leafcutter john

Mercy Podcast

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 | Live Shows, Music!, video | No Comments

mercyI’m heading up to Liverpool tomorrow to premier my new film/soundtrack project. Here is a podcast from Mercy the fine people who are hosting the event.

LISTEN:::

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Mercy Podcast Page

Come say hello, it’s free, yes FREE tickets available from special@mercyonline.co.uk

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New Leafcutter John Live Album finished

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Music!, The Making of the 5th Leafcutter Album | 3 Comments

I’m really happy to say I’ve just finished work on a new live album project. I don’t actually have a release date  yet but everything else is pretty much in place.

The project involved going to Tunis and recording a load of sounds from which I made a live show. The show was recorded and then a little studio tinkering later the Tunis album was born. It comes out later this year or early next on Tsuku Boshi Records.

Here are two full tracks for your listening pleasure.


take care,

Leafcutter John x.

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Parallel Anthology, Whitechapel Late show Live Recordings.

Hello,

I’ve been busy working on several live projects recently and thought I’d take a moment to tell you about one of them. Along with Patten and Karen Gwyer I was asked to devise and perform interpretations of two folk songs originally recorded back in the 50’s and now out of copyright. It’s part of a project inspired by musicologist, record collector, and artist Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Eileen Simpson and  Ben White who organised the show have collected parallel public domain versions of the anthology recordings not closed down by copyright – from non-attributed folk versions, to commercial recordings whose proprietary interests have expired.

For the first tune I stuck a contact mic onto a hi-hat and played it with my hands, a bow, and a vibrating Cappuccino foamer. The sound of the contact mic is fed to max where it goes through a plug-in i’ve been working on which can make chordal clouds of sound.

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Our Goodman – Leafcutter John, live at Whitechapel Gallery.

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Our Goodman – Originally recording – Thomas Moran, 1954, Ireland

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For the second song I used a wooden box with a contact-mic inside it. The outside of the box has lots of sound making things attached to it. For the show I attached a very brilliant music box which is programmable using punched cards. I transcribed the melody of the original song, punched it out and again fed all the sound to my max patches which were used here to re-arrange the original melody.

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No Sir (Oh no John!) – Leafcutter John, live at Whitechapel Gallery.

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No Sir (Oh no John!) – Originally recording – Emily Bishop 1952, England.

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It was a fun show, thanks Eileen and Ben!

For more information about the Parallel Anthology project look here.

J x.

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Leafcutter John at the Whitechapel Gallery Fri 30th July

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Live Shows | No Comments

Open Music Archive presents

PARALLEL ANTHOLOGY

Friday 30 July

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street

London E1 7QX

8pm – 11pm

£7 (£6 concessions)

out-of-copyright versions of songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music

covered, reworked and remixed

featuring exclusive Parallel Anthology sets by:

Leafcutter John

patten

Karen Gwyer

plus:

out-of-copyright/copyleft Open Music Archive DJ set

The 1952 release of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music was a compilation bringing together a selection of Smith’s personal collection of 78rpm folk records. As such, it was effectively a bootleg and operated under the legal radar until it was digitised, re-mastered and fully licensed in 1997. The recordings in the anthology are those from the early days of the record industry, a time which saw the establishment of a system that fixed collectively-authored folk lyrics and melodies to individual authors in an attempt to control the flow of this previously fluid cultural material.

Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White have collected alternative public domain versions of anthology recordings not closed down by copyright; from non-attributed folk versions, to commercial recordings whose proprietary interests have expired.

For this event musicians and producers have been invited to perform new covers and remixes of the collected material for a night of plugged and unplugged performances.

The project re-envisages Smith’s anthology as a series of nodes in a larger network and employs a kind of sonic virology – tracing songs across spatial and temporal distances. A parallel collection is proposed: a new roots and future anthology, collecting and generating rich material that remains open for use and reuse.

Free Parallel Anthology source CD gift will be presented on entry.

more info:

http://www.openmusicarchive.org/parallelanthology

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Another little forester 2 video

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 | Building Things, Forester, Max/MSP, video | No Comments

Been super busy here for the last few weeks – I’m making not one but two albums dont you know…. More about them later. For now here is a little video of me testing the currents in Forester 2. Don’t have time to annotate the video I’m afraid, but im basically changing 4 parameters of the current using a midi controller – yes forester 2 will be easily midi controllable. How fast the sound ball thingies move depends on their size and the strength of the current.

