Why Don’t You Tritone – Piano & Composition
Nehanda – Vocals
Raj Kaur – Vocals
Sandra Hall – Vocals

And people from the following organisations:

Birmingham Dogs Home
Pat Benson Boxing Academy
Traditional Irish Musicians at the Spotted Dog
Turley Duggan Irish Dance School

Photo credit (unless specified): Rebekah Bainbridge