CVM II: A Partial Archive

Jo Mitchell

This is a selection of reference, research and developmental material gathered and worked on between April 2006 and February 2007 leading towards the one-off re-enactment performance of Concerto for Voice & Machinery at the ICA, London. They represent the process of constructing a narrative and feeling of a particular time, place and event whose story had long been dispersed into fragments of others’ personal memory & cultural myth. Original images have been removed to protect the copyright of those photographers who witnessed and recorded the event in 1984 and its surrounding context. Anton Corbijn’s typically atmospheric and dramatic images were of Mufti and Fad Gadget and were used as pre-publicity shots although whether they were actually published then remains a mystery to me. The CD-R copy of an original bootleg recording which was sourced on the Neubauten supporters’ forum and generously sent to me by Rene Bryld in Iceland became an invaluable reference source and enabled a certain amount of fantasy time-travel with every listen, which were numerous. Mick Sinclair’s Sounds review was the first document I found (online) in researching the event for my proposal and immediately instilled it in me as an absolutely inevitable gig to re-visit. This was shortly backed up by finding Chris Bohn’s review for the NME at the British Library’s Newspaper Archive; both of which soon lead me to finding photographers names and of course Michael Morris’ then position of music programmer and Rock Week co-ordinator for the ICA. Michael Morris informed me that he had worked closely with Mark Chung (previously of Neubauten) at the time in developing this one-off specifically commissioned performance and who very generously sent me copies of his original score which mine was an adaptation of. The poster was generously donated to me from the personal archive of Bill McAlister who was the director of the ICA at the time and is a fantastic memento of a fleeting week in 1984 which conjures up an aspect of that era perfectly...

Gene Loves Jezebel, Modern English, Prefab Sprout, Billy Bragg, UB40’s half price, Big Brother is watching you and Einsturzende Neubauten.

Jo Mitchell, March 2008