Wednesday, August 30, 2006

barry's electric workshop - b.e.w. - bew - noise - music - vj - sound and light - dancing - black box

Saturday was started with a long lay-in followed by cooked breakfast. Perfect re-charging of batteries and watching Futurama DVDs. This was an essential start to the day as the rest of the weekend was to be long, late, and full of lager.

Was good to meet-up with Phil Porter to start the night. We talked about our plans for dodgy stereo's future. A proper web-space with a series of free album downloads from our vaults will be under way soon. we started in the Spring and Airbrake, then went to Skibunny in Auntie Annies to collect a copy of the Sherman Explosion's 'Shermania' album. After catching up with JTL and Greg the 'Jupiter Ace' (pictured below) we went to Mc Hugh's for Radio K.on our way to martin Corrigan's latest night club project we had time to make a little tribute to the original photo shoot used for the Translucent Knees.

We then met up with a Dan Todd (cashier No.9, Corrigan, Alloy Mental) and went partying.

A good time was had. The sunrise was blurry.
date - Sunday the 27.08.'06
venue - Black Box
location - Belfast
event - Filthy Madonna

Here are a few photos of the show.I spent about two and a half hours behind the tables loaded with noise making/altering electronics. I started out playing to a room with two people listening to me make slowly mutating washes of noise.

I had got the synths to make some patterns that would sit beside each other, running at different pitches and tempos which would roll around one another making a tonal backdrop that would never quite loop.To these I added sounds from two different feedback loops with effects, a damaged Electro Harmonix 'Small Stone' box that was making siren style noises, and the Kaoss Pad. All of these sounds were fed into a mini mixer that then went into a pair of delay units to add and blend extra modulation and depth to the sounds. all of this was fed into the mono "Bin Disco" soundsystem.Seamus Hanrahan spent about the same amount of time using a video camera and a mixer to blend live footage of the event with some pre-made cassettes.
As the evening went on the little room filled up with people celebrating a birthday party, and others who were just interested in noise (the large room being quite a 'tame/civilised' affair - as reported to me). I adjusted the settings on the synths without looking and added some more echo. The result was quite different from the starting point. I managed to get a dub-like music. I then added some drum loops and things got banging.

By the end of the evening there were dancers. Quite a feat as it usually isn't my primary aim. i was happy, and those bopping around the room seemed happy too. Mission accomplished. back to the workshops for beers afterwards. Sloppy grins. Goodtimes.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ye Old Hurdy Gurdy - Vintage Radio Museum

Fried breakfast-lunch.
A walk around Howth harbour and a walk up a hill.
Lovely weather for a stroll.
Sophie spots a sign. Radio museum.
Make my day?

In among the racks of vintage radios stacked on shelves around the walls there are an array of glass display cases full of all sorts of radiophonic and gramophonic bric-a-brac.

What was intended to be a quick peek turned into an hour of chat and snapping. If only the little camera I have with me had a bit more space in it I could have happily have spent even longer.

It's not just a museum; but also a functional hub of activity for radio-hams, who gather for meetings every weekend. Using radios in the way there were intended to be used. That is to say they are not only to be used to listen to music and talk-shows, but to communicate without wires.

International conversations take place using analogue technology that many may consider to be obsolete. These machines do not crash without a severe kicking. Built in sturdy wooden cases, their soft spots being their valves (tubes: for any Americans that may read) these boxes have lasted a lot longer than many Macs or Intel products a fraction of their weight or dimensions.

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Holiday time.

Arrived in Dublin.
No plans.
Meet good people.

Some more pictures from the picnic.
Some pictures of good people in Dublin.


Hope to go see Deerhoof this evening in the Temple Bar Music Centre.

Fingers crossed.

I hear that a new band called Gaju featuring some ex-members of the Killing Spree will be playing in Belfast this weekend. Worth looking forward to for sures.

Will I be able to catch up with the old Clone Quartet before I leave the country again though. All this remains to be seen.

Gig in the Black Box with the synths and the Bin Disco this Sunday night.

Go there.
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

busy day for dodgy stereo

A barbeque for teenages in Catalyst Arts. Lots of noise being made in the name of community art.

Here we can see 'Chicken' making the most of the sounds making tools of Barry's Electric Workshop.

He recorded a mini mix on the laptop using the two synthesisers of Nicky Keogh the kaos pad and the pedals linked to the mixer in a feedback loop with processing.

After the session there the equipment was wrapped up and I went to meet up with Soph. I went to get some sturdy footwear and had a bit of time catching up with Karl, Connor and Louisa before heading out for the illegal picnic.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

barry's electric workshop and nicky keogh's handmade analogue synthesisers

Went over to the Laurence Street Workshops the other night. Had a chance to familiarise myself with the signal generators made by Belfast based sculptor Nicky Keogh. Random parping. Modulating drones. Bloops and fizzing aplenty. Good times.

Here's what they looked like back then. i have had a phone call to say that they have been modified since then to add further potential glitchy goodness.

Although not all the details are set in stone as of yet (I believe someone somewhere is making a flyer?!? I'll try to publish it here if I get sent a copy) there is a chance that we'll not be performing in the main room of the Black Box but in a smaller side room. This may mean that we'll have a chance to use the 'Bin Disco' soundsystem.

Since then there has also been an offer to play at an illicit outdoor shindig this weekend. Details are probably available from the in-crowd at's just hope the weather holds out without getting too soggy, walking through fields carrying electronics is always a weary feeling (on the way home after the adrenalin of a fun show has worn off)
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Monday, August 07, 2006

Filthy Madonna

Well it's good to be back.
The family are well and there are plenty of interesting people to catch up with and chew the fat with. (I don't think I ate any of your B-B-Q food Neil, but thanks for having me around to your place!).

So far I've managed to see some passable but unremarkable blues rock covers band thanks to the 'Knights of the Round Table' and their regular nights entertainment (I preferred playing pool with my brother and Gary). But I also managed to stumble across a more engaging evenings live entertainment.
I found the 'Black Box' venue near the 'Duke of York', and was surprised to see a 'far-out' video being screened. 'Sugar' was the title. Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland I thought it was interesting, infuriating, curious, dark, scarey, rotten and engaging.

The lack of narative made it very difficult to watch at times, but maybe something (like dialogue?!?) occured in the first moments which made the hour or so I saw difficult to follow. Whatever the film was about, I may have missed out, but I did enjoy the soundtrack by J.G Thirlwell. Hiss, pop, scratch, crackle, hum, and buzz.

I felt rather inspired. If this sort of material is hosted at this club in this venue, I should hopefully find some receptive ears for the show there at the end of the month.

I found after a chat to one of the Factotum crew that my performance with Nicky and his toys/noise generators wil be part of this club - good times.

Well after the film the singer songwriter Robyn G. Shields played a while. He was then joined by a piano player, and a guitar player, and then a full band. Rocking stuff.

Not all of the show was to my taste (I was still dreaming about how I would approach the performance with Nicky later...) but when the band were locked on it was rather spectacular. I had seen Robyn's rockers before as the Corrigan band, and was sad to hear that some of the notes Robyn's previous rockers (the Dessert Hearts) used to play were missing.

A quick chat settled that this was artistic liscence. And tht I shouldn't grumble.
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