I'm new here and thought I'd try to get to know people by finding out more about you individually, if that's okay? So I'm really into animal behaviour. Having previously been a vet nurse it always fascinated me & was obviously a big part of my job so that was a bonus. As a result I have pets... currently 2 house rabbits and a lovely gerbil. I'm also into motorbikes... having grown up around them I just love to be around them & riding them. So what interests you?
Music (classical and most other genres) and reading (fiction and non fiction) are big interests of mine.
I am also very interested in the Middle East, politics, history and culture. I read around hundred blogs every day on this subject.
My job in woodland has given me an interest in wildflowers and the folklore associated with them.
I wish I could comment on the politics etc however I don't tend to pay much attention to it all. History I only have a GCSE because I was made to take the class... I barely passed that. Do you play any music or is it mainly listening? What's the last book you read? I'm currently reading Bitten by Kelley Armstrong... this will be the 6th time I've read the entire series.
I mess around on an electric guitar. I have sound/colour synaesthesia which is triggered by timbre, so I mostly play about with different effects.
I listen to music a lot.
The last book I read was ‘Purple Hibiscus’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What instrument(s) do you play?
Oh electric guitar is cool! I'll have to look into what a synaesthesia is/does. It sounds really interesting. I tried to learn guitar once... but my fingers are a bit too sensitive for the strings so I stopped that after a few months. I play piano a fair amount (we have a grand and an upright in the front room). I'm currently relearning how to read sheet music so I might be able to play more than the songs I know from memory/learn from listening.
I like the piano. There is a small concert hall about 20 mins -by car- from where I live. They have some famous pianists perform. In the last year I’ve seen Marc-André Hamelin, Peter Donohoe and Imogen Cooper among others.
You're lucky to have that so close and lucky to have been able to go see them :)
I also have synaesthesia and play music! I find reverb to be a pretty stimulating effect, especially on guitars. I particularly like listening to Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie for the effect it gives, a big pool of reverb. Oscillation on synths can be interesting I find too.
I have a recording of a Harold Budd and Brian Eno collaboration called The Pearl, which is one of the recordings I retreat to for calming purposes. Thanks for the Robin Guthrie tip, I shall check that out.
I found early digital sounds problematic regarding my synaesthesia, the sound seemed shot full of holes or perforated ,rather weak. For example, I have an LP of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno’s called Evening Star, Fripp’s guitar on this album (if my memory serves me well) was overdriven through a revox reel to reel, so the sound was analogue. When Fripp changed over to digital the colours/shapes it evoked were far weaker. These days digital has improved, nearly to the same level as analogue.
Of course all this is subjective. Do you have an artist that evokes the strongest images for you? The artist that evokes the strongest images for me is Jimi Hendrix; Shostakovitch comes a close second, particularly the Fitzwilliam Quartet’s recording of his quartets in a studio that used that to be a church.
There are some artists I like who are also synesthetes, carol steen paintings are my favourite. David Hockney is also a famous synesthete, he doesn’t use his synaesthesia in his paintings but he he does use for his opera designs.
Anything with Budd and Guthrie is good, in my opinion. The collaborations between Budd and Cocteau twins are amazing. The Moon and the Melodies is another "strong" visualisation album for me, as is Evening Star! I love that album, apart from An Array of Metals. The revox thing actually has it's own name "Frippertronics", lol. I watched a documentary not long ago with Bowie's studio musicians saying how Fripp blew their mind at the time. Actually speaking of Fripp again there are a few King Crimson songs that are quite visual. I know what you mean about digital not being the same with some albums. Remasters are irritating at times, especially when they are conforming to the whole "loudness wars" thing.
There are artists that are particularly "visual". I find David Axelrod one, Stevie Wonder when he was particularly keen on "warm" synths, some of the earlier Drum and Bass artists (way before side-chaining! I hate side-chaining it makes a flicker!) like Photek, Source Direct and Digital, and there's too much Fusion Jazz to name. Recently I've been listening to Estas Tonne's Internal Flight. It's Flamenco Guitar but has that reverb and strong ambient feel. I like mndsgn. I could go on for a while! Recording environments can actually add to the "texture" of music. I've been experimenting with "convolution reverb" in some of my music. There is a plate reverb I have found makes a Fender Rhodes sound really fuzzy and warm
I've never actually considered art in my sensory input! I'm going to think of it more. The Tristan and Isolde set is very interesting. Film is always something that is stimulating. There are so many aspects that can stimulate me.
