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Shadowed Spaces Tour brochure cover with names of artists

Shadowed Spaces

Music from the other side of the tracks.

There exist places in our towns and cities that are created not by design, but by circumstance. Shadowed Spaces was a tour of overlooked, bypassed and unconsidered nooks and crannies with 3 musicians; Sean Meehan, Ikuro Takahashi,Tamio Shiraishi and one Psychogeographer; Denis Wood.

They offer respites from society and routine. They are found by necessity, by those driven by desire, more than destination. Shadowed Spaces is a tour of nooks and crannies like these, in your towns and cities: forgotten steps that lead nowhere, alleyways, old railway tunnels. We’ll place musical performances in these spaces that will hopefully help us to think about the continued need for a sense of privacy in public.


What we said at the time:

In the mid 70’s academic and (amongst other things) the architecture critic of The Village Voice, Michael Sorkin collected an influential series of essays under the title ‘Indefensible Space’. In it, he discussed the move towards an approach to town planning that attempted to design-out spaces in which furtive activities could be fostered; a kind of architecture of security, you might say.

At the same time, and I suppose gloriously counter to this argument, Denis Wood (then a recently graduated geographer, or more particularly psychogeographer) wrote an impassioned essay, titled ‘Shadowed Spaces’. It was an ardent and poetic defense of our need to feel a sense of privacy in public, and the subsequent need for places where one might take refuge, or engage in transgressions which we may be unwilling to share with a wider public, but which are important to our lives and development, to our needs and desires.

The essay Shadowed Spaces has never been published, but exists in a sort of parallel way to the kinds of spaces it discusses, handed around and sought out by people who maybe need to find it. And it’s served as a loose inspiration to a clutch of artists and musicians who are also drawn to these kinds of spaces, and to a desire to perform there, in a kind of artistic parallel to that need for privacy in public: ‘cause isn’t a musical performance just that, a private thing done publicly?

Our tour brings together 3 incredible experimental musicians from the USA and Japan, as well as Denis Wood, and takes them to some of our favourite, secret spaces, where collectively perhaps we can share in something hidden from the eyes of those keepers of the norm.

For more info about Denis Wood check out Unmappable, a film directed by Diane Hodson and Jasmine Luoma which features 8mm footage shot on the tour by Matt Lloyd.

Shadowed Spaces was previewed in the Dundee Courier here, and was reviewed by Neil Cooper for Map magazine here, Euan Andrews for PlanB here, Andy Hamilton for the Wire here and by Andrew Eaton for the Scotsman here,

Programme Events

Sean Meehan performing in a on a curved wall before an audience
6 July 2007
Union Terrace Gardens

Shadowed Spaces Aberdeen

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

Disused railway turning circle at east end of Union Terrace Gardens, a historically public space at the centre of a regeneration land-grab for the private gain of a local petro-chemical magnate.

Shadowed Spaces
Inure Takehashi performing in a back corner of Dundee
8 July 2007
Bell Street Car Park

Shadowed Spaces Dundee

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

Location: between: the abandoned site of Parker House (ex-council office building) that became a student accommodation regeneration project, off the Dudhope roundabout; Bell Street Car Park entrance ramp and; the awkward (and otherwise used/ used otherwise) space left over between the back of Tesco’s and DW Sports on the Murraygate.

Shadowed Spaces
The sun low in the sky above Easterhouse, an audience at a performance
10 July 2007
The old public library in Easterhouse

Shadowed Spaces Easterhouse

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

Location: Around and about the old public library in Easterhouse; disinvested in and left to rot by the council but which was shamelessly, hastily and superficially cleaned by them in expectation of our event.

Shadowed Spaces
Tamio Shiraishi approaches an audience among grasses and concrete forms
12 July 2007
A concrete walkway ending in mid air

Shadowed Spaces Newcastle

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

A concrete walkway ending in mid air, a ridiculously tight squeeze between three office buildings and various other sites of Labour politician and council leader T. Dan Smith’s modernist regeneration projects and ‘slum clearances’ of the 1950’s and 60’s.

Shadowed Spaces
A lot of nails and screws rusting on the ground
13 July 2007
Under the M74 Ski Jump / Extension Ramp

Shadowed Spaces Glasgow

Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Ikuro Takahashi

A recording session for BBC Radio Scotland under the M74 ‘Ski Jump’ extension ramp, a secion of motorway that doesn’t go anywhere, one of several such structures that populate the motorway system in the centre of Glasgow.

Shadowed Spaces
Denis Wood talking to an audience seen through the aperture of an orange hole
14 July 2007
The Megastructure

Shadowed Spaces Cumbernauld

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

A series of badly felted lock-ups and garages + multiple locations within the Megastructure – a purpose built town centre in one building, comprising (in the 50’s at least) of housing (never occupied), shops, apartments, a hotel, ice rink, police station and other amenities

Shadowed Spaces
Inure Takehashi playing a snare drum among buddleia
15 July 2007
The former Abbeyhill Station

Shadowed Spaces Edinburgh

Ikuro Takahashi Sean Meehan Tamio Shiraishi Denis Wood

The site of the former Abbeyhill Station on the 1903 Leith branch of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway, overgrown and leading to as yet un-regenerated ‘wasteland’; taxi’s for 80 people, each instructed to take different routes between locations and; a slice of land concealed behind corporate business park branding off the Wester Approach Rd, apparently of no conceivable use and named ‘Chateaux de Scum’ by those who use it anyway.

Shadowed Spaces
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