Category: Solo

Splitting the Atom XLII

I did another performance of the Chris Marker project at Splitting the Atom a few weeks ago, Agata Urbaniak was there and recorded part of it. I like her work a lot, and she’s possibly the only person who can make me look OK on film, so here it is


There was a great set by Robin Slow Listener, it was really great to hear him play again as he was saying he hasn’t played live much lately. Plus other good stuff including Thee Bald Knobbers beating the boundary and the usual array of oddness. More of Agata’s fine work documenting the show here

Agata Urbaniak’s website


Chris Marker soundtrack

Chris Davies asked me to do something at Bleeding Hearts Club in February, and I decided to try out my new setup which includes a contact mic’d metal tray, Raspberry Pi with a Pisound HAT, small mixer, and the usual array of effects. Here’s a picture of it:


I like this setup as its nice and compact, it all fits in a small suitcase so I can take it on the train to performances.

I’m a big fan of Chris Marker and have been wanting to do something related to his work for a while. I chose Theorie des Ensembles, and An Owl is an Owl is an Owl with a view to improvising a new soundtrack to them.

In Theorie des Ensembles two owls explain set theory to Noah on his ark. The images were made in an early version of multimedia authoring tool Hyperstudio, and have a fantastically odd texture. The original soundtrack is a piece by Alfred Schnittke.

An Owl is and Owl is an Owl is the third in the series Chris Marker’s Bestiary and is a series of shots of owls looking slightly mysterious.

The performance went pretty well, Matt Benzie made a nice recording of it which I laid over the visuals. I’m pleased with the result, here it is:

Moving pictures

Agata Urbaniak is a great photographer and documenter of live experimental music who is based in Brighton. I’m always really pleased when she takes pictures of me doing gigs because she is about the only person who doesn’t make me look completely daft when they take my picture.

She’s started making videos of the music scene as well and did a couple at gigs I played at The Green Door Store and the Rose Hill Tavern.

This is me playing solo as Rackets at Splitting The Atom (thanks to Tom for sound and Graham and Geoff for putting me on)

Rackets from Agata Urbaniak on Vimeo.

And this is The Static Memories playing at Oxjam Brighton at the Rose Hill Tavern, a really lovely new venue which is very conveniently about a 5 minute walk from my house. Thanks to Spirit of Gravity and Safehouse for putting us on (and Tim for doing sound again)

Static Memories from Agata Urbaniak on Vimeo.

Collect Convert Converge

I played a solo set at Collect Convert Converge in late September. The event was organised by JoJo Gingerhead as part of her degree and included Seth Cooke and Clive Henry from Bang the Bore doing a solo set on a variety of instruments including Seth’s contact miked iron sink I saw him play to such good effect at Supernormal.

Before them I fought to overcome the art chat from the hordes of students whilst Karl, Jo and Duncan shushed them and glared (at the art chatters not me). It was interesting playing to a room full of people the majority of whom who treated my work as background noise. Although it didn’t really bother me it was a lesson in how most people view improvised music in general and mine in particular. I’m unsure whether they were listening at all or if art music in that context adds to the general feel of the event, in which case I don’t really object to people talking.

I’m used to playing at events where the audience sits staring quietly and intently at the stage and listening hard so in a strange sort of way Collect Convert Converge was a more collective experience.