New track on Bandcamp here
A new album (on cassette/download) to be released on the Linear Obsessional label this summer.
Cove is a series of four pieces created during a residency at Cove Park in February 2019 as part of an ongoing project with Articulate Cultural Trust.
Sonification of landscape, field recordings and live improvisation with the elements.
Cover artwork from time-lapse movie looking out from the converted shipping container where I was living.
Sneak preview:Calm pond bubbling stream excerpt
Linear Obsessional: Linear Obsessional
Cove Park: http://covepark.org
Free download and booklet.
Part of a series of pieces exploring field recordings with generated materials and other incidental sounds.
Pholadidae, known as piddocks or angelwings, are a family of bivalve molluscs similar to a clam.Pidocks are unique in that each side of their shells is divided into 2 or 3 separate sections. Furthermore, one of the piddock’s shells has a set of ridges or “teeth”, which they use to grind away at clay or soft rock and create tubular burrows. The shape of these burrows is due to the rotating motion of the piddock as it grinds the rock to make its home. The piddock stays in the burrow it digs for the entirety of its eight-year lifespan, with only its siphon exposed to take in water that it filters for food. When the piddock dies and leaves an empty tubular burrow, other marine life such as sea anemone, crabs and other molluscs may use the burrow.
An experiment in seeing whether the dronespace pieces i’ve been making have a wider audience.
You can download tracks from my new Bandcamp site here
Some new dronespace pieces heading towards a download album
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/
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.
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
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.
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.
The graph is of these two figures starting at 9:30 am
Its quite a long piece (32 minutes)
……..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.
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.
Thanks to Caryl Mann from the Organ Restoration project at St Johns
A new film of the latest Fanfare project …….
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
My piece started off as 48 Midi files …….. here they are played by a Marimba sound
and here (slightly rearranged) played by the granulated voices
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……
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.
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
2: Rural Scene with Red Arrows……is an arrangement of this field recording for string quartet
the quartet version
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
As part of this years Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
a late night performance of Rhubarb Sounds
Thursday 24 November
Creative Arts Building Atrium, 10PM
more information here http://www.hcmf.co.uk/event/show/246
photo © Alex Beldea
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.
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
A short film made at La Bambooserie (http://www.bambouseraie.com/) in the summer of 2011, the soundtrack is entirely composed of Shakuhachi breath sounds played by Mike McInerney and collected for a “Turning Breath” performance.
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
World of Goats
Stuck in a bin ?
more information here http://www.spitalfieldsfestival.org.uk/index.php?pfid=17&cid=0&eid=288
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)
(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 Secret Soul
The Sadness of Happiness
A Day Out
War of the Tribes
Hide and Seek
Life on a Ship
The Lost World
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.
Staying in a hotel in Birmingham this week doing a project with the BCMG, there was a huge plasma screen TV in the room , but all the channels were different types of video interference.
So here’s a short film of this with a soundtrack made by improvising with an Audiomulch patch (the same one that I used on the current sound of the week)
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.
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)
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
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
– 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
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.
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.
Some of the installation sound
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
DSP was a project for the 2009 Making New Waves festival in Budapest
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)
Here’s the result of this process
The second uses a shared online whiteboard so that we could grab the images and render these as audio in the hall
A film of the performance is coming soon
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
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
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)
2. Into the Abyss (Michael Neil 2009)
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
millions of little critters !!
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
more information on the festival can be found here
Here is a photo of the rehersal
the piece was called
o1: compose <play>
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
Squonky tube improvisation (from 1st session)
with a bit of fiddling about on the computer after the session
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 !
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
Tales of a rebellion
Talking paper made by Patrick and David for the project
Here’s a film of the space
Sinfonietta Project Website
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
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.
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
Here is a film of the pieces
more information on the festival is here