Sound of the most featureless place in Britain

On the way home from York last night I stopped at 

GR SE830220 Landranger map 112

famous for being the most featureless map square in Britain.

It was dark, very dark, and very still.

After a while (at about 4:33″ which was a bit of a coincidence) a single van came and drove past and I listened to the sound vanishing into the distance.

For audio click below

 

 Empty Square

 

20 Years of Notebooks

(from 2011)

20 Years of Notebooks

There are 20 years of notebooks on my shelf

I am gradually going through them and scanning interesting looking score fragments and graphics

The soundtrack is a mixture of field recordings, generated things and solo improvisations

 

Mode 5 Down the Mountain (Movie online)

Following the premiere screenings at the Drone Cinema Festival in Leiden and Seattle my audiovisual drone composition Mode 5 Down the Mountain is now online.

More information about the festival is here http://vrijplaatsleiden.nl/agenda/drone-cinema-film-festival-2016-curated-by-kim-cascone/ 

and an article here http://www.thestranger.com/film/2016/04/06/23909185/terminal-dread-got-you-down-let-the-drone-cinema-film-festival-soothe-your-fear-of-death

Mode 5 Down the Mountain: In 2014 I was working at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland leading composition projects with young musicians. On my day off the weather was against me and I found myself at the top of the hill in rain with fog closing in all around. Somewhat dismayed I boarded the Telecabine at Savoleyres to go back to the village dangled the microphone of my recorder out of the window and recorded the journey. All the material comes from this recording with the addition of synthesised drones and images generated from the spectral content of the sound.

Verbier Festival 2014

mountain slice blue

2 pieces composed by participants at the 2014 Verbier festival and played by the VFO. A collaboration with Edward Nesbit and the Discovery programme. “C C C” (Colours, Chickpeas, Cowbells) : composed by Adèle Harding, Leandro Marques, Quentin Lehner, Noëlla & conducted by Duncan Chapman, “Mountain Animals and Snow”: composed by India Beibeder,Orane Furness-Pina,Pierre Mouton & conducted by Edward Nesbit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorated Echoes @ Spitalfields Summer Festival

Decorated Echoes was a project for Spitalfields music working with students from Phoenix school and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The movie was made from drawings in response to sounds, our own playing and listening to live music played by Katie Heller (Violin / Viola) and Ruth Rosales (Bassoon / Contra-bassoon)

 

BCMG in Wem (Field Notes)

Field Notes project Movies now online.
With Bridget Carey, Melinda Maxwell, Shiori Usui, Matthew Harris, Jeremy Clay and a group of extraordinary young musicians from Wem.A series of movies made with participants in Shropshire as part of BCMG’s  Field Notes project

more on the tour here http://www.bcmg.org.uk/whats-on/field-notes-tour-2014/

Drawings of journeys made into music.

 

2.5 Cycles Syst/Diast (unconfirmed interpretation)

I recently had to have a 24hour blood pressure monitor, (everything is fine).

I ended up with 24 hours of data consisting of Systolic and Diastolic pressure as well as heart rate. The machine took these readings every 20 minutes for 24 hours (with a longer interval at night time).

This is a mapping of this into audio for 2.5 cycles of the data

Systolic and Diastolic pressures are mapped directly onto pitch and the heart rate is mapped onto tempo (using audiomulch). After one cycle of 24 hours there are harmonics added into the sound so that the sound becomes more complex.

Sys dia

The graph is of these two figures starting at 9:30 am

 

Its quite a long piece (32 minutes)

 

……..Of Wind and Breath

……..Of Wind and Breath was a concert of new music in the 2013 Notting Hill May Festival

Two pieces from the concert

Speaking Breath ……..

Mike McInerney : Shakuhachi

Duncan Chapman : Electronics

 

Speaking breath is the 4th in a cycle of pieces that explores the sound of the Shakuhachi in a variety of environments. The previous pieces have included a performance in a 360º cinema (Rising Breath) an old power station in Budapest with live interactive video (Empty Breath) and a piece in a church in Leeds with a bass organ pipe and live electronic manipulation of the sound (Turning Breath). In Speaking Breath the Shakuhachi sound is integrated with a collection of organ sounds focusing particularly on the moment when the pipes “speak” and elongating this to reveal previously unheard detail.

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Sounds from an unfinished  organ : Laptop ensemble

All the sounds are created from samples of the organ in the church which was in a state of reconstruction after a major restoration project. The ensemble was made up of a group associated with the church and other musicians in the concert who surrounded the audience.

