MONK at Noisefloor 2019


concert in Brno, Czech Republic

The works of me and my esteemed colleages are being performed here. It looks fantastic! I won’t be there but if you’re in the Brno area, do pop in if you can.

MTI² concert in Brno, Czech Republic, March 31st

A concert dedicated to the composers of the MTI² will be presented as part of the Sonix Series at Divadlo na Orlí, Brno, Czech Republic, on the 31st of March 2019:

Composers whose work will be presented at the concert include Prof. Bret Battey, Dave Holland, Francesc Marti, John Richards, Neal Spowage, and Prof. John Young.

New work, Convolve

Convolve (2019)

My latest work, an AV peice called ‘Convlve’, will be premiered at De Montfort University next week along woth new works by my colleagues. The link to the event is here

Convolve (2019)  – 11:22

By Neal Spowage

Convolve is an unexpected and pleasant by-product of another ongoing creative research project that studies the relationship between sound and movement using long delays, acoustics and physical gesture to control live acoustic feedback. Convolve is also a reaction to much of the video art that I have experienced over many years.

I have used reverbs and delays as an instrument to convolve frequencies produced by a simple home made oscillator. Minute shifts of parameters in long repeats and reverbs phase waves and cancel or add frequencies. The slow convoluted movement of both the sound and the image is directed through feel and intuition and is intended to elicit emotion by making the observer uncomfortable and/or anxious from the adverse effects of monotony and expectation. The method and process is derived from interfering with, or re-directing, existing generative processes that result from the long reverbs and delays. It is closely connected to the relationship between sound and visual movement and investigates perception of minute movements that are congruent with the oscillations, beating and phasing of the audio.

It is intended to be presented in a dark room on a large screen in stereo for full immersive effect.

Sound and Kinetics: Performance, artistic aims and techniques in electroacoustic music and sound art

Sound and Kinetics: Performance, artistic aims and techniques in electroacoustic music and sound art 

I’m very happy to announce the latest issue of Organised Sound, edited by Joran Rudi and myself, has now been published and is available from Cambridge Core here

with contributions from:

Asbjørn Blokkum Flø
Linnea Semmerling, Peter Peters, Karin Bijsterveld
Christian Blom
Jaime E. Oliver La Rosa
Luca Forcucci
Anna Troisi
Neal Spowage
Jøran Rudi
Joan Riera Robusté
Alexa Woloshyn

I have also contributed an article (which I beleive has the least catchy title of them all) and to the editorial. As my first stint at co-guest-editoring it has been hard work, as one would expect, hairy at times, and wonderfully rewarding.

For my non academic friends, I apologise for the paywall, such is the way of the current academic landscape.

Recording with Makoto Nomura

Makoto Nomura is a well established composer and performer well known for his work with animals and his use of  the melodica as his prominent instrument. I had the pleasure of working with him last week and recording a series of improvised works to be broadcast on UK BBC Radio sometime in tthe future. Our insruments were voice, printer ink carriages, scanner motors, 9v batteries, PC CD drives, cassette motors, bean tins and CD laser head carriages. The sounds came from the motors that are attached to these gears and carriages. This was indeed ‘motor music’.

We had a fantastic time experimenting with recording in the echoy corridors of the DMU PACE building.

A lot of what we worked on was lo-fi, especially the unique sounds that some of the motors made through the cardboard box amplifiers, they were very much preferable to the nice BOSE speakers whose sound was just too clean and characterless.

A very dirty night was had by all.

Dismantling scanners and printers

I’ve been dismanltling scanners and printers to make musical instruments from their moving parts. Every brand comes appart differently and every motor has a unique sound which makes for a set of fantastic kinetic devices that each have their own ideosyncracies.

This is an obsolete scanner. The sound is a DIRECT OUTPUT from the motor. It’s quite stiff so the initial movement is fast, making the output quite painful to the ear.

The waggly DIRECT SIGNAL OUTPUT from the motor hanging from the end of a paper guide roll.

And the wonderful lumpy DIRECT SIGNAL OUTPUT sounds of the motor that is a part of the ink cartridge carriage.

These are the raw materials for larger musical systems, and the cost nothing but time (which some may argue is the most expensive commodity of all).

ed. Everything comes apart in it’s own way and half the fun is working out how to dismaltle one of these without instructions. Over the years I have aquired a collection of tools that are useful for this task, such as extra long screwdrivers and a particularly useful pair of needle nose pliars that can be worked under plastic lips to unclip covers. Sometimes I can spend what feels like an age looking for that last hidden screw that is preventing me from dissasembling the device.