Saturday, 20 June 2009

new release

the . point engraved series:

eg.pcd001: tierce - Daniel Jones / Ivan Palacky / Jez riley French

*8cm cdr on printed postcard / in plastic sleeve*

recorded @ seeds & bridges (afternoon)

Limited edition of 55 copies.

Daniel Jones - e-guitar, turntable, electronics, objects.

Ivan Palacky - dopleta 160 knitting machine

Jez riley French - guzheng, zither, field recordings, objects

prices (inc p&p)

review from 'just outside' (Brian Olewnick):

'I'm increasingly at a loss for things to say about work like this, especially when I enjoy it, which I very much do in this case. Descriptions are inevitably feeble but simply observing that it somehow conjures up a situation, a place, a real or imagined environment and does so convincingly doesn't do justice either. I will say the trio (Jones, guitar, turntable, contact mic, objects, mixer; Palacky, Dopleta 180 amplified knitting machine (!); French, field recordings, guzheng, zither, objects) strike a delicate balance, managing to capture something of a field recording feel in their improvisations (certain taps, for instance, evoking the naturally irregular rhythms of water drops), that the performance tumbles along like a quiet stream over a complex bed. It's really, really good (a 3", by the way) and you should hear it'


forthcoming . point engraved releases include discs by:

Kiyoshi Mizutani
Tim Parkinson
Thomas Smetryns
Patrick Farmer
Matt Davis
Matt Sansom
Dallas Simpson
Eric Cordier
& more....

each release will be a highly limited edition.

Andrea Neumann & Ivan Palacky

Andrea Neumann - inside piano
Ivan Palacky - dopleta 160 knitting machine
limited edition of 60 copies in a special cover
available direct from Ivan:
all i'm going to say about this cd for now is that if you're reading this blog & have an interest in explorative music / sound then I seriously suggest you get hold of a copy of this before it sells out ! (JrF)

Friday, 19 June 2009

sound escapes exhibition:

'sound escapes' - 25th July - 15th August 2009

Peter Cusack, Simon Elvins, Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons, Nikolaus Gansterer, Stephen Gill, Dan Holdsworth, Jacob Kirkegaard, Camille Norment, Dawn Scarfe, Thomson and Craighead

Curated by Angus Carlyle and Irene Revell;
produced by Electra
SPACE, 129 - 131 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH

Sound Escapes examines the very nature of sound. Why is one person's disturbing noise another's intriguing sonic landscape? In what ways are our emotions affected by sound? Are plants affected by music? Can you hear a photograph? Do ears make their own sounds? Does the microphone never lie? These are just some questions explored by the works on show.

The exhibition marks the culmination of an extensive interdisciplinary research project that has coupled artists with acousticians, engineers, and social scientists across the UK to explore how we can move beyond negative noise towards the idea of positive soundscapes. Posters illustrating the findings of this research - scans of the brain, measurements of the heart and the lungs, maps of city sound-walks and representations of the choices people make when thinking and talking about sound - are also hung on the gallery walls.

Thomson & Craighead's new work A universal machine for testing everything invites visitors to the gallery to make outgoing calls using a telephone line connected to a commercially available lie detector. Alongside the telephone and pinned to the wall are test reports documenting previous calls the artists made to a series of speaking clocks while traveling in the UK and abroad. The work is a playful engagement with the notion of speech intelligibility but also a statement of the ultimate futility of any mathematical algorithm to read the emotional affect of sound. Nikolaus Gansterer's piece, The Eden Experiment, also plays with the inherent subjectivity of the listening experience, in setting out the laboratory conditions in which two mouse ear cress plants are subjected to Bach and 'heavy metal' respectively during the course of the exhibition, all other parameters of the plants' treatment being equal. By contrast, Dan Holdsworth's No Echo is a series of large-scale photographic works of anechoic chambers, and presents an almost voyeuristic glimpse of these eerily arcane environments.

