Scrapbook 3

PODCAST

Twenty Thousand Hertz released a super interesting podcast a couple of weeks ago featuring the Data Driven DJ. They talk to Brant Guichard, a man who has heard "The Music" during his seizures since he was a young boy. Taking his EEG readings during a seizure and splicing up a mixture of Imogen Heap'sHide and Seek’, philharmonic samples and experimental percussion. The Data Driven DJ (Brian Foo) created this beautiful piece by using the readings representing the seizure to control the dynamics and intensity (That's a huge over simplification) of the layers...


INTERVIEW

Native instruments posted an interview with Ben Frost talking about the methods he used for this new album The Centre Cannot Hold.
 


NOISE

After living in NY for the last two months, I returned home to a strong awakening of how loud it was there. Not just the hustle and bustle of people, but vehicles, sirens, advertising... it reminded me of this article which describes the high dB levels we encounter on the London Underground system... In essence, get yourself noise cancelling headphones or ear protection for the commute!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42791299


Frogman April 2018

Last week I was at Shoreditch Town Hall with ‘Frogman’ a play I first worked on with Curious Directive last year which took me to Australia for 3 weeks of on site recording for a 360 film that becomes part of a live theatre show. It’s been an incredible learning curve for me to work with VR content, not only that but being able to support 50 audience members having an individual auditory experience whilst also collectively allowing them the experience the live theatre piece.

There are huge hurdles to overcome and still some more to work on as the show progresses, but as an experiment within multi disciplinary theatre its been a super interesting challenge and well worth a watch/listen, especially if you’re interested in VR.

The show just finished a 2 week run at Shoreditch Town Hall and will play at Arts Depot in Finchley for another week. Check it out here:

https://www.artsdepot.co.uk/theatre/curious-directive-frogman

I’ll be posting a little more about the process soon, a few photos and trailer below!

 

 

Scrapbook 2

SOUND DESIGN

I still haven't managed to see it yet, but came across a cool breakdown of the multiple layers of audio in a scene from Bladerunner 2049


FREE SOFTWARE INSTRUMENT

Strezov Sampling have been giving away this beautiful Duduk vst, I've been trying out in a track or two and it's very easily playable and has slotted in around the rest of my template pretty quickly.

Free Duduk VST


MUSIC

As I put Yo-Yo ma into my 1st scrapbook, I carried on listening to his works and to "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" album and found some awesome live studio performance videos.


FREE APP

I came across this Mini spotify player that sits in your notification centre, pretty neat and just stays open, links to the album art of Spotify and will open spotify when you hit play if it's not already there!

 

Sonic Arcade Exhibition NYC Museum of Art and Design

I recently visited the 'Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound' exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in New York and it was pretty ear opening. As the name suggests, there was a real focus on the spaces in which the instillations took place and how the audience and exhibits interacted with one another physically.

Naama Tsabar's Propagation (Opus 3), is a guitar like structure on the wall of one room, the wall has a cavity behind it, the guitar strings are amplified through speakers focused into the wall cavity essentially making the room the resonant chamber for the instrument.

Julianne Swartz created blown glass sculptures and found their resonant frequencies using small speakers tucked away inside each piece, they were spread around the room and seemingly randomly resonated. The effect was a beautiful set of sculptures with a physically engaging quality.

In one room you're invited to put on headphones and play on 4 different synthesizers, This part of the exhibition called 'Subject to Gesture' and was curated by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. The Museum website has an interesting interview with him talking about his take on sound 'For Lowe, voltage is an unpredictable, malleable and living material whose manipulation is capable of carving the air with sound.'

Scrapbook 1

MUSIC

Awesome live performance from Homay and Oliver at Spitfire here

The piece 'As Before' was developed from an idea that Homay had conceived a while ago, with her performing on the grand piano and Oliver laying down some live loops using the Spitfire sounds combined with a stereo delay.

