Category Archives: iPhonography

Fresh Air, New Year

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As a brief exercise in head clearing, on New Years Eve I took a drive to our second nearest beach. Hunstanton is on the North Norfolk coast, just past Kings Lynn. It faces west across The Wash, making it one of the few places on the East Coast where the sun can be seen setting over the sea. Ideal for watching the last sunset of 2016.

I only passed through the main town and headed a little further down to Old Hunstanton, this has several miles of soft sandy beach with the tide going out a fair distance.

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A little further around the coast is Wells-Next-The-Sea. This working fishing port is a mile from the sea, safe harbour provided by a wide sand bank. A great place to get fresh fish & chips and take a long coastal walk.

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Finally, back to Old Hunstanton to watch the sun set on 2016 at 3:53pm.

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Glove of Bones – Mabinogi

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This from my on-going project site The Glove Of Bones. I’m really happy with this outcome. It’s exactly as I planned – long, narrative free, a visual drone, a tied in soundscape (which I was really pleased to persuade Cousin Silas to help with). It’s a long piece at 72 minutes and I’m unsure how many might make it to the end, it is however in three easier to digest sections, each with their own character. I hope you take the leap and click on the link.

A film by The Glove Of Bones.

Taking it’s title from the Medieval text, The Mabinogion (a loose translation of this being Juvenile Distractions), this new work of film and original music takes on non-narrative considerations about passing time, the joy of travel & landscape, musings on history and our broader connection to our ancestors through reflection and our progeny through creative acts.

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In recent years I’ve collected materials when taking the annual Summer break holidays. These often return as blog diaries with pictorial content, and more recently as associated songs & sounds. This year, on the 4 1/2 hour drive to Wales some vague project came to mind, fragments, ways of collecting content, some notional endpoint started whispering.

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From the point of arrival, in the rain, with this sat-nav avoiding single track road as our entry point, it started to come together. The piece would directly connect to the place, the local elements, history and the joy of distraction that comes from being away from your natural home.

Filmed in August 2016 around Pembroke in Wales with some underlying sounds either recorded in the area or made during the trip.

Additional tone and texture in the soundtrack was provided by acclaimed ambient musician Cousin Silas.

As with the original text which has four ‘Branches’ or short stories (additional tales where added later), the film is split into three sections, each bearing a Welsh language title. These link to Earth, Water & Air in some ways.

This is the Mabinogi as dreamed by the Glove Of Bones

The piece is split into three sections, or branches.

1- Taith Hir (Long Road) – 20mins
2- Tonnau Araf (Slow Wave) – 30mins
3- Breuddwydion mewn carreg y Pentre Ifan (Stone Dreams at Pentre Ifan) – 20mins

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Please anticipate after thoughts to be added below.

Useful links below;

https://www.gloveofbones.com

http://www.mabinogion.info

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ORNITHOLOGY – Cousin Silas & Glove Of Bones

Glove of Bones

You really can’t plan creative journeys, you just get up and start walking.

When I did the Crow Dub for the Cousin Silas & Friends release earlier in the year it was ‘one-off’. On my part a gratefully received invitation, really enjoyable to do and we both thought very successful as an outcome.

So, after several months of swapping files on FB, much discussion and huge amount of freedom I’m really pleased to offer ‘ORNITHOLOGY’ an 8 track bird themed collaboration between myself and Cousin Silas. It started along the ‘dub’ theme adopted by the Crow tune but has wondered off into a variety of areas, blown by the wind under it’s wings.

Available now on the always excellent digitalDIZZY label.

Listen, enjoy and download here.

In addition to the digitaDIZZY download release we can offer this special Limited Edition CD copy. These handmade copies include all of the track artworks and will ship with a signed Certificate of Authenticity showing the edition number. The edition will be limited to 30 copies and produced in sets of 10 if suitable interest is shown. Currently only proto-type versions have been produced but its basically ready to go.

Ornithology Special Edition

These unique limited edition releases will be £18.50 each plus postage. UK postage estimated at £3.50 with European & US being a little more.

