Ducks! have landed

The Ducks! residency brings an exciting public programme of talks, workshops and gigs. 

Join us for drinks and an introduction to Ducks! and their work
Thursday 18 May, 7.30pm at Blitz

Blitz welcomes the second incoming residents for the 2017 Blitz Residency Programme. Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan are Ducks! They make electronic music for dancing and dreaming, influenced by Disney and disco, combining synthesiser and vocal loops with found sounds and field recordings.

Formed in 2014, the Berlin-based Australians released their debut album ‘Ding Ding Ding’ in 2016, which was long-listed for the AMP (Australian Music Prize) later that year. Ducks!’ first performance was in 2015, supporting Jarvis Cocker at the Berlin premiere of ‘Pulp: a film about love and supermarkets’, and since then they have performed live regularly in Germany and the UK, and toured Australia in 2016. The new Ducks! album ‘Nak Nak’ is out now.

Talks and music workshops
A series of workshops which begin with a talk by Craig Schuftan, an author, broadcaster and radio producer who has published three books on music and popular culture; The Culture Club (2007), Hey! Nietzsche! Leave Them Kids Alone! (2009) and Entertain Us! The Rise and Fall of Alternative Rock in the 90s (2012), and the documentary series, Love in the 90s (2014). Following each talk, Schuftan and his musical collaborator Lani Bagley invite you to join a music-making workshop.

1. We did it again – A talk and workshop on repetition in music, from Stravinsky to Sia, with Craig Schuftan and Ducks!
Saturday 20 May, 10.00am–12.30pm, at Blitz, open to all ages

Workshops are free. Bookings are essential as places are limited. To make a booking email:

What would a time traveler from a hundred years ago make of music in the 21st century? Music critic Susan McClary guessed that she’d be most surprised by how unsurprising it is. From Hip Hop to EDM, Arvo Pärt to Alt-J, modern music repeats itself to a degree that a 19th century person would find deeply weird, relying on short repeated phrases, cycling patterns and beats that are often literally looped. So, how did we get here? And what does it mean when music repeats? In We Did It Again, author, broadcaster and one half of Blitz artists-in-residence Ducks! Craig Schuftan draws on one hundred years of writing, talking and thinking about music, from Adorno to Bjork, disco to Darmstadt, to explain the meaning of repetition in modern music.

Following the talk, Schuftan and his collaborator Lani Bagley will host a workshop, in which we’ll further explore the theory and practice of repetition, and its effect on our ears, brains and bodies. The results will be incorporated into songs performed by Ducks! at Blitz, and released as recordings via the Blitz website.

2. Here’s the thing – Turning noise into music, and music into noise: a talk and workshop on hip hop and musique concrete, with Craig Schuftan and Ducks!
Thursday 1 June, 6.00–8.30pm, at Blitz, open to all ages

Workshops are free. Bookings are essential as places are limited. To make a booking email:

It used to be that noise was noise and music was music; music was notes played on instruments and noise was, well, everything else. But in the 20th century, this cosy order started to fall apart. In 1940, composer Delia Derbyshire, then 3 years old, heard German bombs falling on Coventry and air-raid sirens wailing in the night, and believed she was hearing ‘electronic music’. Almost half a century later, Chuck D of Public Enemy made a loop of a Junior Walker record in his bedroom, and the resulting noise made his mother wonder if he was making tea and forgot to turn the kettle off. In ‘Here’s the Thing’, writer, broadcaster and Blitz artist-in-residence Craig Schuftan tells the story of how noise and music became fatally mixed up in the 20th century, and what this everyday revolution means for us today. Incorporating ideas from philosophy, history, music theory and pop culture, and featuring sounds from Pierre Schaeffer, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Matmos, Missy Eliot and M.I.A., Schuftan explains how music, once strictly an event, finally became a thing, and was never the same again.

Following the talk, Schuftan and Lani Bagley of Ducks! present a hands-on workshop, exploring the techniques pioneered by artists like Derbyshire and Schaeffer in the 50s and 60s. The results of this workshop will be incorporated into a new work by Ducks!, to be performed live at Blitz in June 2017, and released for listening via the Blitz website.

3. The world is round – Gertrude Stein in the age of mechanical reproduction – a talk and workshop by Craig Schuftan and Ducks!
Friday 9 June, 3.00–5.30pm, at Blitz, open to all ages
Workshops are free. Bookings are essential as places are limited. To make a booking email:

In 1934, poet and playwright Gertrude Stein couldn’t get a break. Even though she’d had a hit novel and a successful play, publishers and editors routinely rejected her work for being too repetitive. Had she run out of ideas? Did she have nothing to say? Stein’s use of repetition and word-loops made her writing the subject of much misunderstanding and ridicule in the early 20th century. But it’s exactly this quality that makes her work speak to us so clearly today. After three decades of hip hop, house and techno, in a world where the serial reiterations of Warhol, Steve Reich, Bridget Riley, Laurie Anderson and Daft Punk have become canon, no-one needs to convince us of the value of repetition. All the more reason, then, to look again at Stein’s reasons for writing as she did. In ‘The World is Round’, author, broadcaster and Blitz Artist in Residence Craig Schuftan takes us into Stein’s world, and finds a philosophy of poetry and language which has much to offer us in a world facing similar problems to the ones Stein faced in 1938, in which we often turn for solace, as she did, to some very circular songs.

Following the talk, Schuftan and his musical collaborator Lani Bagley of Ducks! invite you to join in a workshop, in which we explore the effect of repetition on language, using techniques derived from Stein, as well as live electronic processes that extend and amplify her methods. Bring your texts, found or written, and experiment with Ducks! at Blitz.

To make a booking email:

Ducks! in concert
Friday 2 June, Royal British Legion Club, Valletta
Entry by donation
This special Ducks! performance will feature songs from their two albums, along with new works created during their residency at Blitz.

Blitz is supported by Arts Council Malta through a Cultural Partnership Agreement. The Blitz Residency Programme is supported by the Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture

Ducks! are also supported by Music Board Berlin.

Residency dates: 15 May – 11 June 2017