Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Charity Shop LP Finds

Have had some really good charity shop LP finds recently. BBC Hi Tech FX, Honky Tonk Nickelodeons, The Many Moogs of Killer Watts, Mike Sammes Singers, Pentangle and a very Persuasive Percussion. Side one of the BBC Hi Tech album has lots of Computor/Fax/Printer/Disc Drive effects, but side 2 has some wonderful compositions by Dick Mills, Malcolm Clarke and Simon Hancock. Killer Watts is an odd one lots of Moog variations of film scores. Good the Bad and the Ugly is entertaining but Amazing Grace is down right dire and cringe worthy. The last track Now Here This is a composition by Derek Scott who plays most of the Moogs (and an ARP 2600 as well) on the Album and is an absolute corker. I do intend to use this track and others from these LPs on Mixcloud later in the year.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Splitting the Atom VII a Grand Day Out.

Had a wonderful time playing at Splitting the Atom VII in Brighton on Saturday 23rd June. Got there a tad early with my friend Mr Packer (who carried my extra baggage and bought me beer) but we also had to leave early later in the day to get a train so missed AK/DK, but really enjoyed all that I saw. Before I went and got my lunch I caught The Bald Knobbers. I have seen these chaps before and really enjoy the wonderful cacophony of sound that they create with Drums and Bass and Sax and Bells and Violins and everything else that seems to come to hand. Also bumped into one of the Noteherder and McCload chaps, and had a chat. Saw Noteherder and McCloud at a previous Splitting the Atom, and very much like what they do. Later in the day I caught Andi Brown (These Feathers Have Plumes) Andi produces what can only be described as a beautiful haunting soundscape using 3 or 4 large Brandy glasses filled to a certain level with water. Then by running her finger round the glass rim and also using a violin bow the sound is treated using various effects to create her soundscape. Definitely worth catching if you can. I also played a set myself which was very well recieved, but alas due to my stupid camera deciding not to work I have no movies pics or audio of my set. A great day in a good venue organised by the very helpful (thanks for the table)  Mr Graham Newbury (Club Zygotic) who informed me that he had in fact recorded my set. So there is a chance that I might get a copy of it at a later date. Thanks to Graham Geoff and everyone else who helped me on the day and made me feel very welcome. I hope to return?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Len Lye

Len Lye was born in 1901 in Christchurch New Zealand and is mainly known for his work as an experimental Film maker and his Kinetic sculptures. As a Student Lye became interested in experimenting with kinetic sculptures and developed a desire to make films. In 1926 Lye moved to London and joined the Seven and Five Society (later to be renamed The Seven and Five Abstract Group), and began to make films for the GPO film unit and later The Crown Film Unit producing wartime public Information Films. A collection of Lye's work and Kinetic sculptures can be seen at the Govet Brewster Art Gallery New Zealand. "One of my art teachers put me onto trying to find my own art theory. After many morning idea hit me that seemed like a complete revelation. It was to compose motion, just as musicians compose sound. [ The idea ] was to lead me far, far away from wanting to excel in...traditional art." Len Lye

Friday, 15 June 2012

New Album track A Slight of Hand (excerpt)

Yet another track of the new album, which now has a title and artwork (more of that later). The album will probably not see the light of day until the New Year. This tune was jointly written with my friend Mr Packer, who also plays Bass on it. For the 1st time in a few years I dug my Guitar out of the loft and used it on this track.

Monday, 4 June 2012

The New Sound of Music

In 1979 the BBC produced this documentry, presented by Michael (Screen Test) Rodd which was about the rise of new technology in music. From Barrel Organs Pianolas and Phonograph to the VCS 3, The Yamaha CS-80. Many faces from the BBC Radiophonic workshop. Malcolm Clarke demostrates the Synthi 100, Dick Mills works on sound effects for Doctor Who using a VCS3 unit, and Elizabeth Parker uses bubble sounds to create music for an academic film on particle physics. The presenter Michael Rodd tinkers with some tape splicing and creates some Musique ConcretePeter Zinovieff of EMS fame (VCS3 Synthi A) is featured using his computer music studio to create some electronic variations on classic vintage scores. 
I personally loved this program, because many many years ago I was in a position where I had to create sounds from nothing and work with Reel to Reels Tape Splicing and some very old analogue equipment (some of which is still around) All good fun really. In fact I recently converted quite a few of these sounds to digital files. Should do something with them one day.