If you are interested in obtaining one of these rare birds before extinction, please complete the form below. Once we have a practical number in hand we can confirm a shipping date. Payments will be by Paypal with details to follow.

If you are totally committed to the program, please buy now using the Paypal button below.


Buy Now Button

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Avebury Henge & Silbury Hill

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Very occasionally I indulge my self with a trip out with my camera. As I’ve posted here previously about the various ancient monuments that I’ve visited around the UK it can be assumed it’s a standing stone of an interest.
Towards the end of 2014 when staying in Winchester we visited Stone Henge which without doubt the most well known neolithic stone circle in the UK. I’d hoped to drip in on Avebury on the return journey but time didn’t allow.

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So, ignoring the weather forecast I took a drive down to Avebury for a look around. I went there maybe 25 years ago, and as sleepy villages go, its hasn’t changed. The National Trust & English Heritage now look after the site and its noted as a World Heritage site.

As a child I remember watching the quite scary series ‘Children of the Stones‘. Whilst based in a the fictional village of Tilbury, this was filmed inane around Avebury. I rematched this recently and its still a potent little story.
Avebury is the only village that sits inside a stone circle, surrounded by a back and ditch. Construction of the circle is dated to around 3000BC although as in the case of Stone Henge there are suggestions the site was important prior to this as recently discovered evidence of Wood Henges indicate.

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The weather was pretty blood awful unfortunately (note rain spots on the lens) but I’m pleased I managed to spend a few bracing hours walking around the site. There is a mass of speculation about the meaning and intent of the architects of the site. Undoubtably giving the scale of the site and the effort required to create it, it was important to them.

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The following is a more atmospheric gallery of Hipstamatic pictures – still my go-to iPhone app.

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Avebury Stone Detail

A little one a mile to the south of Avebury is Silbury Hill. At 30 metres (98 ft) high,[1] it is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe and one of the largest in the world; similar in size to some of the smaller Egyptian pyramids of the Giza Necropolis although constructed somewhat later around 2400BC. Despite numerous excavations there’s no real indication of its function.

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Silbury Hill 2016

I’m now off to read John Drews book ‘The Silbury Revelation‘ which i bought a while ago but neglected to put in the ‘to read’ pile.

And finally in the spirit of ‘if you liked this, you might also enjoy’ heres some pictures and sounds from Dol Tor stone circle.

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YSP & Hepworth Wakefield

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A couple of weeks ago I had a random day off work with no commitments that couldn’t be ignored. The weather wasn’t entirely clement but with an intention to do something I’d hoped to do all summer I took a ride up the M1 to Bretton and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There are 500 acres of open country park which hosts some of the most important modern sculptures by artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Anthonys Caro & Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Elizabeth Frink, Jaun Miro, James Turrell, Ai, Weiwei, Lynn Chadwick, Marc Quinn, Julian Opie & Richard Long.

A steady walk around the grounds takes upwards of 3 hours with the enticement of another artefact in the distance to keep you going. I had hoped to take some ‘proper’ photographs but the light was flat & grey. The best results came from Hipstamatic using a near monochrome fine grain high contrast film.

This first set of pictures are all YSP. Highlight for me was the James Turrell Skyspace which only the experience of it justifies. The Turrell pieces are more commonly known in the wide open spaces of North America but this construction in an old Deer shelter on the estate is graced by the noise of crows and our steel skies. The 20mins I spent there was fortunately solitary and all the better for it.

James Turrell - Skyview, YSP

Click on a single image to open the gallery view.

The gallery spaces are used for temporary exhibitions and currently they have work from artist Bill Viola – not an artist I was previously familiar with. One of his large digital projects was also placed in the Chapel on the estate. This was a stunning piece relating to Ascension & Recension. The short film below gives a flavour of the work but its better seen and experienced with scale the artist intends.

After exhausting the collection at YSP (and my legs) as I was in the area I went over to the Hepworth Wakefield. This is wonderful contemporary art space built to place and celebrate the work of Barbara Hepworth and host temporary exhibitions. Its a surprisingly expansive space with numerous galleries. The current show by Enrico David was defiantly worth a look but the numerous Hepworth pieces and reproduction casts contributed to an engrossing view. This is the gallery view…..