Peter Cusack's Soundscape Sequencer, the main artistic commission from the research project itself, allows visitors to mix surround sound into their own sonic panorama based on field recordings from different cities around the world. Using noise pollution statistics from DEFRA, Simon Elvins' Silent London shows a contoured landscape of the quietest parts of the city.

Camille Norment's work Driveby gives the visitor a phantom impression of a car driving past outside the gallery, through a physical experience transmitted at low frequencies from a gallery window, with a heavy bass giving the impression of an exaggerated onboard speaker system. In an examination of the listening process itself, Jacob Kirkegaard's work Labyrinthitis is a ceiling mounted installation of a series of 16 helicoidally spaced speakers, mimicking the shape of the inner ear. These speakers emit tones which trigger 'otoacoustic emissions' - a little known phenomenon where the ear itself resonates sound. If subjected to the right combination of frequencies the inner ear vibrates and emits sound. The tones making up Labyrinthitis are recorded otoaccoustic emissions from Kirkegaard's own ears, which he has composed into a musical piece. Complementing Kirkegaard's installation is a new selection of Stephen Gill's Audio Portraits which draw out the human act of listening in photographic form.

Other pieces in the exhibition include a new work by Dawn Scarfe which recreates mysteriously shaped Helmholtz resonators in glass (an example of Helmholtz resonance is the sound created when blowing across the top of an empty bottle), which visitors are invited to use in and around the gallery.

Members of the Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons have been tracking down sounds for over half a century and the flag of this association of amateur recordists flies in the gallery courtyard as an emblem for those for whom sound is always a positive force.

A new publication will accompany the exhibition, available free of charge in the gallery. The publication will document in more detail the six strands in the research project itself, as well as the works in the exhibition.

About the research project: Sound Escapes is an exhibition that marks the end of the Positive Soundscapes Project funded by The Engineering And Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). Alongside a public interpretation of the central research strands of the project, the exhibition also includes new and existing artwork by artists who, whilst not involved in the research project directly, work with soundscapes across a wide range of practices and whose work is in conversation with the scientific and sociological questions posed in the research.

The research itself breaks down into six interrelated but distinct strands, each with their own disciplinary area and research methodology:
1. Psychoacoustics - fMRI scanning of the brain's responses to auditory stimuli (University of Manchester and University of Nottingham).
2. Physiological Acoustics - Measuring changes to heart, respiratory rate and galvanic skin response during exposure to auditory stimuli (Manchester Metropolitan University).
3. Sociology - Soundwalking and focus group research to explode attitudes to sounds in two cities (University of Salford)
4. Perceptual Acoustics - Using laboratory listening to rate and rank peoples' preferences for sound quality (University of Warwick).
5. Artistic Research - Using a variety of creative approaches to make the soundscape visible, legible and (most importantly) audible (University of the Arts London) 6. Environmental Acoustics - Extending speech intelligibility research as a tool for sound-mapping (University of Salford and University of Manchester)

More information can be found at

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

interview with Isobel Clouter & Rob Mullender

late last year and/oar released the cd 'myths of origin' by Isobel Clouter & Rob Mullender:

At long last, after a culmination of delays amounting to 3 years,
and/OAR is extremely happy to finally present a full length release
featuring "singing sand" and "booming sand" recorded in Japan and
Mongolia by British sound artists Isobel Clouter and Rob Mullender.
"Singing sand", "booming sand", "whistling sand" or "barking sand"
is sand that produces sounds of either high or low frequency under
pressure. The sound emission is usually triggered by wind passing
over dunes or by walking on the sand.

Also featured are field recordings of a traditional Japanese Sawara
Matsuri festival, a Suikinkutsu (underground water zither), Uguisubari
(or Nightengale floor), Chion-in temple and Saiho-ji temple .