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Thanks to Caryl Mann from the Organ Restoration project at St Johns

 

Slowly catching up …….. cowbells

Time to catch up a bit

Up a mountain in Switzerland

Where I found this sound

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The Sea Becomes a Chord

The sound of the sea recorded at Mog’s Eye on the Lincolnshire Coast

becomes a chord …………….

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Re:Sound

Re:Sound

In preparation for this project at the Sound Festival in Aberdeen this weekend

“What is your favourite sound in the world that isn’t a musical instrument or piece of music?”

a couple of demo tracks containing

Dropping something heavy into water
Thunder
Pocra Quay (from Pete Stollery)
Birds
The wind at Malin Head
Children’s voices
Rain on a tent
Throwing stones onto a frozen lake
Walking in deep snow
Walking through a herd of cows in Switzerland

Chorus loops composed by Music and Communities students and played by synthesised sounds ……………
The Wind
Rain
Standing on Union Street
Child laughing
The sound you get when your head is underwater
glass smashing
walking in deep snow
falling leaves
the crackle of frying eggs
transferring liquids from a can into a glass

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Sounds from Rednote Ensembles “NoisyNoises” to be used in an installation on Sunday 4th

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more here

http://sound-scotland.co.uk/sound_events/resound/

Sound Spiral

 

SoundSpiral is a uniquely interactive audio playback environment, holding forty-eight speakers within a specially-designed inflatable venue.
The first work to be shown in the space will be Babel Spring, by Amie Slavin and Duncan Chapman.

The whole project is the brainchild of Amie Slavin who has made an extraordinary piece using multiple languages for it’s first incarnation. The music I have made takes fragments of these languages and using specially designed granular processing creates pitch based music out of them.

There’s much more about the whole thing here

http://www.soundspiral.net/?page=Home

My piece started off as 48 Midi files …….. here they are played by a Marimba sound

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and here (slightly rearranged) played by the granulated voices

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South Holland Sympony 2012

The South Holland Symphony is a project with the London Mozart Players and three communities in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire. Over the next few months I am going to be composing an orchestral piece for the orchestra based on material generated by participants in workshop sessions. The project aims to create a new piece of music which reflects the particular landscapes and people of the area.

May 12th Workshops………………

Here are a couple of things from last weekends workshops in Spalding and Holbeach.

The Spalding piece is played by a large group using instruments and voices speaking lists of sounds that they associate with their locality. This will become transcribed and mixed with drawings of horizon lines (as in the Field Of Sprouts piece) to create a section for full orchestra……

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Holbeach Fog

In a small workshop with three enthusiastic young people we created this section of music. At the end the fog will lift and become a very low sound (double bass rumble) and very high one (Violin harmonic) with transcriptions of birdsong in the middle. The fog music is always falling and is an exploration of the idea of the land becoming inundated , in the past by the sea and now by the fog……………..

This is an orchestral simulation played by computer so some of the sounds are not accurate representations of how it will sound when played by the LMP.

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Demos: As part of the preparation for this I created these two short pieces for string quartet which were performed at LMP concerts.

1: Horizon melody and a field of sprouts…….. uses the contour of the landscape in this photograph to generate a melodic line played by the first violin, the second violin plays an accelerating and decelerating pulse following the edge of the field while the lower parts play rotating material based on the shape of the plants…..

which sounds like this

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2: Rural Scene with Red Arrows……is an arrangement of this field recording for string quartet

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the quartet version

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sonogram of field recording

with thanks to LMP players

Nicoline Kraamwinkel (Violin)

David Angel (Violin)

Simone Van der Giessen (Viola)

Sebastian Comberti (Cello)

 

Growing in the dark @ HCMF 24/11/11

Growing in the dark

As part of this years Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

a late night performance of Rhubarb Sounds

Thursday 24 November

Creative Arts Building Atrium, 10PM
Free event

more information here http://www.hcmf.co.uk/event/show/246

 

photo © Alex Beldea


Here is a short version of the performance

 

Dark Januaries

Isabel and I scanning the floor at Bretton Hall to find the creaky floorboards

 

Isabel and I scan the floor at Bretton Hall for interesting creaking sounds …………

 

Over the last 15 years Isabel Jones and Duncan Chapman have been collaborating with each other ,they have co-composed numerous films, recordings, installations and performances including their album ‘Corrosion’, the music for Salamanda Tandems performances and their eight year personal documentary project ‘8 Dark Januaries’

Since 1994 they have met every January to start the year with some sonic research that involves the creation of an original piece of music. This process has been partly one of self documentation as well as a way of reviewing the last 12 months in sound.

