Friday 17th March
March 17th, 2017
Good. I’ve completed and sent my chapter for ‘Oscillate 1′. It will be a limited edition of risograph printed books of writings by artists who featured in the ‘Oscillate’ series at Turner Contemporary during 2015-2017. I perfomed Love Shark live there in January, and even though I am writing about making music that changes as it moves through outside spaces with different communitites, my conclusion is the realisation that making new music live in front of an audience, for us to witness solo human struggle and see and hear unknown music unfold in front of us seems once again vital.
Even better news is that the other contributors to Oscillate are Evan Parker, Matthew Herbert and Mira Calix. Honour.
Curated by Robert Stillman and made in collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University School of Music and Performing Arts, it’s due to be published by Compost and Height this summer 2017.
Monday 13th March
March 13th, 2017
I’ve held a secret passion for the companion bicycle and sonic biking potential since discovering one at the Coventry Transport Museum back in 2015. Interesting news in that there could well be a possibility to make one and even more within a new sonic bike opera over the next years.
Monday March 6th
March 6th, 2017
Many thanks to Philip Tagney and Sara Mohr-Pietsch for arranging and hosting such a fabulous OPEN EAR concert at Hackney St John’s church on Thursday. Having lived in Hackney for 22 years, it was a delight to finally get the chance to play this huge space. Reworking the three sectioned “in locking” composition I’d made for inside the St Pancras lock (photographed above) to 20 mins in 4 channels within the precision of my small studio, to being inside that vast resonance was a challenge. However, Jack of the beeb was ever patient and helpful, the equipment of course fantastic, and with a productive struggle of a sound check, I had things under just enough control by performance time. With the arrival of such a large and enthusiastic audience, inspiring performances by Xeniua Pestova, Plus Minus Ensemble, Tim Etchells and Aisha Orazbayeva, ‘in locking’ the concert version could only work.
Many thanks too for Jo Hutton out in the van making a binaural recording. You’ll be able to hear the entire concert on BBC Radio 3, 19.30h this Wednesday 8th March, International Women’s days HERE. Hoping you can tune in.
Wednesday March 1st
March 1st, 2017
White Rabbits! Very much looking forward to revealing some hidden mysteries of inner canal life at Radio 3 Open Ear concert at Hackney St Johns tomorrow. Fantastic musicians playing too. DETAILS
Tuesday 21st February
February 21st, 2017
I’ve been offline and by a warm ocean for ten days. Swimming further out every day I stop and bob about where I see only ocean and sky. Where it’s so quiet it’s almost silent. Yesterday a whale swam by. Ah the ocean. Doorway to the universe.
Friday 10th February
February 10th, 2017
Now with some fabulous images through from Kristian Buus, here some news on last weekend’s extraordinary time inside St Pancras lock, London. After a delayed and grizzly install in rain with not enough power to handle light & projection needs not to mention the dreaded H&S requriements on the Friday, Dave Hunt(sound) and Matthew Orton (visual) fought through and we were yes finally sound checking by 10pm with the show up and running in a drizzling Saturday morning at 10. Many thanks to Hazel and Susanna for soup and warm dry boat hosting. We couldn’t have done it without you!
is a three part composition made from the sounds and time taken to fill and empty the St Pancras lock London Regents Canal; Denham Deep, the deepest lock along the Grand Union canal and the Soulbury locks, those situated at the highest point along it. Linked by a seven verse choral work written by Kaffe when she walked from London to Milton Kenynes to make The Lock shift songs in 2014, in locking was made as a four channel work to be performed live inside the dry St Pancras lock, a unique acoustic revealed, emptied for once every 25 years maintenance work by the Canal and Rivers trust.
Open to the public over the weekend of 4th and 5th February 2017, visitors were invited inside the 3.5m deep chamber of the empty lock to hear part of the work play as a sound installation. At night Kaffe performed the entirety live over three concerts inside the lock, accompanied by underwater projections made with Kristian Buus that were beamed onto the lock chamber walls.
To a sell out audience it was an extraordinary night, with comments such as.. “astonishing sense of immersion”, “made me reflect on my own relationship with water”, “blew me away! There were choirs emerging from the sludge!”, “What a venue”, “Wild acoustics, the sense of underwater movement was astonishing”, “ The combination of these ingredients made the most ethereal music I’ve ever heard”.
Produced by Bill Gee assisted by Susanna Roland, commissioned by the Canal and Rivers trust, sound installation and engineering Dave Hunt, sounds and music Kaffe Matthews, underwater projections Kristian Buus. With so many thanks to all. I’m now looking for the next empty lock. Any happening in your neighbourhood?
Thursday 2nd February
February 2nd, 2017
It will be great to see you
Monday 30th January
January 30th, 2017
Great weekend locked in canalwater sounds, locks filling and emptying. The piece I’m making for the St Pancras Open Lock Weekend uses the sounds and time that it takes for that lock to fill and empty, passing from raging swirling noise underwater to sudden calm. So apart from the St Pancras lock itself, I’m using the deepest canal on the Grand Union at oh so Denham Deep, and the Soulbury Lock where I met the aforementioned Horse Engine. The Milton Keynes choir also hover amongst the detritus, with choir collaborator Craig McCleish floating skywards on the ‘Widewater’ solo. The piece also has a title, ‘ in locking’. Hoping to see you. DETAILS
Friday January 20th
January 20th, 2017
The studio resonates with the bass frequencies of the horse engine. A diesel powered brute of a thing that was the first engine used on canal boats after horses. I heard it before I saw it on my 86 mile canal walk up the Grand Union at the Marsworth locks. You can read about our meeting at the bottom of this page here... ha yes. In the empty St Pancras lock on the 4th, it’ll shake that chamber. Good to be revisiting this material for a totally different context and three part composition inc. brand new interferences. Further detail on that to follow, but the title is sure.. ” in locking “.. And the performance is on Sat 4th, inside St Pancras lock (empty), at 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30pm. Each part around 20mins. Come warmly dressed, without rain.
(The 86 mile canal walk I refer to was research for 43 audio channel installation, The lock shift songs)
Friday January 13th
January 13th, 2017
Farewell DAT. What a detailed and delicious sound did DAT record –
[ note that the sweet seduction of Genelecs is not involved here, I’m listening through some brutally dry, though winning their way with me KRK Rokit 6’s.]
Shameless records want to make a vinyl release of some early work, so it’s been a good reason to finally digitise and listen to the 100’s of tapes I have stored. The bad news is that both studio DAT machines have suddenely died. Yes. Neither repairable via optimistic You Tube instructions or pals and professionals in the trade. However, today, my kindest of neighbours announced that though sticky, her Tascam DA-P1 is still in action, so I’m back to the task. Apart from being amazed at the details of what was going through my head while playing all those years ago when I now I can’t always remember what happened last week, I’m reminded of the SOUND of DAT and how much more open and detailed a sound it documents and plays. For example, I’ve just been dumping a live show recorded by Radio 3’s Mixing It for the opening of the Baltic, Gateshead in 2002, remembering that part of this performance’s music was then mastered for a CD release. The opening theremin-sampled-LiSa-processed lines are super high in frequency, but here on the DAT they veritably sparkle. From computer and worse still on CD they comparatively flat and brutal. Associated memory no.2 is the mastering of my first CD, cd Ann in Walthamstow and cycling home across Hackney marshes, heart quite flattened at the realisation that the true music with all its detail can not be presented on CD.
[ note no.2 KM – good though to have this recollection now if new CD release.. cd GG is on the way this spring, no?]