Sunday, 17 February 2008

Noise, Out and AV Art

Well lovely to have a week off work, although it really dosn't feel like I've done much. Time for an update then I suppose on the life of young Ben. Actually I seem to have done quiet a bit...

Hmmm.... I finally bought 2 tiny CCTV cameras (which I've been meaning to do for ages) and spent a day taping them to my head, hands and guitar and then projecting the result on the wall - much fun. I linked up with Concrete Belly for his gig at The Rainbow the next day (Feb 3rd) and intended to do the same for him, but he ended up being ushered on stage while I was at the bar, so never got chance to truly wire him up. We did project a view of him tweeking his knobs, changing pedals and messing with his modified toys above him which looked cool and he played a wicked set of noise, drones and grunge influenced soundscapes. Also nice to hear some new elements of dub and sub-bass working into his new stuff.

It was good to finally see Meet me in St.Louis, sadly minus their vocalist but still pretty amazing. If only the bands would have stuck around to watch each other then the audience would have been better. Good on It's Just Noise for continually putting on great events with genuinely great, talented and surprising new music.

I intended to use the mini-cams at the next Jazz Thrash Assassin gig at Bar Academy and tape them to both Splak & Walt's mics, but I ended up taking loadsa gear down there and realised that that back wall of the stage is a glass window out onto the street so wouldn't really be that great anyway. Bit of a non-story there. Anyway, Last Chance at Rampton were immense once again, and nice enough to gimme a free cd too. Last chance are intense live - angry, tight as fook and threaten to tear your face off should you venture to close.

The guys from The Fairytale were friendly and bought a JTA CD after hearing just one track in soundcheck! They put on a good show after Last Chance, which we understand is pretty intimidating - we followed them at our debut show.. man that was a kick up the arse. Gig was well funny anyways and Anna was on form, she emerged at one point from the ladies wearing a toilet roll hat. I will say no more. She crazy. Thanks to the peeps who came down - you nuts! :D

Went to see a play in Reading which made a nice change,but totally missed out my opportunity to see the musical squirrel's video installation I worked on with Juneau/Projects/ that is installed at the Marksman Gallery which runs until March 8th. Maybe I should go back..

Had a soundtoy created for Juneau lads installed in Birmingham museum and Art Gallery (gallery 20) as part of the Essence - Through the Fretwork show. The piece is a Santur - a virtual instrument you can play through a touchscreen. Brian Duffy (of Modified Toy Orchestra fame) is also involved in the show and produced some music by 'completing' a kids keyboard which had never had it's asian scale connected. Apparently the show is going to Tate Britain next!

After the show the Crowd6 gang and I were hussled by a self-proclaimed 'Piss Artist' - some homeless guy who could have easily been a performance artist in retrospect, were he not obviously off his head. Anyway he wandered into the bar and sat himself down next to me, and prodeeded to insult people with perculiar 3 year old insults like 'celery head' (?!) and then do a portrait picture of them. So he takes the piss, then does you some art, hence 'Piss Artist'. Better add a dose of alcholism to that too I suppose.

After that I was introduced to a guy called Dave who was playing a banjo.. and to cut a long story short, I missed my bus, a random German got his tackle out, and me and Dave figured that the world was just getting too weird and so hit the Tap & Spile for refreshments.

Bloody hell, I'm having to refer to my rather useful 30boxes online calendar to work out where life took me next.. apparently it was Hott Date at the Rainbow which was flippin' amazing as always. I had to laugh at the live Blind Date piss-take. Well funny. I met the lovely Charlie Levine there and Tony Blair's son apparently. Speaking of Ms.Levine - her curated show Step (mentioned in previous blog) has a closing party at Crowd6 this friday in Bearwood.

I also had the oportunity to get to Walsall Art Gallery where the Juneau lads have a music studio in progress - you can go and record tracks as part of their residency. Had chance to chat over a few ideas with the guys and was actually inspired to produce a set of soundtoy multimedia experiments that mix noises in different ways.

Here's one for you to play with - Turn Your Speakers On!!; SOUND TOY

And heres an old one i made just for fun:

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