Thursday, 31 March 2011

Live broadcast of improvised performance

Yesterday as part of the Meet The Artist day at Lanternhouse I did a performance, streamed live on the internet.

I was joined in this by Geoff Benson who at 78 VJed for the very first time and John Hall who did some soundmaking alongside me. Here's the stream, available for the next 7 days.

I will be doing more research and work with streaming technologies I think as it's an exciting developement alongside other newer technologies like phones and tablets for music making. It's been brilliant to be given the space by Lanternhouse to work and try new things out in such an amazing creative and supportive atmosphere, always very much appreciated.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Singing Bowls and Musical Stones

Went on a road trip with Iain McNicol and his singing bowls today and ended up at Cathedral Quarry in Langdale. We went to record the singing bowls but as we walked into the quarry (which is more of a cave) we were greated by someone playing flute.

Here's one of the recordings I made of the duets between Iain and the mysterious flute lady - I hope she drops me an email so I can send her the recordings - wonderful stuff. I also recorded the most amazing song the lady sang with singing bowl, water dripping and a plane going past overhead.

If you love great natural reverbs get yourself along and have a play/sing - just beautiful ambience.

We also nipped into the Ruskin museum to record the harmonicon or musical stones that were presented to John Ruskin by the Till Family.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Live internet TV and it's potential

I have just done another test broadcast using after a morning of research and chatting online about the possibilities of such technology. Being able to do live streaming of gigs and such is a very exciting prospect and something I've been researching during my residency at Lanternhouse.

I have been discussing the possibilities of live collaborations using things like and video conferencing software and the main issue is time lagging of signals - I could perform here in the UK, my friend could play along in the US, but if we try and play, interacting together, then it gets a little more difficult.

Today I did a test performance on where using chat I could interact verbally with the 'audience' and what they typed - if you play the streamyou will hear me responding to their messages. It was exciting to do this with Phill in Ulverston, Mr Duke in Wales and Hal in Florida.

So as a pure tool for performing to new audiences this stuff really works, especially with them being able to type messages to you in real time. I will be working with the likes of Phill and Hal and doing somemore experiments with the technology and how we can use it as an artistic tool.

I will be trying to do another little performance over the weekend, this time from my garden if the weather holds, to try out a wifi dongle and to see if that works well enough to do live streaming 'off grid' for future performances.

My first official live performance will be on Wednesday 30th March from Lanternhouse in Ulverston 2pm - 3pm GMT streamed live from - If you prefer the old fashioned way and live locally why not drop in for a brew and be part of the studio audience.

Watch live video from cluttermusic on

Mica Burn - a remix by Dead Kousin

Another fantastic remix this time from London's Dead Kousin. He said of the remix:

'here is my attempt at 'remixing' Cumbria. I don't have any real connection with the county (except having worked there on occasion and passed through numerous times!) but thought your project sounded really interesting. I used exclusively sounds from your sample pack, so it's all your own material - I hope you like the result!'

Dead Kousin on Soundcloud 

This is our 20th remix submitted from around the globe. Go to the Sample Packs page to download the sounds and contribute your own remix. There is also VJ packs if you would like to do something filmic for the project.

All the remixes can be downloaded here

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

More fun at Meet The Artist

I had fun working in the kitchen at Lanternhouse for another Meet The Artist day today.

I've been wondering about the amount of effects/processing I use on field recordings and after working with Steve & Mary the other day and not using much in the way of effects I thought I'd revisit the loops I've been working with on the project and try and do a 'dry' improvisation, so you hear the actual sounds more. Here's a little workout from the stuff I recorded whilst jamming about which for the sake of it having a name I've called Drystone Welding.

Iain McNicol popped in today and we have arranged to go and record his singing bowls around the county on Monday, he knows some really interesting places so expect some brilliant results :-) We may even try and do a live broadcast somewhere along the way.......Talking of which I will be performing a live internet TV broadcast from Lanternhouse at the last Meet The Artist day - I will post more details soon.....

Barrovian poet Ann Wilson came along in the afternoon with her loop station pedal and we had a bit of a jam - we had a play with a couple of poems and then a general inprovisation. It was good fun and interesting to see how we could work together. 

Monday, 21 March 2011

BBC 21CC/West Lakes Academy workshop

Had fun making a collection of tracks with pupils and staff from West Lakes Academy in Egremont during a workshop I ran for BBC 21CC at Lanternhouse. All the tracks were created with sounds collected and made in the lanternhouse building - field recordings, instruments played and voices used.

