Neil Luck

Andrew Mangold music
residency at Casa Mahler


Neil Luck in the music room at Casa Mahler.

Neil Luck was awarded the Andrew Mangold music residency at Casa Mahler open call. He attended our Spring 2024 residency session. Luck writes: “I used the residency to develop a project centred around experimental approaches to group listening, sensing, performing, and walking in rural, or semi-rural areas. I am developing a body of Sensible Activities; exercises, instructions, and performance strategies which transpose mediated ways of seeing and hearing into environments removed from electrical, or digital technology. These walks and tasks are not simply listening experiences, but are designed as critically performative excursions into natural environments, a resilient performance practice that requires little external or institutional infrastructure to be realised. Perhaps it chimes with the late Romantic concept of the Sublime; the awesome, unknowable, the occult. For the Romantics, and not least Gustav Mahler, the interest in the pastoral and sublime in music was in part a reaction to encroaching industrialisation in Europe. For me, these interests are catalysed specifically by both an awareness of a changing planet, and the ubiquity of digital technologies.”

At our Open Studios, Luck presented a short film made in Spoleto, titled Six New Leaf Strategies (2024, 8″30′), documenting his ongoing exploration of local flora as music/noise instrument. He also shared a body of scores produced during the residency and relating to the Sensible Activities.

As part of his Open Studio, Luck also organised a performance walk through the centre of Spoleto, with an audience who were asked to engage with the new Sensible Activities. He described the walk as an experiment with “…a series of exercises, pieces, and actions designed to set the city into surreal reverberations, and realign your sensorium. Sensible Activities are ways of altering and heightening our senses; perceiving, activating, and performing familiar spaces in strange new ways.” The walk involved collective listening experiences with sticks and stones, call and response echo exercises using the acoustic properties of the Piazza del Duomo, ‘ear-worm’ recreations using water fountains, leaf-playing lessons, and the detection of microscopic sonic reflections in the arches of Spoleto’s medieval aqueduct. (Photo-documentation below). Luck is developing a publication and audio release relating to these studies, as well as further events/concerts.


Neil Luck

Luck’s work explores the pathos and interaction between live performance and multimedia, attempting to frame the act of music making as something curious, or weird, or useful, or spectacular in and of itself. Neil’s work takes a range of forms from music-theatre, to concert works, radio, public projects and recordings. The results are often deeply collaborative, either with artists, choreographers, researchers and other specialists, or publicly engaged in some way.

He is the founder and director of the music-theatre ensemble ARCO, and a co-founder of artist cooperative squib-box. He performs with artist Jennifer Walshe in the duo WACK. Independently, he has also worked with and written for people and ensembles across Europe, and presented work at music venues, festivals, and galleries internationally including the ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, MATA Festival (NYC), Tate Britain, Tate Modern, BBC Proms, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), in Vilnius and Aarhus Capital of Culture festivals, and the Tokyo Experimental Festival. His music has been released on several labels including Entr’acte, Nonclassical, Accidental Records, and squib-box.

Artist website:


Andrew Mangold

The Andrew Mangold music residence at Casa Mahler is organised in memory of composer, musician and singer Andrew Mangold (1971-2021). Classically trained at the Manhattan School of Music, New York City, and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Mangold was a multi-instrumentalist who composed extensively, from orchestra to solo piano. His work was particularly informed by his love of poetry and the work of Shostakovich. Latterly, playing guitar and on vocals, he composed songs and wrote lyrics for his bands The Pet Goats and Berufskleidung. Their work was inspired by the Hamburger Schule and Proto-punk movements, incorporating Noise and Post-rock elements.

The selection committee for the Open Call included former Mahler & LeWitt Studios resident Dom Bouffard, a composer and performer working primarily with electric guitar, and Mathias Kawinek, former band member of Berufskleidung.

The residency is supported by Carol LeWitt in memory of musician and singer Andrew Mangold.

More info>>

Neil Luck working on his scores in the Sol LeWitt Studio.