Haiku #12

 

The end of the year is drawing near and I had good intentions to create the final sound haiku for 2017, based on this one by Matsuo Basho –

With clear melting dew
I’d try to wash away
the dust of this floating world.

However, good intentions flew out the window when I was listening to the huge range of sounds my washing machine was making. The subsequent recordings with some processing, turned into ” I Sing my Washing Machine Electric” and it even sings christmas ditties….

Artwork  based on the soundfile –

Washing Machine Raw

Merry Washmas everyone.

 

 

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Haiku #11

 

 

The end of the year is drawing near and today we’ve had the first flurries of snow.
The starting point for this sound haiku is this by Dakotsu –

iron autumn
and all the cold
windbells tinkling

Of course, as some will know by now that being an electronic musician, I tend to play around with the sound. The windbells in this track are not delicate tinkling bells but have morphed into heavy scraping metal, more like this modern haiku by Lawrence Rungren-

autumn comes
rust deepens
on the unused tracks.

Either way, as the snow falls, this is winter in sound for me.

As with most Museleon tracks this is best listened through headphones.

Artwork by Museleon and here is the art based on the raw soundfile –

Iron Raw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haiku #10

 

 

The starting point for this piece was this haiku by Issa –

beautiful, seen through holes

made in the paper screen:

the Milky Way

There are two major themes that run through much of my soundwork and that’s memories and static, be it electrical sounds or in this case radio waves.

I have only seen the Milky Way once. It was a long time ago and on a visit to the Lake District, I lay flat, facing upwards on a shingle lakeside beach and marvelled at the sight.

Then recently, I was listening to a radio programme about Cosmology and was blown away by the thought that the radio static that I love so much, and have done since a child, is what is referred to as Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the sound of electromagnetic radiation left over from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang cosmology. It is also called “relic radiation” and makes up 1% of the static radio noise and if you tune your TV between the stations, the static on the screen is from the big bang fireball.

This has only increased my love of radio static sounds.

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the radiation from approximately 300k-400k years after the Big Bang, is also composed of thermal noise and other electronic noise from the radio receiver’s input circuits, and by interference from radiated electromagnetic noise picked up by its antenna, such as the microwave, electric razor or next door’s power tool being used nearby.

Radio static sounds are from my own large collection of electrical noises but I have also used samples of the sounds of Ganymede from the audio files of NASA
Use of the sounds are under the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) 

Artwork based on a photograph of Pink Star Roses of the Galaxies on PublicDomain.net and also the raw image of the soundfile.

 

Milky Way raw.jpg

 

 

First World War Project

 

Today is Armistice Day 2017.

I have been creating electronic music for some time and also have been working on a sound / image / film project about the First World War, since starting out all those years ago.
It is something that I return to from time to time, but I was spurred on to try and complete it by the centenary and set myself a couple of goals.
– To create a memorial piece for every year of the war
– To actually get the whole project, which is quite large, finished by November 2018.

I have created pieces about the start of the war(1914), Piccardy(1915), the first use of tanks (1916) and here for 1917, the Battle of Passchendaele . It’s a sort of ‘electronic soundscape requiem’ that covers all aspects and often not with a happy ending.
I decided this year to give a taster of what the project is like, since the Battle of Passchendaele was truly terrible, an understatement from me.

 

1917 – Army of Death
Passchendaele: 31 July – 6 November 1917
It was infamous not only for the scale of casualties, but also for the mud. For the sake of a few kilometres, the British lost 310,000 men and the Germans 260,000.
For this piece there are two major themes –

– The poem, The Army of Death by Charles Hamilton Sorley (1895 – 1915) killed by a sniper at the age of 21 at the Battle of Loos.

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“Yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.

–  The use of horses on the front.
Conditions were severe for horses at the front; they were killed by artillery fire, suffered from skin disorders, and were injured by poison gas. Hundreds of thousands of horses died, and many more were treated at veterinary hospitals and sent back to the front. Procuring fodder was a major issue, and Germany lost many horses to starvation.
By 1917, Britain had over a million horses and mules in service, but harsh conditions, especially during winter, resulted in heavy losses, particularly amongst the Clydesdale horses, the main breed used to haul the guns. Over the course of the war, Britain lost over 484,000 horses, one horse for every two men.

