Like everyone else, I'm in lockdown, trying to get my head around remote working and wondering how music works in this new world we find ourselves in.
You see a lot on social media from people exhorting us to seize this opportunity, to use this unexpected well of time to create wonderfil things. I find myself both agreeing with this and annoyed by it. Of course we'd love to embrace it all and be creatove, but the fact is that this is a very stressful situation we're in - I may actually qute enjoy the isolation but remote working's a pretty stressful experience and I find my ability to concentrate on anything, let alone a magnum opus of some kind, patchy at best and severely impaired at worst.
So if I wake up in the morning and feel good for nothing better than sitting on the sofa eating biscuits I shall try not to feel too bad about it. In the meantime I try to keep busy with small things, in the hope they may provide a spark for bigger things when I feel up to that.
I'm making recordings at home and also going through some old ones, the results of all this are appearing on my Bandcamp page, mostly under the "Marginalia" banner.
I've contributed tracks to two new compilations:
In the Chinks of the World Machine, a compilation to raise money to keep the Hundred Yers Gallery afloat durign its enforced closure.
Self Isolating Compilation, an 85-track epic from Linear Obsessional of artists making music at home with whatever comes to hand. I've also mashed up some of the tracks from that for a forthcomning companion release of remixes, out soon.
Finally for now, here are two videos. The first is the wonderful Alwynne Pritchard performing a postcard-score I sent her for her Recorded Delivery project. The second is me in my living room with a bunch of instruments making a drone for Trinity Laban's Tunes from Home series.
Marginalia 6 is out now. This is a sequence of four guitar solos exploring doom, drone and dark ambient textures.
My new ensemble work The Congregation Between the Induction of my Divine Impulse is Exalted will be premiered on Wednesday 23 October at Blackheath Halls by Trinity Laban Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Gregory Rose. This will be an extravaganza of performance, installation, live musicians, movement and electronics. It's based upon Soosan Lolavar's recent cello Concerto Tradition-Hybrid-Survival and takes her themes of cultural dislocation and evolution several steps further. (The extravagant tile is what happened when we put Soosan's title through Google Translate in a complicated chain of English/ Farsi/ Arabic translations and mistranslations.)
Parts and Poems of the Body will be performed by Catherine Underhill and Hannah Shilvock at Southwark Cathedral on Tuesday 29 October, 3.15pm. This piece is an ongoing, open-ended score and there will be a new section included in this performance.
My new album An Equal and Opposite Reaction is released today on Linear Obsessional. It's available as a download for £3, or if you appreciate physical objects, as a limited release cassette for £6.50. It's a heady stew of cello, guitar, drones, weird tunings, field recordings and random noises, conceived and recorded between September 2017 and July 2018.
For me, this album is not just the product of nearly a year's work but also a kind iof summation of all the upheavels that have gone on ion my life and my music (as well as the ider world) over the past 5 years or so. I'm very proud of it and I'm extremely honoured to have it released on the excellent Linear Obsessional label, whose wildly eclectic catalogue is a constant joy to explore. Labels like them do great work making all kinds of under-the-radar music available for very little reward. I hope you'll help support independent music making by buying it, and I hope you enjoy listening to it.
"An Equal and Opposite Reaction" will be here soon, on cassette and download. In the meantime I have started a series of releases of Marginalia.These are a combination of new and old tracks, mostly drone-oriented. I'm going to begin a composition PhD at Trinity Laban in January, and this series relates to that - an opportunity to go over some things I've done in the past few years in prepartion for the new journey I'm about to undertake.
Vols 1-3 are out now, and more will follow shortly.
Buds, The Optimist, Automatic Writing and Water Music are now available to download/ stream in newly-remastered versions via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and all the other major online sources. This Machine Is Ineffective Against Fascists will follow soon.
I shall be performing as part of the Hither Green Drone Orchestra on Sunday 20 May, 12pm in Manor Park. Nearest stations: Hither Green and Lewisham.