I've just been sent these images from my Brother Curtis James, who took them as I was performing at Fort Process in Newhaven last year. I have mixed emotions about this period as my 1 year old son was just recovering from a pretty serious operation. He is now healthy and cheeky and loves music and his name is Echo. He was on my mind all through this performance.
Last Friday saw the culmination of weeks of preparation with the public performance of Two Knocks For Yes at St. Andrews Church. The team were pleased with a (nearly) full house and the evening went by without a hitch, apart from a dry ice machine overheating which led to a huge cloud of dry ice rather than the planned mist floating across the floor and down the steps of the altar.
It was an absolute treat to perform in such an atmospheric space. The Buchla shook the wooden pews and bounced around the stone walls. I even got a chance to make an impromptu improvised recording when I had half an hour alone whilst everyone had gone for dinner and before the audience arrived.
As well as my performance of Two Knocks For Yes, there was an intriguing found tape recording of a scientist talking about some strange experiments, a talk on the folklore of water and death by James Burt, and some shared ghost stories from the audience. We learnt a lot from this first show and will be working towards expanding it for future outings.
The best thing about the whole event was getting a rare opportunity to work with my brother Curtis James, who instigated the project and made it happen (and hosted on the evening). It took me back to our teenage years working the lighting and sound for school plays.
Photos by Dominic Butler and DJ Food/Strictly Kev
As well as the limited cassette release of Two Knocks For Yes on Castles in Space, I'll also be performing the piece live (as black channels) in a pre-Halloween event (also called Two Knocks For Yes) in Brighton on the 23rd October at Saint Andrews Church, Waterloo Street. Get tickets here.
Shrouded in secrecy, Two Knocks For Yes will incorporate talks, music, theatre and photography.
"In every story of things that go bump in the night, there are two possibilities. One, that it's a hoax. Two, that there is something going on beyond the grasp of the human mind".
And so begins black channels' radiophonic exploration in to the poltergeist phenomenon that forms part of this evenings immersive entertainment, alongside a talk on the folklore of death and water by James Burt, ghost stories and archive video footage, all hosted by paranormal enthusiast, Curtis James.
Real life reports of paranormal activity, otherworldly vibrations and oscillations, chilling accounts of nocturnal visitations and strange activity in the most mundane of suburban surroundings will echo around the 19th Century stone walls of Saint Andrews Church, Brighton. There are tales of hauntings in the venue itself (no longer used for worship), and it is certainly true that the burial vaults beneath the pews have yet to be removed.
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.
Can't wait to play at this event on the 13th September. Fort Process is a day of experimental sound and art held in the unique Newhaven Fort in Sussex. I'll be performing in the Caponier, found deep beneath the fort down 100's of steps and winding damp tunnels.
For this performance I’ll be using my Buchla Electric Music Box to try and summon the ghosts that are said to dwell in the tunnels of Newhaven Fort. A ritual of heavy oscillations, otherworldly modulations and whispered incantations.
I'm wondering how it will compare to playing in a 1950s telescope dome.
I'm excited to be playing (with black channels) at the new Third Rail Festival in July this year. Setup by the original team behind the Green Man festival, Third Rail will take place on July 5th from noon until 10pm at Thames Prom in Reading.
Find out more and get tickets here.
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!