Follow the embedded links for more information about both places.

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November Fog

 

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A quick diary style photo post. I awoke earlier than seemed reasonable this Sunday Morning. Last nights Halloween celebrations didn’t keep me awake and with the family lost to a lie in and spying an early morning fog I took a walk to our local park, Woodthorpe – with my camera & tripod. At 9.00am there where mainly dog walkers and a few council workers.

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These set of images are post processed in Lightroom with VSCO Kodak Gold filter and a touch of Snapseed.

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….and of course, some cobwebbery….

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Once my shoes were completely soaked through I took a trip into town. These are all Hipstamatic using Black Keys Ultrachrome & Murry lens. Pictures include Victoria Park, Sneinton Market, The Lace Market, the Market Square and finally some cake.

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Cornwall Land – August 2015

Bude Cornwall

In previous years when I’ve taken the little blokes on a brief cultural tour of the UK I’ve posted a daily blog on its own page. Admittedly this is for my own entertainment and with a nod to posterity, but its also a good way of sharing some pictures and sharing some links for local industry.

This year we when to Cornwall and in a one off point of agreement with our beloved leader, Mr David Cameron, it’s true that mobile coverage in the County sucks. It took me a day to discover this and I resolved to spare the children from my swearing and grumbling and wait until I got home.

So, her it is. Briefer than it might of been but illustrated appropriately I hope.

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We stayed in an area called Widemouth Bay (thats wid-muth, not wide-mouth, I made that mistake once, not good). It’s on the North Cornwall coast near Bude, just across from the Devonshire boarder. The coastal area is cliff heavy with many stony bays. Its popular with surfers and very dramatic. Bude itself has a wide beach bay with a very shallow tidal area. There are surf schools and a sea pool and its very popular. Unlike many British sea side towns theres a complete absence of arcades and the normal riffle of holiday towns. There are boating lakes in the river lock and some large constructed rock pools with brave kids ‘tombstoning’. Evidence as follows;

Bude Sea Pool

Bude Cliff Sides

Bude - He Did It

Bude Tomb Stoning

Bude Beach Huts

Bude Bay - Bodyboarding

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Tintagel Castle

The weather stayed clement for the first two and a half days before English Summer Time took hold. On the Wednesday I persuaded the boys to indulge some English Heritage culture with a visit to Tintagel Castle. Tintagel is a small village (again on a cliff top) but with a dramatic bay and the historic site on the nearby cliff structure. The castle probably dates back to around 1000AD and is one of the few clearly traced sites of Arthurian Legend. I’m very fond of our ancient history and tracing the Arthurian Legend is fraught with speculation. Tintagel claims to be the seat of Uther Pendragon, Arthurs father, and the site of many battles, and the mysterious and impressive Merlins Cave. Its one of those places with human activity writ large on its collapsed walls and unique for it. The landscape is incredible and as with many neolithic & bronze age sites its evident that our ancestors really appreciated a nice view.

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Eden Project

The Eden Project was a Millennial scheme that took an ecological and world view to renewal and developing technology. I visited there around 10 years age and its great to see how the site (an ex open cast mine) has flourished in that time. It was a very rainy day when we visited so also quite crowded. The organisation was however quite professional and we managed to enjoy the many interesting features of the project.

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The Hurlers

The Hurlers are a unique arrangement of three neolithic stone circles arrange in a line. They exist high on Bodmin Moor and on the day we visited we found a quite scary cloud of…..cloud which could easily have lead to numerous lost children and potential Hound of the Baskervilles terror. I took the best pictures I could in circumstances and in retrospect it was quite an experience to see the artefact overwhelmed by the environment. As an aside I was able to engage the smaller child’s attention to this trip on the basis that the nearest village is called ‘Minions’.