I came across this documentary 'The Music of Strangers' led by Yo-Yo Ma which is about the beginnings of the SilkRoad Ensemble a few months back and its very much worth a watch for so many reasons, it delves into a world of musical and cultural collaborations....


FREE PLUGIN

For those familiar with PaulStretch, you might have seen this update to a plugin version of the Extreme time stretching software.

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/paulxstretch-by-xenakios


SILENCE

I supported a Kickstarter campaign for a film called 'In Pursuit of Silence' a few years ago and they recently shared a bunch of 'silence' related articles.. One pointed to a new film called Sancturies of Silence which looks really interesting and it must have been a fun one to be part of.

Also this New Yorker article By Amanda Petrusich, on the world generally getting passively louder...

 

 

 

Spotify (software 1)

Spotify has to be one of my most used pieces of software outside of DAWs and show control. When I was younger I'd buy music in the forms of Tapes and CDs and of course before that it was in all sorts of formats, but over last 20 years we've moved through a world of evolving music services with speed. The internet being a huge game changer in that, and through it came the iTunes Store, Youtube, Amazon music etc and on 7 October 2008 Spotify was released.

I began using Spotify around the time I was studying Theatre Sound in London 2009. Suddenly I had this incredible repository of music at my fingertips for £5 per month (as a student at least, now we’re talking £9.99, still amazing). On my laptop, phone, anywhere... I began using it as a music research tool and for personal listening, slowly it became a way of testing out ideas in rehearsal rooms due to the sheer amount of music on there and the speed with which you can search through it.

Around the time I graduated, I began using it as tool to broaden my musical interests, I’m sure like many others, I can easily end up listening to the same tracks and artists over and over. That's not such a bad thing, but there is so much more available and I wanted to make use of that... Whilst on tour in April 2013 I started making a new playlist each month with a mixture of music I already liked and artists I’d never listened to before, kind of like the ‘discovery weekly’ playlist feature, but more towards albums than single tracks. I'd gather them either from friend's recommendations or maybe just random genres I didn’t know much about. Jump 5 years into the future and I have monthly playlist for almost every month since then. Spotify recently started sending out this neat year in review post to see your listening habits each year.

Listening to the monthly playlists gave me a memory of where I've listened to certain styles or artists. I’ve found myself remembering listening to a track on a bus in Leicester Square when it was raining, cold and it was kind of wintertime a couple of years ago, maybe 2015... so I can jump back through my playlists and pretty quickly find the track or artist. I've found it pretty useful as an alternative way of retaining information.

Back in the rehearsal room I tend to build a playlist for each show I design, sometimes with the Director or Movement Director in a collaborative playlist to give us a place to start thinking about and gathering the musical ideas that could be interesting to try. Which can mean anything from music of the time that a play is set, to music that gives some emotional response to the initial stimulus and ideas. Having said all this, there is so much value in finding music in less obvious places too, I’ve found cds in museums that I would never be able to find on Spotify and the same with Ebay, libraries, charity shops, so it’s always worth keeping an eye out of the box to find something unique and not to be too reliant on online options!

I thought I'd share a few random tracks from the last couple of months which I have particular memories for.

I'd love to know how anyone else goes about there daily listening and how using subscription services is changing the way we work in Theatre. I'm sure there are libraries digitised from CD's, Vinyl collections, itunes store downloads etc all used in different ways.

Theres a lot to say about the future of music services for both composers and listeners, there will undoubtedly be changes coming within the next few years and intiatives like Imogen Heap's Mycelia is one of them, check it out. It's such a big subject abd worthy of its own blog post later!

 

In other news, thanks to the brilliant Vlogs of Christian Henson at Spitfire Audio, I've been playing with the Elgato Streamdeck (A nifty keystroke based shortcut device) and as I'm travelling a lot at the moment, the Arturia KeyStep (32 key small keyboard controller/step sequencer), so will do a bit of a run down of those two soon.

