ddmmyy Sandbar 28/11/2012

Second ever GOVES set on 28/11/2012 at the Sandbar in Manchester courtesy of the good people of ddmmyy – more information here.

I’ll be playing a set of the upcoming ep with some new bits and piece joined on this occasion by cellist Dave McCann.

We’ll also be selling some of the forthcoming GOVES ep A crèche for the lonely and peculiar ahead of its release on 2 December. There will be some CD and vinyl copies. I’ll write more on the EP in another post soon.

I hope to see you there. There are some great sets and DJing in this supremely relaxed and excellent bar.

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slip discs podcast

Wonderful mix from slip discs founder Laurie Tompkins is now online as the November nonclassical podcast. You can hear a sneak preview of a couple of tracks from the forthcoming GOVES ep available on 3 December.

Check it out here

The London Sinfonietta – New Music Show 3

I’ve just had a flyer through for the London Sinfonietta’s New Music Show 3 which is taking place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and other spaces around the South Bank Centre on 2 December. I’m looking forward to hearing the second performance of my piece Trends in personal relationships which I’m revising a little after the premiere from the London Sinfonietta Academy earlier this year.

I really like the programming for this concert which includes music by composers I already know and admire and music I’ve been meaning to get acquainted with for ages. There’s also a sequence of intimate solo performances in privileged backstage spaces; I know what a couple of these are going to be and I they should be special. Then Serafina Steer and Olly Coates rounding things off with a late night Purcell Room set which is going to include Yawl Ketch Schooner Brig a gorgeous piece by Charlie Usher which I really think deserves a London outing.

Hopefully I’ll see you there.

One of the best ways to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday was a day trip to London to hear my new EP being mixed by the wonderful Noel Summerville of 3345 Mastering. The EP is being released on 2 December by Slip Discs under the name GOVES.

Noel works with an analogue 1970s numan mixing desk and uses almost no digital processes at all. It made the music warmer and gave a mainly digitally constructed sequence of new tracks a layer of analogue polish.

As this is also being released on vinyl I also witnessed lacquers being cut for the first time. They look wonderful. I’ve a feeling that this tactile medium for music is going to prove serious addictive.

Some images from the studio:

The best thing about playing a pre-1980 set…

Last Friday it was a pleasure to be part of the launch of Leo Abrahams and Oliver Coates’ wonderful new album from Slip Discs Crystals Are Always Forming. I decided to play a short set of all pre-1980 and almost all electronic music.

I feel inclined to share my favourite discovery of the evening – that Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports 1/1 and Bernard Parmegiani’s Accidents – Harmoniques from De Natura Sonorum work extremely well when played simultaneously. Skeptical? – listen to a short extract below.

Woody Guthrie on Cage

A couple of months ago I gave a lecture as part of the COMA Summer Festival called Cage the melodist, harmonist and American traditionalist. This slightly contrary title was supposed to provide an introduction to a talk on the more apparently traditionally composed works of Cage and his connection with traditional American music of various kinds. At some point I’ll write the lecture up. I was delighted to find, when researching it, a letter from Woody Guthrie to the record company that released records of Cage’s prepared piano music. Tom Service has written about this in his excellent series on contemporary music in the Guardian. You can read that here. He’s kind enough to mention that I made him aware of this (when it might have been more representative to point out that I drunkly rambled on about it for ages instead – although his link certainly affected my blog traffic for a week or so though).

I particularly like the section of the letter when Guthrie describes his own piano experiments:

I remember when I was a kid, I used my grandma’s piano, a Price & Deeple, upright, to storm myself up all kinds of wars, fogs, storms, battles, courtings, growings, and love affairs.

Sounds like this could provide track titles for album.

You can read the article with this letter in the Stool Pigeon here.

The lecture was also partly inspired by a recording that intersperses the Cage 1950 Melodies for Violin and Keyboard Instrument and a 13 Harmonies for Violin and Keyboard Instrument which is a Cage endorsed 1985 Roger Zahab arrangement of 5 of  the Harmonies from Apartment House 1976 (1976) and eight of the Hymns and Variations (1979). Although not to everyone’s taste I love this recording for the beautiful playing, inevitable glitches from close mic-ing and the sound of the Fender Rhodes. It’s performed by Annelie Gahl and Klaus Lang and you can read more about it at Discogs here.

Flight of sounds – a few images

Flights of sound was great fun and was an intimate close to the Tatton Biennial. It was a pleasure to have such committed performances from Tom McKinney and Jane Chapman and I was particularly please to hear A Fire-Island Sky at its extremely delayed premiere played twice in two beautiful Tatton Rooms. I don’t have any images of that but I do have some others including Aura’s spectacular graphic score which provided the backbone to Jane’s improvisation. It was lowered and raised by means of a bespoke cast iron hand-wound contraption and was an affecting contrast with Tatton’s splendour, faded or otherwise.