utorak, 15. siječnja 2013.

Monty Adkins - Four Shibusa (2012)




Klarinet i elektronika.
Jednostavnost i tekstura slojeva svakodnevne nesavršenosti.

four shibusa : monty adkins : pip dickens na Vimeu

entangled symmetries 

permutations

www.montyadkins.com/








Four Shibusa is a haunting and moving album that moves seamlessly between the clarinets of Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche and exquisitely crafted electronic soundworlds. This studio album is the result of a year-long collaboration with the visual artist Pip Dickens and takes as its starting-point the Japanese concept of ‘shibusa’ – a term that describes the inherent simplicity and beauty in everyday objects. The surface simplicity of the music belies a real sophistication in sound design and meticulous balance between delicate evolving textures and melodic writing. Heard as a whole this is an enveloping musical tour de force. - www.montyadkins.com/

In my 2011 Best Albums of the Year list, in third place was an album that remains one of the best examples of ambient music i’ve had the pleasure to hear: Monty AdkinsFragile.Flicker.Fragment. Describing it as ‘ambient’ is, in some ways, to do it a disservice, as—unlike most deliberately ambient music—it’s a lot more than just that. i described it then as “ambient by accident”, & the same could be said for Adkins’ latest album, Four Shibusa, released on the excellent label Audiobulb Records earlier this year.
The term ‘shibusa‘ is Japanese, & connotes the qualities of a distinct aesthetic outlook emphasising characteristics that Adkins summarises as “simplicity, implicitness, modesty, tranquillity, naturalness, normalcy & imperfection”. The four works presented here were part of a project in collaboration with artist Pip Dickens, in which she & Adkins created an exhibition of work, Shibusa—Extracting Beauty, reflecting upon & exploring aspects of the other’s art form. In the exhibition’s accompanying book, Adkins outlines “four fundamental models” that formed the basis of their work:
the smudging & blushing of colours & motifs into one another […];
the layering of different patterns on top of one another & allowing certain aspects of one or another layer to come to the fore at determined points;
repetitive patterns that are imperfect & are interrupted […]; the repetition here is not always exact, reflecting the human hand rather than the use of the machine […];
interlocking linear motifs that are clear in their group trajectory but remain independent lines.

Interestingly, a visual parallel in Adkins’ music is felt even before material has been created; limits are established at the outset—what Adkins fittingly calls a “frame”—that begin to define the balance & shape of a composition at its inception. Duration is similarly predetermined; Adkins divides the seven characteristics mentioned above into two groups of four & three, & the 3:4 ratio—or, rather, its lowest whole number ratio, 9:12—is used to derive the length of the four works, two pairs of roughly 9 & 12 minutes’ duration respectively.
The first piece, ‘Sendai Threnody’, takes its point of inspiration from an “interweaving ribbon-like motif” featured in Pip Dickens’ work (see left). Adkins mirrors this in an elaborate network of superimposed clarinet lines, lines that are improvised & entirely independent of each other. The intervals of a third & fourth (& their inversions) supposedly govern these lines, yet this projects much less strongly than the overall harmonic sense, which is unified around a pronounced tonic (G). The wistful spontaneity of the melodic lines over this static, drone-like harmony is a stimulating combination, mobile & at rest simultaneously, & just occasionally garnished with electronic touches that colour the texture & gently expand its scope. The 3:4 relationship manifests itself throughout ‘Entangled Symmetries’, primarily heard as the interval of a perfect fourth (4:3), but also as a means for subdividing the piece internally & influencing its density. While that sounds as though the compositional thought is straying dangerously far from the characteristics of shibusa, the resultant music displays no overt complexity at all. If anything, it’s more static than its predecessor, heard as a telling essay in slow, drifting ambience, the clarinet a miniature roaming entity caught in its softly shimmering field.
The third shibusa, ‘Kyoto Roughcut’, is the longest, divided into two broad sections (in the ratio 4:3). The first, which Adkins describes as “characterised by interruptions of linear trajectories & the continual ‘smudging’ or ‘blushing’ of one gesture into another”, is profoundly spare, the clarinet barely moving within a claustrophobic space occupied by drawn-out, bell-like resonances. The electronics tickle the edges of this austerity, but it’s not until the second section that they develop; when they do, the music erupts in a rich, swirling miasma of transfixed noise & colour. It’s a glorious episode, & one can see why the clarinet can only fall silent in response. The final piece is aptly summarised by its title, ‘Permutations’. Here, with the ribbon idea again in mind, Adkins draws on the principles of change ringing to rework a six-note motif. While the clarinet solemnly moves through its melodic changes (using the basic ‘plain hunt’ pattern), Adkins cushions it in reverb that evolves into a shining corona; in this sense, it’s by far the simplest piece of the four, yet matched by a complexity of its inner workings that aligns closely with the connotations & models of shibusa previously outlined, even more so as Adkins deliberately renders part of the permutations imperfectly; the piece thereby reflects “both the idea of ‘imperfection’ in shibui objects & also the notion of complexity in simplicity”.
The Four Shibusa are magical, jewel-like creations, sounding new & different on each listening. As one would expect from Adkins, they’re all utterly gorgeous (& no little credit must go to clarinettists Heather Roche & Jonathan Sage), but quite apart from that, they draw one in in a fascinating & curious way, one that seems to invite active reflection in the midst of repose. It blurs the distinction between the conventions of both electroacoustic & ambient music, & in so doing, transcends them both. - 5against4.com/

 When I first read the title of Monty Adkins' latest album, "Four Shibusa" , I imagined a Shibusa would probably 
 be some kind of exotic Japanese wind instrument. I was wrong: it turns out 'Shibusa' is a japanese concept 
 'describing the inherent simplicity and beauty in everyday objects'.
 (Shibusa) "refers to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty, and can apply to a wide 
 variety of subjects, not just art or fashion".
 Shibui objects appear to be simple overall but they include subtle details, such as textures, that balance simplicity 
 with complexity. This balance of simplicity and complexity ensures that one does not tire of a shibui object but 
 constantly finds new meanings and enriched beauty that cause its aesthetic value to grow over the years. 
 Shibui objects are not necessarily imperfect or asymmetrical, though they can include these qualities. Shibusa 
 walks a fine line between contrasting aesthetic concepts such as elegant and rough or spontaneous and 
 restrained. (Wikipedia - Shibui)
 This description strikingly seems to apply to what most 'ambient' music tries to achieve...so there's a good start 
 for further investigation!
 My 'wind instrument' guess wasn't very far beyond the truth: the album opens with a strikingly beautiful clarinet 
 duet, performed by Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche. The moment they start playing, it feels as if the surrounding 
 world fades to the background, creating the right environment for the listener to focus on 'the beauty of everyday 
 objects'.
 It takes a while before Adkin's electronic details subtly start to shadow the clarinet parts. But his electronic 
 details never seem to take over centre stage: they seem to be just there to support the haunting clarinet parts.
 And the Shibusa concept.
 "More recently Monty Adkins' work has become increasingly minimal and introspective. this work focuses on 
 encouraging a deeper immersive listening experience. working with a reduced sonic palette the new works draw 
 together elements from ambient, minimal electronica, acousmatic (sound one hears without seeing an originating 
 cause) and experimental electronic music."
 The description of Shibusa perfectly matches the four tracks on this album, remaining true to this concept from 
 the first to the very last note. Subtle details, balancing simplicity with complexity, sounds you never tire of listening 
 to...."Four Shibusa " presents a perfect match of form and content. I hate to use this reviewer's cliché, but this is 
 definitely one of the most beautiful albums I've have heard in a long time! - AMBIENT BLOG