The recordings came about as a result of a project instigated in late
1999, which bears witness to a long held fascination with how the
environment generates and shapes culture, memory and myth. There
was no desire to conduct any scientific or anthropological field work,
but to collect a set of recordings which would serve to illustrate how
precious the sonic environment can be, and to act as founding
materials for a soundscape collection at the British Library Sound

Track listing:
1. Sawara matsuri, Singing sand, Suikinkutsu
2. Kotohiki-hama - Kotoga-hama beaches
3. Chion-in temple, Nightingale floor, Saiho-ji temple
4. Dune ascent / descent
5. Aosigetunoer descent
6. Baoritaolegainuoer Natural Booming
7. Baoritaolegainuoer descent
8. Dune 3 descent
9. Tibetan Prayer wheels, Xiahe

The audio CD also features a PDF of extra photos pertaining to the
recordings that can be accessed on a computer, and comes
packaged in a four color digipak and a 12 page booklet.

This CD is dedicated to the memory of Professor Shigeo Miwa, whose
warm generosity and enthusiasm was invaluable to the success of
this recording project, and whose work is mentioned in an interesting
article about booming sand and the environment, a PDF of which can
be found here .

over the past few months I have been sending questions to Isobel & Rob as part of and/oar's on going interview series. You can read the full article here.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

unnamed music festival & wedding ceremony

so, last night I performed as a duet with Patrick Farmer at the last night of the unnamed music festival (thanks to Simon Reynell of Another Timbre for arranging these events). After our distinctly fractured set Keith Rowe, Martin Kuchen & Seymour Wright took to the stage. Now, I'm sure I enjoyed their set but my memory remains fixed on the last 5 minutes before the applause. The sounds made by the trio on their instruments had ended & there was the usual couple of minutes silence of course - but as it went on the three players started, quietly to pack away their small objects - the sound of the room, the speaker hum & these tiny un self conscious sounds was the highlight for me ! I didn't want anyone to clap & i'm sure there were enough of us in the room who agreed on that - sadly someone got up to leave & so the applause came.

I finally got (thanks Richard) a copy of 'wedding ceremony' on Cathnor too:

Julia Eckhardt, Toshimaru Nakamura, Taku Sugimoto, Lucio Capece, Radu Malfatti, Christian Kersten - 'Wedding ceremony' (cathnor cath007)

I'd heard this cd a few times already & so putting it into my cd player at home I thought I knew what I was going to hear. Well, to some degree that was true but there was also something more: the calm & clear, familiar space of my home allowed me to let even more of this music to unfold. The sounds of the street outside + as in the end of the performance mentioned above, the sound of the space itself all combined to offer up layers of both immediate appeal & a Furuya-esque sense of respectful call to listen more.

I won't attempt a full review here. The best thing I can say is that this is a release that I will need a lot of time to listen & listen again to. I look forward to that.

Friday, 5 June 2009

exclusive radio broadcast (stream etc)

there will be a 28 minute section of my recordings broadcast from Portugal on the show curated by Paulo Raposo from Sirr records.

Tune in (over the net) on Friday, 12 June @ 20.30 on (streaming)

and Antena2, National Radio on 28 june 01-07h fm national broadcast (Portugal)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

free download / stream by JrF

from The Wire website:

In April this year, Jez riley French spent a day recording the surfaces and ambiences of The Wire office. Here are some of the results:

pelure # 9 - gathered wire mp3 download / stream (192kbps stereo)

Unprocessed recordings gathered around the office of The Wire, April 2009....10 minutes

The piece begins with a binaural recording made close to the subscription department desk then moves deeper into the fabric of the office via recordings of the electronic signals in the space, recorded with coil devices.

In addition to my other explorations of music / sound, including work with audible silence, extended field recording and improvisation, I have been recording certain buildings with a connection to the experimental arts for some time now. This has mostly been in terms of my own personal experiences with these forms of creativity but I am sure there are many people for whom The Wire has been a welcome source of connection to interesting discoveries. With that in mind I thought it would be fun to create some pieces using sounds from the current Wire offices. I ended up with two finished compositions: one featuring surface vibrations (not suitable for playback via computer speakers) and the piece available here. This second composition has both playful and intense elements – perhaps that can be said of the magazine too?