Tor Fest presents… Big Blood!

Hi there,

Super excited to be letting you know about a Tor Fest gig we’re putting on this Sunday as part of DIY underground mega music network: Outlands. It will be streaming here from 8pm (GMT) and will be tons of fun. Makes me nostalgic for our Tor Beers afternoon gigs we use to have… sigh. It’ll happen again!

Full details:

28th Feb, 2021
8pm start – late (GMT)

Its Free but we will be taking donations that will fund the next Tor Tech online event. Please PayPal donations to: sofiesea@gmail.com

Tor Festival is taking advantage of new technology and beaming in friends from over the pond for this very special event! Tor Tech is born!

Tor Festival presents:

Big Blood, South Portland, Maine, USA

We have been fans of Big Blood for many years, their LPs released on Blackest Rainbow and Feeding Tube Records have never been far from the record deck at Tor Towers. It is a delight to host them for The Joyous Thing.They are the coolest family band you’ll come across. Put your dancing shoes on for an uplifting garage rock show! But it’s not that simple, Big Blood somehow have this incredible way of tapping your toes and into your emotions. Prepare to have your spirit touched through soulful singing, psychedelic sounds and joyous, beautiful, straight up tunes! (we may get some trombone playing – big plus!!)

Bandcamp: https://dontrustheruin.bandcamp.com/

Jake Blanchard, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK

You may know Jake from projects such as Tor Invocation Band, Tor Press, Tor Beers (do you see the link) but did you know he’s been dabbling in the deep, dark drone zone for some time now? Bringing together wild shahi baaja and newly developed percussion skills, Jake is taking us on a psychedelic ride that until now has only taken place upstairs in our house – release the racket!

Bandcamp: https://jakeblanchard.bandcamp.com/

With Nick Farrimond (Tod Only Knows DJ) Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK

Our lovely Nick has been keeping the after hours crowds of Todmorden very happy for sometime now with his eclectic, and vast, LP collection via the DJ master duo: Tod Only Knows. Spinning scorched out rock, outsider ‘tronics, and anything else they fancy, Nick will be our party DJ this evening.https://www.twitch.tv/todonlyknows https://www.mixcloud.com/…/tod-only-knows-sea-change-2020/

Recipients of an Outlands member commission for The Joyous Thing, Feb 2021 and made possible with support from Arts Council England. 

Facebook link

Tor FM archive

Hi everyone,

Just a reminder that we’re still putting out Tor FM shows on the incredible Neon Hospice radio station. If I remember I’m reposting the various episodes onto my own Mixcloud channel so have a nose if you’re after some tunes. Loving the process a lot, please send me your music if you have stuff the world needs to hear.

All best,

Sof

Hello 2021

Hi everyone,

I normally do a little end of year blog on here but it felt a bit inappropriate to do it this time somehow. The year we would all want to forget, so I’ll look forward. Things are ok here, sticking to the stay at home rules rigidly, The Little Room has come back into use again after moving all my stuff back from my studio up the road, temporarily I hope. Making trombone playing in a box room work.

I felt it was quite hard to be motivated to record music last year, but I did quite a lot of finger picking on my trusty parlour guitar over the summer and a lot of those finger picking patterns have made their way into some songs that have now been completed. Doing that gig for Feeding Tube was a really great way to reconnect to making music, which for me, I associate so heavily with the live experience of performing and the rehearsal leading up to the shows. Since the show I’ve managed to record some stuff and it looks like I might have a solo album finished: Goodbye Gemini. Just working out what form it will take now. Also considering a little self released single to accompany this.

A few exciting things coming up in 2021, I’m lucky to be working with a fantastic production company in Hereford called Feral Productions and together we’ll be creating two site specific works likely at the start of summer. Both are installation pieces using text and one of them deals with film as well. More details as they emerge. With my studio pals we are creating a group show for Manchester International Festival that will take place at the start of July. I’ve been loaned several tiny speakers from the Yorkshire Sound Women Network that I’ll use for a DIY spatial sound piece at St Chad’s Church in Rochdale. It’s good to have projects on the horizon, I’m grateful for them.

I’ve been taking part in lots of different online sound courses through lockdown that have been really beneficial. It’s been fantastic to be able to take part in courses that are normally out of my reach geographically so I hope that providers will continue to educate in this format. One of the courses I’ve been part of is being run by Brighter Sound in Manchester. The course is to support ‘Women Leaders in Music’, all based in the North, and I was really happy to be selected for the opportunity. There are 12 of us on the course and it’s been so great to meet everyone, share experiences and learn from the ace course leaders. This will carry on until May.

Right, think that’s all I’ve got for now.

All the very best and stay safe x Sof

Feeding Tube Gig Video

Here’s the video from the show I did for the ace Feeding Tube records this Friday just gone.

Seriously enjoyed it and having a gig to work towards was the motivation I needed to write more music so have done some recordings off the back of this prep. Big thanks to Byron, Ted and Lilli for having me. Itching to do some more gigs now… 2021?

Feeding tube live gig TONIGHT!

Hi all! Super excited to be playing a gig tonight live from The Little Room and beamed onto The Internet via Feeding Tube mega label (who released my LPs with Delphine Dora and The Slowest Lift)

It starts at 7pm EST which is midnight here. I’ve warned the neighbours and bribed them with beer to keep them cool so we’re all good for some noisy trombone.

If you want to tune in email Ted at Feeding Tube or send me a message for the log in details: sofiesea@gmail.com or @sofingusa on twitter.

Ace, hope everyone’s ok!

Sof X

Ivor Composer Award Nomination

Hi everyone!

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.

Tusk Film now up on YouTube:

Now you can relive mine and Royston’s guide to the DIY LIfestyle on Youtube.

Tusk and BBC Commission

Hello sweet dears!

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.

New photo by Nic Chapman

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:

Struck

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 

afloat. 

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:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mzdk

and I’ve added my track to my soundcloud for safekeeping:

Other advice I have for you, reader, is to check out the hcmf// 2020 digital festival we’ve just announced. So much amazing stuff incoming!!

https://hcmf.co.uk/hcmf-2020-live-broadcasts-streams-and-installations-make-up-alternative-festival-programme/

That’s all I’ve got for now. Take care out there as always x