 Four Shibusa is Monty Adkins’ latest release for the Sheffield-based Audiobulb label, and it may well be his 
 finest yet. The artist has been working in the electroacoustic music field for some time now, and is in fact a 
 professor at England’s University of Huddersfield. His previous album, Fragile.Flicker.Fragment (2011) was 
 pretty incredible. In fact, it has been nominated in the ‘album of the year’ category at the 2012 Qwartz Awards, 
 Paris. As good as that recording was however, Four Shibusa is even more impressive.
 As the title indicates, the disc contains four tracks, or Shibusa. The word “shibusa” is Japanese in origin, and 
 describes the inherent simplicity and beauty in everyday objects. It is the perfect conceptual starting point for
 these pieces, which are the result of a year-long collaboration with the visual artist Pop Dickens that Monty 
 Adkins has been involved in.
 For those who may be unfamiliar with the term “electroacoustic music,” it is somewhat broad, and covers a 
 wide range of sound experimentation. Some of the forms include musique concrete, computer music, tape 
 music, basically electronic music of all sorts. Unlike last year’s Fragile.Flicker.Fragment however, Professor 
 Adkins has included a great deal of traditional instrumentation in the music of Four Shibusa. The results are 
 spellbinding.
 The most notable addition to Monty’s musical palette are the clarinets of Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche. 
 There can be something especially lonely about the sound of the clarinet, and this quality is utilized to great 
 effect in throughout. “Sendai Threnody” (9:00) opens Four Shibusa on a soothing and somewhat contemplative 
 note. The clarinet tones provide a perfect compliment to Monty’s atmospheric bed of sound here. It is a 
 marvelous combination.
 “Entangled Symmetries” (11:01) is next, and here the clarinets take something of a backseat to the electronic
 ambience Monty creates. I first happened upon the Audiobulb label in a quest to find new sources for 
 electronic, and in particular, ambient music. Fragile, Flicker, Fragment was an exceptionally brilliant 
 discovery. With “Entangled Symmetries,” Monty again pursues this avenue, but his work is never predictable. 
 While the piece is for the most part quite soothing, he adds a few left-of-center moments (which almost sound
 like static), just to keep us on our toes.
 If I were forced to choose a favorite track of the Four Shibusa, it would be the third, “Kyoto Roughcut” 
 (14:35). While the ambient electroacoustic mood is continued, the blend achieved by Monty Adkins, Heather 
 Roche, and Jonathan Sage on this composition is otherworldly. Monty’s electronics are front and center, but
 the quiet, soothing mood of “Entangled Symmetries” has been upended this time around. There is much more 
 of a “tale” being told here, with a very definite beginning, middle, and end.
 The most prominent use of the clarinets are as bookends during this piece. The “middle” (if you will) is where
 Professor Adkins’ machines are most prominent, taking the listener on an adventure that is at once dark, and
 exhilarating. One of the recurring motifs (to these ears at least) is of water. The gentle give and take,
 especially towards the end, are very effective, almost like the waves of the ocean. This is a most illuminating
 piece of music in every way.
 I mentioned the use of clarinets as bookends during “Kyoto Roughcut,” and that characterization applies to the
 programming of Four Shibusa as a whole as well. During the final “Permutations” (8:30), much like the opening
 “Sendai Threnody,” they are utilized much more significantly than on “Entangled Symmetries,” and “Kyoto 
 Roughcut.” Monty’s more ambient use of electronics to provide the most advantageous atmosphere for the 
 woodwinds here strikes the perfect balance.
 The Audiobulb label is dedicated to “exploratory electronic music,” and Monty Adkins is a master of the form. 
 Adding clarinets to his music certainly takes things in new directions, although it is still quite recognizable. 
 Many elements come into play besides what one might consider the “soothing” ambient tones as well. Monty 
 Adkins has developed one of the most unique and compelling albums I have heard this year. For more 
 information, check out the Audiobulb site. - BLOG CRITICS
 
 What's one way to immediately catch your listener's attention and distinguish your work from that of other 
 composers? An arresting choice of instrumentation is certainly one way of going about it, and it's something 
 Monty Adkins knows all too well, based on the evidence of his latest full-length collection Four Shibusa. The 
 clarinet playing of Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche is, in fact, the first sound one hears, and consequently the 
 listener's attention is engaged from the album's outset. And though the Japanese term ‘shibusa' refers to the 
 fundamental simplicity and beauty in everyday objects, the music on the forty-four-minute recording isn't so 
 minimal that it features clarinet playing only, no matter how prominently Sage and Roche are featured. That's 
 because Adkins embeds their playing within four settings whose arrangements constitute fully formed electronic 
 soundworlds of generally restrained character yet nevertheless sophisticated design.
 In keeping with its title, “Sendai Threnody” is mournful in tone, with the clarinets weaving in and around one 
 another, sometimes separately and at other times in unison as they make their way slowly through terrain that's 
 so understated it at times seems to vanish altogether. Meditative, too, is “Entangled Symmetries,” which shifts the
 focus entirely to electronic sounds while still generating an atmosphere of melancholy, even supplication, during 
 its eleven-minute running time. The third setting, “Kyoto Roughcut,” establishes a balance between woodwinds 
 and electronics, with both sounds equally integral to the gradual expansion of sound as the material undertakes 
 measured steps towards a climax. The closing piece, “Permutations,” again positions the clarinet at the forefront, 
 this time with shimmering and ethereal electronics as a backdrop, while staying true to the overall meditative
 character of the album as a whole. Here and elsewhere, the clarinetists don't solo in any free-flowing, 
 improvisatory sense but instead produce long tones that blend naturally with the backgrounds. 
 Adkins, who was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, smartly modulates the balance between sounds 
 from one setting to the next, thereby generating contrast and keeping the listener involved. Four Shibusa 
 continues on in the direction he has pursued in recent years and that was recently captured on his 2011 
 Audiobulb release fragile.flicker.fragment, specifically one focusing on minimalism and immersive listening and 
 drawing upon ambient, electro-acoustic, and experimental electronic music As a result, one could just as easily 
 imagine seeing Adkins material issued on Hypnos and Palace of Lights as much as Audiobulb. -  TEXTURA 
 