 

Next week I'm hoping to head to a Sound Art exhibition called Sonic Arcade at the Museum of Art and Design here in New York and I'll share some thoughts if I make it!

Happy listening!

P

 

 

2017 Round up

2017, Its about time for a round up of last year. This will be the longest post i’ll be doing for a while but I’m hoping to post much more frequently!


I started the year in New York after workshopping The Kid Stays in the Picture with Ben Grant as associate, and Simon Mcburney Directing. We worked with 7 US Actors for a few weeks and it was incredibly fun. At the same time I was stepping in to operate The Encounter on Broadway over New Year, again a lot of fun having been part of the show for years previously and now getting a chance to go back in and learn the op again.


In early January I had my first design taken to St Ann's Warehouse over the bridge from Manhattan in DUMBO, Brooklyn. What an amazing space. The view from the back door has to be a highlight.

The show was Phyllida Lloyd's The Tempest. The third all female Shakespeare set in a women's prison she has created. I was lucky to have a great team at St Ann's led by Jimin and we changed a fair amount of the system compared to the original version in Kings Cross. We also switched from an SD9 to the in-house Yamaha CL3. After a bit of a pre-programming job it was a fairly smooth change. After some recommendations I also decided to try using Valhalla room through Mainstage and it was great, especially as the cost implications are so minimal. We also went pretty much fully Meyer which suited the shows content really well. The Sound Design isn’t particularly subtle so these provided a good whack for the upfront content.


In February I came back to the UK and we began the rehearsal period for The Kid Stays in the Picture at the Royal Court, the same show we were workshopping at the end of 2016. I loved working at the Royal Court and once again I was lucky enough to be met by an astonishing team. Ben Grant as Associate is always on top of everything and a brilliant designer in his own right! We had a wonderful set of operators Yamina Mezeli and Neil Dewar and alongside David, Maddy and Alice at the Theatre. It’s a technically complex show for all departments and we certainly weren't left out of that. It’s a very engaging process to create with Simon and we were constantly reacting and refining throughout.


At the same time we re-mounted Beware of Pity at the Barbican Theatre, which Ben and I had made with Simon the previous year at the Schabuhne theatre in Berlin. It was also live streamed on youtube, but as that's no longer available, heres a link to the Q&A of the Director, Simon Mcburney and Artistic Director of the Schaubuhne Theatre, Thomas Ostermeier.
http://www.complicite.org/live-stream.php


The Kid Stays in the Picture was a highlight of the year and I hope we can go back to the show over the next few years and continue the work we started.


Next up was Twelfth Night at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Directed by Jo Davies, I was yet again surrounded by a lovely team and welcomed into what is a weird, yet interesting theatre to work in and a beautiful building. I had the pleasure of working alongside Alex Baranowski who Composed on this one and it was a delight to work with his fantastic music. We had a fun time with the musicians he and Jo bought on board.

During first part of the year I was starting to write more music and teach myself a bit more piano than the basics I already had. Having worked with Alex, it pushed me to continue to spend some time on developing those skills outside of the the Sound Design world and it's been refreshing to do so.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had it's first cast change in London spring 2017 and I learnt a lot about how that change happens. It was awesome to see new faces take on the roles with their own skills and readings of the characters.

Into June and Frogman, following a lot of research and experimenting with 3D video and audio,  I took a 3 week trip with Jack (Artistic Director) and Milla (Designer) from Curious Directive, to Brisbane, Australia. We worked with 4 young actors in a set made especially for our 3d film content. It was a very big learning curve into the world of Virtual reality and 360 video. From the initial planning of how to record the whole thing to syncing it with the video, locating the sounds in 360 for each audience member, designing content in 360… There was a lot of firsts for me on this show and I’m really proud of what we achieved

Milla was interviewd for a great piece talking about the Design elements of Frogman here

During those three weeks the Tony Awards Ceremony in New York took place, where Gareth Fry and I were awarded a Special Tony Award for our Sound Design work on Complicité's The Encounter. Not only this, but alongside our award The Tony's also announced that Sound Design categories will resume as a regular yearly fixture after they were axed in 2014. A huge moment in the year and a big step in the right direction for the recognition of Sound Design on Broadway!