Fripp can be one of the most visual musicians. I saw King Crimson live a number of times in the seventies. I can remember reading that he also has synaesthesia. I wish he’d let rip more often.
Thanks for the Budd - Guthrie tip, I’ve been listening to them. An old girlfriend of mine introduced me to the Cocteau Twins. I hadn’t realised it was the same Budd.
I have quite a few flamenco albums, but I haven’t heard any Estas Tonne, I’ll check him out. One of my favourite tracks is Tio Arrango by Vicente Amigo, there’s a good youtube of him playing it.
I’ll also check out that reverb. Do you know the album ‘As the Dark Wave Swells’ by the Bambi Molesters? They’re a Croatian surf rock band.
I saw a documentary about Fripp's wife Toyah Wilcox and I think he is AS too. They live on the same street but in different houses. When they asked her about it she said it was easier for them both but they were still in love. She also said "When he starts working he will stay awake for days and you can't stop him until he is finished. I have learned to work around it, it's unchangeable". You are lucky to have seen King Crimson live!
No problem! One album I always like to listen to by Budd and Guthrie is the Mysterious Skin soundtrack. Snowfall is a highlight. You will understand why the track is named that!
I know Vicente Amigo, I like Morente. Rafael Cortes is another Flamenco guitarist I like, he's probably my favourite contemporary Flamenco guitarist. Estas Tonne isn't like any other Flamenco guitarist he's more of a weird trippy fusion. It's very different.
I just checked that album out. Very nice. It mostly had a lot of motion apart from 2 or 3 tracks. Check out an album called In the Shower by Homeshake. That album has a very visual feel to me.
I’m not surprised to learn that Robert Fripp probably has AS, given the rather labyrinthine band member history.
Roger Mayer, who was Hendrix’s effects man (he’s still going strong), said that Hendrix would describe the sounds he wanted to achieve in terms of colours and shapes. I can remember hearing on the radio an interview with Carlos Santana’s engineer, he commented that Santana would say things like’I want more orange in that’.
A couple of my favourite modern composers - Jonathan Harvey and Kaija Saariaho have composed works at IRCAM (Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music) which is situated next to the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This centre has been at the cutting edge of electronically modifying music. I think I’m correct in saying there are a number of forums on their web site, which may interest you.
I am particularly fond of a piece by Jonathon Harvey called, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco, it combines the sound of the largest bell at Winchester Cathedral (a couple of miles from where Iive) and his son - who was a chorister there. The two sounds are intermingled in a way perhaps best described by the composer himself.
After listening to ‘Snowfall’ (very aptly titled), I shall definitely be getting some Budd-Guthrie. I enjoyed the Homeshake album too.
Pepe Habichuela is my favourite flamenco guitarist, but I certainly haven’t heard them all.
I wish I knew the name of that documentary but joining the dots Toyah and Fripp were living in a very unconventional way. I think that they had figured out a way to work with it.
I'm hardly Mayer, Hendrix or Santana but since DAWs have come out I find it easier to work with than hardware in a sense. I liked the hands on, nuts and bolts feeling that came with hardware but with DAWs I can colour code channels. I also give patches, channels, samples. loops and tracks names that I can visualise. I love the way you can do it. Instead of channel 1 I will call something a name like "port in the study", lol. Most people wouldn't get it but I know what the sounds are. My synth patch library has some very odd names but I will know straight away what the sound is.
I've heard of IRCAM from their Spat software. I didn't know that it was a whole big project! I thought it was just a plug-in company. I'll check out their forums though.
It sounds like they used the two sounds as the seed waveform that was ran through a wavetable synth. I like wavetables but I often end up straying far from the seed waveform. That's why I probably end up with patch names that sound so weird!
Snowfall is a favourite! Tortoise are also a band worth listening to. Some very odd time signatures but it still keeps a very laid back sound.
I haven't heard Pepe Habichuela but I'll give him a listen!