The works produced have therefore become a kind of snapshot of our individual and collective work and travels from the preceding year. By “documentising” ourselves we have sought to create an oasis of reflective practice that both looks back and forwards. On many occasions we have discovered connections in our sound palettes and worked these into the pieces.

Sonic materials have included field recordings from all over the world as well as voice, live acoustic instruments and electroacoustic processing.
January 2004

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January 2005

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January 2006

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January 2007

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January 2008

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January 2009

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January 2010

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January 2011

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Horn and Rabab

12 Years ago Isabel Jones and I made a recording of her playing a one string Rabab complete with creaking tuning pegs and me playing the horn through a harmoniser. Some of this became another piece but yesterday Isabel emailed me a version of the original recording for us to think about making something out of in the future. My breath control isn’t this good any more BUT it the horn is now out of the case and we are contemplating a whole new world of long notes and mysterious textures

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In response to Ruscha

Three short pieces made as the start of a project with Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum in response to their exhibition of work by Ed Ruscha. All played live using a mixture of field recordings. This will form part of a performance installation at the gallery in October.

Made and played by

Elisha Millard aka Electric Farmer

Odira Morewabone

Webster Siame

Duncan Chapman

1st piece

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2nd piece

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3rd piece

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More information on the exhibition here

http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/wolves/exhibitions

The Sound House

 

The Sound House is an online project for the Wigmore Hall that draws on their extensive archive.

Over the last 9 Months I have been working in collaboration with Dotank studios (who made the excellent Isle of Dogs soundmap) and Rus Pearson (http://ruspearson.com/) to create a series of “rooms” that contain sounds and music relating to the Hall, its historical context and what happens there now.

The website is now online and is here (Opens in new tab)

http://www.wigmore-hall.org.uk/learning/resources/soundhouse

amongst the things to find on the site are

  • A timelapse film and audio of the auditorium during one day
  • A series of pieces created with students from Pimlico Academy taking archive programmes as the source
  • A piece composed from different applause in the hall
  • A series of recordings of the Heath Quartet in different acoustics
  • A piece composed from interviews with artists
  • A piece created from the sounds of tuning up

 

Sonic Treasure Hunt

A project at Spitalfields City farm for the 2011 Spitalfields Festival

June 18th @ Spitalfields City Farm (http://www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org/)

Hidden about the farm will be a series of pieces of music, composed by the Young Farmers group (and others) and built into specially made MP3 devices (electronics by the ever wonderful and multi-talented Yann Seznec of Looper and MapMixer fame)………. here are the pieces

The Sea in a Tree

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World of Goats

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Stuck in a bin ?

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Leaves

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Goose Egg

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Bamboo igloo

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Pig Chillout

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Bike

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Underground fish

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Ambient Ducks

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more information here http://www.spitalfieldsfestival.org.uk/index.php?pfid=17&cid=0&eid=288

From the River To the Sea at the Royal Opera House

On Monday 30th May Isabel Jones and myself will be performing a 4 hour installation performance. This forms part of the ROH Sounding Out For Families week of creative activities (more information on the Opera House Website (http://www.roh.org.uk/)

This short track was made today (Thursday 26th) as part of our preparations for Mondays event. It features field recordings we have recorded on our travels around the world , water sounds from Ireland, France, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, Derbyshire as well as live voice , synthesised layers and a very stretched version of a well know piece of Tchaikovsky Ballet music (a prize for spotting what it is).

From the River to the Sea (Duncan Chapman / Isabel Jones 26/5/2011)

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BCMG Electro Sequenza

(from BCMG website http://www.bcmg.org.uk/default.php?id=412)

Sequenza is a secondary schools’ project inspired by Berio’s virtuosic solo pieces for various instruments. Over a series of workshops a GCSE, AS or A Level class works with a composer to create a solo piece for one of BCMG’s players. These pieces are then recorded on CD at CBSO Centre. This project has produced work of an exceptionally high standard through allowing young people to; immediately hear even their initial ideas performed brilliantly; discuss previously unknown sound possibilities with the musicians; and find ways to develop and refine ideas through guidance from the composers. The project sometimes includes the added dimension of live electronics

This 2011 project was with Hamstead Hall school with Kyle Horch (alto sax) and live electronics

all electronic processing done with Audiomulch

The Pieces

The Secret Soul

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The Conquest

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The Sadness of Happiness

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Feel Free

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A Day Out

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The Hunt

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War of the Tribes

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Swiggles

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Hide and Seek

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Life on a Ship

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Dark Romance

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Jorell

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The Lost World

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Lost Love

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Path

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Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb (website now online)

The Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb website is now online @ http://www.rhubarbrhubarbrhubarb.co.uk/

with recordings, recipes, film and photographs of the project

also coming in the  Huddersfield Festival (21st November) a solo performance with Rhubarb sounds in the dark !

