Category Archives: Nottingham

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.


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The Commonality of Strangers – Mahtab Hussain

Mahtab Hussain

I don’t share posts here that relate to work very often. This does in that the artist concerned is someone I assisted with printing services over the last few years.

Recently, in my view, we saw our society step back from the open, inclusive country it had been developing towards over the last 30 years. It happened quickly, fuelled by a divisive referendum, with much public opinion informed by, to be completely frank, blatant, manipulative lies.

Over previous years I have been very pleased to work with the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, producing printed materials for their many diverse exhibitions. One particular show was produced by photographer Mahtab Hussain. This work has a great relevance to the current debate. Much of the below is from the press release and his website.

I received the following from Mahtab earlier and would like to share this first.

“Over the last 5 days I have been heart broken by the rise of hate, xenophobia and racist attacks that has taken hold of the British public. Britons voted to leave the European Union, steering the UK on a course of uncertainty, and critically, effecting the fate of those who have chosen to make the UK their home. It seems to be open season for migrant communities as hate crime has increased by 50 -55% in less than a week of the referendum result and I for one cannot sit around waiting for our ‘so called’ leaders to settle down the public.”

Mahtab Hussain

Much of the work for the exhibition was shot around Hyson Green in Nottingham, I lived in the area for the best part of ten years, it’s also where the New Art Exchange is based. The area demonstrates the best of what a multicultural society can achieve. The many cultures, religions and ethnicities live side by side. Many coming in from overseas gravitate to the area, contributing and striving for better futures, before moving out into wider areas and making way for new visitors.

“The Commonality of Strangers addresses the impact of multiculturalism in Britain today and humanises the migrant’s story, demystifying who these individuals really are, while confronting the viewer with the reality of their experience and why they came to live in the UK.

These stories tell of people escaping from poverty, persecution, violence and personal tragedy. What unfolds is a collection of images which challenges stereotypes and assumptions in a current political environment in which immigration is a major issue. Hussain hopes that in bringing these individuals to the fore and allowing their voices to be heard, this series will empower minority cultures by giving a deeper context to their existence in the UK. In turn, Hussain is asking the viewer to consider the commonality of mankind’s wants and needs whilst emphasising that the veneer of everyday life can easily veil the immense struggles and deeper contexts in which people live, and have lived.

The Commonality of Strangers serves to contextualise and humanise the migrant story, urging viewers to move beyond widely held stereotypes, assumptions and scare mongering tactics used unashamedly by politicians in the Brexit campaign.

Commissioned by New Art Exchange 2014/15.

Education, awareness, tolerance and truth are the best tools available to undermine the appalling and increasing incidents of racial abuse which this deeply faulted referendum has bought back to the surface of our society. As in the 1970’s & 1980’s creative endeavour can be a positive force to shame those that feel suddenly empowered by the darker elements in our political system.

Visit the New Art Exchange here http://www.nae.org.uk/

More about the artist here http://www.mahtabhussain.com/

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#TDM – The Drone Machine Project

The followings is reposted from the Glove of Bones project page. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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TDM

From the beginning of my swagger into music production of some sort or another the term ‘Drone’ has been in the room. A friend of mine, Mark Ward had started to make ambient music and through this I found the frighteningly good natured and creative community of diverse independent musicians through FaceBook groups, Sound Cloud and Bandcamp net labels. There are people out there making 8 hour compositions, terrifying field noise experiments, dreamy piano / synth / guitar pieces, industrial noise and experimental drone.

Drone (or protracted monophonic/harmonic sound) has occupied a place in music for millennia. From a wet finger circling a wine glass to bagpipes and the sitar, the hypnotic underpin of many musical forms is the drone element.

In contemporary music artists like Sunn O))) and Steve Wilson (as Bass Communion) use sustained repetition and volume to affect an audience at a level other than just song structure & lyrical content.

Following the modern trail back you get the Velvet Underground and Modern Classical composers like Terry Riley, Steve Reich & Phillip Glass.

Further into the obscure there are artist from Dada, the Beats & Avante Garde using pure sound to impact their audience.
A little before the New Year I came across Tony Conrad and the group that formed the Dream Syndicate
In particular the link between a sound experiment and an artefact had resonance.

The Long String Drone is discussed in this article and for some unknown reason the device struck a chord with me.

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Digging a little deeper the sound produced from these devices cemented the fascination.

Add to that the incredible process & construction behind the work of Ellen Fullman and I was intent on having my own device.

