Thursday 2nd June

June 2nd, 2017

Edit time. This piece has a linear narrative, a beginning and an end, and I want riders to find and follow it.  So, the alternative routes to the canal and  frills on the edges need to go. There’ll be one short cut, a choice of 2 routes home, and the option on some extra moments around Smithfield. It’s around 50 mins long. Simple.

(Note. Start of piece is yellow central spot and follows the intended 15th May route)


Wednesday 1st June

June 1st, 2017

Had the great fortune to be able re-record Mia at the fabulous Camden Recording Studio last night, so today has been spent editing and mastering what we did and slipping the results back into the score. Rain Rain so I can’t test till tomorrow. Super interested to hear the difference as the vocal is recorded much closer and softer so v.different in feel. Working with spoken voice, mixing it into the music and sitting it on the streets so that it works just so of course KM is a bigger job than anticipated.  Time before opening rushing away. Many thanks Connor Brady for support.


Tuesday 30th May

May 30th, 2017



Yes. We have an instrument that works. I loaded sounds and map onto the pi, set off and ping. Every sound file played where it should, for the duration that it should and with the added unpredictable combination bonuses of street riding.  To be reminded that the years of developing this system has created such a solid system is good.  Great stuff BRI. Now the fun can begin..



Monday 29th May

May 29th, 2017


Fantastic weekend trawling through Mia recordings and my compositions and starting to map the shape of them across the city. With rain lashing Irish style outside, it seemed OK not to be out on the bike testintesting, my own words ringing in my ears… ” you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s out on the bike and you’re moving with it! ”  – but there’s a new situation here.  I’ve decided to work with a writer, and I found and asked Mia Gallagher and she suggested Hellfire as a place to start and within 100 pages, I’d decided this was the story to work with.  Largely as it’s about a girl growing up in Dublin and how she gets introduced and addicted to heroin. And how easy that is, and how poverty is so tied up with that, and overall reveals this layer, prevalent everywhere that we either ignore or associate with bad or sick people.  Addiction. We all have them. Why are drugs like coffee and alcohol and facebook OK and encouraged and a heroin addict is a junkie and therefore a failure? (check this article from Irish Times)

Mia’s story is based on years of workshops with ex-offenders and homeless, many of whom also had drug related offences, and their stories feed into the voice of Lucy Dolan, the central character in Hellfire. And it’s a gritty read and fast. So the music I’ve made is rhythmic and noisy, in factproces as well as slowly shifting layers of shifting beatings with theELKA.

I’ve mapped a lengthy route,  which does not, I realise now, bring in the prettiest parts of Dub at all.  As ever it’s about ease of navigation to and from Science Gallery combined with the intense city centre roadworks as well as the places I want to include. And then there’s the narrative. Not only the spoken voice telling a local story on the changing streets, but a linear narrative I want to use and follow.  Now that I’ve mapped it across the city, it’s obvious which sections I can lose. Plus I’ve got the text for the beginning. Different to the one I thought I’d use back in the studio. Progress. Tomorrow we’re on the bike.


Friday 26th May

May 26th, 2017


Sonic bikes arrived safe at Science Gallery. Good to be here. Now the work can really commence. Spent yesterday recording Mia, so the sound and rhythm of it is already coming to life. Have also realised the quantity of text I’d selected, so there’ll be a further edit. Of course, once I’ve started to spread it through the streets, this’ll be clear, I suspect.

I’m also confirming with myself that there will be a fixed route to ride as there is a linear narrative I want to reveal. In effect, it’s the guts of the story without the detail. ie. how someone can so easily become addicted to heroin.

Positive action has been going on here. CHECK this.



Tuesday 23rd May

May 23rd, 2017


Six of the team are ready and packed for Dublin. Six sonic bikes and mute Lee to accompany. Looking forward to spreading the music made, now sitting in the machine, onto the streets there. Also to hearing Hellfire come to life through Mia. There’s quite a story to tell.



