Thursday, 30 August 2012

Time-Lapse the Dusk

Camcorder in a tree
time-lapse for 2 hours at dusk.
These are four stills from the film

Mixing Desk Heaven. To the Beach.

Vibrating bass string on the F.T.

Late last night I found in my pigeon hole that my little mixing desk had arrived, this is good news as it now means I can add fx's to the Fibonacci Tree if I want to, so today I played around with it, a bit of delay here a bit of reverb there etc etc.  I had a lot of fun and the noises now coming from the piece are terrific, even more terrific!, surely not.

We after lunch went Lyme and the Florence Griswold Museum, a house full of American Impressionism, the artist's studios, a gallery and beautiful riverside site.  This was good, some of the painting were good, the artist studio excellent, good barns so all in all a place worth going to.

But our highlight was the trip to the beach, a private beach 'Old Lyme Beach Club' of which one of the women from the lunch the other day is a member.  This was old school colonial, all weatherboard and private.  the sea was 78 degrees and we all swam out to a floating pontoon where we dived and jumped and splashed in the sea before back to shore for a BBQ of tuna, chorizos, peach and lettuce salad, yes Jacob had come too! there was beer and wine and as the sun set the moon was superb.

What a great break for us all, like kids being let out at playtime.

A walk back again in moonlight to my shack, this time Andy wanted to come and as we walked and talked we noticed the mist on the lake, as ethereal as any Arthurian legend.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Fibonacci Tree. Short video for Nancy.

Oh boy what a very poor nights sleep that was, but made some use of it and created a time-line for the sound and vision I intend.  But I do feel fairly rubbish today, it rained in the night which was nice.

No breakfast today, just up and see Amanda about siting the Fibonacci Tree for the Open Studio and I get the site I wanted which is in a hollowed area near the music studio.

I went over to photograph the FT and just had to have little play, oh my dear lord what fun that was.

Back to Pond studio to do the short video for Nancy's pre publicity, add sound and off she goes on here for you all to see.

time-lapse of water through hole in the raft

Applying for a Water Vole commission, as one does.

Day finished on a high note with a wonderful moonlit walk back from the house to my shack in the woods, can't remember the last time I did that.

Power up the Fibonacci Tree. Get video'd for I-Park promo

camcorder recording pine needles

Today saw Mason back so able to drive the mixing desk and speakers over to the red barn and power up the Fibonacci Tree..........all good here, she plays really well, a good breadth of sounds, I also added another bass string to the top leg which has a bit of tremolo when moved.....lovely.
I will put photos on tomorrow, the camera and me never seemed together at the right time!!!!
Did manage to break two of the piezo microphones, lucky I brought five with me!!!!, I might get some whilst I am here also a preamp for them.

I did a one hour long time-lapse of the pine needles and ants to go visually with the sound I recorded the other day, I think they will work and be part of the overall I-Park film and sound item I will be putting together.

Nancy came by to video us for the website and promotion of the open studio, my god it is all coming around very quickly.  she liked the time-lapse of the water from the raft so I will get that to her, and she video'd me playing the FT which I think went well so hopefully it will all look good.

Roman has downloaded the next series of Mad Men so the evenings are sorted, what a strange ritual this has become.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Time-Lapse. Stringing.

Well that was a good day, probably the best here so far, strange that yesterday I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and wondering what I was doing, what relevance does any of it have.  But today was a resounding affirmation that being an artist is what I do and what I still want to do after 30 odd years.
I reshot the time-lapse on the raft through the square hole to rid myself of the line of wood in the first effort, Boaz was so right to say that visually it wasn't working before, this one is so much better,

Time-Lapse  pond life

I also had a go at a 360 turn in the lake whilst time-lapsing, this was too quick it transpired on later watching but was an interesting process.  I also did a drifting time-lapse where I let the wind take me wherever it was going to, of course I ended up in the trees but it was a fun journey nonetheless and might have some worth at a later stage.

Later I strung the Fibonacci tree, which went well and after putting the two lighter gauge strings on I still had time to put the two bass strings on as well, it sounded good, some good resonance and the bass strings produce a harmonic from the two lighter strings when bowed.  There is a natural listening part of the sculpture which I think I may develop to give it an acoustic life as well.

I also found out that the 1/4 spanners they have here are perfect for tightening the piano pins, so I must get one before I leave.   Another fine day.  Photos of me curtesy of Roman.  Thank you.

 Still of Time-Lapse through studio roof

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The artists at I-Park with me. Fibonacci bridges, Migraines

I thought that it was time to show you all a portrait of all the artists here, well not all the artist because Andrew is missing, but here are the rest.

Tess Martin:  Animator:

Boaz Aharonovitch.  Photographer:

Roman Moshensky.  Film Maker:

Judith e Stein:  Writer:

Jee Soo Shin:  Composer:

As for me?

Today I have been making bridges for the fibonacci tree, all drilled and fitted.

I think I heard a Fisher Cat last night!!!!!!!! there was something terrifying out there when I walked home last night.

Didn't sleep so well last night!