Back over to Brisbane to finish off the filming and finally back to London to edit the recordings. I plan to do a set of short walkthroughs of the process so I can get a bit more detailed in that, but for now those interested should check out Facebook 360 spatial workstation. We then created the live theatre side of the show, I should explain that the concept of the show is part VR and part live theatre. Frogman will be back in the UK at Shoreditch Town Hall in 2018 and you can find out more here: https://shoreditchtownhall.com/whats-on/frogman

After a break in august I started working on two projects. The first was Simon Stephens’ adaptation of The Seagull, directed by Sean Holmes at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. The second called White Bike, newly written by Tamara Von Werthern, directed by Lily Mcleish at The Space in Canary Wharf. They were very different projects and both exciting to be part of.


The Seagull gave me an opportunity to play with lots of naturalistic content against a less naturalistic set and lighting design, working closely with the rest of the creative team, and lovely sound team at the Lyric in a fairly large/mid scale venue, along with an opportunity to get my hands a little dirty with the Digico SD10. The White Bike had a much smaller venue and so smaller system also, but it’s content and the integration of the Sound Design had a more abstract sensibility, matching the staging. Again a wonderful creative team and we were pulling together a beautiful piece of work in a short time. We workshopped some ideas in 2016 and we found it useful to start a collaborative playlist on Spotify where Lily and I could form ideas for an auditory world, which grew over the year and played in rehearsals whilst devising, a large amount of which ended up in the show in one way or another.

Once finishing both of these I moved to Hull for a 4 weeks to work on The Last Testament of Lillian Billoca. Written by Maxine Peake and directed by Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight. We had been in conversations and meetings about the project since early 2017, it was a large scale site specific project in Hull’s Guildhall, a still fully functioning building in the centre of Hull. We used 4 main rooms and a handful of small auxiliary rooms around the building to tell the story of Lillian Billoca, a controversial, strong campaigner for the working rights of trawler men in the late 1960s.


I was lucky enough again to have an awesome team, production engineer Guy Colletta, who worked with Gareth Fry and I on The Encounter, took lead on getting our system into this none theatre building, a bit of a challenge but Guy is the master at this. We worked with live Music from The Unthanks in two of the rooms, one room with a headphone Sound Design/Movement piece and each room was very different in style and size, so we had to decide how best to link or unlink the rooms and corrioors, depending on the audience experience and route around the building. It was a real challenge and we got to do some exciting things both with the content and the system.

In December I decided to focus on music and composition. I went to the Tune Up event on the Southbank, which was an inspiring day, took time learning more about the many sample libraries I’ve bought over the years and not played with, went much further into MIDI in Logic X, and began writing music aimed towards media for a brillaint European publisher. This time has been so helpful to focus on my own projects outside of theatre for a little while, and I’m looking forward to bringing focus back into theatre again.

Tthere are a lot of exciting projects on the horizon, in and out of theatre, the UK and abroad. I plan to post more often, to put my thoughts down about projects I’m working on, software and hardware I pick up along the way, walkthroughs for things like 360 audio capture, sync, and getting that to a live theatre audience, composition, sound design content creation,  etc… Though, one of the hard things about posting about the show you’re working on in theatre is the secrecy behind it, especially before press have been in and reviewed the show, you want to keep the excitment. So I’m aiming to work around that and show the parts of my own process that I can. Some people pull this off in a very slick way so hopefully I can find some ways.
P

 

Audio Media International 2017 Interview

Adam Savage. Editor of Audio Media International Magazine wrote to ask a few questions on my work on The Encounter with Gareth Fry, as well as about the challenges we faced on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and asked me to talk a little about the industry as a whole. I felt privileged to be included in the May/June 2017 edition of Audio Media International. Thanks to Adam for getting in touch!

