Expo Worlds


Ian Helliwell (UK)


Ian Helliwell has been operating from his current HQ in Brighton since 1992, and has produced experimental music, super-8mm films, installations, electronic instruments and light-show projections for concerts and club nights.

He has completed a range of short films exploring different techniques, including hand painting, bleaching, scratching and stop motion animation. He uses a similar 'hands-on' working methods in his electronic music.

Having close links with Brighton’s Cinematheque has allowed Helliwell to assemble programmes of experimental and other rarely seen films highlighting the connections between music and cinema. His shows include Soundtracks For Super 8 (1997), Pioneers Of Electronic Music (1998), Optical Sounds (1998), Electronics In Film (1999), Circuit Breaker (1999), Cities In Motion (1999), Integrated Circuits (2000), Expo Worlds (2000), Soundtracks For The City (2000) and Film Into Retina (2001).

This autumn the Helsinki-based Lefta Records and Avanto Recordings will release Helliwell’s debut EP Transition 4.

Avanto 2001 is proud to present Expo Worlds, Soundtracks For The City and five shorts films by Ian Helliwell. Three of these (Return To Light, Linear Phases and Chromaburst) are world premieres.


Expo Worlds - A Film and Music Programme
Devised and compiled by Ian Helliwell
UK, 2001, 70 min

Expo Worlds – A Music And Film Programme revisits various futuristic visions of World Fairs between 1939 and 1982. It is comprised of film, music and slides; among the featured works are Erkki Salmenhaara's brilliant collage composition Information Explosion from the Montreal Expo '68, and several rare short films, such as San Francisco World Fair (1939) and Expo Prepares (1967). Poème Électronique (1958) encompasses the Edgard Varèse composition of the same name and an astounding installation of 400 loudspeakers at a Philips pavilion.

"The World Fairs first came into existence with the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace, London in 1851. A great deal of the extraordinary imagination and creativity that has gone into the 64 official World Fairs has been lost forever. Much of the work was inherently ephemeral, but many pavilions and futuristic structures that could have been preserved for future generations, have been neglected or demolished. Through film and music however, Expo Worlds revisits some of the significant sights and sounds inspired by yesterday’s vision of tomorrow. While acknowledging that these represent merely the tip of the Expo iceberg, looking back at some of the quintessential World Fair ingredients, such as geodesic domes, space needles, solar towers, monorails and futurama rides, provides not just nostalgia for a bygone age, but windows into the past and the future.” (IH)


Soundtracks for the City
Devised and compiled by Ian Helliwell
UK, 2001, 50 min

The Soundtracks For The City series of films give a new lease of life to old Super 8 tourist footage found in flea markets and second hand shops. The uncut versions of these promotional films (1940-1970), originally silent and depicting big cities around the world, form the basis of the series. Their fine cinematography, balanced compositions and sympathetic postcard-like mood represent classic commissioned film, a genre that has now all but vanished. Helliwell asked a group of musicians he knew to compose music inspired by these nostalgic, faded city visions.

At their best, the results are pretty eccentric and include the Birmingham group Pram’s subtle post-rock impressions of the Rio carnival, Tele:funken’s precise view of Geneva’s idyllic history, Testcard’s hectic speeding during a motobike trip from London to Paris, and last but not least, Op:l Bastard’s stylized electro-acoustic adventures in merry Copenhagen. MT

Geneva (music: Tele:funken, 2 min)
The Post Office Tower (m: Ian Helliwell, 3 min)
Las Vegas (m: The Itch, 3 min)
Sights of Paris (m: Raum, 2 min)
Traffic Cop (m: Jonesco, 3 min)
100 mph Through London Streets (m. Kaleidophon, 2 min)
Hollywood (m: Iain Paxon, 3 min)
Speedway To Paris (m: Testcard, 3 min)
Carnival In Rio (m: Pram, 3 min)
Around Town With Forrest Tucker (m: Robert Worby, 3 min)
Exotic Nippon (m: Kaleidophon, 3 min)
700 mph Journey By Train (m: Gus Garside, 3 min)
California Golden State (m: Virgil, 2 min)
Copenhagen (m: Op:l Bastards, 3 min)
New York N.Y. (m: Ian Helliwell, 3 min)
Fascinating Hong Kong (m: Testcard, 3 min)
Visit To London (m: Ektroverde, 3 min)

Friday 9.11. 2001 – Kiasma Theatre
18:00 - in Avantoscope I: Patterns of Interference & Linear Phases (short films)

Saturday 10.11. 2001 – Kiasma Theatre
16:00 – in Avantoscope II: Return To Light (short film)

Saturday 10.11.2001 - Gloria
21:00-3:00 - Avanto Club: Soundtracks for the City (50 mins) + Chromaburst & Crossing The Equator (short films)

Sunday 11.11.2001 - Kiasma Theatre
18:00 - Screening of Expo Worlds