Oh a got another migraine tonight.....buggerations.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Burning, Burning, Bed.

Flint Sparker  I love these

Okay it is official the sofa bed has to go, sleeping on it has given me a split personality, one half unbearable the other half unbearable!.

So today has mainly been burning, burning wood and burning in the sun, because of having to burn the wood outside in the blistering ( I have them) heat, I forgot my hat which was folly to say the least and had to belt back on the bike to get my hat before I fried.

Okay anyone in blighty knows that when I burn my wood I have a large torch with various nozzles for differing areas, Mason at first comes with this little ones (see pic)

 he can see the foolhardyness of this and acknowledges that I will be here for the duration of my stay just burning this log, he goes off and to his enormous credit comes back with something I am more use to.....Hurrah for Mason.

In the past in England I have learnt that in the summer you make summery type artwork and in the winter the more physical to keep warm, well I have forgotten that....Phewee I sweated today if it wasn't for Jacob's meals I would be a trim 11 stone by now!!!!!!!

Today was a day of people coming to my rescue, Tess gave me black ink and a paint brush, Mason basically everything, including........a fanfare please.............a double futon mattress oh lordy tonight I will sleep the sleep of those that sleep!!!

Mad men keeps us going at night, the cicadas are still hard at it..I saw a Wood Chuck today which looked rather cute.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Shopping. draw knifing, and talking.

The bikes I mentioned yesterday

So today I got to talk to the family and see Coco the dog they have got to replace me!!!!!!
Off to the red barn not to be murdered I hope, nobody here seems to know that old frightening poem, and I thought it was American.

Clearing away bark and bark debris from the three legs at the end of the main bit.
Saw Amanda and had gotten me a watch strap and mighty fine it is too and well suits the watch so three rousing cheers to Amanda.


More draw knifing before a trip to the shops and get provisions for ourselves, this basically means beer and Werthers, oh and a pack of mixed nuts to go with the beer of an evening back here at the pond.

at the shops tess, jee soo, and the pot bellied michael

Very hot and sticky again today, finished the draw knifing whilst Roman filmed and I was visited by Jee Soo and Tess which was lovely, I now feel as if I exist as a presence to some of the others now instead of this peripheral figure that appears from the forest at food times only to go back when it is dark to rampage the forest!!!

Looking forward to the outdoor shower in a moment.

roman and michael

Reversed brakes, Black snakes.

Okay a better sleep!  Long emails from blighty which I must find time to answer.
Into the woods on a mountain bike looking for V shapes in the trees to become the bridges for my 'fibonacci tree' instrument.  Good fun riding through the woods and one might say too much fun, as I came down a nice incline with a good tight left hander in front of me I thought brilliant the old back wheel slide, so I gathered a bit more speed and slammed on the back brake..............only to find that in America they have reversed the brakes and the left hand yanked hard on just stopped the front wheel and yes that was me having a rather undignified fall, still nothing hurt too much so I gingerly got to my feet and proceeded over the wheel bridge to the other side of the river and got all the bridges I could want.

So now got on with cutting the Fibonacci scale into the log in inches
That was as far a my log would let me go I missed the 55 by a matter of inches..........
The bridges will go on the wood at these intervals and I will stretch two piano wires along the length.
As we are being video'd this afternoon I set up an approximation of it, this is the photo to give an idea and played with the bow the intervals and was pleased with the variation, this is going to work!!.

Oh when I cycled back to get the bow another incident with the bike, this time going quite fast downhill to my studio there lying right across the road was a metre and a half of black snake, bloody hell I had to do some pretty nifty steering to miss the daft thing, but miss it I did.

Things are moving on, the sun shines, infact it was really hot today and I availed myself of the outside shower which was rather good.

Unfortunately my camera has broken, It doesn't focus properly any more, the only remote chance of a picture is to turn it on and not focus, just leave it and hope that the distance you want is the one it is giving.......not good so it looks like a new camera.

Anyone know of a good, reasonably priced, point and shoot camera.  The one I had was a canon ixus 700 which was marvellous until now, if you do know of any you can recommend please comment below.

Studio at night

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Ants, Trees, Stone. oh and Roman

Not such a good night sleep last night....I thought I had cracked that one.
So today down to the woods to find an iconic rock to put the piezo on for a grinding and
banging session.  That was found and duly recorded.

Then to the Pine circle to try out the time-lapse and moving person idea, whilst recording the trees being hit, all these trees when hit have a different sound and I want to collect the tones and later put them together some order and stereo panning.  I put the cam corder on the brilliant gorilla pod and attached it to a tree and then let it time-lapse for just over an hour whilst I recorded me hitting the trees and dancing in and out of view in some madcap notion, I just looked too cuddly really and any strangeness was gone.

The recording went well, my highlight was putting the piezo under the pine needles only to discover an ant (large ant) moving about around and over the mic, it created a much more natural and gentler sound than I could have achieved and will become my highlight.

In the afternoon Mason and I took off into the woods to cut  a fallen branch for me top make my sound sculpture from, we took it back to the barn where I will work on it over the ensuing days.

