Monday, 24 May 2010

Video of Craft Rally performance

Click on the link below to watch a short video montage very kindly put together by Holly Stead, of us preparing and performing at the Craft Rally event back in March.
Thanks so much Holly for coming along and filming for us. Enjoy.

sampler-cultureclash at the Craft Rally

The other week I had a great day looking at students' work back up in Manchester. I was really impressed with each of their projects and how they'd responded to the project brief. I'm hoping to profile some of their work over the next month or two, so watch this space.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Oscilloscope poems

We've been using oscilloscopes in several of our live performances to translate sounds into visuals (thanks to the fine Mr Rob Rainbow, ex Light Surgeons). I particularly like the visual resemblance of the sound waves to threads. For more information about how oscilloscopes work, click on the link above.

Here is one of Yusra's poems created during our first workshop, way back in May 2008, played through the oscilloscope. The left and right audio channels have been combined into a single channel, so it's as though the piece starts with two twisted threads, which depending on Yusra's delivery unravel and re-form throughout the piece.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

VTS Sound experiments No1 & 2

Here's the first two sound experiments from the audio pieces we recorded at the Visual Thinking Symposium workshop. Neither are supposed to be finished pieces, I'm just playing about to see what might happen.

No 1 is the drawing sound loops, gradually layered on top of each other every 4 bars, until you end up with 8 layers at once, then reducing down to one layer of sound.

No 2 is constructed only with samples of the spoken word pieces, where I've started to chop up words and elements of their breathing between words, to create tiny samples to form very different noises and rhythms.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sounds and Words - Visual Thinking Symposium

As promised here's a couple of sound pieces created by the participants in our workshop.

For the first piece, we invited participants to play their collective drawing using Berit's sound pencils and then very simply by using the loop pedal, recorded and layered six of these random sounds.

The second piece comprises a selection of the written / spoken pieces about the participant's favourite tool for making. Needless to say, given that the vast majority of the participants were textile artists, needles and sewing machines feature highly, although in the mix there were pencils, a mouse for your computer, and a tea bag. I love the fact that a tea bag featured as someone's favourite tool for making - very important tea to the creative process. Also, there's a common theme emerging about the temperamental nature of tools and machinery - one of their frustrating but also endearing qualities is the fact that they don't always work all of the time. Also, once they've stopped working for their original purpose, how they can be used for another?

Using garage band for ease at the moment, I've just started a series of simple sound experiments, layering and sampling both the noise and the spoken word pieces and seeing what happens. I'll post a selection of these experiments in the next post.

During the workshop we recorded 30 of the written pieces onto cassette, which at the end of the day we then chopped up into 30 sections - and which now look like this. hmm!!

The plan is to randomly put these back together to re-create a new sound piece - old skool cut n paste. Ah, brings back not very fond memories of my youth endlessly trying to fix my cassettes after they'd got mashed in the tape player.