Here's the link to the online version of the interview:

http://www.audiomediainternational.com/interview/interview-pete-malkin/06534

Beware of Pity and The Kid Stays in the Picture

This week I've been working on two Complicité pieces. One is 'Beware of Pity' at the Barbican Theatre, we made the show over a year ago in Berlin at the Schaubühne Theatre with 7 of their ensemble of actors and it's in London this week.

Its been a very swift couple of days to get that up and running whilst rehearsing the next Complicité show, which will open in a few weeks at The Royal Court called 'The Kid Stays in the Picture.'

Beware of Pity will be live streamed on YouTube this Sunday and it'll be available to watch for following two weeks all at the following link:

http://www.complicite.org/live-stream.php

Check it out if you can, it's been a pleasure working with the amazingly talented Schaubühne actors who really are what make the show.

Enjoy!

 Beware of Pity

Beware of Pity

 The Kid Stays in the Picture

The Kid Stays in the Picture

Final Week for The Encounter on Broadway

This week we're going into the final week of performances of The Encounter on Broadway! It's been almost 16 weeks of shows and I've been in New York operating with the team for almost 6 of those weeks. The Audience have been widley varied and it's amazing to know that the show has reached a much wider audience than it has anywhere else, hopefully opening their imagination in a different way.

It's a pleasure to be part of the broadway experience and have my first experience of the US, I've met some lovely people over here so far and next week I move onto St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn for The Donmar's The Tempest which we recently opened in the UK as part of The Donmar's Shakespeare Trilogy.

The show will preview from the 13th January with opening night on Wednesday 18th Jan, running until the 19th Feb.

http://stannswarehouse.org/show/the-tempest/

Oh, and Happy New Year all round!

Evening Standard Award - Best Design - The Encounter

A few weeks ago Gareth Fry and I were awarded the Best Design award in the Evening Standard awards for our work on Complicité’s The Encounter. Conceived, Directed and Performed by Simon McBurney, the piece allowed us so much freedom to experiment and give an audience auditory cues to key into their imagination, it was a real pleasure to put together with such an wonderful team of collaborators. 

Gareth does an amazing job of listing those we wanted to thank and so linking to that would be easier than trying to do so again:

http://www.garethfry.co.uk/new-blog-avenue/2016/11/14/best-design-award-for-the-encounter

The team of Sound Engineers/Designers/Operators we’ve worked with are second to none. The show is always alive and changing all the time, they keep the world of The Encounter afloat and work like musicians with Simon to react to these new ideas and changes. We’re very lucky to have them! 

It’s also key to mention the gratitude we have for being awarded the Best Design award and how, Sound Design has been recognised and considered for a design award not only that, but amongst other design disciplines too. I only hope that it can help spread this school of thought elsewhere.

All dressed up at ES awards

London Marathon 2016 Recording

Last weekend was the London Marathon 2016. My girlfriend's brother ran and managed a time of 3:25:13. Awesome achievement. 

In the moments when we weren't wandering around London trying to catch him, I managed to get a few short recordings.

I took the oppurtunity to take out my little portable stealth kit to see how well it performed. It consists of a Sound Devices 702 in a camera bag with two DPA4061's with mini rycote windshields strapped to either side of the bag. 

Drums fuel of the atmosphere around Canary Wharf, I spent some time underneath a bridge where 2 taiko players were living.

After clambering up a railing I got a recording from slightly above the action, people with plastic hand clappers,  horns in the distance, and the ever present drummers.

I think the setup performerd pretty well all told, there are some big pros and cons of it for sure.

Pro: It doesn't attract attention. Which leads to a more natural performance and causes less interruptions from interested passers by. 

Con: positioning, It's difficult to be consistent with the mic positions, as there is a bag in the 30cm gap between the two mics, it's also not very natural sounding stereo image. 

