Review of 2011

As 2011 draws to an end I thought I’d recap on the year’s highlights for me. Many thanks to all I’ve worked with, played with and met over the last year. Here’s to a fruitful 2012!

Moving from Manchester to London in January was a massive change for me but exciting in so many ways. I was honoured to be asked to join Eat Lights; Become Lights as a session annalogue synth player for live gigs, though it took until September until I actually played with the group due to their relocation to LA. I set up the Open Sound Group netlabel in February, initially as a way to present my archive of recordings and, through the year, to put out eight superb releases of sound art, improvised music and field recordings from other groups and artists.

March saw an installation at the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, a composition featured for the Lightworks multimedia exhibition in Grimsby and an exclusive track released on-line through Classwar Karaoke. In March I also joined Now as their drummer, a band I’ve loved for a long time and really enjoyed playing with. A couple of line-up changes and dozens of gigs later, Now are preparing to release a 7″ EP early in 2012 shortly to be followed by a CD album (and, of course, plenty more gigs).

I met some great artists in April on a short residency on a light ship, where I presented a new installation and some collaborative performances. Also in April I had a download release, the soundtrack to a previous installation, on one of my favourite netlabels, Modisti, and a track featured on a special show about narrative on Resonance FMMay was another busy month, with a new site-specific installation at an exhibition in Wales and a composition featured at the New Lexicons of Dark show in London, as well as the release of a brand new track on Found in a Skip netlabel.

If May was busy, June was hectic. Alongside gigs with Now, Damo Suzuki and The A Band, I joined newly-formed Sci-Fi improv ensemble Asteroid, with whom I’d play several high-intensity gigs throughout the year. I was also lucky enough to be selected to work with The Science Museum on their co-curation programme, helping put together an exhibition about Daphne Oram and the History of Electronic Music, the results of which are now on show until December 2012. I took a slight break in July, in preparation for the rest of the year, but was delighted to have a new composition debuted at the ICA for Soundfjord’s Re/Flux event.

Throughout August I worked on my biggest commission to date, a public, interactive sound installation for the Luton Festival, called Your Luton Symphony. August also saw another Open Sound Group workshop and networking event, with corresponding release on OSG. At the start of September I was in New York setting up my first international solo show, Loss Shines a Light on What Remains, which featured three of my older installations. And later in the month I spent a long weekend at Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn in the lake district, recording an album with other artists associated with White Label Music.

In October things quietened down again, with only the openings of the Oramics exhibition and the Figure Ground publication launch. November saw me beginning to explore movement in performance, firstly as I reunited with an artist from the Light Ship, Ingrid Plum, for a duet, hopefully to be repeated in 2012. The month also saw the first performance for dance/sound/improv quartet Familiars, which will also be explored further in the coming year.

Finally, as the year wound down, in December I began a fortnightly net-radio show, Fractal Meat on a Spongy Bone, on Dalston’s NTS live. This will carry through into next year where I’ll play more sound, improv, experiemental music and found tapes.

Many thanks again to all who’ve supported me in this frantic, hectic and rewarding year. I hope to see you all soon.
Thanks also for reading.
All the best for 2012!

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