Category Archives: Music

Crossover

Crossovers album coverPart of my performance in Simon Whetham’s “Active Crossover” event last year has just been released in a set by Portugese label, Cronica Electronica.

Based around the overlap between each performance where both musicians improvise a transition, the results can be inspired or hesitant as performers try to make a connection while an audience listens. My “crossover” was with Phil Julian/Cheap Machines certainly felt more like the former at the time, but the recording has been really nicely mastered by the Cronica label to bring out all of the detail and heavy bass coming from Phil’s tone generator units.

Coincidentally, I’ve just put a video I recorded of the same performance up on YouTube.

http://www.cronicaelectronica.org/?p=065

The Sound of Water

I’ve just come across an interesting discovery which is at the same time really trivial, but also really interesting – at least to me.

I’ve just bought Portal 2, the sequel to Valve’s amazing game (which, at last brought some new game play ideas to the mainstream computer game market). On starting the game, I’ve been struck by my find at the point in the game just after you find the Portal Gun and move on. What I’ve been struck by, as you enter a hallway with some old computers, is a sound, a sound which has been present in computer games since at least 1996 and connects id Software’s original First Person Shooter, Quake to the present via film-maker, Andrei Tarkovsky.

As game fanatics may know, iD sold a license to the 3D engine that drives Quake to Valve Games for their early classic game, Half Life. So, the internal code that creates the environment of both of these titles shares a common link. Valve spent 6 years working on the sequel to the Half Life title before finally presenting Half-Life 2, a game powered by their own Source game engine.

Continue reading The Sound of Water

Searching For Magic

My old friend, Sandy Nys from Belgian Ritual/Industrial music band, Hybryds visited me over the August Bank holiday and we took a road trip that we’ve been planning for ages.

Our “magical journey” took us down to the West Country to visit Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, Swallowhead Spring, Avebury and finally Glastonbury with visits to the Abbey, Chalice Well and the Tor.

I love these ancient sites and have many childhood memories of passing Silbury Hill as we visited my grandparents in North Bradley, Wiltshire. Amazing as these sites are, my parents never once stopped the car to explore the walks and atmospheres of these places. So, being able to explore them as an adult is very fulfilling.

With the Gene Pool radio show in mind, I took my recording gear with me and captured material for an episode of the show while we were on the road, including a interview with these people who we met in the West Kennet Long Barrow. Seeing my recording equipment, they asked “have you heard the voices?” and told us a tale of frequently heard murmurs from inside the burial mound.

We had a great trip and the “searching for magic” theme unfolded as we talked and journeyed. After weathering a truly heavy rainstorm we made it to Stonehenge, whereupon a double rainbow appeared across Salisbury Plain and stayed for most of our time there.

The Gene Pool show made from the trip airs on SoundArt Radio 102.5FM next Weds 14th Sept as the first show of the new Autumn season and will then appear on the podcast feed and the Gene Pool iTunes Channel.

Sandy has published some of his photos from the trip on his Facebook page (apologies in advance to any FB refusniks)