China bound via Utopia

I’m not really very good at keeping up with my blog. I find I spend most of my creative time making music and videos and other audio stuff. But I’m going to make a concerted effort to update the blog more often with posts about things I’m listening to and work I’ve been doing.

Painting the Harvest

Painting the Harvest

So let’s start with this week’s Disquiet Junto project. Here’s part of the brief:

Caochangdi is a Chinese village that is home to many artists, including Matt Hope and Naihan Li. In the afternoon and early evening of Thursday, October 1, which is National Day in China, there will be a party in Caochangdi utilizing the unique and sizable Laoban Soundsystem. Laoban is fully Creative Commons hardware, and was developed by Matt Hope. The Laoban Soundsystem crew has asked the Junto to create music for the party, which will run from 2pm to 7pm, that means our goal is 5 hours of music.

How could I miss an opportunity like this. All I needed to do was compose a piece of music between ten and fifteen minutes. It had to be in three ‘movements’.

The first stage should be brief and invoke sounds related to agriculture.
The second stage, the longest of the three stages, should invoke sounds related to artistic production and communal living. Slowly transition from the first stage to the second stage.
The third stage should begin abruptly and invoke rapid industrialization.

Turning to my trusty Ableton Live and Push I pretty soon had the first and last stages worked out, but the middle section was not easy. I wanted to progress the storyline from people harvesting in the fields by hand through to industrialisation. But the brief called for sounds relating to artistic production and communal living. I imagined some of the great British painters, like John Constable, being inspired by seeing people at work in the fields.

Overall I’m pleased with the end result and the thought of it being played in China this coming Thursday is very exciting.

The Cities and Memory: Utopia project

The Cities and Memory: Utopia project

But before my music gets to China I have another piece released tomorrow as part of The Cities and Memory: Utopia project.

Using a woodcut map from the second edition of Utopia from 1518, sound artists were asked to each take a small section of More’s imagined country of Utopia, and create a new soundscape imagining how that place (and the society living in it) might sound.

I got section D6 and you should be able to listen to it by clicking on the image on picture on the Cities and Memories web page.

What I’m listening too

One of the great things about doing the Disquiet Junto project most weeks is that I get to hear how other people approach the task. For this week’s I’ve been playing Rupert Lally’s contribution on repeat! Such a fantastic composition and sound.

I was also alerted to some tracks by Glassine. I love making tracks out of of found sounds, but this takes the idea to a whole new level.

No Stairway is comprised solely of manipulated field recordings taken from inside of guitar center. it was completed about a year ago


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