Every now and then I forget the ears and try to engage the eyes. There’s so much to learn about photography and I don’t have a decent camera but I don’t think that should stop anyone from using whatever they do have. Just like capturing a performance or a animal call, often taking a great picture is about expression and position as much as the camera used. I’ve always felt the same about sound and music. Sure having a Neumann vintage mic would be fantastic, if you can afford the maintenance, but not having one never stopped me from recording. If all you have is an SM57 then so be it. So with that in mind all I had with me on this exploration of Melbourne was my ‘smart‘ (i.e. dumb) phone. That would have to do.
For those of you who may need a direct link, here it is. Anyway have a look at the pictures, let me know what you think. This is my 1st attempt at using an HTML5 picture viewer for all those iOS / Android people out there as Flash slowly fades away in to the digital dust pile.
This was definitely a post production audio gig with picture sync. Matt and Ian approached me to do the cleaning, editing, mixing and general ‘buffing’ of the audio matched to the final cut. Please read on for more details about the project and if I do say so myself they made a beautiful and quite poignant movie. It isn’t required at all, but it always makes it easier when you work on a project you genuinely believe in.
TAKING THE MICHAEL
HD video, 78 mins
‘Taking The Michael’ is a crowdfunded artist’s documentary following one man’s unlikely odyssey through ancient and modern Albion.
The film follows the reunion of the artist/filmmaker with an enigmatic but puzzling former acquaintance. The film starts at the point of their reunion and traces their subsequent faltering progress down the St Michael’s Ley Line through South West England – from Avebury in Wiltshire to St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. Travelling in a pedal-powered 1968 Bond Ranger on ancient byways and green lanes, the pair’s curious pilgrimage is a surreal post-peak oil exploration of this green and pleasant land.
Using a combination of pure documentary, anecdotal oral history, and total myth, the film is, among other things, a field investigation of the rich and varied pagan, Christian and mystical heritage of Britain, a search for new ways of considering our collective future, and a vigorous testing of the relationship between documentary maker and subject.
Completed in late Autumn 2012, the film was screened across the country in a wide range of venues throughout 2013, from commercial cinemas and galleries to post-industrial warehouses, converted barns and willow living structures. It was selected for Sheffield Doc/Fest Videotheque 2013.
It is currently available for screening and is available on DVD for £12 plus p+p or to download for £5. Email email@example.com for details.
Please see below for a fantastic new video from a close friend and musical partner Ryan Somerville. I did the recording work on this as well as assisting once again on the mix front, as usual.
Matthew Pountney A.K.A ‘D.J. Rubbish’ A.K.A ‘Leftwing Idiot’ a longtime musical collaborator and bringer of interesting ideas approached me with this one. He and the incredible Jess Thom A.K.A ‘Tourettes Hero‘ were planning on making a serious of horoscope readings using Jess’s incredible talent. Of course I’d be up for this one! I’ve worked with Matt and Jess over the years and once again we’d be brought together to share our ideas and skills and see what we could dream up.
This I guess I’d file under post-production work, I cleaned some rough set sounds, added some effects, mixed and edited as usual and it’s also my creepy airy voice reading out each star sign. I hope you enjoy and of course there’s 12 to choose from.
On Saturday the 6th of April Tam Treanor and I were lucky enough to be invited to perform ‘SkypeBack’ at the Edinburgh Science Festival 2013. The venue was the fantastically modular and somewhat THX inspired, in my opinion, Inspace. With their fantastic array of projectors and flexible routing matrix we were able to up the visual side of things and explore the use of light within this performance piece. To blend in with the colour palette of the space we also purchased and put on some neutral white outfits, which transformed us in to moving projection surfaces. Please have a look at the edited short version of the video.
Below is the full live audio recording taken from the concert.
Here is the short edited live audio recording taken from the concert.
The pictures below were kindly taken by our friend and colleague Tracy Foster:
Back down in the studio in W. London for a smashing time with Bong, Little Matt & Ek.
Dee Isaacs had secured the funding and completed the massive amount of preperation work on her next project The Quicken Tree and now approached me again as a Live Theatre / Sound Projection consultant really. This was a big project, not only in terms of the size of the cast, made up of local school children and professional actors but also in the amount of area that we had to physically cover during the show as this would be a ‘follow the actors’ Promenade Performance with a musical twist.
Each scene was set in a different location throughout the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Radio mics to the rescue, well yes but not without interference brought on my the radio controlled sprinkler systems… A fantastic lesson to learn! In the end we went for multiple ‘sound pods’ for each scene, with their own mixer, playback and small audio effects rig. This approach also allowed us to record the mixer output, allowing the video team to use this audio feed for their side of production.
A wonderful uplifting project. A challenge, cold, wet and very much worth it.
Below was taken from Dee’s website here, but do please read on…
Follow our night on a magical adventure through the Garden. Will he succumb to the dark forces of the Enchantress Error, or can the Fairy Queen save him from himself?
The Quicken Tree was inspired by the second book of Edmund Spenser’s epic romance The Fairie Queen, first published in 1590, and written by Katherine Craik. The performance promenade took place in March 2011 at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.
This is the 5th in a series of highly successful shows that have been staged in the Garden and conceived by composer Dee Isaacs. Primary school children form the City of Edinburgh have worked with a team of University music students.
“Each group rehearsed their part separately coming together for intensive rehearsals as part of a team of 100 people who have created this performance. The performance is a real collaboration and sharing of vision and ideas but is is the children and students who have carried forward that vision with enthusiasm and great energy.” – Dee Isaacs
The Quicken Tree!
The Quicken Tree!
Lost are the woods,
Lost are the trees,
Lost are the flowers,
and pleasing melodies.
In one day, all things will pass –
Of mortal life the leaf, the
bud, the flower.
In one day, all things must pass.
But let us go, while weather
serves, and wind.
DEE ISAACS, composer, performer, animateur, and lecturer contacted me to deal with the live sound side of the project. We were to perform and record in the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was the first time that I’d worked with Dee but afterwards we were sure that we’d be working together again.
Below was taken from Dee’s website here, but do please read on…
Whilst we all began with our discovery and understanding of the text we have also worked from a musical score and added visual interpretation in animation. Colerdige’s text was a rich source full of colour and sounds. We have also drawn on complimentary texts by T. S. Elliot, Pablo Neruda and others who took their inspiration from the sea.”
On the 28th February and 1st March 2009, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic sea voyage, was retold through image and sound. Fifty musicians and artists transformed The Queen’s Hall and took the audience on a long and unforgettable voyage.
The performance was a collaboration between Music in the Community and Sound Design at The University of Edinburgh, and Animation at Edinburgh College of Art, starring John Bett as The Mariner.
The adaptation of Colerdige’s work took participants and audience on a transformative journey, crossing both physical boundaries, across oceans, and metaphysical boundaries into an otherworldliness. The music celebrated the richness of both Western and non-Westerns cultures.
Excerpt from The Rime
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch’s oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
And some in dreams assured were
On the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
An! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.