I am hoping to learn some new skills, particularly in using Arduino to generate visuals.
Last Thursday I gave a pitch with Carl Plant and Ben McManus from Bitjam at the IC Tomorrow finals for the Digital Innovation: Music contest in London. IC Tomorrow is a government initiative that helps companies develop and market innovative ideas that make use of technology.
Although we didn’t win, we learned a lot, made some great connections and hope to continue with our idea. We then thought we’d spend a bit of time hanging out at the BBC (left) before driving back to Stoke listening to Deftones, Hawkwind and Def Leppard.
On the 7th November I gave a performance as part of DeMontfort University’s MTI concert series. The interactive-generative piece for Launchpad is my first finished piece for my PhD work and is performed using custom software created in Max/MSP and Processing. Hardware used includes a Novation Launchpad and two Korg Nanokontrols.
The performer instigates and controls the level of note events represented by red squares moving across the grid. Control events are represented by green squares moving vertically. Pressing the pads causes them to turn yellow. Collisions between all these create further musical events. The overall aim is to create something beautiful that contains a satisfying blend of order and chaos. Video here.
I have just uploaded a couple of pieces to break the deafening radio silence. The first is a remix of “Break in the Clouds” by Reading band Last Picture Show. I’ve taken an out and out rocker, slowed it down, stripped it back and turned it into quirky, chilled electro-pop. You can hear the result here.
A little while back, I received a few invites to join Mixcloud. So I did. I don’t really DJ or make podcasts, so I thought I’d run the whole of the debut National Trevor album together into one piece. You can find the result here.
I will be presenting some of my current PhD research at the Geeklab event, hosted by Bitjam at the Burslem School of Art this Saturday, 14th July. You can attend in person or listen/watch live on Ustream.tv between 12 and 4pm. This follows on and relates from some recent videos I’ve done and an appearance on Cre8 radio.
I’m currently researching the live performance of electronic music. There was a recent article on Create Digital Music about how many musicians “cheat” by pressing the play button. As a live performer and recording artist, I’m interested in how pressing the play button can be made more interesting, and looking at how human performers and audiences can relate to machines.
At long last I have completed the debut “National Trevor” album!
In preparation for the release, I have done a photoshoot with Darren Washington, created some artwork for the cover with Kerrie Williamson and learned some basic website-building skills.
In 2011 I will be doing some live shows incorporating live electronics and video.
Over the past 2 and a half years I’ve written some tunes and built a studio to record them in. They’re finally finished and available for your listening pleasure. I’m very proud of them. I hope you can get some enjoyment from them and that you will share your experience of them with me. Sometimes it’s a lonely process trying to pour your soul into a microphone and some genuine human feedback is marvelous.
If you buy the record too – well then that’s a massive bonus. Not only does it give me a bit of much needed income, it gives me encouragement to carry on. It’s available from the usual places – iTunes, Amazon etc. I’ll be doing a physical release at some point.
Thank you to everybody that supports me in my endeavours. Words cannot express what you mean to me. Well, mine can’t anyway.
Saturday: Photographed a photographer at work, the awesome Darren Washington. Sunday: Recorded the sound for a short film on location (Damage). Monday: Released an album and made a psychadelic video of my pregnant partner with some amazing friends. Tuesday: Told somebody what I need from them. Wednesday: Received and made a heartfelt apology. Thursday: Listened to a revolution on the radio. Friday: Felt fulfilled in my work. I’m lucky to do what I do.
From the rhythmic textures of Footprints urging you to dance to the gently waterfalling Take What You Need, this is a superb offering from National Trevor. The melding of organic acoustic instruments and electronic layers forms a mesmerising backdrop for Si Waite’s heartfelt vocals on Still Life and The Hand of History. This is definitely a whole album to be savoured by the fire or on the beach and just melt into the atmosphere……..wonderful!
by Louise Mayer
I’ve made a video from the photoshoot with Darren Washington and some by Lee Ball. It seems to be an expectation now that music benefits from a visual counterpart, and I think that this can really add to the listening experience. Watching my fellow musicians who work across a number of genres, it seems to be a natural progression to work with imagery. This is especially true when you can collaborate with gifted photographers like Darren and Lee: I was amazed how a succession of stills can be just as powerful as video.
