News as of 08/06/2022


NEXT LIVESTREAM

will be Saturday, 11 June, 7PM CEST on my Twitch TV channel.

GENERAL NEWS

Chris Cutler was here for most of the month, we worked on several new Probes episodes, edited and mastered a CD for the Soundart Brighton festival, and put together a 22-hour audio complilation for:

A day in Other People's Ears - A 22-hour continuous radio broadcast, "starting at 1400 and finishing at Midday the following day. Part of the Radio Art Zone Festival in Luxembourg: Radio ARA, on 87.8 FM, also syndicated elsewhere and streamed online."

Here's the main website for the Radio Art Zone festival.

Also keeping busy mixing and mastering more titles for the Angelica label, I always enjoy those.


STREAMS AND VIDEOS

A lot of my musical energy during the past two years or so has been directed at my (nearly) monthly livestream shows, which give me a dose of the special live performance thrill without the added complications of trains, busses, pandemics, wondering if I'll make enough dough at the gig to afford the train to the next one, etc. I love doing the livestreams and will continue to do so even if/when I get back to doing tours. (There's a mailing list sign-up on my main page if you want to be notified of upcoming shows.)

Until the pandemic shut down my little tour schedule in early 2020, I had never even thought about doing a livestream. I'd heard of them but thought it was something to do with computer games (I once played Asteroids in 1980 and that was the extent of my "gaming".) Then early in 2020 my musical friend Kavus Torabi streamed a few simple solo shows from his livingroom, and I though oh what a great idea, I wanna try it! It took a while to figure out how to get started in an area I knew nothing about, but once I did it became a real pleasure, and it keeps me on my toes as a live performer too. And once I got over my profound inexperience with video software and began to enjoy using it, that led naturally to try and make some more ambitious videos, which has also became a favourite thing to do.

It's such simple fun planning one of these streams - what will it look like, what costume to wear, which songs to do...and all the strangely calming pleasure of tinkering about setting up the gear, the microphones, and getting the sound.

I've been asked what I use to do the streams and videos, and love to encourage others to give it a try, even if you don't know the first thing about how to do it. Trust me - as recently as April 2020 when I got started, I knew NOTHING, and the learning "curve" was more like facing a sheer, featureless wall of indeterminite height and nowhere to get a grip. Anyway try it! As for a camera, doesn't need to be special - so far the only one I've ever used is the one built-in to a Dell laptop. All the software is free, cross-platform and open source:
OBS Open Broadcaster Software. You can simply stream with it, and also do video recording if you want to get into that. If you do record some video, you can edit it, add titles and effects, and get as fancy as you want with Shotcut.

Those are the things I've used to do the streams and videos, so if you're at all curious about trying it, get those and mess about for a while, and see what happens!


NEXT ALBUM(S)

There are two separate solo album ideas percolating currently. One is looking like a "guitar instrumental" album, a bit rock-ey and more in line with the natural progression along the same road as Arx Pilosa - L'Isola dei Lupi - Planets and Animals, only with no singing...the guitar takes the melodies.

The other will be very sparse: a suite of pieces about mysterious springs and wells, for organ, piano and voice, composed more in the "modern classical" vein like The Gardens Of Beastley Manor and Suite For Notation Software only very much less busy, and full of quiet and space.

Which of the two albums I'll start recording first depends on which one has enough material first, as of this writing, it's leaning towards the latter, and the months of long, hot, quiet Summer days to come seem like just the right time to get going on a calm, quiet and spacious album...stay tuned for updates.


A PHOTO OF A DOG DRINKING FROM A SPRING

In closing here is a photo of Sascha the dog drinking from a little iron spring on a walk in the Pyrénées Catalanes last month. It tasted like rust with a dash of sugar, Sascha and her pal Charlie the dog both loved it!
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