Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter
Curated by Anne Hilde Neset and Rob Young
for Lofoten International Art Festival
Produced by Eivind Furnesvik and Kunst I Nordland
A radio art intervention in Lofoten, Norway,
The string of islands off the northern coast of Norway, high up above the Arctic Circle, is better known for its dried cod and midnight sun than for sound art. Between May and July 2004, this changed as two of the UK's most respected, enigmatic sonic artists were marooned with the task of making a sonic record of their time on these unfamiliar islands.
The airwaves were hijacked as their work in progress made interventions on the local radio station Lofotradioen 104.4 FM. The piece was eventually re-edited and made into two double NWW albums for release on Stapleton's label United Dairies, Shipwreck Radio Vol1 and Shipwreck Radio Vol2.
Steven Stapleton spent the mid-70s as a driver and roadie for various Krautrock and progressive German groups as they toured Europe. When punk broke, he returned to work in London, feeding a voracious appetite for collectable avant garde music. Nurse With Wound was initiated as a trio in 1979 with a freeform improvised avant rock LP entitled Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella. The LP sleeve contained the now legendary 'Nurse List', a string of influences that record collectors still strive to locate. NWW was at the heart of a vibrant London underground scene that included luminaries such as Coil, Current 93 and Whitehouse. Their story was told in David Keenan's acclaimed book, England's Hidden Reverse (SAF Publishing).
From his participation in the electronic Arts Society at the University Of York in the early 1970s, Colin Potter has been working in the field of electronic & experimental music for over 30 years. He has recorded, produced and distributed a wide array of music with artists working in the mainstream & the avant-garde. Throughout, he has developed his studio in accordance with this spectrum of work, refining it in order to access conventional methods of recording as well as working in more creative ways and has gained a reputation for innovative mixing & sound processing. His record label, ICR, has existed for over 20 years, releasing over 30 works, both by himself and collaborators such as Jonathan Coleclough and Paul Bradley.
Nurse With Wound is an enigmatic, ever changing outfit that rarely appear in public, but have been prolific since 1979 and enjoys a cult international following for its nearly 40 album releases and countless limited editions. Impossible to reduce to a single categorisation, NWW has provided the foil for an enormous range of eclectic music making over the ensuing two and half decades. Stapleton has explored dark Ambient droneology with albums such as Soliloquy For Lilith, Homotopy To Marie and To The Quiet Men From A Tiny Girl; bastard pop with Rock 'N' Roll Station and the Stereolab collaboration Crumb Duck; hommaged a Latin American hero with Funeral Music For Perez Prado and lamented a phantom shipwreck in the masterpiece Salt Marie Celeste (2003) - an elegiac tidal epic that recalled the fate of the missing crew of the famously abandoned ship.