Happy Hour: Family Album

Happy Hour: Family Album at the British Library on Friday 24 November

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A four-way DJ set by Marcia Farquhar and Jem, Ella and Kitty Finer

Be transported to a rainforest, revisit musical treasures or experience rare recordings for the first time, all within our Entrance Hall. Guest selectors will open your ears and mind in these regular Friday evening sound experiences.

Marcia Farquhar and Jem, Ella and Kitty Finer all work with vinyl in distinct ways. At this special free event each member of the family mixes sounds that they have individually contributed to the British Library sound archive over the years together with other records of their own, and others’ making.

Jem Finer DJs with Slowplayer, a turntable operating between 0.2 and 3 rpm. At extreme slow speeds the spin of a record player is reduced to a glacial crawl, the music to a seismic rumble. A beat may last a minute, and the once tiny slices of silence between them become ambient voids. With Slowplayer Jem Finer continues his preoccupation with long-durational processes and extremes of scale. Usually installed in a gallery, playing one LP over the course of a day, for this evening he will be playing short excerpts from a wide range of records, from Ornette Coleman to the Sex Pistols via bird song recordings, popular and classical hits and other selections from his record collection.

Over the past decade Ella Finer has documented her work on records of varying materials: from acetate dub plates to flexidisks. Exactly ten years on since its making, she plays her Ella, Ella, Ella record publically for the first time – a work composed of a broken Ella Mitchell record made whole again through the addition of a section of an Ella Fitzgerald record. This is mixed with both her own back-catalogue of record installations and an archival recording (in the British Library Sound Archive) of her performance A Play for Offstage Voices (2010).

Kitty Finer performs Lobby Star: A Side / B Side, the continuation of a performance she has staged with her debut EP at The Horse Hospital, Bookartbookshop and most recently on Richard Wilson’s A Slice of Reality on the Thames. When performing without a band she takes a portable record player and a copy of her EP, Lobby Star, with her as a backing track to sing along to. Lobby Star was added to the British Library Sound Archive in 2016 and here she plays it back loud into the lobby of the Library.

Live mixing some hit-and-miss memories with a selection from her record collection, Marcia Farquhar brings up the seventies in voice and music. Interspersed with her old 45s will be brand new spoken word singles of significant others recalling the past. These are selected from her recent work Vox Box, an archival jukebox including interviews with Stuart Brisley, Gina Birch, Mick Jones and Gustav Metzger. Marcia's presentation is as much about the unreliability of memory as about vinyl. As she herself says, ‘Vinyl never forgets!’.

Part of A Season of Sound; Audio Installation by Bowers and Wilkins


Name: Happy Hour: Family Album
Where: British Library St Pancras
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546