Saturday, 26 July 2008

JrF interviewed by John Grzinich

John asked me some questions & posted the interview on his blog - do take a look here.

Goh Lee Kwang exclusive mix

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

recording diary - July 2008: Oxford & Cambridge

just back from seven days spent in Oxford & Cambridge:

Oxford: recording the JdP

Part of St. Hilda's college, the Jacqueline Du Pre building is a purpose built concert hall named of course after the cellist. Jacqueline's playing was an early inspiration for me - catching me in the midst of new wave I found the experience of hearing her ability to communicate emotion within the construct of composed music a total revelation. So, when I was selecting building to record as part of the 'in place' project & composition it seemed obvious to include the JdP. It should also be pointed out that the opportunity to have unrestricted access to the building via the extremely helpful JdP administrator, Clare, made this trip very productive.

Both this building & Kettle's yard in Cambridge were ones that I expected to produce the quietest recordings. Partly because they are quiet spaces & partly because I think of them as places of stillness in some form. However this very fact meant that even the smallest sound was made more obvious & so the most interesting recordings from both buildings have been the sounds of surfaces and vibrations.

The internal spaces of the JdP itself has a smooth, almost liquid 'silence' to it & whilst I came away with several hours of material, I think perhaps only an hour or so actually captures the memory of the place.

Gaining access to the roof space revealed an impressive array of acoustic constructions designed to baffle the sound of the ventilation and air conditioning systems. So out came the contact microphones !

I also met up with two fellow recordists: Peter Maynard (who has a new cd available via Sound 323 I believe - it features some found sounds, along with guitar & other objects) & Pablo Jones

We spent a friendly and informal day wandering around & getting to know each other a bit & I think by & large limiting the number of folks to two results in a more personal and creative time for all.

Cambridge: Kettle's Yard.

One of my favourite places for sure here in the UK - see here for more background info.

Having access to this unique space outside public opening hours was a real treat - just to sit in the various rooms without anyone else walking around was fantastic.

Recording wise I spent most of the first of my 3 days there capturing the sound of each room & finding that, as with the JdP, the still atmosphere only made any other sound seem more intrusive. Here the traffic outside became tiring until I shifted focus to capturing the sound of the various surfaces around the building: wood, stone, glass, ceramics - all giving off a rich and diverse range of sounds.

Particularly with Kettle's Yard, it is the emotions I feel towards the building that affect what I take from making these recordings. Sometimes it is the sheer pleasure of being able to interact with these structures.

I feel excited by the sounds I found at Kettle's Yard - they are different to what I thought I would come away with & yet they have, I feel, captured that stillness, that reflective nature and the celebration of objects and light that are so important to ones experience of being in the various rooms.