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!

Sounds of our Shores

Earlier in the year I entered a sound recording of Brighton's Palace Pier Ghost Train to the National Trust/British Library Sounds of our Shores project. The project aims to create a coastal sound map of the UK using sounds recorded by the public. It is a neat idea and there are some lovely sounds gathered already. Anyway, my sound has been selected as one of the top ten favorite sounds, and voting has now opened to find THE No. 1 favorite sound of our shores.

If you feel inclined please VOTE HERE (the form isn't the neatest design, but move to the 2nd page to find and listen to the sounds).

To those who know me, the Ghost Train is probably a pretty obvious choice, but as well as being a dynamic evocative sound in itself (the clackety clack, compressed air, shrieks and howls), the recording has a personal connection for me. I grew up in Brighton and remember my first 'late night' out with my gran (who always took me and my twin brother on new adventures) and as if it wasn't exciting enough to be out after dark as a child, to then ride the ghost train sealed that magical memory forever. I've been fascinated by ghost trains ever since.