Wednesday, 30 January 2013

'Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things'

"Discover key designs that have shaped the modern world and be inspired by this fascinating exhibition of memorable objects from the Design Museum Collection".

The collection 'already seems dated' says The Guardian. But that counts as a recommendation here, doesn't it?

Monday, 28 January 2013

This Sceptred Isle BBC4

On BBC 4 tonight there was a wonderful program Called Britain on Film This Sceptred IsleThis episode was all about British customs. (Padstow Mayday in Cornwall, The Tutti-Men, Helston Furry Dance, Rag Day Pipe Smoking) Worth a look. In 1959, Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled - on high-grade 35mm colour film - the changing face of British society, industry and culture. Britain on Film draws upon the 500 films in this unique archive to offer illuminating and often surprising insights into what became a pivotal decade. This episode examines Look at Life's quirky films that documented unusual or eccentric British customs, rituals and traditions. In an era where many Britons embraced change as never before, these revealing and highly entertaining films show that people were determined to preserve the idiosyncratic aspects of our national life. (BBC4)

Boxes Windows & Secret Hidey - Holes

Not really a Found Object unless you find one in a bin one day, but my new album. Boxes Windows and Secret Hiddey - Holes which is out now, and is available as a CD and Digital download from Bandcamp. The CD is £6 with free Download. 
Or £5 for Digital Download. Its all been a tad long winded trying to get the album finished, and I am only 6 months behind, so not bad by my usual slack getting sidetracked working standards. The video for the track The Woodcraft was finished way back last year, so that gives you an idea that I was being maybe a tad optimistic about my original release date (May September then October and finally Feb 2013) "Seatman is a kindred spirit, and this is his most evocative and personal sounding work to date."  Jim Jupp, Ghost Box,

Thursday, 24 January 2013

9 Hour Vacuum Cleaner Sounds

Slightly off-topic, but how awesome is this? Who knew people were making these?

(I'm fascinated by some of the video too ... around 7 mins in so far)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Spooky Fun Time

Described as "one of the spots recorded for the Doctor Who serial, "The Masque of Mandragora". These spots were shown after an episode of Doctor Who as part of TVO's way of justifying their broadcast of the show as educational."

The Reprisalizer

Oh look, Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi's Darkplace) has created a fascinating new world. Finchland.

What is Finchland? It's the sad, strange and ultraviolet personal hell of Kentish author Terry Finch.

So far we have an intriguing website (an oppressive landscape of urban desolation and pulp typesetting) and a short film - A Gun For George - that's at once hilarious and utterly devastating.

Many of the links on the site don't yet appear active. This to me suggests that this may be the start of something wonderful.

I really hope so.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Diversions 1994–1996

'Diversions 1994-1996' is made up entirely from samples from the collection of Lee Gamble's Jungle cassette mixtapes. The audio has been subjected to analog and digital deformations, whilst trying to extract, expand upon and convey particular qualities emblematic of the original music. The effect is that of a musical body scan, all that is solid melts into air. Sounds are unearthed, dissected on the operating table, melted and unlocked , evoking sonics not unlike the heavy dub processes of Jah Shaka and Scion in a INA GRM frame of mind or bearing  a similar  methodological approach with what explored Mark Leckey in his piece "Fiorucci Made me Hardcore". It can be heard as a ‘memory’ of a period of music and for some could work as a ‘cued recall', which is a form of memory retrieval. 

Lee Gamble started out as a teenager dj-ing on pirate radio and on the emerging Jungle scene, however his own approach to music has taken a more experimental direction. Exploring the outer realms of abstraction through digital synthesis/resynthesis, Lee has described his current compositional process as: “…The configuration of material (ex nihilo) via various digital synthesis methods, prompts further disfigurations and reconfigurations. What you then have left is often the detritus or debris of an idea. Phantasms of both previous and current musical, pseudo-scientific and sculptural influences are manifest as new material abstractions, created from the digital blank canvas. This abstraction allows several interests to appear in the works simultaneously…”.  He is a also a founding member of the UK-based CYRK collective and has curated/co-curated several Cyrk events. He has also produced and curated three radio series for London based radio station Resonance104.4FM and he continues to DJ. Lee has released his computer compositions on the Entr’acte label and has collaborated with composer John Wall and artists Yutaka Makino and Bryan Lewis Saunders. 'Diversions 1994-1996' E.P is is the beginning of a longer-term collaboration with PAN which also includes a full length album later this year. 

 - PAN


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Electronic Music for Schools

Picked this wonderful book up just before Christmas. This book covers all sorts of fantastic topics like bouncing down, Tape splicing, making sound proofed boxes (shoe boxes stuffed full of cotton wool) for recording clocks etc. More pics from the book can be seen here.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Danse Infernale

Just picked this up for a pound today in a charity shop. The lengthy liner notes from Robert Jones are quite fantastic, here is (almost) the first half:

"  The occult has always succeeded in drawing bizarre, colorful, unworldly sounds from the world's great composers. Love, hate, patriotism, vengeance have all been the subjects of great music-making, but none of these more explainable items has succeeded in providing such vast scope for the musical imagination as has the supernatural.

  And no wonder. Life beyond death is still as great a mystery as it ever was, which means that the most far-fetched sounds and (in the case of ballets and operas) stories can seem perfectly plausible when convincing music is added. And, of course, one must remember that the Devil is famous for his dancing (as are his demons and witches), something which God and the angels never seem to do in the musical theater.

  The works played here by Maestro Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra reflect a variety of devilish doings, some horrifying, some rather light-hearted (the Devil is also known for his sense of humor). Two of these works (by Kachaturian and Ginastera) have nothing to do with the occult but are diabolically exciting just the same.

  Modest Mussorgsky's weirdly extravagant Night on Bald Mountain was completed, appropriately enough, in 1867 on the eve of St. John's Day (Midsummer Day), an evening notorius for it's appeal to elves, fairies, and witches. Mussorgsky took his scenario from a drama by Baron Mengden called "The Witch", but, according to the composer, he filled in the details from a book called "Witchcraft" which contains, in Mussorgsky's words, "a very graphic description of a Witches' Sabbath provided by the testimony of a woman on trial, who was accused of being a witch, and had confessed love pranks with Satan himself to the court. The poor lunatic was burned - all this occurred in the sixteenth century. From this description I stored up the construction of the Sabbath."

  Mussorgsky obviously had a lot of fun with the piece. His letters bubble with enthusiasm for the subject and pride at his own treatment of it. Of the program, he wrote that it contains an "assembly of the witches, their chatter and gossip; cortege of Satan; unholy glorification of Satan; and Witches' Sabbath." Mussorgsky especially liked his "solemn march for all this nastiness" and predicted to Rimsky-Korsakov that his B-minor theme in the third section would get him locked up in a music conservatory ("these are the witches, stark naked, barbarous, and filthy"). "

I also picked up a copy of Johnny Richards' The Rites of Diablo, (the liner notes explain: "...a sort of black mass during which the participants vilify, insult and by every means possible denegrade the gods of evil." ), Strings for Pleasure play The Best Of Henry Mancini and the record below, which must be the inspiration behind Boyd Rice's Music, Martinis and Misanthropy.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Delia Derbyshire and Matsuo Ohno up North


...and for those near Newcastle upon Tyne, The Echo Of Astro Boy's Footsteps, a documentary about pioneering Japanese sound designer Matsuo Ohno is also being shown at the Star and Shadow Cinema on Friday 11th Jan.