A project for the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2011

The Rhubarb Sheds of Yorkshire (its picked by candlelight to avoid the leaves turning green)

(from the HCMF website http://www.hcmf.co.uk/Playing-the-rhubarb-triangle)

West Yorkshire’s proud history of rhubarb-growing is providing inspiration for a new Learning and Participation project created by Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb involves sound artist, musician and educator Duncan Chapman working with pupils from Overthorpe Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Thornhill, Dewsbury to create an interactive online installation using audio and visuals from the farming of local rhubarb.

Yorkshire’s famous ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ is an area between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell known for producing forced rhubarb. This technique for growing rhubarb, which is originally native to Siberia, became popular in the 19th century. The plants are grown outside for two years then transferred indoors to sheds that are heated and kept in complete darkness, prompting the sprouting of new stems with a prized tenderness and sweet flavour. In 2010 Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded European Protected Designation of Origin status, putting it in the same category as champagne, gorgonzola and Swaledale cheese.

Here are a few sound samples of the project so far

a mix of lots of popping sounds that it makes as it grows (with some pitch manipulation)

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more pops

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snapping

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Here’s a short film of it growing in the sheds (the camera is still there taking one photo every 4 hours so there will be more to come soon !)

shed 1 quicktime

The measure of all circles

A version of the piece “The measure of all things is the breath” , this version has a sequence of images of lights found in lifts on the docklands light railway. The sound is all generated using a Sibelius version of the score (Score is in the SOUNDS section of this website) which has then been performed using a series of live Ableton patches.

Titles and Questions

having just written a blog entry following on from a visit to Steim in Amsterdam last month (you can read it here http://steim.org/projectblog/?p=2549 ) i remembered the list of short articles i was going to write for this website……… so here are the titles (to be added to and written about as time permits)

Fair Isle (lots of time staring out of little aeroplane windows ! this is Fair Isle on the way back to Inverness from Shetland)

    1. indoctrinated imagination
    2. intrinsic forms
    3. owning and meaning
    4. 500 types of cheese (on diversity)
    5. provenance and meaning
    6. a repertoire of processes
    7. false histories of music
    8. distillation
    9. Microphony and Mikrophonie
    10. the myth of spontaneity in popular music
    11. what are the fundamental elements ?
    12. against “workshops” (with Alexi)
    13. what’s music for ? multiplicity of function , functional models (and their limits)
    14. “music technology” and the invention of the piano
    15. abusing tools
    16. the problem of R&B in participatory work (homogenisation and choice limitation)
    17. the tyranny of choice
    18. the essence of collaboration
    19. Gertie and Gus (how to teach people to fish)
    20. Imagining music (without sound or object)
    21. Curiosity as the primary motivation
    22. participation at all costs ?
    23. Content, context and accessibility
    24. the types of musical experience (a recording is not a performance , this is not a pipe !)
    25. glitch and “error” as sound objects
    26. Sound over pitch
    27. the difference between a note, pitch,frequency and the dangers of confusing these
    28. the conspiracy theory of contemporary music
    29. the familiar vs the strange
    30. unique opportunities , recognising them and building things from them.

Found In Ladywood

A project for the CBSO with EC Arts

(from EC arts website)

‘Found in Ladywood’ will involve the Leo String Quartet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.  The quartet will take its renowned classical repertoire out of traditional settings and into Ladywood Fire Station for an autumnal Shostakovich Quartet number 8 performance.  The project will also feature a unique commission in the form of an original composition for Ladywood.  The piece will be created and lead by Composer and Music Animateur Duncan Chapman collaborating with Ladywood residents in a series of artistic workshops and the Leo Quartet to produce the piece for the final event.

The project has been inspired by both the CBSO’s ethos to reach out and engage new audiences, and ‘Lost in Ladywood’ a 2007 project by artist Simon Whitehead, commissioned by MADE.  Found in Ladywood recognises that there is a large percentage of the community that have not experienced ‘live’ classical music – it aims to take classical music out of its traditional settings and into the heart of the community, making it accessible to everyone.

Event skills workshops.

The journey leading up to the performance will involve members of the community working with EC-Arts to identify a non traditional performance venue free of charge.  The aim of the project is to collaborate with members of the community to change perspectives of a non traditional performance venue by transforming it for an event.  A series of workshops will be implemented and delivered in Ladywood to teach a core group in the community event management skills.  The community group will plan and deliver the October event by participating within all aspects of planning leading up to including the event day.

Artistic workshops.