Next time around I might test out a different method of strapping the mics to the bag with a bit more precision and maybe some sort of stereo spacing bar involved in the bag to help.

 

 

Portable Recording Setup

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be in Lausanne for part of Complicité's 'The Encounter' tour. I took the opportunity to test out my portable recording rig thats slowly been pieced together the past few months.

Lausanne 2015
Lausanne 2015

Earlier in the year I went on tour to Asia and took my Rycote Blimp and found so many places where it was just unrealistic to whip it out and start recording, the inevitable "whats that" would be all over the recordings. So in comes the portable solution, I have a bunch of portable all-in-one recorders which are much less attention grabbing. But having put money into a Sound Devices recorder I bought a set of DPA 4061's to try out with it. I've had some reasonable success with sticking these things in my ears to get binaural recordings, but wanted to mount them onto a bag that also contains the 702 so it was super inconspisuous and can just sit there when I want to put it down. A camera bag seemed like the most logical solution, there may be better ways, but I went and bought a messenger bag from a nearby camera shop.

Photo 03-09-2015 10 36 53
Photo 03-09-2015 10 36 53

A customisable camera bag with multiple sized velcro panels was able to fit everything and any excess cable to sit below the 702, plus having a weird sized battery is was also fine! Heres a short recording of Lake Geneva, I stood maybe a 1.5 metres away from the shoreline and let the bag dangle in front of me...


I'm looking at other solutions to how I can attach the mics to the bag to allow for less movement noise and perhaps better stereo imaging, there seems to be a little dead spot in the centre on some recordings... Either way, the fact that no one asked "what is that" made it all worth it!!

Free Ghanaian Gyil Kontakt instrument - PMvst001

Since the last post about recording Stephen Hiscock's Gyil (Yes I was spelling it incorrectly! O dear) I took some time to edit and put the resulting hits into Kontakt. Here is a link to the Current Ghanaian Gyil V1.0,

Free Ghanaian Gyil download
Free Ghanaian Gyil download

---   ---   ---

Specifications:
309 samples
5/6 velocity layers for each note
2x Round Robin for each note
3x patches
            - Original pitch                   
            - Tuned scale (CDFGBb)       
            - Chromatic scale pitched  

2x Beater options- Rubber (Rubber malletts made from Tires)
                                               - Sticks    (The wooden side of the malletts)

Requirements:
210MB Hard Drive space
Full version of Native instruments Kontakt 5

---   ---   ---

Feel free to download and play with it if you're looking for something authenically african and I'd love to hear any feedback.

I don't want to dive too deep into a 'How to create a velocity sensitive instrument in Kontakt' post, but there's few thoughts from the process I thought it'd be interesting to note.

My main DAW's are Ableton Live and Logic, but I decided to try using Ableton for this process. The first step was to record the Gyil into Ableton through my SD 702 and soundcard. I only had two Preamps available at the time, so used an XY setup about a metre away from the top of the Gyil. The first note, having a few different mic positions would probably help with integrating the sound of the Gyil with other libraries, but starting with a fairly dry, close recording is great starting point.

The Gyil has 14 notes and I wanted to try 2 round robins of each and have 5/6 velocity layers for each note played with both ends of the beaters. So that's 336 individual samples to edit.

Manually this takes a while and is fairly tedious. Both Logic and Ableton have a feature which slices a piece of audio from its transient markers and creates a new MIDI instrument. However, neither of these cut the audio up usefully for Kontakt. Logic does have a 'Split Silence' feature that does a better job at slicing the regions, with a bit of tweaking, by transient. Either way there is an amount of time spent finessing this, as the hits need to be very closely trimmed to the start of the transient.

Logic Strip silence
Logic Strip silence

Once each hit was edited and ready to slot into Kontakt, I set up a new instrument and using the mapping editor placed the 6 velocity layers  for the first note on it. Spreading them across the 127 potential velocities.