Monday 22nd May

May 22nd, 2017


BRI breakfast time, lithium battery charging on the sonic bike back up kit.  Time now to check and pack all tech. The sonic bike team hasn’t been used since Animals March 2015 and inbetween I’ve been teaching bicrophonics and making sensory bikes in Berlin. So as well as a rewind in compositional approaches, there’s also the other tech-head which simply means ensuring I have the right systems for the pi2’s.  Everything is stored and labelled and on testing boots and shouts sonic bikes are loading at just the right moment, so currently, we’re on track.


Also a good weekend in the studio which found further Elka discoveries which I’ve had to record. (..  shame she’s so untransportable, or do I just need a roady as someone said?.. )  and there’s been clear thought with the editing knife sharp.  Hellfire is also slimmed to 37 extracts which Mia is delighted with. Apparently I’ve found the guts behind the story.


Friday 19th May

May 19th, 2017

I’m completing Hellfire and the tempo has changed. Lucy Dolan has invisibly slipped ta banging rather than smoking heroin. The change has occurred as invisibly as the transformation of a pitch in a Radigue composition.

In the studio I’ve been finding the Elka pitches that make the right beatings. The ones that make the atmospheres I think we need. It’s fascinating stuff. I’m a total novice in understanding the mathematical precisions of pitch combinations and how to arrive and leave them too.  In complete contrast, I’m finding the songs Lucy hears, (Lou Reed, the Doors, Kajagoogoo, Middle of the Road, 70’s joy ha) and surprise, make some great stuff with LiSa, glitched up cuts & beats & long back loops, shitty noise and lusciously sensuous. It’s yes great. Haven’t done this in 15 years.

So. Friday already and there’s a mountain of material with much to chuck out and much more still to make. I’m also to confirm the text extracts I want Mia to read next Thursday in Dublin. She’s really up for it which is fantastic.

Time then for clarity, construction and the knife. A good weekend a-coming

Monday 15th May

May 15th, 2017

I’m back in the studio, the sounds of Dublin and Hellfire swarming through me.  The city and story are both noisy and crowded and the roadworks and one way systems everywhere make cycling sometimes wobbly.  I also want to include the southside Georgian architecture, multi coloured front doors, the canal including the graffiti-ed garage doors close to the path before the glinting limes,  the cobbled street under the bridge through to capital dockland high-ride globalised glass surfaced architecture, bankers lunching, the Samuel Beckett bridge and wind and whiff off the sea as you cross the Liffey and turn left to roll along past the Emmigration museum, the famine statues and Customs house, crossing the Liffey again over the Rosie Hackett bridge, and then up O’Connell St, the Dublin spire beaming, and round Parnell Sq, down Dorset St, left down Capel, over bridge again..(we cross the Liffey 4 times), left at the Council house, along Dame and then right at Trinity St to wriggle down Wicklow to Nassau and back into the Science gallery through the Trinity campus. This last bit is fraught with roadworks and the luas(tram) line build, but avoids the grimmer situation along Pearse St and College Green and I think is legal on the one ways.

And all this in effect creates this rolling stage. Context. Sonic landscape for composition. So Kaffe, welcome the restrictions, or rather, please find more.




Thursday 11th May – Day three recce Dublin

May 11th, 2017


Cycling in Dublin is not straightforward but the city centre is further complicated with a rebuilding of the luas (tram) lines, plus frequent wide tourist buses with drivers not liking bicycles.



However, the variety of spaces still fascinate and with Lucy Dolan’s voice (central figure Hellfire) shouting in my head it’s great.



Thinking now the piece could be a suite of chapters, cyclable as one long ride or stand alone rides for different visits. In fact I’m hearing the piece as one composition, the ELKA primary audio source along with Mia’s voice. There could even be an album. Sun is also away today and we get the good old Dublin mizzle, so yes reality check day, which of course is perfect.