Saturday, August 30, 2008

Odd Musical Instruments

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In the pipeline

Some events you should seriously think about attending...
Ecker at Queen's Bar, Belfast city centre. Friday 5th September.
Ecker at the Front Page, Belfast city centre. Friday 26th September.

A night of experimental Music from Northern Ireland, Black Box, Belfast. Friday 3rd October.

Acroplane Movement #1, Black Box, Belfast. Saturday 4th October.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Workshops and Music Education

A few years ago I completed a course on Community Music for Practitioners. I learnt a lot. Over the year the class shared information about music and approaches to sharing creative skills in workshops. On completing the course I delivered workshops about laptop-based music production, DJing, writing, and digital imaging.

I am interested in returning to this area of work (particularly audio-visual projects) and I found some interesting things whilst googling the topic.

A page like Soundjunction is great for finding easy to digest info. on a range of music-related topics. It's perfect as a reference for beginner students, and will provide info for those interested in non-western instruments as well as those who want to read about double bass and bassoon.

Another welcome find this morning was a series of photos on building, "a small barril drum from raw planks of wood". It looks like such an enjoyable group work activity that I want to try. A pity there aren't more words of instruction to accompany the images.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

BEW - Volar Beat and Body Parts (dodgy stereo 2008)

BEW - Volar Beat and Body Parts (dodgy stereo 2008)
Audio visual demo reel.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Notwist: Where In This World

I was chatting to Alex the other day, and he seemed very enthusiastic about the fact that The Notwist have a new album out this year. After watching this video, and having enjoyed Neon Golden a lot, I can understand why...

The Notwist: Where In This World from Notwist Ultras on Vimeo.

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Audio visual frippery

Can we "see" sound? The simple answer is , "No!". It's also not the correct answer. Maybe.

Our brains (impressive, meaty computers that they are) can use light to hear and sound to see, says a recenly published article. The feedback in the comments section, however suggests otherwise.

Pop over to Live Science and read on if you're interested. If you want an example you might prefer to experience motion bounce.

This information was taken from the Microsound list.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

ASIWYFA / Adebisi Shank / WAK - 160808

And So I Watch You From Afar...

Adebisi Shank

We Are Knives

Lavery's, Belfast. A little bar on the top floor beside the pool tables. Organised by Alternative Ulster.

Eddie of No Clarity
Matt of Imprint This On Your Mind.
Andy of Good On Paper. Bloggers of Belfast who attended this rock show, it was nice to say hello in person.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cecil's Flea Circus - Swap Shop

And now for a little blast from the past. I wondered if there were any traces of Cecil's Flea Circus online, and I found some.

With quotes like, "I've made a fat suit out of sponge" you know it's not clever. It was fun though.

The band was quite busy for a while, playing shows in and around Belfast far too often for their own good. The most important thing was no-one was hurt and plenty of friends were made.

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Musical Rooms

I think it's interesting and often inspiring to work in a different, new space. This can be for performances, writing or recording. Whilst clicking links in the sidebars of various blogs (as I do most days during tea break) I found Musical Rooms.

I think it's a pretty interesting read, I can relate to some of the annecdotes from the various artists that have contributed, and also hope to strike it lucky and spend some time in some of the deluxe sounding spaces others have mentioned.

Anyone out there who knows me can probably guess which articles I enjoyed most.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

A Mountain of One 070808 / Pinch Boxcutter Nez 080808

A Mountain of One played at the Belfast Waterfront Hall on Thursday night. I was the first punter there, and was asked to wait for the event organisers to put the final touches in place before I could enter.

It was worth the wait, as the stage looked smart. The stage for he band was well lit and in addition to the stage lighting there was a large projection screen which had six small images beamed up as a backdrop as the warm-up djs played. It was a light beaty mix played at a reasonable volume. A nice touch which encouraged the atmosphere to build, as opposed to using volume as a substitute for good vibes.

The room filled up and the crowd moved to the front of the stage when the band appeared. When they started playing the video started playing some clips from an odd film (called The Holy Mountain) The band played a groovy 70's inspired type of psychedelic folk with rocky touches. The type of music I think that is best enjoyed live.

On Friday night I went to see something quite different, a bunch of electronic groove controllers doing their thing at the Black Box Belfast.

First up was Nez, a dubstep dj who runs a monthly club called 'GRUB' in Belfast along with producer/dj Boxcutter. who played a deadly liveset of laptop beats and synths and live bass.

Sadly the room wasn't full. But that didn't take away from the quality of the tunes and enthusiasm of the local players.

The headliner for the night was Pinch. A dj who played some heavyweight records (he also runs Tectonic records). The soundsystem wasn't as heavy as some other party-goers wanted, but I thought it was clean sounding and it had plenty of punch if you were up close to the stage on the dancefloor as I was.

Pressure tones for pleasure. Yes.

All of this was taking place in the big room, in the smaller room/cafe there was a totally different flavour of music provided by 'Das Vibic Sexytime'. An acoustic open-mic type affair that attracts singer-songwriter types and noodlers of many types. I heard a few of the players that evening. There was some wishy washy stuff and some quality tunes too. These open to all music policies always do that. I'm glad I risked it though, as when it was hot it was tasty, and when it was cold, I could go back to the big room full of bass. Good stuff.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Consistantly Chasing the Trail...

Usually I try to keep this blog dedicated to the recordings and performances of artists connected to the Dodgy Stereo collective, on occassion I like to refer to other things that help inform my creative process.

Un/fortunately I have a full time job (fortunate, because I have some steady income in our crazy times. Unfortunate, as I would prefer to be able to spend more time working on more creative things) and so I can't dedicate all my time to refining and developing the audio visual work which is the main output of Dodgy Stereo projects.

This leads to me being behind the times a lot. Thankfully, I have never felt the need to be on the pulse, prefering to find information from (quasi)random link clicking. Sometimes this leads me to being totally unaware of scenes until after they have erupted and burnt out. This isn't a problem. Other times I find that I have missed a workshop, lecture or performance, and I have to just deal with whatever documentary evidence is left behind (print, audio, online reports).

Today's example is Dorkbot 3#.

The link leads to a great little video, which I can't embed here. If you are interested in the practices of; recycling, hacking, bending, subverting hardware, and enjoying play, you ought to tune in to this talk, even if it is over a year old.


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Monday, August 04, 2008

Michel Waiswisz - RIP

Although it's not breaking news, I was sad to learn that the long time head of STEIM Michel Waiswisz passed away this year. I heard his album "Crackle" a while ago and it influenced me a lot. It's a fairly wild sounding recording that features a lot of synths barking and buzzing. A version of this disc can be found over at the sterling audioblog; Mutant Sounds

The news of his death is sadening to say the least. However, I can say with some certainty that he has left the world a richer place for having been here, leaving behind much information that people who work in creating audio can use to help them move forward, and that those who love listening can reference to help understand some of the challenging work created by contemporary composers.

If you enjoy far out music and noise, and you have not yet heard the album "Crackle", now is the time to change that.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

A:muse - BEW

David over at has just published a little BEW piece. Nice.

I note that the photo has been cropped to hide the fact that I am lurking with some manequins bums. The same photo was taken off myspace as it was offensive. Plastic asses; not everyones cup of tea.

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