04
Jun

Find three words, write them out, display in public, make a photograph, share them online.

Three Word Poems website

I’m very proud to announce the recent launch of www.threewordpoems.com. The site acts as a repository and online gallery for short poems, with accompanying photographs. Anyone can join, for free, to share their works.

I build the site from scratch, based on some beermat plans made with a friend at the tail end of a rather fine house party. Excuse the mess. We’ll be very grateful for any contributions to the site so please sign up and add your own. The focus of the project is on community art, guerilla art, the use of public space as temporary art gallery. Your words count, but we’re really hoping people draw on the original spirit of the thing with very public displays of creativity.

27
May

I’ve uploaded some sounds from the BC 16 to SoundCloud, for playing and sharing. They’re all made with the patch leads set up the same way, but with different settings to some of the controls. And they mostly sound like sirens in rave reocrds!

Here’s a photo of the patching:

BC16 "Swinging pendulums" patch Read the rest of this entry »

26
May

Domestic Disturbance descended on my friend Andrew McWilliams‘ flat a few weekends ago. About 15 people installed artworks or performed something whilst the 30-strong crowd chatted, sipped beers or snacked on the crazy food by Schrodinger’s Cake (everything that looked sweet was savoury and everything that seemed to be savoury was sweet!). I tried to perform something, and I’ll talk about that below.

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27
Feb

We had some friends over for dinner, and they brought indoor sparklers. After they left, I started jamming around with some of the instruments in Ableton Live 8 Suite. This is what I ended up with (after a few hours tinkering a couple of days later).

Sparkler Jam by 2SD

17
Feb

My listening habits shift by the week. Usually, literally. I’ll spend an entire week listening only to Jamaican Dancehall, the next to bands with either Dave Grohl,  Josh Homme, or both of them, in . I let whimsy and external influence dictate it. This week it’s “space jazz” or “spiritual jazz”; a music, usually from the late 60s, characterised by abstract, filmic arrangements, unusual combinations of instruments and a cosmic, spiritual or political (or all three!) ethos. These bands drew on psychedelia, cathartic walls of noise, gentle waves of “ambience”, soul & early funk. A few bands got into synthesisers, but you’re just as likely to find a sitar or a koto (or both) next to a Fender Rhodes and the more traditional brass instruments found in jazz ensembles.

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17
Jan

Over the last few days I’ve been rebuilding the contents of my laptop. It was slowing down and crashing more than I found acceptable *. Some changes have been made since the prvious build.

  • I’m back on Leopard 10.5.4. This is the last version supported by Digidesign’s Pro-Tools 7.4. I’d upgrade to 8 (and leopard 10.5.8), but my bandmate/mentor and Alaska Studios where I “tape-op” are using 7.4. The upside is that Pro-Tools works fine. There are 2 notable downsides. Firstly, my Magic Mouse wont work past pointing and clicking (left and right “buttons” work ok tho’). Secondly, I can’t use the iTunes Store through iTunes9, as it requires a version of Safari that wont install on this version of Leopard. It’s ridiculous being caught in version support games played by the various manufacturers. Read the rest of this entry »
13
Jan
I mention it both because I’m friends with most of the band and also because I’m intrigued that the home recording revolution has spread into the jazz world. There may be countless other CDs of this type, but I don’t know because I run in different circles. This effort shows how great a recording one can make with good musicians & songs, some relatively cheap equipment and a passion for the music.This is a post to recommend “Moon And Sand” album by the Remember April Quintet: A mixture of latin jazz standards (“One Note Samba”, “How Insensitive” & more) and one or two original pieces. The band perform & sing simply & beautifully together and the recording is a pleasure to listen to: calming, laid back, but deeply soulful in places.

This is a post to recommend “Moon And Sand” album by the Remember April Quintet: A mixture of latin jazz standards (”One Note Samba”, “How Insensitive” & more) and one or two original pieces. The band perform & sing simply & beautifully together and the recording is a pleasure to listen to: calming, laid back, but deeply soulful in places.

Read the rest of this entry »

22
Dec

I can scarcely believe it but my Chimera Synthesis BC16 has ACTUALLY ARRIVED!  The tiny round synth is here. Take a look at its cute white glowing wondrousness.

A simple BC16 patch

A simple BC16 patch

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17
Nov

So much fun!

Blanco played the new FixedFear night at CAMP, the Saturday just past. It was great, despite us breaking a speaker! The crowd danced, we played pretty well, and the vibe in the venue was fantastic. Here’s to more like that!

We shared with bill with the excellent Jem Cooke and DJs Nick Priestley and Reverend JFK. Even our own Jamie Blanco span some tunes. There’s another one on December the 19th with more bands.

17
Nov

I started this post last tuesday, so it’s in the wrong tense and mentions events that have now happened, as if they hadn’t. Whoops.

There’s been a tape theme around my musical activities today. The buzz on wiretotheear and between some friends was around Berna, a virtual electronic music studio modelled after old fashioned tape editing and raw electronic noise generation. The tool lets you play with cutting up tape, layering basic oscillators and other techniques used by some early modern classical music, sound art and soundtracks for film and TV from the 50s to probably the early 80s.

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