Again this could take a while, but you can quite easily copy and paste one set of 6 velocity samples onto another key on the mapping editor, then re-locate each of the copied samples to the next note in the sequence to save time (I didn't find this out until I'd spent a good few hours on a fairly bumpy flight trying to be precise with my trackpad... Bad idea!)

Kontakt 5 Mapping editor
Kontakt 5 Mapping editor

A similar process applies to the second takes (Round Robin takes) this was fairly simple. The mapping editor works in groups, for each round robin you create a new group and set that group to be a certain either the first or second set of round robins. Again copying the already mapped first takes and pasting that into a new group meant I could re-locate the samples within this second group with the second takes.

I did the same thing with the hard wooden end of the beaters and placed those into two new groups. Had a play with photoshop and added the Attack and Release knobs through looking into the inner workings of other Kontakt instruments scripts.

A little messing with key switches and it was prett much there.

So please do have a play with the Gyil and enjoy

African Gil - Recording session

For the past couple of months I've been working on a show called Lionboy with Complicité and we're coming to the end of our run at the Tricycle Theatre. The show had a live percussionist on stage, so this week I've decided to record Steve's (our percussionists) Gil.

The Gil is an African 'tuned' percussion instrument that steve plays in the show for a few of our 'African' scenes. It's not the most common instrument I've ever come across!

The notes are pentatonic and so, as Steve usually suggests, you can play almost any notes and they will likely fit together! Steves instrument was made by his teacher in Africa and has gaudes underneath that amplify the sound. It has a bit of a weird unique buzzing sound on some of the notes and watching people play them on YouTube it's really meant to be part of the overall sound of the Gil. To create the buzzing sound there is a spider egg membrane covering holes in the gaudes which vibrate, strange but true!

So having decided to record the Gil properly Ive also thought it would be interesting to learn how to make a kontakt instrument using those recordings, so have taken a bunch of different takes at differing dynamics and will have a go soon. I managed to find a few hours without anyone else in the theatre and got recording. Wanted to get some use out of my sound devices 702 and a pretty neat pair of DPA 4011's which we use in the show.

Here's a dry clip of me messing around on the Gil, i'm no percusionist so forgive me!


Now on to editing the single hits and trying to make a virtual instrument from it!

Music world of October

Each month I setup a new playlist on spotify full of bits of music I've never listened to before, I thought i'd share a few that stood out over the month and some more recent finds. I'm really interested in some of the Orchestral/Electronica crossovers going on and becoming more aware of it, so these are aimed in that direction.

Koan Sound & Asa - Mix of Small orchestral arrangments with electronic beat taking focus.

 

Phoria - Chilled out acoustic version of this track - original version here

 

New album from A Winged Victory for the Sullen

 

Clint mansell came to The Barbican earlier this month and I'd never heard this before and loved it


Enjoy!

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15781_720405961363045_2789815729140584164_n

War Correspondents 2014

During April of this year, I worked with Helen Chadwick and Steven Hoggett on a project Helen has composed called 'War Correspondents'. A sung theatre piece about the lives and experiences of War Correspondents over recent years. The lyrics of the sung music were taken from interviews with War Correspondents talking about situations of conflict they had covered and their thoughts on 'War Journalism'. From a sound perspective there is a lot of interesting material to play with from the original interviews as well as finding the best way to integrate the voices of the interviews into the music and between songs. We also worked with Sound effects with specific pitches hidden as an extra layer so the singers could catch a pitch to work with for the next song they are heading into.

Movement is such a big part of the show alongside the music that I decided to bring a Leap Motion device into rehearsals to play with. Using the LEAP with a piece of software called GECO, it allows the user to manipulate effects and trigger cues using the movement of your hands, In our case pushing downwards towards the device triggers a filter effect which is dialed up and down depending on the height of the singers hand, when it is lower it allows a recorded musical Drone through, but when its higher we hear a helicopter and no drone, the singer has direct control over this mix during the scene and uses it as an instrument to accompany his song.

