buchla 200e

Self Generating Exploration

I use a modular synthesiser called the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box. It crops up in nearly every project I work on and is an endless source of inspiration. Its inventor Don Buchla, whilst a synthesiser pioneer just like the better known Bob Moog, chose a more experimental approach to his designs, preferring to discard traditional interfaces like the common white and black keyboard, and instead creating touch sensitive input panels with layouts that better suited the human anatomy. 

This recording uses the 266e Source of Uncertainty module to drive a self generating composition. Pulses and modulation are randomly generated and control the rhythm, pitch and timbre of a single oscillator with the results being very musical. I could just leave this patch alone and it would play endlessly, but I'm making subtle changes to various settings to interact with the machine music. The original idea for this particular patch came from Todd Barton, Buchla expert and inspiration source for many synthesiser explorers. 

There is one last element to this recording, the Ciat-Lombarde Cocoquantus - which is a cosmic looping machine from another dimension. More about that another time!

Dark Ride

During the 2014 Brighton Digital Festival, Persistent Peril and Paul Hayes created their very own miniature 'dark ride' (an indoor amusement ride where riders usually travel in some kind of vehicle) using Lego Monorail. The ride traveled through fantastic lands created by Lucy Irving, and members of the public could even 'ride' aboard the Monorail using virtual reality goggles.

Following The Simonsound Monorail trip in 2013 (a journey in electronic sound, released on 10" vinyl with a map of the ride) I've been pretty obsessed with theme parks and Imagineers - the men and women behind some of best immersive ride experiences at Disney Theme Parks. In the team behind Persistent Peril, I found kindred spirits equally mad about such things. I gladly provided a sonic treatment, featuring Buchla Electric Music Box and Aalto Synthesizer for this on board video.

For more like this take a ride aboard Monorail SS MkI and don't forget to purchase your souvenir record and map!

Two Knocks For Yes

I created this Radiophonic collage for Halloween. I'd really enjoyed this article by Adam Curtis and wanted to do something using excerpts from the archive material featured.

Explore the poltergeist phenomenon with this 30 minute radiophonic collage, featuring recordings from British cases including the famous 'Enfield Haunting'. Electronic oscillations courtesy of the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box; manipulated frequencies courtesy of the Critter & Guitari Kaleidoloop.

I love projects like this that see my two worlds of music and radio collide. I just wish there were more outlets for such work. It would be fantastic to create a radio drama with the same kind of treatment....

Testing the Stone Tape theory

I'll be testing the Stone Tape theory again this Friday at The Phoenix Gallery in Brighton. Expect heavy oscillations, eerie modulations and unholy frequencies from my Buchla Electric Music Box.

The event will also feature films and performance from Ian Helliwell, and more music from Trying to Kill Me and Adam Cobell.

8PM - The Phoenix Gallery, Brighton. £2 on the door.

Fort Process - photo by Agata Urbaniak

Fort Process - photo by Agata Urbaniak

The Simonsound at Herstmonceux Observatory

Here is a recording from a live space ritual performed in Dome B at Herstmonceux Observatory in Sussex. Combining Buchla Electric Music Box, Kaleidoloop and a Yapp 36 inch refracting telescope, the aim was to summon cosmic transmissions from deep space. Over the course of the evening we picked up voices of long lost astronauts, stars being born, distant undiscovered planets with strange atmospheres, creaking relics of the space race and many more things that defy description. The sounds of these space transmissions can now be heard.

Listen below or buy here.  You name the price, starting at free!