My approach to scale is somewhat limited by domestic circumstance and budget and overall you could say I’ve given an organ transplant to a guitar. I am, as always lead by a Voodoo notion of connection to materials, history and activity. The resulting artefact is almost exactly as I imagined with the added advantage of being functional.

The intention was to build something with a physical presence that took it away from being a guitar, that it would be a functional electric device whose sound could be manipulated, that as an object it would have an ascetic of its own, and that to best of my ability it would be constructed from the ground up.
Most of the ‘guitar’ elements are exhumed from a cheap Strat copy from the local Cash Convertors, the main body is a 1.4M long piece of Oak which the very kind Alan from Custom Frames supplied and routed to my design. The project has come together far quicker than I imagined it would and bar some minor cosmetic intervention its working. Below you can see a gallery of the development process.

The creative applications for this elaborated plank are slowly coming together. I’m hopeful that I can acquire more analogue sound effect devices but that wanders into a whole new world of practical dilemmas. I’ve had one small experiment with the machine which whilst casual and unplanned, I found exciting to produce. The drone element of this is a single unedited production. the sound artefacts that are added are to colour in the narrative (a non specific walking story). This is #TDM 01.

I hope you join me for the further adventures in drone, coming to this page soon.

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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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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.

Newstead Holga 01

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.

Newstead Holga 02

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.

Newstead Tris Aver

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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NueChromeWaVe – Album4

Vague Wave II

A very brief post to advise that for interested parties I’ve completed a new series of songs.

Most have appeared here in earlier form over the last 3 or 4 months but they are now collated together and available for your listening delectation.

The series has a page of its own which you can enjoy here. This has lots of pictures and a brief summary of each song together with links to additional detail previously posted.

Should wish to own this item it’s free unless you wish to donate to the cause. To pursue this option please visit the Bandcamp site through the links below.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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幾何学模様/Kikagaku Moyo – The Jam Cafe, Nottingham 23/1014

Kikagaku Moyo 01

I’m not entirely sure how I first came across this band. Probably the rabbit hole of social media, maybe through Soundcloud, who knows. It was definitly earlier this year and around the time that their 3rd album ‘Forest of Lost Children’ came out. They seemed to me a perfect storm of well referenced psychedelic sounds, edgy prog influenced guitar,eastern influenced back story – sitar, rising sun myths – and taking all this in, still contemporary and unique.

Only the third album was easily available way back in the spring and it took my a couple of months to get the first eponymously title album and the second release ‘Mammatus Clouds’ At least one of these arrived in a package bearing an Athens – Greece mailing stamp having been release on a small indie label.

I was equally excited and glum when a small UK tour was announce as the original five dates didn’t get close to my home town. However, due to the unfortunate illness of Damo Suzuki, Kikagaku Moyo (translates as ‘Geometric Patterns’ the ones that hide behind eyelids when you approach a dream like state) picked up the slot at the Jam Cafe.
The Jam Cafe is a fairly small independent cafe, bar & entertainment venue in the Hockley / Cultural Quarter in Nottingham. It’s not a venue I’ve been to before but they have lots of micro beers, home made cakes, decent coffee and DJ’s with eclectic tastes it seems. No Red Bull but hey ho.

The band arrived in their tiny tour bus around 8.00pm and stayed to watch the two supporting acts. The stage is a couple of square meters of raised floor and there was crowded gear changeover between sets.

The band is a five piece;

Vocal/Guitar: Tomo Katsurada
Guitar: Daoud Popal
Sitar: Ryu Kurosawa
Bass: Kotsuguy
Drums/Voice: Go Kurosawa

Whilst I’ve read that on some occasions they don’t always have the sitar player on board, fortunately he he was in attendance this time. The instrument really rounds out the bands sound and takes it out of the rock space for the better.

They played a pretty full selection of songs from the first album and the ‘Forest of Lost Children’ (Mammatus Clouds is a quieter album with more long form jams). As the venue is intimate and as the two guitarists set up on the main floor in front of the raised stage, I ended up standing next too Daoud Popal as he ripped some amazing sounds, playing barefoot, from his guitar and multiple effects peddles.

Kikagaku Moyo 02

Their calm and methodical demeanour underpinned their incredible ability to let go and fly. There were passages that bought to mind Hawkwind or Sabbath and others that had more of a Mahavishnu Orchestra tone about them. They are an incredible example of a sum of their parts, an incredible unit working together with great individual skill.

