Tag Archives: Drone

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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pentre-ifan-01

Please anticipate after thoughts to be added below.

Useful links below;

https://www.gloveofbones.com

http://www.mabinogion.info

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A Warmer Welcome – Via The Glove of Bones

digitalDIZZY

The Glove of Bones is very pleased to have a track include in the 110 track various artists compilation from digitalDIZZY produced to raise funds for the Refugee’s Welcome organisation. There is a nasty isolationist attitude in the general political atmosphere in the UK and its commendable that creative/arts organisations spread the word of tolerance and charity that is often missing from the broader culture.

(dD88)
A Warmer Welcome is a benefit release for #refugees welcome
www.refugees-welcome.org.uk

In times of crises, British people have always answered the call and banded together with other friendly nations to speak out, send aid and provide refuge.
Along with local groups and national organisations, we’re ready to respond to this crises; welcoming refugees from abroad and encouraging our political leaders to do more.
We’re ready to welcome people fleeing from violence and persecution.
We’re ready to find homes, help children to settle and bring Civil Society together.
We’re ready to answer the call once again.

Compiled by Ruby & Lamorna for digitalDIZZY | Feb 2016
Artwork | Pamela Caughey
www.pamelacaughey.com

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credits
released February 15, 2016

Please listen, purchase & share. The music on offer here is cutting edge from hugely committed independent artists.

A huge thanks to Ruby Black for previous support of the Glove of Bones and for bringing this great project together.

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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.

A4

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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God Speed You Black Emperor – Warwick Arts Centre

GSYBE Warwick

So it’s been a little while since I posted here. My day job is fulfilling many of my WordPress hungerings and the Glove of Bones side dish has been occupying my down time. September & October have also been quite a gig fest – King Crimson, Hey Colossus & Kogumaza, The Sisters of Mercy, Space Lady, the Sun Ra Arkestra in a couple of days and last night the stunning God Speed You Black Emperor. I’ve been looking all day for some comment but nothing so far. So I’m here to hang around in a temporarily empty space.

It’s apparently been 13 years since the last time they played the Warwick Arts Centre. Whilst nowhere near main stream the band has a fairly legendary cult status. Formed in 1996 in Canada and broadly tagged ‘post rock’ they are still a large ensemble of skilled and dedicated noise makers. The last album Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress from earlier in the year is their first single platter, all previous productions being expansive long form albums of everything from riffing & crushing guitars, folkish violin & cello to drone, static & tape loops.

The hall at WAC is mainly standing, a modern campus theatre space with a single balcony (I vaguely recall watching Bauhaus & the Southern Death Cult here in the 80’s in its previous life). The stage is low with dark curtain drops at the back. This was littered with equipment, two drum kits, double bass, stacks of amps and complex daisy chained effects peddles.

Warwick Uni

The opening band was The Dead Rat Orchestra, two contemporary chaps doing what I can best describe as post Tudor revolutionary ambient folk drone. Honestly, look them up. They were really engaging and idiosyncratic. Have a look here.

Dead Rat Orchestra

Just a little before 9.00pm the lights went down and the back drop flickered with shadows. A low bass drone hung in the air indicating the volume we should anticipate. Many sensible folks plugged in their ear defenders. Sophie Trudeau & Thierry Amar came out first, hooking up to the electricity and drawing sound from their instruments. The remainder of the band came in from the shadows slowly, Aidan Girt & Timothy Herzog on drums & percussion, Mauro Pezzente on bass, David Bryant and Mike Moya on guitars and effects – both seated, and finally notional band leader of the anarchist collective Efrim Menuck also on guitar, tapes & loops and a mountain of effects. From there on in its anyones guess. The band play, they don’t do show, no guitar faces, no ‘Hello Warwick and the surrounding areas!”, (in fact no vocal mikes at all). The songs are long pieces that build & evolve, the band know the pieces inside out and pass cues between them selves, and when they let fly the sound is internal and external, it shakes your boots and soul, glorious sweeping violin, growling distorted guitars and gut punching bass. Although I was on the frontline I didn’t in the end reach for ear plugs. It was loud but it was perfectly placed for the room. I could mainly hear the sound from the bands back line rather than the halls PA and their evident skill with sound manipulation would have been lost with a restricted plugged up dynamic range.

GSYBE Warwick Uni

Its not impossible that they improvise around some pieces, I don’t know the songs by name, more by feel. They certainly played the four songs from the recent album:”Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’ Lambs’ Breath, Asunder, Sweet & the monstorously huge Piss Crowns Are Trebled. If I find a set list I’ll add it in.

EDIT – Setlist as promised;

 

  1. Hope Drone
  2. Gathering Storm
  3. Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’
  4. Lambs’ Breath
  5. Asunder, Sweet
  6. Piss Crowns Are Trebled
  7. Mladic
  8. unknown
    (new song)
  9. The Sad Mafioso

 

This is ‘Hope Drone’ from 2011

 

I was as anticipant to see this as I was King Crimson – ultimately very aligned bands, equally about the music – but for pure visceral eye watering impact GSYBE took the edge. If you get the chance they really should not be missed. Its a fine line between GSYBE and Swans as to who’s the most affecting. Swans damaged my ears more…. but that was equally worth while.

Here’s GSYBE from earlier in the year

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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.

Stonehenge 02 ACN 2014

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.

SH Sec01 Med

SH Sec02 Med

SH Sec03 Med

SH Sec04 Med

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.

Winchester Windows 01 ACN 2014

Winchester Windows 02 ACN 2014

Winchester Windows 03 ACN 2014

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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The Loke (Revisited)

Loke Brushes 04

Closing the circle on the previous post here. Taking the motion blur pictures into the Brushes App on iPad and what can only be loosely described as drawing over the pictures, then exporting the actions from the drawings into .mov files, slowing them down and then splicing them together to make a short animation.