Simultaneously ’artistic workshops’ have been lead within Ladywood by Composer Duncan Chapman, renowned for his experimental approach and technologically advanced festivals.  A recent example of Duncan’s work was a Nintendo DS orchestra that took place on the beach at the Aldeburgh Festival. Duncan is working with members of Ladywood community to record the ‘sounds of Ladywood’.   The sounds will inspire and form part of an original composition specifically for Ladywood to be performed on the 10th October 2010.

The Leo Quartet (Byron Parish, Jane Wright, Mike Jenkinson and Kate Setterfield) is a quartet of leading players from the CBSO who formed in 2004 and have built a reputation for vibrant performances of diverse repertoire.

Here is a short film of the event (opens in a new window)

Found In Ladywood

Royal Opera House Fanfare Project

Fanfarefinal.jpg

The Royal Opera house fanfare project is now in its second year, I have been participating in the judging as well as running workshops for the winners and orchestrating  the final pieces. Some great music last year

Heres a film about last year

Royal Opera House Fanfare project Documentary

Here’s a bit of Blurb from the ROH website about this years project.

Fanfare Competition 2011

Create your sound for the Royal Opera House

Can you create a piece of music which is catchy, powerful, attention grabbing, and only 30 seconds long?

We are looking for brand new musical fanfares to be broadcast before performances at the Royal Opera House to let the audience know it is time to take their seats.

If you are aged eleven to sixteen we want you, on your own or in groups, to create your own fanfare of no more than 30 seconds to win the chance to have your music arranged, recorded and played at the Royal Opera House.

THE PRIZE

The composers of the winning fanfares will attend a workshop with a professional composer to develop and arrange their fanfare for the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Winners will also attend the recording session, and will be invited to a performance at the Royal Opera House to hear a premier broadcast of the final fanfares.

The winning pieces from last year are available here to listen

http://www.roh.org.uk/discover/education/fanfare.aspx

(these are the Sibelius files , the full orchestral versions are currently unavailable)

Love Music Festival

Touring round Scotland and featuring an extraordinary line up of performers.

I’m curating the Electric Loops days as well as running workshops in schools and with teachers.

more here (including tracks on the online jukebox and blogs as well as free software )

http://lovemusicfestival.com/

Huun Huur Tu

Huun Huur Tu : One of the featured artists in Electric Loops

The Love Music Looper (created by Yann Seznec) available for free download from the website

loooprrrr

Online materials include ideas for working with loops and spectra

spectrum

Spectral tools

Overtones 1

and loops

drum loop

Sound from workshop sessions on Lewis , September 2010

Stornaway Chanter Remix

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Ambergate Sounds

Here are some sounds for a project i’ve been doing for Jessie”s Fund (http://www.jessiesfund.org.uk/)  at Ambergate sports college in Grantham

they will form part of a series of sound and image installations around the school next term. The workshops were led by myself with Jess Baker who brought her Ukelele collection along to some of the sessions. Some of the pieces are a combination of field recordings collected from round the school.recording the railingsrecording the railings

DSC03705recording the sound of the bricks being scraped………..

Here are some of the pieces we made

Weird things

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Whale songs

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Dinner Hall music

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Trumpy B (it really is the sound of a Bee !)

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Shimmery Bells

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Sams Piece

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Alien Harmony

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Uke piece

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Spitalfields Festival Walks project

SPITALFIELDS

SPEAKS

– Free, downloadable sonic guides

It’s time to throw out the guide book and open your ears as we invite you to take a guided tour of the East End, through the experiences and imaginations of local people with compelling stories to share.

Working with artists Marcia Farquhar and Duncan Chapman, five very different local residents have created sonic guides, providing unique perspectives into the area, revealing the connections and locations that matter to them. Simply explore each individual’s piece online, print out the map and download the mp3s, then come to the area and listen through your headphones to the sounds of the East End, as heard by the people who live here.

Download the PDF maps and audio here

spitalfieldsfestivaladmin.new.mindunit.co.uk/images/resource/Spitalfi.pdf

PDF Grab

Madge

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Sharif

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Miss Beryl

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Jez Self

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Mike Myers

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Time Dance

Time dance postcard

Time Dance was a collaboration in 1997 between choreographer Catherine Seymour, artist Tatsuo Miyajima with Duncan Chapman (Composer) and what was described as “an extraordinary cast”.

