Swifts at the Aqueduct

After a really, really long time, here is another piece for the ‘music of what happens’ project.

And on SoundCloud:

This piece began over a year ago with me trying to record some acoustic guitar in my shed.  I was just playing with the various settings, trying not to get caught in all the cables, place the mic in a good position and so on; doing all this a tune began to emerge.  I filed it and forgot about it.  In between times I shot some video at the end of a blistering hot day in Segovia, a beautiful city in Spain not far from Madrid.  I was there for work in June 2017 and this was the evening of my last day there and time to explore with some friends.  I was struck, like most visitors, by the stunning Roman aqueduct and, like most visitors, by the vast numbers of swifts swooping and diving through the arches and in the sky overhead. I used the slow motion setting on my phone and the slowed down calls of the swift provided an inspiration for the music which followed some months later back in the shed, to which I then added the previously recorded guitar.  David Julyan very generously took time to mix it and made it much better. I have now edited it into a short film in which nothing much happens, other than swifts make their way across two kinds of skies and through the arches of the aqueduct. The various fades and dissolves create abstract shapes in which I think I see something different each time.  It all seems to fit with the music of what happens being about those moments where nothing much happens for a little while. As with Through the Market you can listen to it on SoundCloud without the video or you can watch it with the video on Vimeo…  I hope you like it…

With thanks also to Olly Stothert for help with the compression settings.

Islay Limpet / Bells and Singers (edit) Live at the Union Chapel, 9th July 2016

The first new piece for a long time is a collaboration with film composer David Julyan.  He was invited to make some sea soundscapes for the final Daylight Music this summer at the Union Chapel and asked me to join him.  This upload is an edited version of our performance which David put together.  We played in a semi improvised way after a few rehearsals in the days leading up to the show on the 9th July 2016, using found sounds, loop pedals, Nord piano, synthesisers and other effects.  No laptops were used on this occasion. Some of the sea sounds were recorded by David at the Islay Limpet,  a prototype for the world’s first full life wave power plant.  The singers who appear later are moonlighting from the Singers and Lights piece I posted a while ago.  We played in between the various acts that day, the Hermes Experiment, Lisa Knapp and the Cecil Sharp House Folk Choir, all of whom performed music or songs inspired by the sea.  Hope you enjoy it…

Singers and Lights


More than a year later, and that is slow even by my standards, here is a new piece emerging from the shed.  Assembled from field recordings under the Eiffel Tower late at night, some sounds made on the keyboard I still don’t fully understand, and a simple piano melody recorded to my phone on the always out of tune upright in the back room.  It feels like there will be new versions of this – hence the numbering over at Soundcloud. But for now this is what it is. And it was much enhanced by Jack Hayter’s remastering. Thank you Jack!

Fire in the evening


Here is a new piece in the middle of the year and not at the beginning or end for a change. So it’s actually only taken five months to post something new. This piece has a title borrowed from a Paul Klee painting. The chords have been around for a while, pretty slow and static as usual. There’s a video on the way someday but that isn’t ready yet. Oh and there are some found sounds again. The bird was singing in Reykjavik in early April. Fire in the evening.

Through the market

This is some music I made for a film of Ridley Road market in East London shot by Michelle Cannon. It has some market noise, some keyboard and a bed of guitar drones of various kinds.

Here it is with the film:

 

Corners and crossings

I made this music in the shed last January. I am working on some more now and then.
This track features the sound of people crossing the road in two cities a few years ago along with some simple keyboard parts.