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?]
Monday January 9th
January 9th, 2017
Sharks flew at Turner Contemporary yesterday afternoon. Thank you super audience including great comment… “I’ve grown six new ears”. Really good to play and discuss shark and music making approaches at the east English seaside. That aroma just doesn’t change.
Saturday 7th January
January 7th, 2017
Visiting St Pancras lock to record the sound and time the volume change of the water that passes through as the lock empties and fills. It’s a recce and gathering of material for Saturday 4th February when I’ll be performing, apparently the first of its kind gig-in-a-lock, this new immersive composition commissioned by the Canal & Rivers Trust, produced by Bill Gee. Good to revisit landscape change through journeys of canals and all that lives within them, remembering The lock shift songs of 2014.
Note the lock will be empty and you the audience and I will be in the bottom of this unique acoustic space, underwater shot projections alongside. There’ll be 3 performances from 6.30pm. All FREE but suggest booking.. Details to follow.
Wednesday January 4th 2017
January 5th, 2017
Delighted to be back in the studio shaping with sharks for performance at Turner Contemporary this weekend. It’s free and starts at 14.30h. Hope to see you. DETAILS.
Sunday January 1st 2017
January 1st, 2017
This New Year starts with a bang. New and old friends holding and lighting explosives that shoot into the sky from paper and cardboard packages carefully made then gone swoosh in a moment. The Noise is huge and glorious. Reflecting and joining and echoing the multiple moments of action all around. This year 17 needs more than hope. It needs activation.
Friday December 30th
December 31st, 2016
It’s very simple. This year I have rediscovered the space I need to be in to make music. To actually play music. Not the intellectual composition space, but the live listening same time playing space. It’s simply a focus and concentration that I used to dive into daily for 3 or 4 hours in the studio. Work ideas, shoot off on journeys. I haven’t been here for a long time, and it’s only truly come back this month. This December. At first in flashes, and these last weeks, in long chunks. It’s good to be back here as stereo music, on stage performance and album making seem relevant again. 2017 should even see cd GG.
However, the maybe more important discovery is the realization that social media seems to have so invaded my being as to distract, prevent and disable me from getting into this space. Or rather in my attempt to manage it, so I have let it. Conclusion, however this has happened, I’m unable to deal with social media, namely Facebook, which I also completely distrust and don’t like the fact that I have been duped into using anyway. Time Eater that it is. So, as soon as possible I shall be coming off it. Watch this space.