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St Ives & Porthleaven

Whilst geographically St Ives is maybe 40mins from Bude, given local roads and holiday traffic volume the trip took 1 1/2 hours. Still worth the trip. Another town with a very individual identity and locality. As with many Cornish villages, originally tied to the fishing industry it now relies on its natural beauty, coastlines, dudelicious waves and the wonderfully placed Tate St Ives. Always busy and shifting a million calories worth of Cornish Pasties a day in peak season. I didn’t have the heart or parental strength to take them around Barbara Hepworths studio but if you are ever down that way, I recommend it.

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We also took the opportunity to drop down across the peninsular to Porthleven, another scenic fishing village with great coastal views and the remnants of local industry, now threatened with big city seasonal investment. A very pretty place non the less.

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So, essentially – Cornwall = Good. Shoddy mobile coverage, beautiful landscape, road infrastructures that defy sat nav predicted eta’s, generally friendly locals, great (really great) local food produce, totally stuffed with historical points of interest, scenery that makes any amateur photographer look good …..and above, miles away from the day job. 5/5 whatever the weather.

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Glove of Films

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On one of the ‘other’ channels of my on-line time frittering I did this. Please feel free to follow The Glove of Bones if you don’t mind inviting this kind of occurrence into your digital file. If nothing else it uses a very nice theme.

Information in relation to work flow.

When I started planning the musical aspect of 50/50 it was under the A4+ brand, as per previous issues. The theme of biography was implicit, the format (five 10 minute songs, each broadly representing a decade of life) was built in, and other intentions of continuity (all the visual content would be monochrome for example) seemed reasonably attainable.

As with all such grand schemes it seemed likely that supplementary materials would emerge so the idea of an epilog sprang to mind (and in fact inspired the ‘segue’ pieces), cutting in existing references into a mash-up, sweeping the floor, exhibiting good recycling practices. At some indeterminate point the ‘Glove of Bones’ phrase gained traction and from that the idea of a filmed piece. This is the outcome.

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“The tooth root and aching backbone of the Glove of Bones creative project was an idea for a road movie without a road, a biography without a chronology or subject and an imaginary soundtrack for a film, based around a real movie.”

Almost a film in five equal sections with both structured musical content and more abstract found, soundscapes, atmosphere. Holmes would have a field day with the evidence but like all good conspiracy pedlars, I prefer to protect my sources.

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I would like particular to credit the use of the ‘Holcombe Tarot’ by Wayne Burrows. I’m continually impressed by his diversity of creation. The Tarot can be seen in use somewhere around the 25 minute mark.

There are a small number of filmic references which movie geeks will spot. They are cited as points of reference for the various immersions the biographical subject has encountered and soaked up. I do not and would never claim any rights to these reflections.

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Newstead Abbey, May 2015

Newstead Panorama

A couple of weeks ago I took the boys to Newstead Abbey which is about 20 minutes from our home, near Ravenshead & Newstead Village. We have been there on many occasions but it was a sunny day with time to kill and also the ‘Big Day Out’, an annual City Council run event that offers free entrance to various museums and other attractions.

Newstead has extensive grounds and play areas for the boys, a huge lake and waterfall features and a very well run main building with museum and café.

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The ex Augustine Priory was also the home of Lord George Gordon Byron, infamous poet, traveller and bad boy.

Whilst I took a lot of pictures on my DSLR and filmed some slo-mo water on my phone, I’m more pleased by the B/W images shot on a Holga using 120 Ilford Pan Plus film. On this occasion I’ve only made one over-layed panorama, the others are single frames that show tree’s in blossom and some wire frame sculptures that sit in the formal walled gardens. Pan plus is a slow film perhaps better suited to a tripod and good light. The images are shakey but full of tone. There is only minmal post processing of these after being scanned.

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The seems to be a proposal to develop Newstead in a similar way to Chatsworth House which uses the grounds and other feature to display a range of contemporary arts pieces. Newstead would be a perfect site this given its history and landscape. Click on the images below to open the gallery view.