21CC is the BBC's 21st Century Classroom. They run fun, interactive digital media workshops for schools and community groups that offer young people the opportunity to develop creative production skills in animation, film, radio, art and design and music.

West Lakes Academy 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

My Love Is But A Lassie Yet (Deconstructed)

I had the great pleasure of being invited to Lancaster yesterday to work with improvising vocalists Steve Lewis and Mary Oliver for an afternoon of experimenting, play and discussion about the nature of improvising.

It was great fun to work with such amazing vocal improvisers, myself adding a layer of live processing and looping, only working with voice. There was a real purity to what we did which led me to using a lot less obvious processing that I would normally use, to let the quality of the voices really come through.

As part of the day I asked them if we could play around with an old Cumberland Ballad My Love Is But A Lassie Yet which we improvised a deconstructed version of. The original text is available on Google books here.

It really was an exciting day and we are hoping to play some gigs together in the near future as a trio. Keep a look out for us, I think it is going to be something very special.

Mary Oliver
Deep Cabaret (Steve Lewis)
Deep Clutter (Steve Lewis & Shaun Blezard)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Still Standing, Still Useful

I have just uploaded a brand new track Still Standing, Still Useful which I have donated to Belgium net label Kopp for a new compilation they are releasing in the near future.

The music is edited from improvisations I recorded during a Meet The Artist day at Lanternhouse on 16th March, then edited down into a usable form - it is 3 sections overlapped to create the whole.

The voices are Eunice, talking about the scruffy houses she remembers as a child in Kendal and Arthur, talking about houses in Ulverston and the poverty people lived under then. Both sets of houses were built by local industry wool and snuff magnates in Kendal and the Mills in Ulverston.

I have contributed to Kopp before, donating an exclusive track The Moon Of Pity to the compilation Basic Imprint in 2010. They release some brilliant dark ambient and experimental music under Creative Commons licence, go check them out.

Elaine talks about Barrow

Had a great chat at the last Meet The Artist day at Lanternhouse with a Barrovian lady called Elaine. She talked about growing up in Barrow and how hard it could be at times being a women in a 'beer and skittles' town, why she left and then why she returned after traveling the world.

Elaine also recited a poem she wrote in Scotland about people hating others for where they come from and who they are.

I have had some amazing chats with Cumbrian people and would still love to talk to more of you. Listen to what others have told me to get an idea of the sort of thing I'm collecting, we can just meet up and have a chat that I record to edit out little parts of conversation to add to the project.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

3 new remixes submitted

We have had 3 new remixes sent to us for the project.

A 3rd remix from Bubble in Canada - this one is called Cone I  - John of Bubble includes two tracks from the Cumbria sounds, a field recording of rain from the Cumbria field recordings, a guitar track, a violin, tibetan singing bowl and one from my friend the opera singer...
Bubble on the internet.

Bubble on Soundcloud
Bubble website

CumbriaNACHTmix is by Nachtsmeer from Manchester who has recorded for Skam records and played All Tomorrow's Parties and Future Sonic.

Nachtsmeer website
Nachtsmeer on Facebook

Jaaccckkkk & Iiiaan a remix of the recordings by Jack & Ian from Flookburgh by Nottingham's Guy Birkin, Guy said of his work: 'I thought you might like to hear what I did with some of your Cumbrian oral history recordings. I love Jack and Ian's vocabulary, their phrasing, timing and tone, so I thought I'd do this simple experiment of layering the tracks. Great project you've got here. Regards, Guy'

Guy Birkin has a blog Aesthetic Complexity 

All tracks and samples used by Cumbria Remixed are not licenced by Cumbria Remixed as stated below but by the individual artists. Each artist has licenced their material under a Creative Commons licence and Cumbria Remixed thanks each and everyone of them for letting us share their work on these pages. Please contact each artist for individual licencing information.

All the remixes can be downloaded here

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Happy Life and Socialist Sunday Schools

A 1 minute track sent to Hal McGee for his International Email Audio Art Project. This features a recording of Mr Pritchard singing an old piorotte song he remembers from his youth.

It is quite a strange task to write a 1 minute track, especially as an ambient based writer, where long form is the standard, some of my tracks being over 20 minutes long. You really have to think hard about what is included and what is not needed...It was an interesting process - hope you like the results.... for more information about the Internatioanl Email Art Project

Have been having a little Facebook correspondance with Mark Harris, an amazing musician from Birmingham since I posted These Things Shall Be, he sent me a link to another version of the hymn/poem and brought my attention to the concept of Socialist Sunday Schools and wondered whether Arthur learned it at one of these? Certainly would be aound the right age....I hope to catch up with Arthur for a brew and another chat to ask him. He said he learnt it via the Co-op education system so...

