Music!

Arrived in Hanoi! (Day 1)

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 | images, Live Shows, Max/MSP, Music!, Uncategorized | No Comments

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.

 

My Home Made guitar plays: Disorder by Palace music (Will Oldham).

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 | Building Things, Music!, video | No Comments

Dusted off the guitar I made in 2007 and decided to have a go one of my favourite Palace tunes. Disorder comes from the 1996 album ‘Arise Therefore’ Which is a beautiful melancholic and sparse record with some of Will’s best lyrics of all time.

 

late 50's STC 3045 dynamic

I recorded the music with two very old mic’s that I’ve been getting into lately. The voice uses an old BBC STC 4035 from the 1950’s and the guitar a 1970’s AKG lapel mic which is labelled BBC Radio Paris.

I think this is an AKG made sometime in the 70's

I just saw the same mic hanging around Dudley Moore’s neck during his duet with Cilla Black – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxgHypEdeEU

About this guitar:

http://leafcutterjohn.com/?page_id=33

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqep67V4Qqw

J x.

A little video of the new light to sound hardware. Live at PowerLunches Dec 2012

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 | Building Things, Live Shows, Music!, video | No Comments

Thanks to Blanca for the video.

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

A new track that looks like Chicago in the Fog…

I’ve been beavering away on new music this week. I also bought some software to help me clean up a live recording of my recent piece  with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. These two things came together when I put the track I was working on into the editor and realised it looked quite like a night time image of a city in the fog. I’ve never been to Chicago but from what I’ve seen in photos and film it’s not a million miles away. The visualisation above is a spectrogram which plots the energy in different frequency bands from low at the bottom to high at the top. Time is along the horizontal axis but that is not always be the case….

real-time yum

This image is from an amazing web-app thing I found. It will plot a circular spectrogram of any file on soundcloud. It’s programmed by a guy called Lee Martin.  You can make it work for any track by changing the address:

http://spectrogram.heroku.com/artist-name/track-name

Click here to see and hear a real-time circular spectrogram of ‘Chicago in the fog’. It works only on newer browsers.

If that’s not working for you here is the track, it’s not quite finished but I’d quite like to know what you think of it.

Hope you enjoyed that,

J x.

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.

Love, of and in Autumn.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 | Building Things, Music!, Things Thought | 5 Comments

Last weekend I was out in Vienna and Serbia with Polar Bear, it was an amazing weekend, our first concert was canceled weeks before and due to some travel complexities we had to go out and spend a day just eating and drinking together in Vienna, It’s a hard life sometimes.

Anyway on to Serbia in the smallest and noisiest plane still flying. Our hosts were some of the warmest and most lovely that I can remember and after a very nice concert we were invited to a brilliant little bar situated underneath a bookshop in Novi Sad. It was packed with all the people who ran the concert and all their friends and it became impossible to avoid having a totally brilliant time. We ended up being gently turfed out at about 4:30 in the morning. This allowed us 3 or 4 hours sleep before flying back to London.

Novi Sad bookshop bar....

On our return we were greeted by what can only be described as total chaos on the tube, the closure of one of the lines meant that the trains were absolutely packed. At one point on the journey I looked over to the end of the carriage to see a grown woman and man with a child standing on top of my guitar case. The fun weekend was catching up with me and I was only able to close my eyes and ponder the wisdom of not getting enough sleep.

On returning home I flopped onto my bed and let my eyes close. I was really looking forward to seeing my girlfriend who was still out at work. Then instead of drifting of to sleep, words started to come to me. At first in dreamlike washes, which gradually became more and more lucid. After a little while I opened my eyes again, wrote down the forming words and went into the studio picked up the guitar I made back in 2007 and half an hour later I had this:

My first tune in a very long time, I hope you’ll enjoy it and the story behind it.

J x.

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,

John.

 

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