Leap Motion/GECO GUI

The show initially toured around the UK in spring this year, but will also now be playing in London in October with a few dates around the UK after that.

War Correspondents @ Birmingham Rep 2014

2014 Jan - July

So I realised its already July and most of the year has gone by without any updates here. So will be posting a bit more frequently now. To start off just a quick backlog of the year so far, starting in January! I began by Shadowing the lovely Carolyn Downing during a few of her tech processes, which was a great insight into her working process and general views on Sound Design, a lot to learn from an intelligent designer doing some very interesting Sound work.

I then went on to design a, slightly alternative, theatre piece located inside St Leonards Church in Shoreditch called SUN produced by National Art Service, It was a really friendly company to be part of. Talking technically one of the most enjoyable experiences was being able to locate sounds around this huge expanse of space whilst also (if needed) dislocating the sounds from specific places and abstracting the sounds of the exterior central London evening. Shoreditch is a very active part of the City and it doesn't let up for anything, Its not something I'll go into lightly again but it opened up a different world of using the spacial relationship with an audience.

SUN 2014

Then worked as Associate on the Almeida verison of 1984 for the very talented Mr Tom Gibbons after having worked with him on Lionboy last year. This then went onto transfer into the Playhouse in London.

 

Following this designed and operated a double bill of new work funded by Aldeburgh Music, Royal Opera House and Opera North called The Commision/Café Kafka, through which I worked with Elspeth Brooks to integrate an element of Sound Design and live sound into her composition.

 

The Commission 2014

Then went on to Sound Design a project called War Correspondents Directed by Helen Chadwick and Stephen Hoggett which then went on to tour the UK. It will be back for some London dates in October followed by some more touring and I'll talk more about in a separate post.

Brothers Stag doo...

Brothers Wedding!

I then worked with Mr Gareth Fry once more on a design for 59 Production's projection map of the Sydney Opera House.

For June I've been in Aix en Provence with The Magic Flute once again as Gareth Fry's Associate, helping to fit the design into their fairly unique venue and transferring all the changes we had made back into a German version of the show after re-making it in English at the Colloseum for the ENO last year.

The Magic Flute Aix en Provence 2014

July so far, I've been in Salzburg (Hallein to be exact) Sound Engineering and Operating a new production for the Salzburg Festival. A Katie Mitchell/ Leo Warner piece Sound designed by Gareth Fry and Melanie Wilson called The Forbidden Zone.

 

 

The Noise - Digital Playscript Phase 1

The Noise (Unlimited Theatre), a show I co-sound designed last year has been turned into a digital playscript. We took a few days to go through the Sound Design for the show and added cues into the text - which hopefully represent what would have been heard in the theatre to a certain degree - alongside a whole array of awesome features that make the script a much better representation of the show than a paper version. Making a more engaging and easy to follow script to take away from the show! Pop some headphones in and check it out here! http://uneditions.com/

The Noise Digital Playscript

SFX Amsterdam - Santa's Boats!

Having recently took the exciting plunge into some new mics to start building my SFX Library with, I decided I'd start going through some randomly gathered un-edited Zoom content and edit them up to share! Been as its almost Christmas, as a starting point a quick recording from last year In Amsterdam, as Santa Claus arrived... 'Sinterklaas Arrives The Dutch version of Santa Claus (or St Nicholas) makes his annual arrival in Amsterdam on Sunday 18th November. His boat will sail along the Amstel river before arriving at the Maritime museum at midday. He then jumps on his white horse surrounded by his helpers the Zwarte Pieten ("Black Petes") and heads to Dam Square and Leidseplein.'

This annual occasion, brings out the masses into the streets of Amsterdam to witness the parades coursing through the the City.

This mass of boats came past the window of my apartment, so took the chance to grab some quick Zoom H4 recordings of the general happenings below and luckily picked up some big foghorn sounds. Some pretty high pitched harsh horns to start with and some deeper breathy horns after.

More coming soon!

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