I enjoy performing solo improvised electronics, creating sound-design for installation, theatre and film, performing live with punk-cabaret star Miss Roberts as part of "Rude Mechanicals" bass with I Am Meat. ; and plays bass with sax driven post-punkers "I Am Meat".
I started working life as an Oceanographer. Throughout this time experimenting extensively with sound, using modified reel-to-reel and self-built devices.
His portfolio of compositions includes work for piano and "tape", live processing of soprano saxophone, video, theatre, dance and installations. His soundtracks have been heard on Resonance FM and at national events including the Manchester Short Film Festival, Newcastle Vain Festival, Sonic Arts Network Expo!
MORE STUFF (if you really want to know)
The set up has several elements which are pretty interchangeable, but I normally use a 3/4 size electric guitar as a primary sound source with a Headrush loop pedal (because its very straightforward) processed through various effects units. I only rarely play the guitar conventionally, preferring to use preparations: placing objects between strings and rubbing and striking the strings or using devices like the ebow to generate sounds. The tuning of the guitar varies and often I deliberately detune during performance - some strings by around two octaves. If I’m collaborating with other musicians this is often the only instrument I’ll use as it’s quick to set up!
For a solo performance I’ll bring some more devices along - very much depending on the nature of the event and how long I have to perform. Ive become fond of Korg recently and often use their Kaossiloator and Monotron synths as they are easy to slip in a pocket. I also like to bring along one of a selection of larger synths, self built/circuit bent or novel instruments. This includes a Stylophone 350S, a Wasp, SH101, a fretless bass tuned to low B, a child’s keyboard, contact mics, and a modded delay I made in the 80s. Rather than set all this up through a large mixer I like to use a small 4-channel microphone mixer and plug things in and out - probably because it adds to the danger and theatre!
During the 80s I started using computers for music in particular a Yamaha CX5M and in the early 90s a Mac. Making music using these was slow (not quite as slow as using magnetic tape! But still sloooowww…) My interest was in electroacoustic music and combined samples and synthesised sounds. The level of detail I went into was borderline obsessive. Initially I was doing sound design for theatre, but then I started a post grad degree in music and found playing finished pieces in concert halls was an odd experience as no one was doing anything. So I started working with live performers and playing the pieces live myself.
It quickly struck me that the sounds and structures I had taken so long to achieve in the studio could be created spontaneously on stage. I used a AKAI S3000 to sample instrumentalists editing and manipulating on the fly. No only was there little sonic difference, it was more interesting for myself and the audience. Computers in those days were forever crashing and I always found a mouse a rather clumsy musical instrument, so I’ve never felt tempted to use computers live.
The unpredictability and ephemerality of improvisation appeals and for years I avoided recording my performances. Choices about what to use are made on the spot after arriving for a performance - sometimes using less than half of what’s brought. I enjoy collaborating - especially with other art-forms like dance and this extends to the audience who can be asked to choose what equipment used etc.. Often a series of shorter pieces of around 5mins can seem more satisfying that extending an idea for 30min. Recently Ive started using computers again for creating the sound element of installations - sometimes supplementing with live performance.
Selected Recent Work
Solo Improvised Live Electronics
02/07/13 Klinker Club, Olive, London
26/04/13 Scaledown, London
07/02/13 Dron/Ultima Ratio, 100 Years Gallery
13/11/12 Recluse, Servants Jazz Quarters
Recent Cross Art-form Collaborations
May-14 Re-Cycle-Style, 100 Years Gallery For Dance
Feb-14 Red Fire, 100 Years Gallery, Live Electronics For Dance
Dec-13 The Waiting, 100 Years Gallery Live Electronics For Dance and Performance Art
Sep-13 St John on Bethnal Green Performance With JV Roberts
Selected Recent Ensemble Performances
Jun-14 Rude Mechancials: Strawberry Fair, Cambridge
Mar-14 I Am Meat: "I Am Meat" Album Release, Staggs Head.
Mar14 Rude Mechancials: "What You Need" EP Launch, 100 Years Gallery
Oct-13 Rude Mechancials: Resonance FM Live Broadcast
Jul-13 World News Vision: The Oratorio. By Jude Cowan Montague
May-13 World News Vision: Resonance FM, Live Broadcast
Nov-12 Rude Mechancials: The Vortex
Jul-12 Rude Mechancials: WOMAD
Apr-12 Rude Mechancials: Supamolly, Berlin
Recent Short Films;
Mar-13 The Lonely Can. Dir Steve Hammal
Jun-11 Jerusalem. Dir Ronis Varlaam
Jul-11 Sound Design - A Fairytale of New Islington. Dir. Ronis Varlaam
Aug-11 Green Dir. Ronis Varlaam. Written by Peter Devonald
Oct-09 wAve. Greenwich Theatre, Riverside Studios & national tour
Feb-09 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Southwark Playhouse. For Yellow Earth Theatre - Winner: Better Bankside Shakespeare Award
Sep-07 Sound Design - Moonwalking in China Town. Promenade Performance - Soho Theatre. Director Suzanne Gorman
Sep-06 Sound Design - Taikonaut, BAC Studio, Directed and Performed by Anna Chen
Feb-14 The Library of Obscure Wonders, 100 Years Gallery
Jan-14 Whiteout 2, 100 Years Gallery
Aug-13 Blythe Nook, St John on Bethnal Green