I play music and make odd sounds using electronics and found objects, teach and enjoy collaboration.
My longest running project is Rude Mechanicals, with Miss Roberts. The band has been described as swamp-blues, psychedelic-cabaret and post-punk. I play guitar, bass and baritone guitar and arrange and co-write most of the songs. I'm also privileged to play guitar for Anne Pigalle, Alternative TV, Jowe Head’s Infernal Contraption, SPeW, and The Unreliable Witnesses.
I play improvised electro-acoustics, creating live sound-design for dance, installation, theater and film. My main projects include:
LAMP - Movement, Light and Sound with Ewa Limanówka and Francesc Serra Vila and
Rockinghorse - Improvised Movement, Spoken Word and Sound with Sofia Figueiredo.
Lingering Games - in Taiwan July 2017
I also curate occasional events:
Witch of The Gate at the Hundred Years Gallery - mixed art-form evenings
Open Jack at New River Studios: irregular series showcasing the best in experimental music
I'm getting into building my own sound making circuits right now, using them in installations and performance, though is still very much in the experimental phase.
Below is the bit that they say you should include in a statement - though it feels a little awkward to me!
I combine a broad range of experience in science and the arts with specialist knowledge and skills. I thrive on collaboration and teamwork. I particularly enjoy the process of developing soundtracks for plays, dance and video with directors and choreographers as well as the challenges of working with young people in inner London.
Goals: developing my own projects, seeking artistic collaborations and finding opportunities for performance.
Specialties: sound design, composition, teaching, organising and promoting events, sound engineering, music software, IT, performance, cross artform collaborations, theatre, installation, video art.
I’ve been studying sound and music since my teens - even though I started my working life as an Oceanographer! (I’ll explain more separately…) While not sailing around the North Atlantic analysing radiation in mud and writing the software to process the data I experimented extensively using modified reel-to-reels, cheap cassette recorders, guitar, (often hit with screwdrivers etc), and self-built devices and computers.
After 12 years I decided I needed a change. I left my post as a scientist and in 1989 spent a year travelling around Europe in an old V.W. camper-van with my girlfriend Alex - talented and intelligent she played guitar, sang and seemed to pick up languages within hours, presumably by osmosis… We broke down so often that we ran out of money well before we were due to return and so busked to make up our funds.
I had a deferred place at Lancaster University to study computing (I’d been writing software for a good decade by then). This turned out to be so dull I switched after a term to Music and Philosophy. While there I began to pursue my interest in cross art-form collaborations and soundtracks including sound-design for the MA course, which lead to incorporating Theatre Studies into a combined degree. Much of my time was taken up with Theatre Group - the largest society at Lancaster, which I eventually become president of producing several events a term and directing productions such as promenade performances of A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
On leaving Lancaster I obtained a research assistant post at Anglia Ruskin Paradise Street Studios in Cambridge, studying for a PhD in electro-acoustic composition, becoming an associate lecturer a couple of years later. The focus of my interest was manipulating sound, combining samples and synthesises, and working with acoustic instruments and electronics. I had started using computers for music in the 80's - the process was incredibly slow by today’s standards, but not quite as slow as using the magnetic tape I first experimented with! The level of detail I went into was extreme and I was quite capable of spending a week agonising over getting a second of sound just right.
While in Cambridge I co-founded LEAPS (Live Experimental Arts Performance Society) this grew out of “e-Soirée” a series of events showcasing student work outside the classroom. As the events got bigger and attracted a growing audience I decided to expand and include “town” as well as “gown”. This lasted for around seven years, had a membership of over 100 and held events once or twice a month, obtaining funding from the Arts Council, PRSf and the local council.
As I began playing my pieces in locations outside the University and concert-halls I started to work live with musicians and realised some of the sounds and structures I had taken so long to achieve in the studio could be created spontaneously on stage. I collected samples live, editing and manipulating on the fly, creating new unplanned sounds. I found the danger that it could all go wrong was exciting for myself and the audience.
I moved from Cambridge to London in 2005 lecturing in Music Technology and Media Studies at B-Six in Clapton, Hackney. While there a cohort I was teaching achieved the highest “Value added” marks in the country - eg the highest mark taking into account the prior performance of the students. I left BSix in 2016 and have since worked freelance.