The performance took place on the roof of the Royal Festival Hall with a sound installation (recording below) and projections onto the sides of the building. This co-incided with an exhibition of Miyajimas work at the Hayward Gallery.

http://www.tatsuomiyajima.com/en/index.html

Here is a recording of the sound installation that was installed in the roof garden on top of the Festival Hall, the Latin Names are the names of the fossils that are in the marble that clads the building and are spoken by Sarah Goldfarb other sounds include signal horns, sounds made from Oyster Shells and environmental recordings.

time dance horns.php

Some of the installation sound

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Lambeth CLC 2010 : Sounding It Out

A series of projects for the City Learning Centre in Lambeth, based at the BFI. These projects include a sound installation for the Young Vic special schools theatre festival, a series of sound art projects in primary schools exploring notions of time, place and sound and a sound installation for the new CLC Building in Clapham. Sounding It Out Primary Schools project some of the initial ideas

Starting points: (conceptual)

Acoustic Ecology: Acoustic ecology (sometimes called soundscape ecology), is the relationship, mediated through sound, between living beings and their environment.

Audio-geography: The mapping of sounds onto locations

Anamnesis: an effect of reminiscence in which a past situation or atmosphere is brought back to the listeners consciousness, provoked by a particular signal or sonic context.

In the project we will be making work that explores the soundscape of where we are in Lambeth. We will think about how that has changed over time and project some sounds forward in time into the future. The final piece we will be making will form the basis of an interactive installation that will be placed in the new CLC building in Clapham.

Some questions that we can address during the process.

  • What are the unique sounds of your school / locality ?

  • What were they in the past ?

  • What do imagine they will be in 100 years time ?

  • What sounds would you like to preserve for the future and how can we preserve them in a way that the people in the future will be able to hear them ?

  • Can we picture sounds in ways that other people will be able to “see” how they sound ?

Some of the work , all of these are in the form of Past/Present/Future sequences and this material will be used in the final installed piece in the new building.

Here are some of the pieces

Draw-Send-Play (DSP)

DSP was a project for the 2009 Making New Waves festival in Budapest

dsp

dsp 2

 

The workshops had participants from Brussels, Aberdeen, Preston, London and Budapest working using a free online whiteboard and chat environment to create 2 pieces. The audio was streamed back to the remote participants using Tinychat and Skype so that the people involved could hear the results.

We made 2 pieces

The first used a text to sound method (with two of us in the hall at Trafo turning the text instructions into sound using Coagula)

DSP Chat

Here’s the result of this process

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The second uses a shared online whiteboard so that we could grab the images and render these as audio in the hall

DSP whitehere’s the sound

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A film of the performance is coming soon

The Music of Electricity HCMF 2009

A project for the 2009 Huddersfield Contemporary music festival

Working with two groups of students to make an installation/performance in response to the exhibition “raw material” which features work by the artist Tim Head

http://www.hcmf.co.uk/event/show/76

What is the sound of electricity ? ……….

What is the smallest unit of audio information?; and image or sound – can we use fragments of image to generate sound material?
The results will be presented at a public performance during HCMF on Thursday 26 November and can also be explored as the project progresses through this on-line installation http://www.musicofelectricity.net/pixels/index.html (this on-line site has been designed and built by Sam Freeman http://sdfphd.net/)

Music of electricity Pixels

Insects and the Abyss

For this concert of music by Rued Langgaard , I made an electronic insect interlude.

here is the programme from the concert

Insects and the Abyss

Mike McInerney – Piano

Michael Neil – Electronic Extensions

poster image 1webimage

An Homage to Rued Langgaard 

To many people, the music of the twentieth century avant-garde (which I so love) only exists as a soundtrack – to the strangeness of space (2001, A Space Odyssey) or to scenes of disturbed criminality (the shower scene in Psycho). Elizabeth Lutyens, one of the greats of English modernism, earned much of her day money writing soundtracks for Hammer House of Horror.

 Langgaard is at home in this b-movie horror scenario aspect of the avant-garde. His topics (insects, the abyss, the music of the spheres, the Antichrist) seem to relish the forbidden and perverse. His is no worked out system, in the vein of Scriabin; if a white-note chorale, which would not be out of place in the simplest of Victorian hymnals, suits his purposes, he will compose one; if an atonal melody of the most angular kind, then that is what he will use.

What is shockingly modern is his attitude to form, and to scale. Nothing ever develops in Langgaard’s music – ideas are either too short or, by the normative standards of the concert hall, continued too long without development. It is this combination – of an atmosphere of strangeness and spectacle with a sense of sound as continua of indeterminate length – which speaks to us at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is an aesthetic which begs the use of new technology.

 Mike McInerney, Plymouth 2009.

