March has been long and at times really quite hard. These overlapping strands feel like the absent minded shading-ins where my mind has been ‘elsewhere’ when it should have been ‘there’. I guess this is me looking back at them and thinking ‘what was that?’
The second of my ‘trying to make a thing a month’. I went away to Norfolk for a few days in February and took my recorder and some contact mics (that I’ve never used before) with me to try and record some of the sounds of the reeds and the marshes. I love the sound of the reeds swaying in the wind, that ‘whooooosssshhhhhhh’. I’ve always wanted to walk into the middle of it crouch down and listen – except you can’t really do that as it can be quite dangerous.
Instead I attached mics to wires, flung the Zoom into the reeds and grasses, generally hung 25 metres back from my family as they walk ahead, me just staring at whatever was around me. My recorder’s headphone out doesn’t work so I have no idea what I have recorded until I empty it out on the computer. It’s a little like film photography, it’s always a surprise.
Last weekend myself and the wonderful Lee Allatson played a short improvised set at the Under The Radar weekender put on by Magic Teapot and Echoloaction. It was a really enjoyable set, playing on the floor & feeling our way in the darkened room. Below is a video of the second half of our set, gradually pulling at the threads of the sounds we’d made and reducing them to a new quiet. A massive thank you to whoever filmed this, I am most grateful.
And what’s more, you can score yourself one of Lucy’s postcards for attending too!
Until then, here’s some prepared guitar (springs shoved under the strings) taken from one of the ideas sessions for you to listen too. See you on Thursday!
Yet more shaky handheld phone footage -this time of me panning round the main hall of the Attenborugh Arts Centre in readiness for the Performing Industry show with Rattle on Thursday 27th July. It’s not often you get chances to play nice quiet spaces like this and to be collaborating with one of the best bands around is, quite frankly, blowing my mind!
Rewind to 6 September 2012 and upstairs at The Cookie in Leicester City Centre Leicester Lo-Fi are having a ‘Make a Solagraph‘ camera thingy evening upstairs whilst downstairs Cats and Cats and Cats (I think) and You Slut! (I think) are doing their thing. Later that week I put one of the solagraphy coke cans on a semi-abandoned trailer on some farmland nearby pointing out towards Lutterworth. I reclaim it 14 days later (a shorter time span than I expected) when I notice that some work was taking place in the field. Despite a note explaining what the coke can was, it was bashed in at the side. The picture though………
At the same time, I attach another coke can to the side of the house and forget about it. 320 weeks later (this morning), I take it down. The results are not as good – too long an exposure? – or rather, not as distinct – half a landscape due to a gate taking up half the frame – but I still find myself drawn to the ghostly scratched out lines.
I like the process (or lack of it) of this, of it revealing itself, of having time mark itself upon it.
You should give it a go. I’m going to have another go too.