Hope you’re doing ok in lockdown part deux. Little bit of news from me here.
Really happy to share the news that my piece ‘Intact’ has been nominated for an Ivor Novello Composer Award in this year’s Sound Art category. It was quite a surprise and came at a good time for me. There’s more info about the awards if you click on the photo below:
I’ve been listening to the other entries and there’s so much good stuff on there. It’s lovely to be part of it all.
Hope you’re all good. Currently writing from a ‘tier 2’ zone which has meant a tear or two for our business affairs but hey. Aside from the obvious I’m fine.
A few things have been going on… Tusk Festival was amazing. Not sure when The DIY Lifestyle show will be archived but will post on that. I tried to put it on YouTube but because I used a sample of Call Any Vegetable on there, Zappa’s estate were having none of it. Hosting one night of it was A LOT OF FUN. Loved it. I especially enjoyed setting up the show upstairs at The Golden Lion (who have better wifi than I). It was a bit like the old days, even had a soundcheck. Kind of hoping my unaccompanied rendition of Paranoid will dissolve, undocumented, into the ether like normal gigs do but perhaps that will surface as well. All this online documentation means you can’t get away with much – a downside.
I had a great time on this commission I did for BBC Radio 3. The lovely Elizabeth Alker invited me to respond to a poem by Helen Mort, a fantastic poet based in Sheffield. Here is the poem:
The leaves aren’t lit, but morning’s struck a match
so I can see a path through Linacre – low gold
that spreads across the grates of reservoirs
and stokes the trees, long after an electric summer
and its short-fuse sky. September, sparking
on the ground so nobody can step into these woods
and not be burned. A woman calling for her dog
goes smouldering to moss. A cyclist
becomes a Catherine Wheel. I run
and feel my body catch, my face a taper,
shoulders taking light, my ribcage flammable.
I shed the new ash of my collarbones and spine
until I’m cinder, smoke, or left with all the parts
last winter made – the soft snow of my shoulders,
wrists and throat and when I try to hold
my voice I find it’s thawed, a river,
all the names I ever knew
Really great piece and it was an utter pleasure to meet Helen and work on this. The show it was broadcast on is still online for a while:
Nice video made by Huddersfield Uni that goes into a bit of depth about the Huddersfield Professional Development Programme for Women Composers of Electronic Music programme I took part in last year. Do have a look.
Eh up lockdown crew, or not? I dunno. Enjoy that pint responsibility if you’re going to bother or just sit at your house still would be my advice. Enough of that.
I’ve been ok! Had quite a bit of work on for various people so keeping busy. I guess this is a moment to put it out there that I’m responsibly good at delivering workshops online by this point so if you need someone for online teaching around music topics get in touch: email@example.com Sound creation, event management, creative advice.. that kind of area. Can also play trombone on your tracks so get in touch if you need someone like Heloise Tunstall-Behrens did:
Heloise Tunstall-Behrens · Virtual Beach
Not been too much movement here on the writing music front but I have been playing a lot of acoustic guitar and writing songs again. Just trying to work out how to put them into the world in an interesting way because who needs another singer songwriter? My studio reopened last week so I’ve spent quite a few hours making tape loops in there which might amount to something.
I did release a track on a Chocolate Monk compilation ‘Cabin Fever Cleansed My Mind Vol1″ http://chocolatemonk.co.uk/available.html It’s called ‘The Joke We Made Before’ which is a reference to my friends joking about never wanting to leave the valley we inhabit and how they got their wish.
I’ve been putting out Tor FM broadcasts on The Neon Hospice still, they have been a lot of fun and wildly entertaining, so much so that I am afraid to listen back although I’m sure I’ve got an ok radio voice.
I’ve joined the Daphne Oram Trust as a trustee which is exciting! We’re going to give the website a revamp and plan some activity which I’ll write about on here no doubt: http://daphneoram.org/ an honour indeed.
Ok that’ll do, just wanted to update my blog really and reach out to HUMANS ARE YOU LISTENING???
Due to popular demand and because I can never say no to Jonny, we’ll be back on Saturday 16th May between 5.30pm – 7.30pm presenting Tor FM, self help for alien abductees! Now increased by a whole half hour to a 2 hour show!! Will I make it through ok? Tune in here – https://www.theneonhospice.com/ I got a new needle for the record player so this is gonna sound pro as.
Hope you’re doing ok out there in lockdown land. Doing ok here, got some work and live by a canal so can’t complain too much about my personal situation but of course I’m angered by our pathetic government as I’m sure you are too.
Been getting on with some music stuff which always keeps me going so here are a few updates.
Delighted to say Plutonic Shine is now out on lovely vinyl so thanks to Feeding Tube Records for making that happen! You can buy them via our bandcamp page and I’ll do my best to get them out asap. Don’t mind going to the PO in Tod for a bit of action.
Julian made an amazing music video for out apocalyptic themed hit, “I’m Born”, do have a look because he did such a good job.
I’ve finally released some recordings made with Delphine Dora during our 2017 residency in Co Cork which is the compliment album to our recent ‘Greywood Miniatures’ released on The Dark Outside. Digital only for now, check it out here on another bandcamp page!
I did a live stream gig on Friday just gone on The Old Police House’s excellent weekly Twitch show, it was a right laugh, I’ve not played a gig in a kitchen for many years. I’m sure if you dig around TOPH’s Twitch channel here you could probably find a recording of it. In many ways though, maybe you had to be there?
Finally, I’ve started doing a spot of DJing for my old pal Jonny Mugwump on his new adventure ‘The Neon Hospice’. Imagine I’ll do it every other week, early slot. I’m no raver.
That’s it for now I guess! Please send me your thoughts and comments, lovely to hear from people.
Hello all, hope you’re coping out there. Big ups to everyone making great online noise content at the moment, Theo Gowens, Mariam Rezaei, Ali Robertson, Graham Dunning, “Keith Heineman”. I’ve been watching loads and it’s been great to feel part of the community so thanks a lot for putting the effort in. Can’t wait til this pandemic is all over and we can get out to see live music and friends again.
Anyway before I start crying I’m here to post some new videos made by the house of Tor.
First up Harry Wheeler documented the last gig we put on in Hebden Bridge which was the final piece of our Sound and Music, curator composer residency. The gig featured Alison Cooper, aka Magpahi, as lead jammer on a big folky improv event at The Fox and Goose. It was such an excellent event that Harry has captured perfectly in the vid.
Just want to say a massive thank you to Sound and Music for including us on their project this past year. It’s been so great to be supported and mentored throughout the year and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for us so yeah, many thanks.
I’ve been trying to get some music done during this lock down situation and it’s not been going too badly. Julian and I have started working on some new The Slowest Lift material going for that perfect apocalyptic scorched out vibe as always. The vinyl version of Plutonic Shine is coming out on the 24th April via Feeding Tube Records so really excited for that. Head over there for a preorder but I think we’ll add some copies to our bandcamp as well. Tape is now sold out thanks to receiving props from Kim Gordon on Instagram, ta love.
Throughout my lockdown I’ve been thinking about performance, putting on shows, the restrictions you now have on these things and one afternoon, with Jake’s help, I put together a new trombone stunt video called Duvet Day. I wanted it to express some creative isolation concerns and hopefully make people laugh a bit.
Right that’ll do for now. All the best, and thinking of everyone going through a rough time at the moment.