This is the first album from my new project, “Heavy Rain, Heavy Sun”.Continue reading “Heavy Rain, Heavy Sun”
This is a set of videos using my Pandemic Synthesiser, coded in Csound. This project is not in any way intended to make light of the current Covid-19 crisis, nor is it intended to be an accurate model of how a virus propagates.
In the current incarnation of the synthesiser, there are 63 “clusters” arranged in 9 columns (left to right in the stereo field) and 7 rows (high to low in terms of pitch). Each cluster contains 50 “individuals”. On the screen, these are represented by dark blue dots.
A piece starts with a random individual becoming infected, represented by a simple tone, and a blue dot turning light blue, showing that the disease has entered the incubation period.
Due to the initial parameters (displayed on the bottom left of the screen, with cyan labels) and pseudo-randomness, the “individual” may infect others in the same cluster, or adjacent clusters, or any cluster in the matrix. Once the synthesiser is set into motion the piece is entirely self-generating.
The dots show the following colours:
Dark Blue: Unaffected
Light Blue: Incubating
Pink Outline: Infectious
White / Swelling: Symptomatic
Green: Recovered and immune
Orange: Recovered but still vulnerable to reinfection
Further information on the progress of the “disease” can be found on the bottom right of the screen, with yellow labels.
This is definitely best listened to with a decent pair of headphones and on a big screen – there are a lot of frequencies generated.
Technical stuff: The Csound code takes parameters as a simple text file. It then generates 48k audio, and outputs .svg files for each video frame (as a compromise between quality and rendering time this is currently 10fps). I use an ffmpeg script to stitch everything together into a 1080p video. At first, with 5×5 clusters and no video, this ran in realtime on my computer, but it’s become much too complex now.
This is the latest album by Organ Monkeys, written and recorded in the month of October 2019.
I’ve been making an electric clavichord over the last few months and have recently finished it, although I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it for a while. Above is a short video documenting the process and demonstrating the instrument.Continue reading “Electric Clavichord”
This is a home-made diddley bow. It’s made out of a plank of wood from a shelf, a guitar pickup and three strings. I’m also playing through my home-made looper.
Here’s an instrument I made in the mid 1990s while at Dartington. It’s a set of tuned cylindrical chimes suspended by fishing wire over a wooden tank of water. A foot pedal lowers the chimes into the water, which flattens the pitch.
It was largely successful, but It was extremely heavy, cumbersome, rusty, leaky and unpredictable.
This is the first One Month Album from Organ Monkeys.
This is the second One Month Album from Organ Monkeys.
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Featuring Joseph Sanger on keys.
This is the trailer for the documentary about Mac Tontoh and his comeback tours in 1999/2000. I was one of the two keyboard players on these tours.
This Looper is made from Csound Code on a 1st-generation Raspberry Pi, a DIY Joystick kit, an old Edirol soundcard, and plywood.
Music video for my brother Duke Slammer’s single “Acid Duke”. Made using cut-paper models and various free Linux tools.
In late 2016 I designed and made a new instrument, a sort of cross between a shakuhachi and a Swanee whistle, partially based on an idea from the excellent Musical Instrument Design by Bart Hopkin. It’s a fairly versatile instrument, though difficult to play (and probably not appropriate for “serious music”). This is a demonstration video.
In August I visited double bass player and old friend Dave Pullin. It was the first time we’d seen each other for nearly a decade, and the first time we’d played together for even longer than that. We talked, drank coffee and improvised music. Here are some recordings from that day.
In Norfolk in the summer of 2017 I found myself playing shakuhachi with a group of very vocal chickens. This recording has not been processed in any way… And no animals were harmed.
Playing a 12-bar blues with myself.
I’ve known the extraordinarily talented Hannah Sanders for as long as I can remember. In the summer of 2017 we found the time to record this together.
The debut live performance of “Brotherhood Of Sang”.
This is an improvised performance with myself on Shakuhachi and my brother Luke on Make Noise modular synthesiser.
This is my arrangement of Erik Satie’s famous Gymnopedie No. 1 for 1.6 shakuhachi (in E) and nylon-string banjo.
Manipulated and frozen oboe quintet composed by Duncan Hendy with shakuhachi by Joseph Myoushin Sanger.