New free software coming soon…..

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 | Building Things, Electronics, Max/MSP, Software News | 1 Comment

Follow me on Twitter &/or Join Mailing List to find out when it’s released.

Sunday Synth Freakout.

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 | Building Things, Electronics, Music!, video | No Comments

CMOS Synth I’m in the process of designing and building at the moment.

J x.

Quadcopter Makes Disjointed Noise Improv

Saturday, February 16th, 2013 | Building Things, Electronics, Live Shows, Music!, video | No Comments

All the sounds you hear are being triggered and modulated by a downward facing LED which I rigged onto a little quadcopter. The light is picked up by the LDR’s from my light controlled music system which uses and an Arduino to send control data to Max/MSP where the sound is produced… I need to improve my flying skills if this is to go any further!

If you want to know more about the light controlled music system I’m doing a talk and concert at Brunel uni on Feb 27th and a talk an workshop at University of Wales Newport, City Campus on March 14th.

J x.


All 3 parts of the epic goingthruvinyl.com Leafcutter John interview now online

In what turned into something of an epic interview I think we touched on nearly everything I have done in music and art in the last decade.

It’s split into 3 sections:

Pt I.

Pt II.


Visit http://www.goingthruvinyl.com/

Take care,



Leafcutter John concert using new DIY light interface at Cafe Oto Tomorrow.

Wednesday 4th April 2012: Door Times : 8pm Tickets : £5 adv / £7 on the door

The BEAM Festival presents BEAM NIGHT, a special one-off taster event held at café OTO. BEAM is a playground of homemade instruments and sonic installations and was devised by Artistic Director Sarah Nicolls to explore the physicality of electronic music.  The focus on electronic music being created LIVE is explored through a programme of performances, demonstrations, installations and workshops.

The acts tonight all use unusual and/or homemade interfaces to perform. Atau Tanaka & Adam Parkinson play iPhones as sensitive, handheld controllers; Bruno Zamborlin performs café OTO’s wall – possibly for the first time?! – with his invention, Mogees, which read gestural language on any surface; Marco Donnarumma’s Music for Flesh is a visceral sensor performance using his instrument system Xth sense, which has just been named “the world’s most innovative new musical instrument” and awarded First Prize at the Guthman Musical Instrument Competiton in Atlanta (http://bit.ly/yiHBu6). Tom Bugs (maker of Bugbrand synth products) appears in a rare performance using his Modular synths and also sets up a mini-installation for the night, whilst the beguilingly creative Leafcutter John conjures up soundscapes with his new explorations in light and sound.

More information, videos & sounds on the BEAM NIGHT website

Some more light controlled music….

An attempt to play something a bit more musical on the light controlled audio system I’m currently working on.

Work in progress for Sundays show at the Royal Festival Hall

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 | Building Things, Electronics, video | No Comments

Something I’m working on at the moment. It’s early days but I think it could turn into something really nice. Light falling on 4 sensors controls all the sound in this clip. Lights controlled by an Arduino which also sends the light sensor data back to Max/MSP which deals with the audio generation. Camera not so great as it was dark and I was filming and playing at the same time.

Concerts this weekend!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 | Building Things, Electronics, Live Shows | No Comments

I hope you are all well and happy, January is turning out to be the most busy of all time so forgive my slightly late notice for these concerts this weekend.

First up: I’ve been working with 5 extraordinary musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra on a piece to be performed after the Jonathan Harvey Concert at the Barbican this Saturday the 28th Jan.

The piece uses lot’s of live sampling and manipulation of the instruments, you can see us rehearsing in MV2 at Maida Vale (above). There will also be pieces written by Guildhall School students and after, a live set by yours truly. Full details of the days events are given HERE

My piece and all the students pieces will be performed from 10pm in the Barbican Foyer (down stairs) and it’s FREE ADMISSION. If you would like to go and see the Jonathan Harvey concert at 8pm I’ve organised a discount, all you have to do is quote ‘LEAFCUTTER’ when booking by phone (020 7638 8891) or in person at the Barbican Booking office and you’ll get a ticket for £5 (+ booking fee if using phone).

The second concert is the day after wards and is at the Southbank Sunday 29th January. It features a new device I have made which makes music from light, or more precisely uses changing light to control sounds… Blah every way I can think of describing it falls short. Anyhow it looks a bit like this, but very animated and pulsing like a swarm of happy fire flies.

The show starts at 7:45, I’ll be playing solo and a duet with Olly Coates on cello. The night promises to be very special, Olly has put a lot of thought into the staging and scheduling! The night also features singer Olivia Chaney accompanied by Jordan Hunt, poetry by Matthew Welton and a new unaccompanied cello work by Christopher Mayo.

Tickets £5, for more info and booking click THIS FELLA

Ok that’s all for now, oh hold on, not it’s not! I made a little singy song thing about autumn which I don’t think I shared with you last time – it’s here for your digestion.

Take care and hope to see you at the weekend.

J x.

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Music using Inductive Pickups.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 | Building Things, Electronics, Music!, video tutorial | 5 Comments

After making this video I received an email asking if I’d make a couple of pickups for a gentleman in Norway.

I decided that it would be a nice thing to do, so I made these two little beauties.

commercial inductor with 1/4" (guitar type) jack.

Handwound coil with stereo 1/8" (headphone) jack - it's wired as mono

I was actually quite nervous making these things and having someone pay for them. Thankfully the recipient was delighted with his pickups and sent me this piece he made with them.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can hear more of Mads Lund Kolding’s fascinating music HERE!

Take care,



Weekly Music Thing No. 2 : Inductive Pickup

This week I’ll show you how to make a pick up that will let you eavesdrop on the internal sound-world of electronic devices.

The inductive pickup is simply a coil of wire, really that’s all there is to it. Connect that to an amplifier and begin probing your: Laptop, mobile phone, local transport network (London underground tube trains sound amazing!)

As last week, a video follows….


NEXT WEEK: either ‘How to make really good contact mics’ or ‘Messing about with CMOS chips to make a horrid noise” or something altogether different, you decide!

Other Weekly Music Things

Weekly Music Thing No. 1 : Laser Microphone

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