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Music for Parallel Consumption

  Update, January 2016: This project has now been released on bandcamp It’s a lovely word but a little overused by self-help and marketing gurus: serendipity. Those familiar…

for rei as a doe: annotated timeline

Artists Colin Lawson and Chante Inglis  are working on a video using Colin’s paintings as visuals alongside my 40-minute piano and computer piece for rei as a doe. This…

mNAP video, New Delhi

All the transcriptions are done, the analysis is complete, and now we have Shradha Jain’s video of the project I did in Delhi at the end of 2014:…

hyperboles 4 – the extremities of cold, Montreal

My hyperboles project saw a new iteration in Quebec last month. Performances of  hyperboles 4 (“insomniac rain”) took place in Canada, on February 25th courtesy of the festival Mois Multi 2015…

The mNAP sound installation

Experiencing this sound installation involves stepping into a custom-built soundproofed box (the mNAP) and listening to the twelve-minute piece I made on stereo headphones. Simple feedback on the…

Heilige Schlaf(-störung)

5.15am, December 23rd, 2014. Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu, India. Pitch black. The dead of night. Except that the stillness that accompanies those well-known phrases is all too conspicuously missing….

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

You’d be forgiven for looking at this stunning photography by Shradha Jain and thinking that we’d found ourselves in idyllic surroundings full of the sounds of nature in…

step well cistern in the heart of Delhi

This was a great find: a step well in the heart of Delhi, namely Agrasen Ki Baoli–see recordings location map. Not only did this have some interesting sonic…

Dilli Haat Food and Craft Bazar

Another shot of me with that far away look–no idea where that comes from because whilst recording these ambiences I feel very focussed on the present moment. In…

Is tonality dead?

“That autopilot mentality … – and ditto the Classic BRITS’ smorgasbord of stale musical leftovers – freeload off the hard fought-for expressive truths of others, reducing to nought…

unbox 2014 Delhi

I’m looking forward to working at the Unbox Festival in Delhi at the end of this month on a collaborative project funded by the AHRC. I’ll be leading…

What constitutes success?

Self-mastery is the supreme victory–– much more to be valued than winning control over others. It is a victory that no other being whatsoever can distort or take…

The voice in modern composition

There are natural limitations of the human voice which present us with challenges. Amongst these are the difficulty of pitching by ear—as opposed to most instruments’ fingering or…

Lisp Code to generate double harmonics

In response to Russell Snyder’s request for my code to generate double harmonics (natural) on the viola d’amore, I’ve abstracted the following from my piece 24-7: freedom fried….

hyperboles are the worst thing ever
(aka Epimenides would have been gutted)
Amsterdam

Since August 2013 I’ve been working on hyperboles, a series of pieces that allow musicians to tweak the algorithm parameters that are used to generate the work’s score, sound…

their faces on fire, San Marino

Gianpaolo Antongirolami and I premiered my new piece for baritone saxophone and computer their faces on fire in San Marino on June 20th 2014. It’s 100% algorithmically generated, and…

film music composition feedback

Some facebook posts and resultant comment threads are worth saving. This one, prompted by having to grade some film music composition, is, in my opinion one of those, mainly…

Is there a common practice in modern composition today?

If we look back to the compositional world surrounding Bach and Handel, or Mozart and Haydn, most people will see more stylistic commonalities than divergences. Is this merely…

Music Theory MOOC

This course, from the University of Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music (recently ranked first in the UK), is suitable for those who have never studied music academically. It will introduce you…

edimpro on BBC Jazz on 3 from the Edinburgh Festival

On August 18th 2014, edimpro—the free improvisation group I started at the University of Edinburgh in 2009—played at an Edinburgh Festival live broadcast concert for the BBC’s Jazz…

for rei as a doe

My 40-minute algorithmic composition for piano and computer came out on the Aural Terrains label this month. Rei Nakamura premiered it in London (partial version) and Stockholm (complete version)…

PechaKucha talk

On December 6th 2013, along with some colleagues and old students, I contributed to a PechaKucha evening in Edinburgh devoted to New Music. The 20x20second slide format is a…

better a broken bone

A new release of freely improvised music featuring me on saxophones and electronics, Christos Michalakos on drums and electronics, and Jack Weir on electric guitar is now available…

Kolam

The self-similar properties of visual patterns generated by Lindenmayer-Systems can be apprehended holistically almost instantaneously. Even simple rules can generate pleasing patterns of the sort you might see…

Bad Alchemy review of slippery chicken

Rigobert Dittmann’s Bad Alchemy 75/12 review of my slippery chicken release has to be the best I’ve every received. Not because it’s the most flattering, but because the writing style…

slippery chicken recordings

A multi-format, surround and stereo recording of five of my compositions made with slippery chicken is now available for order or download. Made possible by a grant from the…

not us

Not Us by Not Us Fritz Welch and I have just released not us, a studio album made in my Edinburgh flat (in the sauna, actually). Recorded and…

lapslap – granita

Our fourth and final (for this series at least) lapslap CD is now out on Leo Records. As the booklet text below attests, in contrast to our previous…

Communications of the ACM article on Algorithmic Composition

In 2009 I was approached by the editor of the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery—the world’s oldest computer science journal apparently—to write an article on algorithmic composition….

you are coming into us who cannot withstand you, Freiburg

For Ensemble Aventure, Freiburg, Germany. The title of this piece is taken from the poem “Final Notions” by Adrienne Rich (1929-): It will not be simple, it will…

don’t flinch

Essentially, “don’t flinch” for guitar and computer is a three-part mensural canon, but similar to late Mediaeval and Renaissance isorhythmic techniques, melodic material is repeated along with a…

lapslap recording sessions, september 2010

lapslap are Michael Edwards (saxophones, laptop), Martin Parker (horns, laptop), and Karin Schistek (piano, Nord synthesiser). We recorded free improvisations in the Reid Hall from the 8th to…

5.0 mastering with the TC System 6000

To get to know the various dynamics, EQ, and reverb effects on the TC System 6000 I tried a mastering session with the 5.0 mix files of my…