So all in all another good day with lots achieved and set up for the oncoming days.

I have been here a week already..................blooming heck!

Roman on the lake

Monday, 20 August 2012

River, Whittling, Migraines

Oh yes another good nights sleep after recording the walk home again last night this time without the boy racers outside.
Today to eight mile river to put the hydrophone in the tumbling water and to record another time-lapse of the same.
This went very well nearly two hours of time-lapse and whilst I waited I whittled a stick, a stick to use for beating the trees when I come to record them and maybe the stick Boaz will hold when naked around the trees, (if this happens, it probably is only fair if I join him naked as well!)

Whilst whittling and recording a large deer barked and walk on its way oblivious to me being there and what a musky spell that deer had, I had to check it wasn't sitting next to me a few times!

Finished off, walking back I broke a bit of the stick which I whittled and put into a hole in a live tree, an impromptu sculpture.

After lunch I was stricken with a migraine, goddam it why? No stress, few screens, aaaaarrghhhhh.
so went back to cabin and lay down for a bit, after the flashing eye bit went I got into downloading the films and soundtracks from today, Boaz dropped in which was nice, we had a chat and he cut his finger whilst taking one of my knifes out of its sheaf (yes they are sharp), my health and safety record is fast receding!

After he left I carried on downloading and now ready myself for a fantastic meal again as Jacob is back.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Trips to waterfalls, Rowing Boats and Hydrophones

portable video and hydrophone jig

Today started well after a good nights sleep, and carried on in that vein.
After a cracking breakfast a few of us went for a walk down to Chapmans waterfall at Devils Hopyard and lovely spot it was, Huge rocks, tumbling water stills pools.

Back for a bite to eat and then an afternoon of time-lapse photography, designing a rather good jig for the camera and hydrophone I paddle my way around the lake for an hour, whilst the camera was taking a shot every second.  I couldn't wait to get back to my cabin to see the results and they are pretty darn good, the soundtrack wasn't though, infact there was nothing, so I took my hydrophone out this time and double checked it was working and went for a twenty minute row, this time thre was sound, very quiet, but sound nonetheless and the rhythm of oars and squeaks could be heard.  Back at the cabin I edited the sound down to fit the film, edited the film a bit, and at the moment I have something I didn't think I would have.

I have pushed my ideas along for the larger scheme of things I want to do here and after more recordings will press on with that, but things are coming together I think.

snake on rock

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Acorns on Pianos

Is this a prepared piano? if so the link to John Cage keeps on coming.

A steady stream of rain last night into the morning, a saturday, a day to wash clothes and think about things, by lunch time I was ready to work, ready to go and tackle whatever, so replenished back to the studio cabin, tinkering with the sounds of yesterday, I was going to use the hydrophone but when I set off to do so someone else was on the raft, so instead armed with piezo and my zoom mike I went first on Mia's trail and then to the piano field for some (field recording!!) well recording the opened out piano playing it with sticks and of course an acorn.  I walked on to the eight mile river gently babbling accompanied by the sound of the cicadas, and recorded them.  To the wheel bridge again to record over the bridge and down to a lovely spot, a few pools, and the river is gentle and low and so inviting, the sun has come out, and all is very beautiful.
Back over the river and back along the track trying not to walk on snakes and to the cabin.  I download all the sounds and another step is taken.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Locked myself out again last night 2.30 in the morning am outside the cottage in my pants...come on the fisher cats, I am ready and waiting!.
Pretty good sleep otherwise.
So today was really the first day that I felt I could start something, thoughts have been permeating, percolating and the like, every time I walk back at night the total 3 dimensionality of the sound, the Cicadas and Bullfrogs is immense and a clear pointer the the breadth and depth of sound I need to achieve.  Also when lying in bed there is a certain fear as I mentioned before and I think that maybe a level of that fear might be conveyed as well, maybe in a slowing of the sound and possible glitching, I am not sure, these will develop with time, I have also thought about time-lapsing throughout the night the lake from my window, the darkness and faint plays of light on the water, last night was very clear and the night sky was evident, I think I will need that again.
Lunch today with a group of people from the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (?) which was nice and again a brilliant meal from Jacob, my just how spoilt are we!

The afternoon saw me trying to sort out a dodgy email situation and a very good talk with Andy, re sound, use of software, creating 3 dimensional soundscapes in darkened rooms, all to hold in the pocket.

The rest of the day I have set up piezo mics in leaves, saplings, trees and a hydrophone in the water all to the mixing desk with speakers that I have been able to set outside curtesy of a very long extension cable, this was great and shows some potential, I recorded from the desk onto my recorder but haven't as yet had time to hear the outcome and it is so nearly time to go for supper.

The pictures show the mixing desk and the placement of the recorders, whilst writing this I have been listening to the Proms with a fantastic piece by John Cage of miked up cactus plants being plucked by players, how does this life work. I, by chance put the radio on to BBC radio 3 at 5.00 American time and this is on, here I am embarking on playing plants or listening to plants with the mics.  It is all meant to be.

I feel the ball is in a court!!!