 Over the course of his career, which spans over nigh on twenty years, British composer and sound artist Monty
 Adkins has progressively stripped down his sonic spaces to now work with an extremely restricted palette 
 from which he draws deeply atmospheric minimal compositions. His work has led him to create music for art
 installations and answer commissions from choreographer Wayne McGregor, the Huddersfield Contemporary 
 Music Festival or the prestigious INA-GRM in Paris. He has also collaborated with a vast number of artists, 
 including AGF, Mira Calix, Vladislav Delay, Tim Hecker, Robin Rimbaud or Christian Fennesz, and has released 
 five solo albums.
 Four Shibusa is the result of a year-long collaboration with long-term friend and visual artist Pip Dickens, based
 on the Japanese principles of ‘shibusa’, which focuses on simple, beautiful aesthetic in everyday objects. This 
 clean approach however often hides a high level of sophistication, a description which suits Adkins’s work 
 rather well. Both Adkins and Dickens have been partly influenced by elements of Japanese culture, so this 
 project, which also encompassed an exhibitions of Dickens’s paintings inspired by the time she spent doing 
 some research in Kyoto last year, and a book, Shibusa – Extracting Beauty, published by The University Of 
 Huddersfield Press, appears as a natural evolution in both their careers.
 Musically, Four Shibusa is extremely stripped down and minimal. Adkins’s slow progressive soundscapes 
 remain for the most part simple textural backdrops over which clarinetists Heather Roche and Jonathan Sage 
 build a series of refined motifs, at times taking it in turn to lead, at others harmonising or circling around each 
 other as if they were observing each other’s movements. On occasions, Adkins appears to withdraw almost 
 entirely to let them take control of a piece for at least part of it. Yet, even in those moment, his presence remains 
 palpable.
 There is a strong sonic continuity through the whole record as Adkins keeps the focus on his deeply 
 atmospheric soundscapes, at times crossed by tiny bursts of bubbling statics, ghostly found sounds or 
 occasional richer tones. All four tracks, while existing individually from each other, are intricately linked and 
 stem from the same sound pool as Adkins carries most of his rarefied components from Sendai Threnody to 
 the dying moments of Permutations. Equally, Heather Roche and Jonathan Sage appear on all four tracks, but
 like Adkins’s, their presence ebbs and flows as to provide greater depth and fluidity. It is their two clarinet 
 which opens proceedings here, and for a while, they continue to echo each other as Adkins remains extremely 
 discreet for almost half of the piece. Their contributions, like that of Adkins, remains sonically pretty consistent 
 through the entire record, the only clear alteration being regular shifts of register. More than a great variety of 
 sounds, this album relies of the multitude of combinations between Adkins’s electronic textures and the two 
 clarinets to create a vibrant space.
 Monty Adkins’s second offering for Audiobulb is a somewhat sparse yet haunting and dense soundtrack 
 which, like shibusa itself, aims at simple, beautiful sonic structures. Repeat listens however reveal fascinating 
 details – found sounds, particular interaction between instruments – which give this record its inherent depth.
 THE MILK FACTORY

 Following 'Fragile.Flicker.Fragment' (see Vital Weekly 768) this is the second album of Monty Adkins on Audiobulb. 
 Its quite a break from that album, not how things work out, but more in terms of approach. Whereas 'Fragile.Flicker.
 Fragment' was made with a variety of sound sources (music box, guitar, violin), here its just two clarinets, played 
 by Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche, and Adkins doing his thing on the computer - me thinks.
 It also involves the work of visual artist Pip Dickens, who created the images on the cover. Sibusa refers to a 
 Japanese concept, 'a term that describes the inherent simplicity and beauty of everyday objects'. The music, four 
 parts, obviously I'd say,  are of a great simplicity too. Gliding scales of processed and unprocessed clarinet sounds
 of highly delicate music. It bridges the modern classical music of Phill Niblock and the computer warmth of Stephan 
 Mathieu, and moves away from the more microsounding music of the previous album. If that one was 12K-like, then 
 this new one is more Line-like, if you get my drift. From the two I think 'Four Sibusa' is the more accomplished one, 
 following a concept, exploring that and cutting away anything he seems unnecessary. Quite a refined record, a 
 major leap forward. - VITAL WEEKLY

 The four long, calm, flying pieces change so slickly between the two Medias (clarinet and electronics) that rarely 
 one hears a transition. An almost oppressive painfulness lies over this suite, within which the elegant melodic and 
 harmonic material achieves a unity that never sounds sentimental: an apparent simplicity that really impressed. - DEBUG 



fragile.flicker.fragment (2011)

fragile.flicker.fragment is a group of works developed alongside the visual artwork of Pip Dickens and the Brass Art collective.

