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.
I’ve put a Rackets ep on Bandcamp, A hole in a hole in a hole. I made recordings of recent gigs at the Bleeding Hearts Club in Brighton, and I’ve been using a new recorder with my old mixer (recently restored to health after a couple of years) in my home studio. I worked hours of material down to just under 15 mins. I like that its only quarter of an hour too, hopefully long enough to sink into a bit, but not long enough to lose interest in.
I haven’t been posting very regularly as I’ve been working on a project to replace my current laptop centric electro acoustic gear with a Raspberry Pi based system. As well as that, Gus and I played at The Horse at I’klectik, a great venue and appreciative audience, including Paul May. We’re hoping to organise another duo with Paul soon.
The new setup looks like this:
So that’s a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, with a 7″ touchscreen, and 8 x rotary pots which control the audio levels on the Pure Data patch running on the Pi. The first version (above) used lots of Lego – mine from when I was a child, which has found its way back to me. The slightly more robust version two is below!
The project is on Github here, theres lots more on the build in the Wiki
The Brambling album got a great review by our old mate Ed Pinsent. What a great guy he is! Seriously, Ed is a great guy and his radio show on Resonance is always worth listening to. You can see the review here
Plus Brambling are playing at The Ceramic House in Brighton on May 13th as part of Landscape : Islands. There’s more about that on the Aural Detritus blog here. I’ll be playing some ceramic sounds.
The Long Half Day happened at i’klectik in March. It’s difficult to condense 12 hours of playing into a few words, so here’s the whole thing courtesy of Resonance Extra who broadcast it the following week.
You can make your own mind up, I really enjoyed it.
Al Strachan of Lost Property made this excellent short(er) film of it which is worth a watch if you have half an hour.
Gus and I travelled to Winchester to do a set at Ancient and Modern, an excellent night run in a very nice pub, The Railway. Also on at The Railway that evening was Kirk Brandon of Spear of Destiny (in the big room) who wandered through when we were setting up and gave a cheery hello. We were joined by drummer Paul May and went down a storm, a very enjoyable set, and a collaboration which we’ll be doing again.
Thanks to Tom Bench of Brighton’s Hardworking Families, Chris and I got to play at the Sallis Benney Theatre on the bottom a fine bill that included Tom & Dylan Nyoukis doing a mood enhancing set, my old mate Henry Collins & Robin Foster rummaging and the wondrous Bohman Brothers bowing, shaking, stroking and spouting their way through a set that took in free playing of found objects and The Thundercats.
We never really play using amplification so it was a bit daunting having 2 mics, but it worked really well. The Sallis Benney is fairly big so we couldn’t have done it without mics and the sound guy was great. Tom sent through a recording and we put it on our Bandcamp.
There are also some great pictures of the concert by Agata Urbaniak
The full album is here
Thanks to the good people at Club Integral and Brighton Safehouse The Static Memories have done three collaborations over the last month.
First up was guitarist Daniel Thompson at Club Integral at The Others in Stoke Newington. It felt quite chaotic and took us a while to get focussed, but produced some great moments.
Then back at Club Integral a couple of weeks later with free vocalist Phil Minton. A great set, one of our best we think; at I’Klektic, a lovely venue in Lambeth. I tried out a new setup, using a volume pedal at the end of the audio out so I could shape the sound quickly, which I thought worked well. We recorded the set and you can hear that on Soundcloud.
We played at Brighton Safehouse a couple of nights ago with Al Strachan joining us on cornet, objects and electronics. Al is a brilliant musician and improviser and despite all three of us being worn out by a combination of work and the festive season we pulled off a great low key set.
So thanks to Daniel, Phil and Al; and to Simon and all at Club Integral, and the Brighton Safehouse guys.
Here’s Brighton Safehouse