Check it out here.
Those kind folks at Stoke Sounds have written a review of “Baby I’m Your Boy”. You can check it out at www.stokesounds.co.uk. It’s put me in a really good mood so I’ve made some tracks available for free download at Last.fm. In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, then I can reveal I’ve been working on how to perform the album live. I’ll tell you more about it soon once I’ve got the software working a bit better.
Here is a link to the interview I did with Lisa Wilding/Leeka at 6 towns radio on the Kulture Klubshow a little while back: http://www.mixcloud.com/6townsdowney/national-trevor-interview-16-2-11-leeka/
I have also been on the Stoke Sounds show on a Monday night. I offered a free download of baby I’m Your Boy from Bandcamp! Check it out here!
It is with great pleasure that I can reveal I will be performing at this year’s Stoke Sounds Festival on Saturday 30th July. I will be on the Intermission tent from 4.45-5.15pm. I have been working hard in preparation, building bespoke software that lets me do live sampling, pitch shifting and mixing. I’ve also built an air guitar out of an iPhone and a Wiimote!
I should also be doing some stuff with the Bitjam boys on the Bitjam stage, apparently in a Hawaiian shirt!
To find out more about the festival, please visit the Facebook page.
Khoros is an exciting new tool for music technology developed by my good friend and colleague Paul Rogerson. I hope to be able to use one in National Trevor performances in the future, and for community workshops. Check it out an spread the word. Here is a link to see the instrument in action with special needs groups on Vimeo.
I will be playing my first National Trevor gig in what seems like ages on Sunday November 6th, at Fat Cat’s in Hanley. 7.30pm start.Tickets are £4 and can be bought online or at Music Mania in Hanley.
I will be showcasing my new geeky setup incorporating guitar and vocals with an array of MIDI controllers, an iPhone and a Wiimote. I will be projecting some visuals at the same time that give you a bit of a clue what’s going on. I am also hoping to have film-makers and collaborators Junction 15 present so that I can put some more videos on Youtube and Vimeo.
I went full-time at Staffs in September. Since then I have completed my first semester, finished a Masters degree (MRes) at Keele University and am now beginning a PhD at DeMontfort University in Leicester. I will be supervised by Dr. John Richards and Dr. Bret Battey.
The blog is designed for staff and students but others may be interested in the finer details of my academic world.
I’ve decided to get rid of my car and travel to Staffs on the marvellous X1 express. Rather than the stresses of the M6, I chilled out with a beautiful view of the Staffs countryside and an excellent podcast: Musicians Cooler. Dave Jackson is an excellent host, and talks about issues like optimising your video tags, the benefits of StumbleUpon and tracking your Twitter followers’ activity with a free application from Crowdbooster.com
Work is proceeding on a final EP of Captain Yange material.
These are four songs that were featuring in our set following the release of “Compos Mentis” and our support slot with Fightstar at the Proud Gallery.
Last year, we had started to look at these recordings again. Paul had edited and approved his performances. Scott and Si (with additional input from former band member Jon wilkinson) will be completing the songs. We hope they will remain true to the spirit in which we played them.
I have recently begun a mobile phone performance group with students at Staffordshire University. The group is affiliated to the Staffordshire University Sonic Arts Network, and meets on a weekly basis to create live electronic music in a fun, relaxed and collaborative atmosphere. We aren’t yet using any custom-built instruments (check out Atau Tanaka and Adam Parkinson who create their own performance software in PD and run it on iPhones in RJDJ) – we are just using some standard apps that run on iPhones and Android, such as Bebop, Filtatron, Reactable and Nanoloop.