There is a copy of the John Ireland version of These Things Shall Be on his 70th Birthday concert CD recorded at the Albert Hall available from Amazon recorded in 1949.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

These Things Shall Be

A new film to go with new music. The music is the first track I've produced using the recorded interviews I am making for the project. This one features Arthur from Ulverston, Lanternhouse's 92 year old neighbour who I had the pleasure of meeting one of the times he popped into the building for a brew. The poem is an old school hymn that was popular when he was a child. Look at the words here.

The music features processed field recordings from around Cumbria, including rain on my attic window, Whitehaven harbour and wind on Bardsea beach with harp made using Thumb Jam on my iPhone.

The film was started in a Meet The Artist session and is a collaboration with Geoff Benson from Kendal who came to check out digital film making after liking my work at the film night and chatting about new, cheap digital cameras. All the footage I used in the film are from Geoff's first go at using a digital film camera. More of his work will be in the next VJ pack that will be getting uploaded soon.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Cumbrian People

I have edited and uploaded the first round of interviews with Cumbrian people for the website. They are all available for download so you can add them to the remix packs we have already put out. The first Cumbrian sample pack will be available very soon also.

There is a great selection of people's memories starting to take shape. Thanks to Arthur, Eric, Eunice, Janice and Betty for talking to me and to Jack & Ian for donating some recordings.

Cumbrian People by cumbriaremixed

If you would like to be interviewed or know someone that might be interested please contact me at or phone 07743822114.

You can also pop into one of our Meet The Artist days at Lanternhouse. They run from 11am - 3pm on Wednesdays 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th March. Please come and have a little chat or why not try your hand at remixing the sights and sounds of Cumbria?

Sample Pack can be downloaded here - available for free download at The Internet Archive

Monday, 7 March 2011

Cumbria Remixed in London and Barcelona

I have just returned from a short trip taking Cumbria Remixed to London as part of the Black/Light Festival.

A short edit from the Kalendar and Clutter live A/V collaboration for inCounter at The Bussey Building, Peckham in London on 4th March 2011.

I was invited to work with Kalendar as part of inCounter in March 2011, part of Black/Light festival curated by Robots>>>>. The show also formed part of Cumbria Remixed, my artist residency at Lanternhouse, Ulverston.

Kalendar is a duo, Paul Ibram and Stephen Shiell, working between electro-acoustic and analogue improvisation using guitar and moog to create continuous landscapes of noise impressions, working backwards and forwards over time, effecting chronological dislocations in the receivers’ imaginations.

I added live processing of Kalendar, iPhone and samples from Cumbria to the live soundscapes. I also created projections for the performance that were a combination of Cumbria, filmed from the train on the way to London, and the Robots>>>> exhibition at The Bussey Building.

Kalendar on Soundcloud

Midnight In The House Of Lanterns is a track I produced for inclusion in Kim Cascone's 'Dark Atmospheres' diffusion mix for Storung Festival coming up in Barcelona.

Kim Cascone (USA) became internationally famous in the 80's working as a musical editor assistant in David Lynch's series Twin Peaks and Wild Heart. Nevertheless, his background in music is wider than that. He started his studies in electronic music in the 70's and founded in 1986 one of the pioneer labels of electronic music in the States, Silent Records. Since mid 90's his work is centered in audio design and has worked for Headspace and Staccato Systems where he got specialized in sound algorithmic synthesis for video games.

Storung Festival
Kim Cascone

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Radio Cumbria interview and new film

I am being interviewed on Radio Cumbria tomorrow morning - it's going out live at 11:30am - to listen live on or you can listen again - not sure if this works outside the UK? Will try and get a copy of the interview for the blog if it doesn't.

I have just completed a filmed entitled Lanternhouse I using images I filmed of Lanternhouse on a flip camera on the start of my residency. It is strongly influenced by such surrealist artist/film makers of the 1920's as Fernand Léger and Man Ray.

Lanternhouse I will be shown as part of The Films We Like - a night of emerging film makers being shown at Lanternhouse tomorrow - 2nd March (7:30pm - 9:30pm)

The Studio at Lanternhouse will be transformed into a cinema for one night only! The films have been hand-picked and cover a diverse range of styles from experimental video, animation, and documentary. They’re occasionally weird, always wonderful and united by the fact that we like them and we think you’ll like them too.

Entry £3 on the door!

For more info contact