I listened to a bit of Tortoise, very nice. I like dub, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has played in a little club near me a couple of times, lovely guy - a real legend.
Sometimes I plug my guitar into Garageband, that’s about as close as I get to messing around with sound. I am thinking about getting a guitar with stereo output so I can mess about even more.
I find Aphex Twin’s Druqs album very visual. Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage is another favourite.
I like dub too. Augustus Pablo, Mad Professor, King Tubby, U-Roy are all great. I like all the toasting reggae artists too. When I could get out more I would go and see Jah Shaka pretty much anytime I could get there, he builds all his own equipment. The bass is something different. Another thing along those lines is Valve Sound System, it's Drum and Bass but the guys that run it Lemon D and Dillinja build their own equipment and the best part is that they make records especially to be played on their system but I haven't heard of them having a night anywhere in at least half a decade. That was sub-bass frequency to the extreme. Funny how I could cope with earth shattering levels of sound but in a room full of people I tend to have problems! When the music drowns out all of the background noise it's actually easier to cope. Sorry for going off on a bit of tangent there but I have a bit of a thing for dub and sound systems!
I've never used GarageBand but is there a way to create a virtual room? You can pretty much get the stereo signal effect with a virtual room. I'm not too savvy with guitars though!
I've liked Aphex Twin since the days of Digeridoo, it's amazing how long he's been around. I'm listening to that John Cage album at the moment on YouTube. It has some very interesting resonance. It's machine-like in parts, bleeps and bloops. Bamboo and bionics, lol! A band to listen to that has strange time signatures and a whole sound in general is Palm.
Aphex Twin are top musicians. I have Selected Ambient Tunes volume II, and the remixes for cash album. Both very good, the former being particularly good chill out music when stoned
My brother is a big dub fan, so I’ve got a number of albums including a Jah Shaka. He’s great. I don’t know anything about drum and bass though, so I’ll try out Valve Sound System.
I think I could create a virtual room in garageband if I bought an amp that can do this when connected via usb. Sound software really isn’t a strong point of mine.
Live bands can be a problem for me these days due the accompanying light shows. I saw Primal Scream at the Brixton Academy some years ago, the light show sent me to the shelter of the foyer a few times. Luckily I’m into classical music as well, these concerts and recitals are far more autistic friendly.
Palm are now on my list of must try out.
The remix of Philip Glass and Bowie on Mixes for Cash is something that always brings a smile to my face. The pitch bending and time stetching on Bowies voice are funny. It's bonkers but in a good way! Selected Ambient Tunes is Good too. I haven't got stoned in a good few years now (it made me more anxious than relaxed in the end!), but some albums I miss especially a few Stereolab albums.
Dub is a genre where the older stuff seems better. All the older equipment suits the sound better. Shaka live is something to experience. No crazy light shows either. Just massive speakers and a pensioner absolutely working the speakers to death!
I think you can connect a guitar to GarageBand without an amp. You use a normal 1/4" jack into the guitar that connects to a 1/8" jack and you plug it into the audio jack on the computer. You should be able to find the jack for a few quid. Sound Software took a bit of getting used to at first after coming off hardware too!
You have seen some pretty good acts live! Primal Scream are great! Screamadelica still sounds as fresh as the day it was released! I know what you mean about some concerts. It's not good sometimes, very distracting.
Palm's drummer has his work cut out for him. I don't know how he keeps up with some of the signature changes.
I listened to Rock Island by Palm today, great stuff - thanks for the tip.
My guitar gets plugged in to garageband via a usb interface gizmo, it seemed to stop some latency problems. I’m staying with family at the moment as I am recovering from a bit of a meltdown, I don’t have my guitar with me. When I return I’ll check out the virtual room trick.
One album that’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face is called Ondatropica, the sheer exuberance of most of the tracks is infectious. It’s a Columbian record - recorded with help from the British Council! - the music is a mixture of ska, cumbia and salsa.
A few years ago - 2011 think - I went to the festival Bestival with my brother, who is 17 years younger than me, we went mostly to see Primal Scream play Screamadelica and to see The Cure. The Beach Boys, Bjork, Public Enemy and P.J. Harvey were the other highlights.