streaming ulomka
streaming at last.fm

When Professor Monty Adkins is not teaching music students at England’s University of Huddersfield, he is researching and recording sounds in many different formats. He describes his latest release, 2011's Fragile.Flicker.Fragment (Audiobulb), as “Slow shifting organic instrumental and concrete soundscapes.” He is part of a fascinating group of musical pioneers in electroacoustic music.
The term “electroacoustic music” is somewhat broad as it covers a wide range of sound experimentation. Some of the forms include musique concrete, computer music, tape music — basically electronic music of all sorts. It is no surprise that he is recording for Audiobulb, who are dedicated to “exploratory electronic music.” Although Adkins has released a number of solo recordings and has appeared on quite a few compilations, Fragile.Flicker.Fragment is his first effort for the label.
In his official biography Adkins explains the various strands of the movement he has explored over the years. For the purposes of this review, the following quote is particularly illuminating: “Recently the work has become increasingly minimal and introspective. This work focuses on encouraging a deeper immersive listening experience. Working with a reduced sonic palette, the new works draw together elements from ambient, minimal electronica, acousmatic and experimental electronic music.”
The emphasis on the intellectual side of things is understandable for a professor, but I think it also tends to alienate the “average” listener such as myself. It is one thing to understand the conceptual framework of these tracks, but in the end one does not need to be a musicologist to enjoy this recording. I knew next to nothing about Professor Adkins before listening to Fragile.Flicker.Fragment, and it did not matter in the least. For the most part, the nine tracks fall into the ambient minimalism category, with some notable exceptions.
The disc opens up with “Memory Box,” a very inviting piece utilizing what sounds like “tubular bells“ to me. I actually have no idea as to what specific instruments were used on the album or whether it was created entirely electronically, so I can only describe what I hear. The moods created by Adkins are what count, and they are varied, and often quite beautiful. “Remnant” evokes an air of mystery, where “Ode” is probably the most raucous track.
The most experimental piece is quite appropriately titled “Torn Mosaic.” This is by far the longest track on the disc, clocking in a 11:30. Adkins pulls out all the stops here, beginning with some very “futuristic” tones, underscored by a nice, very ambient bed of sound. Following this portion, we hear the intriguing tones of an of instrument that sounds very much like a harmonium. The ending is a long, low drone, sprinkled with intermittent flourishes. I must say that I found “Torn Mosaic” to be a very impressive sound-sculpture.
The ninth and final track, “Memory Etching,” is also quite experimental in nature, although not quite as long or involved as “Torn Mosaic.” As with all of the Audiobulb releases, detailed information is available on their website, as well as ordering options. Monty Adkins’ second Audiobulb recording, titled Four Shibusa, is set for release in April, and is one I am highly anticipating.- blogcritics.org/

After reading music at Cambridge University, specializing in French medieval and Italian Renaissance music, Monty Adkins became interested in electronic and electro-acoustic music and went on to become a member of the Birmingham Electro-acoustic Sound Theatre, a formation attached to the music department at the University of Birmingham. This led him to work on very diverse projects, from sound installations and scoring for a contemporary dance piece to curating a project for INA-GRM to celebrate the work of Pierre Schaefer, the man widely regarded as the father of musique concrète.
Adkins’s last record, Five Panels, recorded with bass guitarist Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, was inspired by the paintings of Mark Rothko. Equally, his latest opus finds its source in the work of London-based painter Pip Dickens and that of Brass Art, a collective of artists based in Manchester (Chara Lewis), Huddersfield (Kristin Mojsiewicz) and Glasgow (Anneke Pettican). While Adkins plays a range of instruments here (clarinet, electric guitar, accordion and organ), and also provide vocal inputs, the album features contributions from Lisa Colton (viol) and Tremblay (music box). These acoustic sources are then processed into wonderfully fluid ambient pieces which often feel extremely dreamy.
Memory Box opens this album with delicate music box motifs which appear to progressively be echoed in much subdued form in the backdrop, with additional field recordings dropped in to add glitches and texture. This is also how Adkins choses to close the album, but, if anything, the mood is even more subdued and ethereal on Memory Etching, with the music box notes becoming as light and clear as raindrops. In between, Adkins creates a splendid series of varied soundscapes which develop into sumptuous pieces, ranging from the lush and vaporous Etched In Air or Remnant, which both sound like psychedelic electronic endeavours as heard through a thick hallucinogenic haze, slowed down to a point of near immobility. While the sound sources are virtually unidentifiable in these two pieces, Suspended Edges reveals its core component, an organ, from the start and continues to build on its warm and rounded sounds. Elsewhere, the sound sources are even more obvious. The music box makes another appearance on First Snow, but here, the sounds are treated and looped into tight sequences and pressed into a much more confined space, scintillating brightly, albeit somewhat briefly. An accordion gently swells on the spiralling Ode, and viol on the moody Torn Mosaic, Lisa Colton providing a series of suitably mournful motifs which Adkins fragments or expands, adding occasional earthy found sounds.
All throughout, Monty Adkins create extremely delicate miniature structures which, as the album title indicates, appear to flicker constantly, like tiny beacons of light in the night, their refined forms developing in the most fluid fashion. Adkins processes his sound sources with great care, placing them as to get the best out of every single one of them.- www.themilkfactory.co.uk/

UK-based electronic producer Monty Adkins primarily creates slow-shifting ambient soundscapes that incorporate organic instrumental textures, and this latest album ‘Fragile.Flicker.Fragment’ follows on from his 2009 collection ‘Five Panels’, which received a nomination in last year’s Qwartz Awards. In this case, the nine expansive beatless tracks collected here see Adkins drawing inspiration from a series of paintings by visual collaborator Pip Dickens, and indeed there’s certainly a highly visual / cinematic quality to the music here, as well as an exquisite level of attention to detail regarding overall sound design. Opening track ‘Memory Box’ introduces the dreamily blurred aesthetic that colours much of this album as glistening, icicle-like melodic tones glimmer against a swirling backdrop of pitch-shifted drones, the sense of tentative wonder recalling SubtractiveLAD’s ambient explorations even as moodier bass tones and fluttering glitchy textures begin to creep into the undergrowth.
By comparison, ‘Etched In Air’ sees a droning backdrop of vocal harmonics stretching off into the horizon as crackling broken electronic detritus and more ominous bass undertones slowly begin to gather pace against the more wide-eyed atmospheres, in what’s easily one of the darker tracks to be found here, before ‘Suspended Edges’ takes things down into deep, subaquatic atmospheres, the occasional pulse of what sounds like air bubbles fluttering against a vast wall of refracting synth drones. ‘Ode’ meanwhile sees the emergence of relatively recognisable instrumental performances as rich, warm accordion tones glimmer and build against a widescreen swell of melodic drones and buzzing electronics, in a moment that pretty much begs for its own cinematic accompaniment. Gorgeously enveloping and meticulously crafted stuff that’s well worth investigating.- Chris Downton

  
 Five Panels (2008)

Five Panels is a series of abstract electronic pieces based on the paintings of Mark Rothko. The pieces seek to explore a limited palette of sounds focussing on their spatial and musical interplay rather than sound processing techniques. Each work is concerned with drawing the listener into the sonic environment rather than leading them through a gesture filled musical space. Each of the works is dedicated to a member of my family – somewhat like a sonic Polaroid.




