Man, I love Bristol…
Last week, I worked and performed locally with The Paper Cinema. Our newest piece ‘West’ was based on and in my home town Bristol, devised in just one week on Spike Island.
We collaborated with a selection of Bristol based artists and musicians to create one of the most surreal and beautiful pieces of live animation I’ve ever seen/been a part of. Artists who joined The Paper Cinema’s Nicholas Rawling and Imogen Charleston were Joe Roberts, Catherine Whyte, Dave Bain, Lisa Yardley and Becca Rose.
I also had the pleasure of working with musician Will Newsome who’s unique talents in playing the kora charmed us instantly. Will, Chris Reed (The Paper Cinema’s musical director) and I spent the week composing the soundtrack for ‘West’ (which I believe may appear in recorded form soon to a computer near you!). Here’s a snippet of an improv we did on our first day together:
Instruments included prepared kora (oh my…!), accordian, piano, guitar, drums and the company’s trusty Kaos Pad. Also featured in the soundtrack were some field recordings of Bristol sounds collected by Chris and good friend Ollie Hall (The Binaural Diaries), including one our local ferries and some birds singing along to the sound of speeding traffic.
The lovely Josh Gaunt from Workshops n’ Docs has been putting together a documentary of the project – we look forward to seeing his work!
Here are some of the highlights of my goings on over the last few months, and a glimpse into what’s coming next…
Last September, I joined The Paper Cinema, a company who creates live silent films with beautifully illustrated 2D puppets (manipulated in front of a number of live cameras) and live music/foley.
My input…contribution to music and sound effects (instruments including piano, synth/electronics, vocal loops/processing, thunder sheet, power drill…the list goes on!) in their adaptation Homer’s Odyssey for a 2-month autumn 2012 UK tour, and for a 4 week residency at London’s Battersea Arts Centre in Feb 2013.
All in all, a fun few months with many a spiced rum, some on-stage fruit & veg instances, some unbelievably kind and appreciative audiences (Cornwall, Bristol and Manchester in particular!), and not nearly enough earl greys.
The next performance of Odyssey is 16th April at The Junction, Cambridge. Keep an eye out here for others. We’ll also be making an appearance in my home town, Bristol, for Mayfest 2013, working on a brand new piece, ‘West’.
More recently, I’ve been involved in Will Gregory’s (Goldfrapp) Moog Ensemble. Last thursday (21st March) at St George’s Hall, Bristol I joined 10 other synth players (all on vintage analog, mostly Moog) and performed a range of pieces from early/Baroque ensemble works (including Bach’s 3rd Brandenburg) to some contemporary original works (including Will Gregory’s ‘A Service For Tim Henman’).
Here’s a short video clip of the Henman piece to give you an idea (yours truly is in the top left) -
The ensemble will be playing the same repertoire on 10th May at Kings Place, London.
Behind the scenes writing and demoing continues for my main project, Adding Machine, and we will soon be recording a few tracks with the lovely Adrian Utley (Portishead).
We’ve also recently completed a remix for Get The Blessing (Jim Barr) to appear on a forthcoming release – keep your ears and eyes peeled for that lovely little beast.
Live shows to follow – more on that soon.
As promised, here’s a collection of songs to get real dark to…
LA Vampires & Zola Jesus – Bone Is Bloodstone
Esben and the Witch – Hexagons III (The Surge)
True Widow – Skull Eyes
Mr. Gnome – Devil Be Gone
Sisters Of Mercy – Burn
Chelsea Wolfe – Demons
Skeletal Family – The Night (Version)
O. Children – Dead Disco Dancer
Xmal Deutschland – In Der Nacht
Yvette – Cold Sweat
This Mortal Coil – The Horizon Bleeds And Sucks Its Thumb
HTRK – Eat Yr Heart
White Ring – IxC999
Sleep ∞ Over – Your World Is Night
Swans – Lunacy
I’m honoured to announce that I will soon be joining The Paper Cinema for a UK tour of an adaptation of ‘The Odyssey’. Me and two other musicians will be responsible for the music/sound that will accompany live animation/puppetry. Here’s some blurb to give you more of an idea…
“Raging storms and supernatural forces prevail over one man’s almighty quest to get home. Immerse yourself in a journey through the high seas, soak up the adventure and encounter danger and exhilaration.
Homer’s cornerstone of literature is vividly told with beautiful illustration and masterful puppetry. Cinematic projection and cunning tricks transform a suitcase full of cut-out paper puppets into an array of living characters and striking landscapes. A silent film is created before your eyes, set to a captivating live score from exceptional musicians.”
Click here for a list of the tour dates with links to tickets – I’d highly recommend! Our three warm up shows at the Battersea Art’s Centre last week went down a storm, so don’t miss out…