selected sound art and experimental music work and projects
2017 - present
A continuation of the Visqueen project, Ubu Kung occasionally create noise / experimental music tracks and short films (Coates with vocalist X) although the main focus is a monthly radio programme for Moscow-based online station New New World Radio. The hour-long programme seeks to deconstruct the notion of what is - and is not - a functioning radio programme. Ubu Kung also create short experimental videos that have been exhibited in the UK, USA and Germany. Ubu Kung contributed a track to the 2018 Tse Tse Fly Middle East album Instruments of the State.
Tse tse fly middle east
2015 - present
While living in the UAE in 2015 Coates founded Tse Tse Fly Middle East, the platform that supports sound artists and experimental musicians with roots in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Now a London-based registered non-profit organisation and production company Tse Tse Fly produce live arts events, artworks, workshops and interventions in support of human rights and freedom of speech.
For all details about Tse Tse Fly Middle East, including all live events, artwork, the inhouse digital label and the radio programmes for Resonance EXTRA, go here.
Created for the ToBeContinued global twenty-four hour sound art and experimental music online broadcast. The Loa sound art piece is 28 minutes and 48 seconds in length.
The project was supported by the World Health Organisation and other participants included Alexander Balanescu (of the Balanescu Quartet) , Ji-yeon Kim, Youssef Abouzeid and more. ToBeContinued website here.
the visqueen project
June 2016 - January 2017
Visqueen formed in summer 2016 and was an experimental noise project by Simon Coates and X, a Filipino experimental vocalist who lives in the UAE. The project sought to explore the dynamic of experimental performance and how that can function in a music-saturated world. Visqueen's debut experimental music work White Horses - a cover version of the 1960s TV theme - features on the debut Tse Tse Fly Middle East album Easy Listening Vol.1 and was played by Andrew Weatherall on his NTS radio programme. Their Downers piece featured on the Xtematic label compilation Into Hidden Visions and Breaths From X appeared on the Melodies of Noise Subtrates collection on the IFAR Musique Concrète label. Vocals were performed in English and Tagalog, and the project concluded after six months.
Hey Sister! I Love You Or Your Family
Hey Sister! I Love You Or Your Family is a four minute, five second piece of experimental music created for the Tse Tse Fly Middle East album Easy Listening Vol.1.
for all the sea the land remains
For All the Sea the Land Remains is fifty-four minutes in length and features field recordings from Dubai, Fujairah (both in the United Arab Emirates), Istanbul, Bangkok and Vientiane in Laos. In addition to the field recordings, Coates plays harmonica, keyboards and guitar alongside digitally-manufactured acousmatic sounds. The work samples the songs Shagufa by Geeta Dutt (1953), Hum Aur Tum Aur Ye Khushi by Surendra (from the 1940 film Alibaba) and Aahen Na Bharin Shikve Na Kiye by Zeenat (1945). There are also samples from Parviz Kimiavi's 1970 film Oh, Protector of the Gazelle.
There are additional vocal contributions from English performance artist Caroline Smith, Emirati artist Sara Al Haddad and Denise Coates.
For All the Sea the Land Remains represents the desperate hope that landscape provides, despite man-made movement and gross overdevelopment. The title suggests that, even though the land is being decimated and desecrated, the flux of the sea is still indefatigable.
The A Taxi for my uncle project
2013 - 2016
Between 2012 and 2013 Coates made experimental music and radio art under the pseudonym A Taxi For My Uncle. The project was created to explore the boundaries between music and noise, and how radio can function as an abstract concept. The Wasta series of A Taxi For My Uncle podcasts saw Coates create one-hour long collages of sound art, sound effects, field recordings and world music.
A selecgtion of the podcasts were used as part of the Safina Radio Project that was part of the 2015 Venice Biennale.