[60]Project (2008)

In 2008 a number of festivals all over the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of musique concrète and the pioneering work of Pierre Schaeffer. When discussions first started with the Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Graham McKenzie to celebrate this anniversary, we quickly dismissed the idea of presenting a historical overview of ‘significant works’. What I wanted to do was to show how Schaeffer’s ideas were still important and relevant to sound artists and composers today who are working across a wide range of experimental electronic music.
From the outset of the [60]Project the involvement and the contribution of sound materials by over 60 of the world’s leading electronic composers and sound artists was essential. The response I received to my letter of invitation to take part in the project was overwhelming. During the early months of 2008 a steady stream of emails went back and forth across the globe as more and more sound artists, composers, laptop inprovisers and experimental turntablists accepted my invitiation to take part.
The [60]Project had two distinct pre-compositional stages. Each of the participants in the piece was initially asked to contribute one sound object or a short improvision on a sound. Nothing was prescribed as I wanted everyone to respond to the concept of the project in their own way. Each of these sounds were uploaded to an ftp site which acted as a repository for all of the material. For the second stage, I asked all of the participants to create a variety of sound treatments based on any of the initial material. This second stage produced some wonderful and unexpected sound fragments. Some decided to focus on a small number of sounds and develop short or in some cases extended phrases, whilst others set out to utilise all of the materials in a variety of imaginative means. These second stage sounds were again uploaded to the ftp site.
In July of 2008 I took all of the sound materials from both stage one and two to INA-GRM in Paris where the final work was assembled. I set myself the same limits that Francis Dhomont had done with his Frankenstein Symphony (1997) – another work made up of fragments by multiple composers. I allowed myself to cut and edit material to suit the compositional purpose and to layer material. A limited amount of transposition was used in order to facilitate the seamless transition from one section of material to another. At no point did I process any of the sounds further.
During the creation and mixing of the piece I was able to assemble imaginary ensembles of composers. Some of these are more obvious: Christian Fennesz duetting with Tim Hecker and then with eRikm, a vocal trio of AGF, Iris Garrelfs and Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratke. Other combinations were not so obvious: Andrew Lewis, Dror Fieler and Donnacha Dennehy, and Pedro Rebelo, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, David Toop and eRikm are just two such unusual groups.
Although the work flows in one continuous movement there are a number of discernible sections and subsections. Overall the work is in three parts each roughly 20 minutes. The first part comprises three movements made from abstract electronic and concrete sounds. The second part comprises concrete and anecdotal material and comprises two movements – a seascape and an urban soundscape. The third part provides a balance to the first and marks a return to ambient electronic and finally vocal sounds.




Mondes Inconnus (2006) 

Melt
This work initially grew out of my daily travels to the studio in Birmingham in from my home some twenty miles away. The work also draws on Turner’s painting 'Rain, Steam, and Speed' (1844) and by its very subject matter makes reference to Schaeffer’s early work the Etude aux Chemins de Fer. The quality of Turner’s later work that appeals most to me is the sense that more definable objects have been painted over, hard lines dissolved. There is a sense of implication and suggestion.
Melt is a poetic depiction of a train journey. The work is based on the mediation between extremes: i) smooth to pulsed motion ii) raw to processed sonic material. Melt draws upon all three levels of event-gesture: i) Raw recordings of trains, station announcements and station concourses ii) Synthetic materials which are modelled after the motion and characteristics of the raw source materials iii) Synthetic materials of a dream world.
Throughout the work, sounds of the real world melt/morph into their dream-world equivalent as a traveller lapses in and out of a daydream. All of the material employed in the work is unified spectromorphologically thus allowing for a high degree of integration between the differing event-gesture levels of sonic material.


Mapping
Mapping is a piece that depicts the slow evolution of a landscape. It leads the listener through unknown territory, arriving at landing points from time to time by means of transformed sounds whose origin is from the real world. The work unfolds structurally as material emerges and is incorporated into the musical construction. Some of the material is transformed throughout the work, while other parts remain unchanged, serving as points of reference as the piece evolves.


Aerial
Aerial is a sonic photograph of the hills and mountains that surround where I currently live in the north of England. The work is not an attempt to depict one particular location but a response to the landscape as a whole. Throughout the work the listener is lead through various vistas that are sonic equivalent of a camera zooming in and out. The work was written for the 20th Anniversary Concerts of the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre.

Deepfield
For many years the Hubble Space Telescope has been sending back to Earth images of astronomical events that stretch further and further back into the history of the universe. deepfield is a sonic exploration of these terrae incognitae – a world of violent explosions, extreme temperatures and velocities.
The structural model for the work are the most distant stars yet discovered - Quasars (quasi-stellar-astronomical-radio-source) - discovered in 1963. A quasar is an object of stellar appearance of exceptionally high luminoisty. The spectrum of a quasar exhibits emission lines that have very high redshifts. They are the nucleus of primordial galaxies at the centre of which is a huge black hole which is continually sucking in all surrounding gas.
The quasar accretes material in the form of a spiral faster than the speed of light. This material is subject to huge pressures as it collapses passing through the event horizon into a singularity – where an infinite mass occupies an infinitessimally small space.
Commissioned by Césaré, Studios de création musicale for the Planetarium of Reims, realised May 2000 at the Césaré Studios, Reims.

Cortex
Cortex is the first of a trilogy of pieces that explore the notions of identity in digital space drawing specifically from ideas in the writings of Isaac Asimov and William Gibson.
In Cortex we first hear the disembodied voice of a ‘cyber-innocent’ experiencing the rush of entering cyberspace for the first time followed by an initial burst of rhythmic excitement. At this stage the vocal samples are almost unadulterated. As the piece progresses, the ‘cyber-innocent’ accumulates information, viruses, and other digital detritus floating around cyberspace. This is reflected in the vocal samples becoming more and more distorted. By the end of the piece virtually all sonic traces of the original ‘cyber-innocent’ have vanished replaced by a newly constructed digital personality… an avatar… and so to the second part of the trilogy.
Cortex was commissioned by the GRM for the Présences Électronique Festival February 2005.




Neurotransmission (1997)