 1. Real and Imaginary Insects

 Earwig(Langgaard 1917)

Chrysalis (Michael Neil 2009)

Locust/May Bug/Daddy Longlegs (Langgaard 1917)

Death’s Head Beetle, Feeding (Duncan Chapman 2009)

Dragonfly/Death-watch Beetle/Housefly (Langgaard 1917)

Flying Predator (Richard Douglas-Green/Mike McInerney 2009) 

Millipede/Mosquito(Langgaard 1917)

 2.  Into the Abyss (Michael Neil 2009)

 INTERVAL

 3.  Afgrundsmusik (Music of the Abyss) (Rued Langgaard 1921/24)

 4.  Abyss Transfigured (with Insects)(Michael Neil/Mike McInerney 2009)

 With thanks to Richard and Lucien Douglas-Green, of Green Studios, Plymouth, for endless technical support and advice.

 

Here are some of the things I made

Swarm

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millions of little critters !!

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Creatures Lost In Time (Hayward Gallery 2009)

Creatures Lost in Time Image JPG 

A series of headphone pieces created with members of CoolTan Arts (http://www.cooltanarts.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/E-bulletin-August-20091.pdf) and Young Minds (http://www.youngminds.org.uk/videos-and-podcasts/podcasts/hayward-audio-bites/?searchterm=Hayward) made in response to the exhibition “Walking in My Mind” at the Hayward Gallery summer 2009.

The pieces played on headphones in the pavilion overlooking the river.

Here are a few excerpts

Young Minds Pieces

1….

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2….

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3….

4….

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5….

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9….

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10….

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CoolTan Pieces

you are not children

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voices

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Simons Piece

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poems (Sharon)

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please don’t touch the white dots !

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a blind man on the beach

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London Sinfonietta Sonic Explorations Festival

I’m making a series of pieces for this festival at Kings Place , London. My event is on Saturday October 3rd @ 4.30 and features a number of new works made in collaboration with a group of young people and three musicians from the ensemble. We will also be playing a piece which is entirely generated by imgage to sound software (using this http://hem.passagen.se/rasmuse/Coagula.htm) on 8 computers linked to 8 loudspeakers. I’m also writing an acoustic version for Bassoon (Adam Mackenzie), Trumpet (Bruce Nockles) and Viola (Bridget Carey) so that the same sequence of sound events happen in both pieces.

Here’s the score

Coagula Piece Green on Black

 

 

more information on the festival can be found here

http://www.londonsinfonietta.org.uk/event/kx-collective-sound-stations

and

http://www.londonsinfonietta.org.uk/project/sonic-explorations

Here is a photo of the rehersal

the piece was called

o1: compose <play>

Instrumental version Score

Buxton Festival 2009

The start of a project to make instruments to play a fanfare from the balcony of the Opera house during the festival.

Here are a couple of sounds from the first workshop with a group from Buxton Community school

(photos to follow)

On the last day of June …………….. playing a set of mixed instruments and starting to think about Fanfares

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Squonky tube improvisation (from 1st session)

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with a bit of fiddling about on the computer after the session

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At the end of the project we will play the music here to the audience who have turned up for an evening at the opera !

Buxton Opera House

NewSound

NewSound was a project at Kings Place in London as part of the London Sinfonietta “ART OF NEWS” weekend.

I worked with Zoe Martlew and Bruce Nockles from the Sinfonietta, a group from the Copenhagen Youth project and Poet Kenny Baraka to create a sound installation that was presented on Talking Paper. This was made for the project by the extraordinary Patrick Furness and David Cranmer. 100 sheets were scattered about the foyer spaces which could be played by pressing the PLAY button.

Some examples of the pieces

Listen close

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Farmland

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Gutter

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Own zone

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Tales of a rebellion

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Talking paper made by Patrick and David for the project

newspaper8

newspaper62

Here’s a film of the space

David Cranmer

http://www.nervoussquirrel.com/

Patrick Furness

http://www.patrickfurness.com/

Zoe Martlew

http://www.zoemartlew.com/

Sinfonietta Project Website

http://www.londonsinfonietta.org.uk/project/art-news

Kenny Baraka

http://www.myspace.com/kennybaraka

Corrosion

Corrosion


img-d5

 Artistic Director of Salamanda Tandem, choreographer and composer Isabel Jones was commissioned by Opera North and The Bonington Gallery to embark on a new period of research and development exploring the question ‘What is Opera?’ . To conduct this research Isabel brought composer and sound artists Duncan Chapman, together with sculptor and visual artist Gerard Renvez.

‘Corrosion’ treats the body, voice and material to an accelerated state of change and flux, organic and manufactured chemical processes interact …sounds decay, pulp dries out, metal disintegrates, bone imprints, stone crumbles, clay cracks, water evaporates…. In the accumulation, distillation, and sedimentation a transformation occurs…. Traces remaining are left behind and out of the corrosive debris arises something beautiful.

