It’s been little over a year at the time of this post actually. I am unfortunately less affected by the sparse contact with people than I think is healthy. My natural affinity towards being alone is being nurtured by lockdowns and social screen fatigue. A few hours teaching can be handled, but a few hours at an online party is a crush of low-grade vision, distorted sound, and half spoken thoughts.
I sit at the studio desk making sounds all the time. Granulating with the newest updates, stretching fft bins and looping them apart from their internal bits and bytes. I don’t finish actual pieces too much. I had thought that I’d be doing some online improvisation with John English, but I think it might be too oblique for him. The one time we tried it was a predictable failure, but the subsequent attempts never came.
I did just finish a long term project. At least I finished what one might consider an overture, or a preamble to the big paper, bark and leaves piece. Nothing significant can be done with it now, so it’s named Silver Birch, for it’s sources and shuffled it off to Montpellier to be forgotten under an avalanche of submissions from all over the rock.
The Bach 2-Part Invention #8 is starting to be musical. It’s comedically slow on guitar, but hey, I have half as many fingers to play it than a pianist would. It sounds quite open and the counterpoint is very clear. I’ll be happy with it I imagine. I would like to use it as a source for something.
New strings coming and a new way to record it is available. I’d really like to get an outdoor version, maybe up in Cademan Wood.
Nothing happening here. I was progressing really well with the circular breathing multiphonics, but Tak rarely leaves the house for more than two hours in a week. I don’t ‘explore’ well with other ears in range. Every time I pick up the horn and play, I can hear ‘the other’. I really don’t have a clue as to how to handle this. So far the answer has been not to handle it at all.
ResonanceFM, a streaming show from London that was formerly a broadcast station, Has quite a few good shows. One the best for modern music is the one done by the Langham. They have a few disks and CDs. What I have I’m happy with. I’ll probably skip the cassettes, but the vinyl is good.
They played some Ambrose Seddon, but only an extract. He has a new CD on Empreientes Digitales I was hoping to hear. Got a small listen. I like Ambrose’s work so far. It’s ‘classical acousmatic’ in the sense that it isn’t afraid to delve into the tried and true structural hierarchies, but doesn’t sound like anyone else’s work. https://electrocd.com/en/album/6094/Ambrose_Seddon/Espaces_éphémères
A quick paste of Langham’s program notes for today:
Langham Research Centre
[Repeated from Tuesday 8pm.] Langham Research Centre present their favourite electronic music and musique concrète, mixing classics and new releases, on the third Tuesday of each month. Tonight: music from Robert Farnon and His Orchestra, Denis Smalley, Ulrich Troyer, Langham Research Centre, Philippe Petit & Michael Schaffer, Annette Vande Gorne, Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux, and Ambrose Seddon. Presented by Iain Chambers and Robert Worby.
Not tomorrow, next week, or probably next month, but barring any mutations or other disasters a vaccine will open the world up again. We’ll go back to teaching in person. People won’t get scowled at (by me) for not wearing masks. We’ll go to a party that will probably be about all our friends being immune. I’ll go the States to hang out with my sister and the rest of the family.
The past year has been different and being ‘free’ will be great, but I don’t see things quite going back to the way they were before CoVid-19. Concerts, for instance, now have several standing working methods for streaming. That won’t stop. Especially for university based concert music and home artists. Live streams, even ‘watch parties’ have a cozy place in a post-pandemic world.
I’ve been part of two streamed concerts, one from the University of Sheffield and one from The University of Birmingham. Both went well and both had much larger attendance that they do in real life. This is going to be a big boost for composing with 3D audio (HRTF/Atmos/Ambisonic/Dolby. I’m finally joining in, but It’s slow going. That probably means I need to put more work into it.
So I will. I am hopefully in the Spring/April concert in Sheffield and I intend to compose what I’m working on in Ambisonic and render it for headphones as binaural (hrtf).
Wish me luck people (or person, or probably just future me), and good luck to you!
Also, the new website, plasticmusic.net is mobile friendly. It should be ready by the first of January.
I’m proud to have a split CD release with Emmanuel Mieville on Denis Shapovalov’s OBS label .
Available for download on Bandcamp now.
CD available in January
The conference in Brazil accepted the paper. It’s a tad long so still some work to be done. I’m given the impression that there’s a good chance an acceptance is a sure precursor to the Journal of New Music Research issue and will need to be expanded to 25 pages. SO!
Update: The final review wasn’t positive, but corrections and improvements are being made. It seems unlikely. Most of the weaknesses pointed out were not only legitimate, but from one point of view possibly core to what the research was about. A lot of this could have been avoided had i foreseen these issues earlier. A shift in perspective is easy enough to conceive, but a bit tight to rewrite it from scratch.
It was nice to be asked though.
Music as a Plastic Art
An ecological strategy Facilitating emergence in an instrumental composition ecology
Abstract. This recounts and expands on a method for fixed-sound composers to construct music for solo as well as fixed-sound accompanied instrumental performance. It uses aural models instead of written or graphic systems to stay congruent with concrete studio practice, rarifying the aural feedback cycle. The composition is realized within this heightened aural environment with the com- poser situated as an embedded organism. Results gathered in the studio, from individual samples to the finished composition, can be thought of as eigenstates, resulting from the complex interaction of various perceptual, audible, conceptual, and computer aided mechanisms. Aural models can potentially reduce the interpretive degrees of freedom to near zero, creating an ’impossible’ task, paradoxically producing a bounded yet infinite spectrum of musical outcomes. The ideas are largely from part of my 2007 PhD research (sponsored by De Montfort University).
I need to unbind my ideas or some of my ideas about this project.
Why does a finished sketch need to be more than a minute, or 30 seconds, or even 10?
I need to crank out handfuls of these and throw them by the shovelful at these performers.
Just a sketch so far, but this space will constantly be being replaced with updates as the work progresses towards a December 2018 deadline.
I’m excited that it’s this far along and isn’t going to be finished for many months yet.
Much to expand on and time to do it.
email me if you download (and you see this note)