INTERVIEW: MONTY ADKINS Composing Layers

INTERVIEW: MONTY ADKINS Composing Layers

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With his latest album, British sound artist Monty Adkins has been finding inspiration in the painting of Pip Dickens and art collective Brass Art, an approach that already partly infused his previous record. Over the years, he has work on various installations, scored dance projects and curated projects for the legendary GRM in Paris. Here, we talk with him about working on a project celebrating the work of Pierre Schaeffer, looking for electronic music in the orchestral works of Ligeti and Saariaho and understanding the process used by Rothko and adapting it to his own work.
Monty, you read music in Cambridge, but how did you come to music in the first place? Do you come from a musical family?
No not at all. I have no idea how it happened! I remember, like everyone playing recorder at school. Then for my sixth birthday I remember my dad asking me if I wanted a bike or a clarinet. I opted for the clarinet because it sounded unusual and exotic. I also ended up being a choral scholar, which was a fantastic musical education in itself. It all started from there. I got more and more into all kinds of music. At the time my teacher thought that music ended in 1934 when Elgar, Delius and Holst all died. Being the kind of person I am, I took that as the beginning and set out to explore what came after. Our local library was quite large and the music librarian had moved down from the Royal Northern College of Music to look after her mother. She helped me get all kinds of wonderful music through interlibrary loan. I also had the good fortune to have a friend whose dad was into contemporary music. His dad was a law professor who gave summer school classes every year in Germany – near Darmstadt. One year in the late 1960s he was in a café and got talking to a stranger. They talked most of the afternoon about literature and music. This guy happened to be Ligeti who gave my friend’s dad an early box set of the Wergo releases including Ligeti’s Ramifications and Second String Quartet. By about 13 or 14 I was bringing home huge scores of Penderecki, Xenakis and Stockhausen. To say that I was obsessed would be an understatement.
You specialized in French medieval and Italian Renaissance music, which seems quite removed from what you do now. Is it something that influences your work in any way, and if yes, how?
In my last year at Cambridge I met Ambrose Field who was postgraduate student at that time. He’d introduced me to Denis Smalley, Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Schaeffer and a whole host of fantastic electronic composers. For me there was no going back. I knew I didn’t want to do instrumental composition anymore so chose something completely different. I thought my last year would be filling in time before I could go on and do electronic music – at that time there was only a very basic studio in Cambridge, and even though I asked, I couldn’t do electronic music for the final compositional portfolio. So, I studied French medieval music with Susan Rankin and Italian Renaissance music with Ian Fenlon. Although at first sight it might appear very different from what I’m doing now, I still feel a connection. I loved the unusual harmonies in early French music and the rhythmic organization of Italian music. I also found the sense of timelessness in early French music absolutely fascinating. Although these techniques don’t come through in any strict way I do freely use some of these ideas. Another important thing for me was how the Italian Renaissance composers were also preoccupied with science, art, literature and astronomy and thinking about them all as interlinking elements. I draw upon a lot of ideas when I’m making music. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I think I’d be a different composer without having studied this music.
What or who has influenced you as an artist over the years?
Where do I start? I strongly believe that in order to do something interesting you either need to know everything about your field or nothing. Knowing a little is a dangerous thing. I tend toward the former. I’ve always had a voracious appetite for music (apart from country and western – sorry!). When I was young my favourite composers were Ligeti and Saariaho – their ability to make an orchestra sound electronic, through creating wonderful long textures totally captivated me. Looking back, I was looking for electronic music all the time – coming from a non-musical family I had no idea where to look and this was the closest I came. Later on when I was studying in Birmingham I was really into the early GRM musique concrète composers -  Schaeffer, Parmegiani and Henry as well as Swedish composers like Ake Parmerud. In the past few years I’ve been listening to a lot of Alva Noto, Oren Ambarchi, Autistici, Nicolas Bernier, D’Incise, Entia Non, Christian Fennesz, Frode Haltli, Tim Hecker, Milleseconde Topographie, offthesky, Sebasitan Roux, Alexander Schubert/Sinebag, and John Wall to name but a few! Apart from music I’ve also been very influenced by visual arts. There have been many painters whose ideas and techniques have influenced my work, but one figure who is very important to me is the French artist Fred Deux – his drawings are phenomenal in their imagination and craft.
You were a member of the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST) for a while. Can you tell us more about the group and its work, and what impact it’s had on your solo work?
I joined BEAST straight after my studies at Cambridge. Jonty Harrison took a long-shot with me. There were plenty of composers around who had worked in good studios who wanted to work in Birmingham. I came along with one six-minute track made using two Revox tape machines and an SPX90 from samples of a recorder, a pneumatic drill and some environmental sounds. I had never worked with a computer, had no formal training in electronic music, just a lot of energy and a desire to learn. BEAST was more than just a group of post-graduates working in a University. Everyone there was totally committed and worked all hours. It was an extremely vibrant and stimulating place to be. What’s more, BEAST travelled internationally, presenting concerts in Salzburg, Paris and all over Europe and the UK. So not only did I get to visit loads of great places, It was also the first time I’d heard the work I really wanted to make played over a large sound diffusion system of over fifty speakers. I can honestly say that without BEAST I wouldn’t be where I am today.
In 1997, you were commissioned a piece for a dance project by Suffolk Dance. Did having to work with movement and choreography in mind force you to approach the way you worked on that particular project differently from other projects?
Neurotransmission was a great project to work on and one that started to point a different direction for me. I’d worked on a few shorter dance projects before this but nothing on this scale. Wayne McGregor and Random dance were fantastic people to work with. Watching Wayne work and build up the choreography on the body of the dancers was really insightful – you have ideas but adapt them depending on your dancers. For my work it was to be much the same – recording sounds and having an idea of what I would like to do with them but adapting to what they suggest in the studio. Much of my work previous to this had been really detailed and moved quite fast in terms of the turn over of material. I quickly realized that this wouldn’t work in a large theatre setting for over an hour. For me the project was an important learning experience – how much information can an audience take in, especially when they have lighting, dance and sound. As a result I tried things that I wouldn’t have done before. Some worked, some didn’t, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to try them out.
You have also worked on a couple of projects for the INA-GRM, the organization originally founded by musique concrète pioneer Pierre Schaeffer at the end of the 50s. How did you get involved with them, and can you tell us more about the projects you work on, especially [60]Projects, for which you collaborated with an impressive number of artists from around the world, from Mira Calix, Vladislav Delay, Christian Fennesz or Tim Hecker to Maja Ratkje, Janek Schafer, Douglas Benford, Scanner or David Toop to name only a few?
I’d done two projects for the Presences Electronique Festival run by Christian Zanesi before I did the [60]Project. Symbiont and Cortex were the two projects – both audiovisual pieces. Zanesi was interested in the way I was mixing drum’n’bass alongside musique concrete techniques. The performance of Cortex at the 2005 festival was one of the strangest I’ve done. There I was playing at the GRM on the acousmonium this hyper-fast beatbox/musique concrete hybrid. At the end there were equally loud cheers and boos – it was then that I realized how far you could push ‘acousmatic’ music before it tipped into being something else. I’m still straddling this boundary. I see INA-GRM as my musical heritage – I identify with the musique concrète approach to making music. However, I’m not interested in making music that sounds like acousmatic music of the 70s and 80s. For me the exciting thing is joining all of the different things I’m interested in together into something that is a part of 21st century music making. The [60]Project was the natural extension of this.
Did you physically get to work with all of these artists? Getting them all involved must have been quite a task, and I can imagine that curating such a project might have been quite demanding on many levels. How long did it take you to get from the original idea to the finished work?
The [60]Project was a really unique piece. To say I collaborated with all of those wonderful artists would be a slight overstatement – much as I would love to, though a number have become good friends since the project. When Graham McKenzie (the Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) and I started to discuss how we might put together a project to celebrate the 60th anniversary of musique concrète in 2008 we wanted it to be something unusual – not just another retrospective concert. For me, the really interesting thing about Schaeffer’s work was not just about one particular line of musical thought, but all of the other areas of contemporary electronic music into which his ideas have seeped. So, I came up with the idea of asking sixty sound artists to take part in essentially a huge 60-minute party piece. I started in February 2008 by asking all of those participating to contribute one short recording of an object, environment or short improvisation. I then made all of these available on a server and invited everyone to process one or all of these sounds in what ever way they wanted. Some like Janek Schaffer processed all of the sounds. Christina Kubisch processed Mira Calix’s recording of a herd of cows to produce the aptly named Kubisch Calix-Cow Kanon. In June 2008 I took all of these materials to the GRM to mix the piece not having listened to any of the material before I got there. It could have been a huge disaster, but the material was so varied and wonderful the whole process was really fast. I didn’t process the sound at all, apart from very limited transposition to fit materials together in similar harmonies – all I did was edit. I set myself the rule that I had to use a fragment of every sound or processed sound submitted. In the end I mixed the whole hour-long piece in 7.1 surround in a very intense week-long residency.
Was it an ambition of yours, as a sound artist, to work with the Groupe de Recherches Musicales?
In a way it was, though not for the way you might think. I was more interested in working alongside people like Christian Zanesi. He’s an amazing person with a very open approach to music. For me, it is less about the institution and always about the people.
Your previous album, Five Panels, was based on paintings of Mark Rothko. How did you get the idea for that album, and were the tracks based on particular paintings? Were you interested in the minimal approach Rothko had to his work?