On show at the time we visited and in the main Drawing Room was a piece by Nottingham artist Tristram Aver titled ‘And Stand A Ruin Amidst Ruins’. The multiple panel screen references Newstead artefacts from wall papers, period portraits, local flora and hunting trophies. I hope the plans for the Abbey produce more thoughtful site specific pieces of this type. Below is a panoramic shot of the Drawing Room and the piece which is on display until the 5th of July.

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As well as taking more than a few photographs I also managed to get a number of sound recordings which will end up in whatever new musical piece materialises this year. The piece ‘Sea Song’ that I made last year features the waterfall from the lake and other images around the grounds.

More about the ‘Sea Song’ piece here. and the bigger piece that contains it here.

Thanks to Photo Parlour, Nottingham for film processing, analog love in a digital age.

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Trilithon (Song For The Architect)

Stonehenge 01 ACN 2014

This post will be the last to include a new musical piece in 2014. Its been a good run and for me its been a breathless run, grabbing available time to throw herbs & sources into the mix. This one is the end of the Norfolk Cycle and finishes with a piece inspired by Hampshire & Wiltshire.

Some number of years ago I attended Winchester School of Art and during the first week of December, with Mrs A4+, I went back to have a look around- with the best part of 25yr gap. It was a bit of a flash back pilgrimage, I still have occasional dreams that fix in the town, and I was interested to see any changes that have occurred. The WSA Campus is a lot bigger, there are new shopping centres, but the core of the main thoroughfare and are around the Cathedral are unchanged. With a little more time I would have liked to walk some more of the area, the Water Meadows, the riverside area, St Catherine’s Mount but overall the visit was satisfying.

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The one thing I did want to do when in that neck of the woods was to visit Stonehenge. Whilst its more associated with Salisbury its only 20mins drive away from Winchester. I am really quite entranced by the countries very early history, stone circles and long barrows of the peak district I’ve referenced previously in pictures, sounds and moving images. Stonehenge is the ‘holy grail’ (ok, maybe thats in Glastonbury theoretically) being the largest megalithic structure in Northern Europe. Raised between 3000 & 2000 years BC its an unbelievably impressive example of planning & will. The stones were transported over huge distances, shaped with minimal available materials, organised and plotted with unerring precision and raised by methods we can only guess. The site was used over a millennia and was adapted and evolved throughout that time.

Bronze Age people produced monuments from the Mediterranean, through central Europe and up into the British Isles that have endured and surpassed constructions from later more adept civilisations. I’m always struck by the thought of the individual the directed the concept. No matter what the capability of the hive, there must be an architect, scratching in the sand, watching the sky, pointing the way.

The following images are Holga photographs on 120 film with intentional overlapping.

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Winchester Cathedral is a similarly engrossing edifice. When at college I spent quite a lot of time in there, copying patterns, looking at sculpture and being overwhelmed by the architecture. Despite my issues with organised religion I’ve always been fascinated by the power of spaces such as this. They exemplify wonder & glory even though in the main they were constructed through forced labour, associated poverty and coercion over extended periods of time. From York & Lincoln Cathedrals in the UK, the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre, the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Sagrada Famila in Barcelona the human impulse to honour abstract and indefinite visions is frightening in its intent.

The following are some motion blur picture taken of the windows in Winchester Cathedral.

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So at the end of all this what are we left with? An admiration of the designer, an inability to understand the effort and methods of the builders and the chatter of history – wedding and flowing in it’s attempt to theorise the cause and inception of these great things.

The song / soundscape that I’ve ended up with is a long form piece, a snick over 25 minutes long. It’s roughly in three parts although the overlay doesn’t lead to clean section breaks. The sections are essentially Conception-Construction-Communion.There are repeated sounds in each that link them but they ultimately form the ‘Trilithon. the rock in three parts.

The track uses my ‘kitchen sink’ of tools including Launchpad (for the majority of the chill/cinematic sounds), Amplitude (for effected guitars and for the first time real bass guitar) and is finished off using LANDR mastering which whilst ‘off the peg’ seems to work well in bringing everything to workable level. The middle section might have the affect of inducing some anxiety but it does ‘come down’ in the closing section. In the words of Bill Hicks “it’s just a ride”.

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