Best,
Leafcutter John x.

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THANK YOU!

Sunday, June 20th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
whoooooo!

whoooooo!

Everyone who helped me reach my fund-raising target for the British Heart Foundation, you are very lovely people!

I should be in bed now getting some rest before rising at 6am (ouch) to cycle down to the start line in Clapham, however I’m really moved that you people have been so generous.

Also I just remembered I need to charge the batteries in my Sony recorder….

Take care all,

J x.

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Sponsor Leafcutter John for BHF London to Brighton charity bike ride – And get a free exclusive track!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 | field recording | No Comments

Hello everyone,

My friends and I have been talking for years about taking part in the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton charity Bike Ride, and this year thanks to Rich, we are finally going to do it. The ride is about 60 miles, and I’ll be undertaking it with the iconic and stylish ‘Team Cash’ (Tom Haines, Chris Branch, Richard Wigley, Josie Long, Jim Slade and Johnny Moonface).

Will we all make it without incident?!?!

Who knows, but know this – all the money raised will go directly to the BHF.

Plus anyone who donates will get a free exclusive piece of music I’ll make from field recordings made on the day of the ride!

PLEASE REMEMBER to include your email on the donation page or I won’t be able to say thank you and send you your exclusive track!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

So please dig deep and donate now. Click on the donate button above or click here to go to the donate page!

whoooooo!

Did I mention that I do a lot of good work for charity?

A million thanks,

Leafcutter John xxx.

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Blast from the past, Download 13 of my unreleased songs from 1998….

Monday, April 26th, 2010 | Music!, Things Thought | No Comments

Back in the mists of time before I had released any records, and before I had even decided that I would like to make music for a living. I used to write a huge amount of songs, record them on a shitty 4 track tape recorder, collect enough to fill a C60 tape and give them to my friends. Maybe I thought I might get signed or something, but I don’t remember ever trying to get them to a label. Honestly I think I did it for the love of making, collecting and organizing the songs, doing the artwork and handing them out. This is one of my last compilation tapes, I made it when I first moved to London in 1998/9 though some of the songs date back to 1995.

This compilation used to be available on my old website but was lost somehow. I was just reminded about the existence of these tunes so I thought I’d have a little scout around and google found them! A few years back the good folk at www.ordinarybicycle.com offered to host the download – which I had totally forgotten about. So thanks to them you can have a listen if the fancy takes you.

The songs are mainly voice and guitar, If you enjoy dark wobbly-voiced down-tempo existential crisis you might enjoy “the sky is darker than the road”

DONWLOAD AWAY!

sky is darker

Best,

Leafcutter John x.

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Forester 2 is getting closer to release.

Monday, April 19th, 2010 | Building Things, Forester, Max/MSP, Software News | 7 Comments

I’ve finally had chance to work more on Forester 2. You can see my progress in the video below. I decided to ditch the 2D forest in favor of a 3 dimensional ocean. The idea is that you’ll be able to drop sound-files directly into the interface which will then be carried around the environment by the oceanic currents.

The software came from an idea i had tried out in processing (look) and later implemented in Max/MSP/Jitter.

In line with my growing philosophy of keeping choice and expectations down and being happily surprised with the results you will have very little control over what happens to your sounds. I plan to implement limited control over the the nature and directions of the currents but as in life you’ll pretty much have to let nature run its course.

I recommend watching the following in full screen 720 HD mode if you can.

Take care,

Leafcutter John.

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Next Leafcutter Concert: Cafe Oto Thursday 29th April

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Live Shows | No Comments

Well thanks to Tom and the London Word festival team the Briggflatts show went really well. The audience were bloody amazing which made it extra special. I’m having a little pause before my next concert and I’m going to try and pull together all the strands I’ve been working on to actually produce some new music (SHOCK) for the next concert:

gonna be good

gonna be good

The show is the record launch my my friend Keung ‘Mandelbrot’ who plays intricate lines through a plethora of FX pedals (in fact he uses a prototype pedal that I made at the moment). Also playing is the wonderful Lina Lapelyte who I’ve had the pleasure of playing with a couple of times and is my favorite violinist.

Details: 29th April – Leafcutter John, Mandelbrot, Lina Lapelyte – Cafe Oto, 8pm £6 in advance – Tickets Here!

Ta ta for now,

Leafcutter John.

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