In 2005 to early 2008 I didn’t write much – mainly finishing off projects that had been sitting on my hard disk for too long. For a while I’d felt that my music was technically fine, but what I was doing wasn’t really me. In retrospect I see the works up to this point as exploring all of the things I’m interested in and trying to draw them together in some way. For me Five Panels was my fons et origo  – a new starting point. I was reading a lot about Rothko and Barnett Newman at the time. I was particularly struck by Newman’s writings in which he said that previous to his painting Onement I – his first really minimal picture – he’d been filling the ‘void’ in his paintings with marks and gestures that functioned like actors. I felt that much of my work has unconsciously been doing the same. Like Newman and Rothko I wanted to get more out of less. In a talk I gave in New York in 2010 I likened it to the difference between taking your audience on a rollercoaster ride in a piece, or letting them actually explore a space you’ve set up. None of the tracks on the album were based on particular paintings. None of my work influenced by visual art has done this. I was more interested in seeing how Rothko’s techniques could be used compositionally to produce work that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. What I took from Rothko is the idea of working in layers, building a piece up by superimposing one layer on another. The pieces immediately stop working in a teleological manner (building up to a climactic point). What I was interested in is how Rothko let layers show though by thinning his paint whilst others are thick and opaque. In Five Panels this is the main way of working. Anywhere between five and twelve layers of material were created and put into the computer. The compositional process then became one of mixing and balancing these layers – allowing some to show through, some to disappear, others to take over completely.
Both [60]Project and Five Panels were nominated for the 2010 Qwartz Awards, and you have, in your career, received a number of awards and prizes for various works. Does that kind of recognition matter to you as an artist?
When I was young winning composition prizes was a way to get noticed and opened up a number of opportunities – often travelling to studios and meeting people. The Qwartz nomination was exactly the same – I got to meet Philippe Petit and Guiseppe Ielasi – two composers whose work I’ve long admired. I suppose that the bottom line is that early in my career winning lots of prizes gave me confidence that what I was composing was of a certain quality. Now I’m more confident in what I’m doing I don’t need that external validation. I’m more interested in people enjoying and listening to my work than a small panel of people rubber stamping it.
Your new album, Fragile.Flicker.Fragment, released on Audiobulb, is based around work you have done with visual artists. How did you work on the tracks? Were they collaborative efforts with both music and visual art being created together, or are they more reflections on existing works?
For this album there were a number of different approaches due to the different artists involved. With Brass Arts there was a clear concept from the beginning for the visual component. They left me to respond to their work having given me some ideas of the kind of soundworld they wanted. With Pip Dickens some paintings were already finished and some were only half completed so the latter became more of a collaborative process. The important thing about these works is that they are not just illustrative of the paintings. Just like Five Panels, I am more interested in understanding the technique and motivations of the painter/artist in order to develop a soundworld and structure that really reflect the artwork. In some cases this produces a way of approaching sound that is rather different – for me part of the collaborative process is precisely this type of challenge.
How long did it take you from the inception of the project to its completion?
I started Memory Box in the summer of 2009 and finished Torn Mosaic just after Easter 2010, so just under a year.
The music on your latest album often has quite a dreamy feel, which comes through the music itself but also through the sound you use. Was that a conscious effort when you started working on this record?
I didn’t set out to give the album a dreamy feel but I can understand where you’re coming from. I think this feeling comes from two things: as a choral scholar I sang three times a week for six years in a beautiful 12th century church. For me as a kid it was huge and had a quite awe-inspiring sense of space – the reverb alone was about five or so seconds. I remember very clearly feeling completely enveloped by sound in this building. I often imagine my music in this kind of space – Suspended Edges has a clear musical association with its use of the organ; Ode transforms a close intimate recording of me playing accordion into a vast mass of sound that envelopes the listener; and Forensic Embers opens with a deep bass – perhaps unconsciously reminiscent of the low 32” organ pipes, and ends with multi-tracked clarinet in a similarly expansive space. The other thing I like doing that could give a dreamy feel to the music is to create a sense of impossible physicality in the instruments and sounds I use. Memory Box and Ode are good examples – the tracks start off with straight recordings and then they slowly get more and more processed until you realize that there is no way these instruments could make these sounds and then you’re in a completely different space.
How did you get to work with Audiobulb for this project?
I’ve published a number of albums on Canadian and French labels and really wanted to release this album on a UK-based label – one where I could be more involved in the process after the music is finished. A friend of mine, Finn McNicholas (Ultre) has a couple of wonderful releases on Audiobulb and he suggested I get in touch with them. I was a little unsure as Finn’s music is more pop-oriented than mine. Nevertheless, I sent an almost final draft of the album to David at Audiobulb who responded really positively within a few days. I think that this is the really great thing about this label – on the one hand it’s quite eclectic, but everything is also just a little quirky in a really interesting way. You listen to Calika, Ultre, Autistici or :Papercutz and you know there is something original going on. Unlike other labels that become known for a certain style Audiobulb’s ethos is all about exploration in all its guises. The other reason I was keen to get involved with Audiobulb was because of the quality of their artwork and final product. This is something that’s been really important on all of my previous releases as well. If people are still going to buy a physical product they need to know they are getting something special – beautiful high resolution artwork and well mastered audio. Oliver Jones produced some fantastic images and Dominque Bassal is a mastering engineer who I’ve worked with for over five years now and have a really strong working relationship with.
You name painter Pip Dickens as one of the main source of inspiration for this album, and with whom you are working on a number of projects. How did you meet her and how did the idea of collaborating come up?
Internet dating – almost! I was looking on the internet for contemporary artists who have found inspiration in music. There are a lot of synesthesic painters out there painting Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or Charlie Parker saxophone solos, but I found a real empathy with Pip’s approach – that of looking more at the technique and process of the music in order to create something original in her paintings. Her Multilateral series based on the Bach’s counterpoint techniques are unlike any paintings I’ve seen. Anyway, I decided to send her an email just saying how much I liked her work and explained a little of what I was doing. After a couple of emails and her realizing that I wasn’t an internet stalker we decided to meet up. Luckily she’s based only 25 miles from where I live – not that I knew that when I first contacted her. When we met we talked for hours about her work, my work and our ideas. It was clear from the beginning that working together would be something really worth trying. Pip had a big retrospective exhibition coming up and as a first step we worked together on six paintings with music. Since then our collaboration has blossomed. One of the important things about our collaboration is that the art and music both come from the same wellspring but remain independent artworks. The audience can look at the paintings or listen to the music and they make sense on their own. However, when you bring them together there is an amplification of certain themes, ideas and techniques – the result is more than a sum of its parts.
You seem to have a particular affinity for visual artists, and working in relation with paintings or video. Do you see this as an extension of your work as a sound artist?
I think affinity is the important word here. Having had a classical music education and studying around some now very famous contemporary composers whilst I was at Cambridge I found the emphasis on pre-compositional planning and their whole approach to making music somewhat alien – not the results, I still listen a lot to this kind of music – just the emphasis on process. I’ve always read a lot about painting, sculpture and digital art and installation work and found this hands on physical way of making art that valued intuition and empirical thought much more akin to my way of thinking. When I’m talking to and working with a painter or a video artist, there is a shared vocabulary – with Jay Payne who did the video for Remnant there was an emphasis on the slow transformation and manipulation of long lines of material and colour with very little abrupt editing. With Pip, we often discuss the translucency of layers – allowing what is beneath to show through, multi-perspectival approaches to our work, the use of detritus and other found objects in our work, smearing and wiping off of layers, the opacity and saturation of colour – or sound through filtering or EQ – many different things. I think this comes in part from Schaeffer’s work in the studio and the concept of electronic music sculpting sound in space. For me, I have to work with my materials in order to see the potential of the sounds. I don’t want to impose some pre-determined structure on my sounds – it wouldn’t work.
Over recent years, you have been experimenting with more minimal musical forms. Do you see this a natural evolution of your work as a musician and sound artist? How do you see this evolve in the future?
On the one hand it is a natural evolution but it is one that has taken some time and a lot of experiment to come to fruition. The base layer for Five Panels No.5 was actually composed in 1997 so there has always been that minimal element to my work. But the real change came in 2006 when I quit my job in England and moved to New Zealand. Although I’m back in the UK now the events around this time had a big impact on me and I questioned everything. As a result I did a lot of musical experiments that never saw the light of day. The Five Panels in 2008 were the first real result of this re-evaluation. Regarding the future – I don’t have a long-term plan, but I do want to continue to explore more live performance avenues. My next project involves me playing clarinet both multi-tracked, improvising and with live electronics.
You are quite heavily involved with the GEMdays Festival, which takes place every year in Huddersfield. Can you tell us more about the festival?
The sixth GEMdays Festival was held this year in February. I run it along with a friend Pierre Alexandre Tremblay – who played bass on Five Panels. Over the five nights we try to cover acousmatic music, laptop improvisation, audiovisual work, live electronics and circuit bending/live coding. The aim is to bring an eclectic range of musicians to Huddersfield. It’s an intense five days – we do workshops with the artists, pre-concert talks and then the gig in the evening. For me, this year’s festival was the best we’ve done with Alexander Schubert/Sinebag who runs the Ahornfelder label over from Germany, Sam Pluta from the USA and Anne La Berge from Holland. Next year we’re hoping to notch it up another level with John Wall, Miguel Carvalhais from the Portuguese Cronica label, and Annette Vande Gorne from Belgium.
What’s next in your diary?
I’ve just got back from Stockholm playing in a live electronics duo with Paulina Sundin. It was the first time we played together but we found a real empathy in what each other was doing. So we plan to continue that in August when I’m back in Stockholm. In May and June I’ve concerts in Belgium and Argentina. I’m also working on a substantial new collaborative project with Pip Dickens based on Japanese Katagami stencils that is being showcased at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival this year and then in Kyoto.