Installation and Performance Research
Artistic Director / Co -Composer / Choreographer – Isabel Jones
Co – Composer / Sound Installation Artist – Duncan Chapman
Visual Artist / Sculptor – Gerard Renvez
Singer / Composer –  Moira Smiley
Poet – Tony Baker

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Performers

Singer – Moira Smiley
Singer / Dancer – Isabel Jones
Live electronics / composition – Duncan Chapman
Singers – Bryony Jones, Richard Lindsay, Naomi Line, Aric Prentice
Costume Designer – Helen Segal
Poet – Tony Baker

Corrosion installation was performed at the Studio Theatre, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, and at The Bonington Gallery, Nottingham during March 2003.

Ambulatincula

A sound installation for Forbury Gardens in Reading.

I was one of 7 artists commissioned to make soundworks for the Gardens. For a year audiences could pick up a portable mp3 player and listen to specially created works for particular locations in the Victorian Gardens.

amb

Here is some information about my pieces from the catalogue

The sounds of bells and gongs signal significant events in our lives. Beginnings and endings, birth, death, and marriage are all marked by these sounds. Bells are a universal signifier of stopping, pausing and change. In the past, the days in the Abbey were structured around the sound of bells. A bell signalled the time for monks to rise at 2am to sing the Office of the Lauds, and other bells signalled the time for work, silent contemplation and meals. In the prison the bell marks the division of the day into work, mealtimes and sleeping.

A series of seven short works respond to the juxtaposition of the prison with the Abbey ruins. The sounds of bells and gongs correspond to different parts of the day, inviting the listener to pause, listen, contemplate, and move on, changed in some way. Combined with recordings of daily activities, and the crackling of candles at St James’s Church, the sounds of bells ultimately disappear into silence. Thanks to: Professor Brian Kemp and Tony Stokes

 The pieces

walk

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mother

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morning

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busy

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calm

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12 bells

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3am

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Scopic

elephantnose-fish-cells

Light from stars takes millions of years to reach our eyes on earth. What we see through the telescope is already history. Down a microscope we can look inside the here and now, at cells that are measured in millionths of millimetres and events that happened milliseconds ago. And yet our inner and outer worlds can look uncannily similar…

A joint project between Royal Albert Hall Learning & Participation, the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre and Durham University gave schools in both London and County Durham the chance to engage with these concepts and to illustrate their own interpretations through art and sound pieces. Choosing from a range of images, from stem cells to supernovas, students selected one that captured their imagination. They then created a partner for it: a drawing, painting or piece of 3D art. In response to images from outer space they created pictures showing the microscopic world. Other students depicted outer space in response to a microscope image in accordance with the Scopic theme.

Almost 300 pupils from 11 schools entered the Scopic competition. A selection of the most impressive artwork forms the basis of the final exhibition.  Their work was assessed by a panel of judges including Baroness Greenfield, Dr Brian May, Lord Robert Winston and Sir Patrick Moore.

Students from 3 of the schools then worked with Duncan Chapman, a sound artist and composer to produce sound pieces representing each of the pieces of artwork in the exhibition. Each panel in the exhibition had an individually created soundtrack.

The Scopic exhibition ran at the Hall from 9th – 29th May 2009 before moving to a permanent location at Durham University.

Much of the sound installation was created using the Coagula open source Sonification Software which enables you to create sound from drawn images or BMP files . (http://hem.passagen.se/rasmuse/Coagula.htm)

Some of the soundtrack pieces

Cell from the brain of catwoman

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Friendly Bacteria

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Red Hole

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Red Giant

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more on the project here

http://www.csc.mrc.ac.uk/PublicScience/Schools/Scopic/

http://www.myscopic.co.uk/index.html

and at the Albert Hall Website

http://www.royalalberthall.com/explore/projects/project.aspx?id=1778

Mikrophonie project @ RFH 2008

Working with Year 5 pupils from Heathbrook Primary School in Lambeth, London and with students from the Royal
Academy of Music to create new music inspired by Stockhausen’s
Mikrophonie I .

Mikrophonie I is for Tam Tam and Live electronics, the notation of the piece specifies precisely how the micophones should be moved, what materials sould be used to play the Tam Tam and how the electronics should interact. In our project we created scores for these kind of things concentrating on music gestures between the live instruments, microphonist and electronics.

Some of the scores

Microphone moving round the bell

Modulation score

Order of playing

rotation

Here is a film of the pieces

more information on the festival is here

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/assets/press/releases/KLANG_PR1.pdf