One of the other aspects of the band I’m really impressed by is their sense of design. From album covers, vinyl stylings to posters they have keep a sympathetic theme in place with impressive illustrations, earth colourings and subtle shimmer.

Kikagaku Moyo 2014 Poster

They really have everything going for them. I hope that they get increasing recognition for they commitment and achieve a wider audience. Their performance at the Jam Cafe was one of the most impressive gigs I’ve seen in a while.

A few links here.

https://geometricpatterns.bandcamp.com/music
http://www.austinpsychfest.com/kikagaku-moyo-official-apf-2014-interview/

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Nottingham Carnival 2014

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August 17th, weather – irregular & intermittently annoying. The carnival ran slightly late which would have had no differing effect on the effects of sporadic deluges. A massive effort provided by the various organisations, and in particular the young people who made such an effort with costumes & moves.

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We waited at the bottom end of the Market Square, dashing under cover at Costa when the rain came. GBoy burned the battery on his phone taking pictures, some of which I’ll add to this tomorrow.

In the mean time, soca!!!

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Late in……

Peter Hook Rescue Rooms July 2014

 

This one is overdue and under cooked. In a rare event of two nights out in a row I caught a couple of great gigs last week.

Thursday was Peter Hook & the Light. Currently touring the early New Order albums Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. I’ve played both of these to death in the past so have been really looking forward to these shows. Hooky doesn’t disappoint. The band seem to spend a lot of time on the road and are tight and enthusiastic. The Rescue Rooms has great sound for a small venue and even near the front it was not so loud as to be  distorted. Encouraging to see a large number of middle-aged chaps joshing at certain points as well.

Here’s a sample of it. It jumps around along with the crowd.

The following clip if from the next night in Holmfirth.

With the current kickball competition on-going they also did ‘World In Motion’ which seemed to get some enthused. For me the closing riot of ‘Temptation’ did the trick. Here’s a properly filmed version.

And then……

Brian Jonestown Massacre July 2014

The following night was the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Currently touring to promote their new album ‘Revelation’ . They are still a 5 guitarapocalypse of psych rock. The new album is a great thing and they mixed new and old material throughout the show. This is ‘The Devil May Care (Mom & Dad Don’t). This was filmed by the bloke standing next to me during the show.

Anton seemed in fairly decent humour and only stopped the band twice to whup them into shape.

This is a song from the new album, ‘Vad Hande Med Dem’. I believe its Swedish.

If you have an urge theres a demo version of the album here. Dig!

 

 

Blue vinyl! mmmmmmmmm……

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Revelation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winterval Interlude

Fairground 01

Welcome to 2014 on one of the least overrated blogs on the inter web. This is my year for art, music, activism and unfulfilled promise. I will be regularly missing self imposed deadlines, relying on the the tolerance and disbelief of my audience and increasing my already embarrassing typo count by homophoning it in with scant regard for linguistic convention and spell check. Your patience is appreciated.

First up this year is a little sound scape that made it through the distractions of seasonal celebration. It will probably go with the ‘Sea Song and Other Fictions’ project although i’m still undecided in which direction to take this. I have an urge to be a little more punk in approach but I might need to hit on Amazon Local for some cheap studio time in which to do some shouting.

‘Winterval Interlude’ uses sounds and images from Ye Olde Market Square in Nottingham. They have an event called Winter Wonderland and I have to confess that I do….wonder… But the kids quite like it and you can never have enough German Markets and Ostrich Burger (or is the Austrich Burghers?).

Here is the video. It uses iSuper8 spliced up in iMovie with lots of filtering. Although its a little overused I really like the ripple drop  transition between shots. There are a few shots of Nottingham’s Victoria Centre in there as well although I’ve tried to avoid anything specifically ‘Christmassy’, aiming more for the Winter Holiday event itself.

If however you are a committed audiophile and more interested in the sonic qualities in the music, please enjoy the following link from Soundcloud.

Now, I recently read a piece on LinkedIn about how the British are often unnecessarily self deprecating when promoting their skills and creative endeavours. Currently I am free from the need to promote my ‘content’ in order to generate income or credibility. I enjoy my spare moments of creativity and don’t try to intellectualise the materials I release into the world. That isn’t to say that I don’t put a good deal of thought into them and try to produce a sequence of ideas that feed on their siblings.  Out of this sequence the thing I am most content with is the following image.

This is piece of pure app lead iPhonography, using three separate images a stew of 6 editing apps. At full resolution it would be half a meter square.

Winter Drops

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