Articles
1. [60]Project-Conception, Composing, Archiving
2. Towards ‘A Beautiful Land’: Compositional Strategies and Influences in Five Panels (no.5)
3. The Application of Memetic Analysis to Electroacoustic Music
4. The Influence of Futurist painting in my music
5. Schaeffer est Mort! Long live Schaeffer!
6. Acoustic Chains in Acousmatic Music
7. Metaphor, Abstraction and Temporality in Electroacoustic Music
8. Issues of Live-ness in fragile.flicker.fragment (2012)



Compilations
Clapoutique on Philippe Petit - Eugenie
For Jana on Jana Kluge - Gutenberg Galaxias (2012)
Last Thoughts on 5Miniatures (2007)
Symbiont on Trimix (2006)
Silk to Steel on I.M.E.B. (2005)
Still Time on Russolo (2003)
Noumena on Bourges (2001)
Breaking on Illegal Art (2000)
Liquid Neon on SAN (1999)
Mapping on Kiasma (1999)
Pagan Circus on Bourges (1997)
Prix Noroit (1997)
Melt on Stockholm Award (1996)
Melt (edit) on SPNM (1994)





Shibusa - Extracting Beauty
Edited by Monty Adkins and Pip Dickens
published by University Huddersfield Press

pip-dickens.blogspot.co.uk/

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