Loke Brushes o3

The process is much like that that goes into creating the music. It’s aim and intention is very open. It doesn’t have an end point or desired conclusion. I might make an infinity gif next time and rather than bookending a song with a fadein/out to join them up, work on perpetual repeat. I wonder if theres an app for that?

Loke Brushes 01

This is the finished piece.

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Sea Song (Water In My Eye) Revisited

I’m posting this for house keeping as much as interest. This has been on the blog as page for quite some time. That particular page will be replaced to reflect the larger project in the next few days but I didn’t want to lose this entirely. So, step back in time to November 2013 and dive into ‘Sea Song’.

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This piece started life in the back of my mind a month or more before we went on holiday in September. I used some ‘field noise’ in a few of my previous audio creations and broadly had in mind something in the ambient vein, lengthy and unstructured, painterly if at all possible.

As I’m not bound by the need to be taken seriously or to generate income from these exercises I’m blessed with the freedom to let the process happen. As with many good intentions I collected far less environmental noise than I had hoped and ended up with only limited material. From the beginning of the piece there is an almost white noise wave hiss, this has been chopped, echoed, stretched and spliced through out the piece.

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The rhythm track is built up using 60bpm sequences created in DMX#1 on iPad. The intent being to slow down the heart rate, much like the calming experience of watching waves hit a beach or as is used further on, watching the flow from a water fall hit the pool below.

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Further related images and sounds were gathered from both Wollaton Park and Newstead Abbey. Newstead in particular has a feature lake that feeds a number of water features, falls & streams that have all given poetic and meditative pleasure for many years. Like the wind effects I used in the Gib Hill piece these environmental backdrops provide an anchored and enduring point of reference for deep lying human experience.

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I had very much intended to create a single lengthy work and the overall extent of the final item (which runs to a little over 24mins) was determined by a 4x stretch of the base wave noise recorded in Majorca. True speed usage of the sound also reveals the only human noise, the voices of children jumping waves.

Through the more intense third quarter the sounds from the waterfall at Newstead take precedence, that absorbing crushing flow (recorded from behind the fall), linked with the guitar feedback and single note bass.

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The still images included here are shot on an iPhone using the Hipstmatic app. Hipstamatic was the reason I first got an iPhone four years ago and still find it to be a hybrid of dice and sketch pad when it comes to snatching an affected memory. In the first instance these had a monochrome sepia tone but this has been removed for a pure grainy B/W final image.

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In much the same way the video content has been captured on the iPhone and processed, de-coloured, filtered and slowed down using iMovie. The hypnotic effect of letting your eyes  defocus whilst staring at the sea or a reflecting pool, Narcissus face flowing into the weeds and pebbles under the surface of the water. The movie was shot in HD and all credit to You Tube for taking the best part of 24hrs to cook the file into a viewable movie.

This is the full audio version of Sea Song (Water in my Eye)

This is the video.

Please enjoy, download and share freely.

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The Lost Children of Dol Tor

Crop01-Dol Tor

The keen eyed will notice that this is my second reference to Dol Tor. I had been messing with Korg Gadet noises and DMX1 drum tracks around the same time that I took the road trip a couple of weeks ago. It made sense to connect them.

Crop02-Dol Tor

Within the song notion was an intention to use the flowing drone and tidal wave of Korg Gadget noise and a fast, almost drum’n’bass rhythm element. This came through with some degree of satisfaction fairly easily. The trip to Dol Tor bought to mind the connection between that ancient landscape appreciation of environment, natural space, transient sky and a tribal community spirit of absorption in the previous, joined with a not insignificant degree of hedonism and party spirit.

I’ve tried to blur the disparity of the two main sound elements in the track using some additional rhythmic elements and three pieces of guitar noise made with Ebow, one of which is reversed and echoed. It’s very much like drawing with two media – say charcoal & watercolour – and then using your thumb to soften the edges. In relation to some of the previous sound projects I’ve made it’s fairly sparse in tracks.

Crop03-Dol Tor
The final element which is only subtly present is a piece of ‘field recording’.
Recently Cousin Silas questioned the use of field recording or more accurately the definition of this. In many cases it might be a texture, a sonic layer with direct and illustrative reference, waves, thunder, rain, chattering voices. I would say there is a difference between a sound effect whether self sourced or researched, and a piece of content used for its particular connection to the piece. In this piece some where in the first and third minute there is a slight fluttering sound. Whilst it runs through the whole track it’s only barely noticeable but, it being the sound of the wind in leaves at the time the video was made – in that time and place – I hope it ties the audio to the theme, a voodoo hair in the hand of the shaman.

The video elements are made on iPhone using the iSupa8 app in HD. I’ve used all but two pieces of film and worked them chronologically. It’s come out as a kind of archeological scrapping of the site or a forensic investigation of events – a Will Graham mind palace of association – looking for clues and getting into the consciousness of the previous inhabitants.

 

The most recent users of the site most likely had a similar respect for the environment and expressed a connection to the architect ancestors. They have left small tokens and signs of their activity including crystals, Ojibwe, ribbons and the evidence of fire.

The pictures that accompany this are multi-exposed analog 120 film shots from a Holga camera. Using the constraint of the film I tried to form four specific sequences, joined by over exposure. I enjoy the high level of chance in this process and have yet to be disappointed by the out come.

 

 

Given a greater freedom of time to construct these pieces I might be more focused on the amount of content and material I create and more selective in the elements that I use. Every element is a roll of the dice and thus far I have been lucky with the numbers facing up.

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