I imagined a soldier walking through the mud towards the front, ever onward, blinkered like a horse to the scenes of horror…..

 

Many thanks to –

Poem is read by JH on LibriVox

Sample of ‘Out of the Deep’ by Orlando Gibbon – The Tudor Consort on Archive.org

War sounds courtesy of the Freesound community (public domain)

 

Artwork created by Museleon based on a photo of Chateau Wood, October, 1917.

As with most Museleon tracks, better listened via headphones.

 

Arawn – Shamanic and Pagan Sounds – Urban Arts Berlin

 

Very honoured to be included on this newly released compilation from Urban Arts Berlin., a Non-profit arts organisation & music label that supports non-commercial projects from all over the world.

Musicians and sound artists were asked to produce a three to seven minute work based on Shamanism & Pagan traditions from all over the world. Urban Arts Berlin believe that “the knowledge of our ancestors to be relevant for our contemporary understanding of nature and human life.”

I knew that I wanted to create a piece of music based on the idea of the Psychopomp, the “guide of souls”. Their primary function is to escort souls to the afterlife, but can also serve as a guide through the various transitions of life. This has long been a role of the shaman, with the ability to travel to the spirit realms and offer help to those in need. The psychopomp isn’t a judge of the deceased, but simply provides safe passage and are often depicted as creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions and folklore.

In Welsh mythology the psychopomp Arawn was the Lord of the Underworld (Annwn). Arawn rode with his white, red-eared hounds, the Cwn Annwn or Hounds of Annwn, through the skies in autumn, winter, and early spring, hunting their quarry – the souls of the damned, chasing them back to Annwn.

I have created a piece which draws on the imagery and mythology of Arawn and also uses a traditional Cardigan saying  –
Hir yw’r dydd a hir yw’r nos, a hir yw aros Arawn
 Long is the day and long is the night, and long is the waiting of Arawn

 

 

Artwork by Museleon based on a Celtic Dog design representing the Cwn Annwn.

 

 

 

Haiku #9

 

 

Haiku #9 originally was based around a couple of haiku’s, one ancient and one modern –

darkness
wet with
the sound of waves
by Santoka

and

between the rocks
water the ocean
didn’t take back
by Gary Hotham

and a set of field recordings I made rockpooling.
The resulting piece is more like the tide returning to fill up the once tranquil crevises of the pools, in that, I wanted to create the illusion of something small living in the rockpool suddenly being swept about and immersed by the sea, as the tide turned.
As with most of the Museleon tracks, it is best listened to through headphones.

Rockpool raw

Artwork is an image of the soundfile.

Rockpool art created by Museleon based on a photograph.

Haiku #8

This months Sound Haiku’s starting point was this beautiful minimalist haiku by Issa –

This dewdrop world
Is but a dewdrop world
And yet—

It was written on the first anniversary of his child’s death and has a one-word prescript: ‘Grieving.’ According to Buddhist teaching, life is as fleeting as a dewdrop and so one should not grow attached to the things of this world. It is an ephemeral, transient world, and this we must accept. Even so, we suffer, and we grieve. For this, we are given equanimity, on the one hand, and compassion, on the other.
Issa’s response: ‘and yet…'”
This is also my response.

So, some may know from listening to “Synapse”, that I have PPS (Persistent Nerve Pain Syndrome)and music although a great distractor, sometimes is an expressor of the day I’m having.
Following on from Issa’s haiku and on a particularly bad day for me, I took my sound recorder outside on a very rainy day. I captured some of the sounds of my garden including raindrops falling into a plastic bowl, starlings, crows and a robin singing his heart out. There was also the usual background noise that we mostly ignore such as passing lorries and cars, dogs barking, people talking, the A19 etc,. However, the resulting sound haiku, processing the field recordings, ended up being a heightened echo chamber of sounds, which sonically expressed that day – competing birds and noise.

Like nearly all museleon tracks, best listened through headphones.
Artwork based on photographs I took of some Starlings having a bath in a puddle and here is the sound file artwork-Rainbirds RAW.jpg