New Music in Quad Concert, Slackspace Colchester, Saturday 5th February 2011

Hi All,

This concert was orginally planned for Friday 3rd December last year but was cancelled due to the heavy snow that week. I now present that intended concert in an expanded form with additional performers, in association with Slackspace Colchester and Colchester New Music.

Facebook event:!/event.php?eid=146753415378095

The Line up:


  • Daz Disley- 2BaB
  • Karen Lauke- Copper Vibrations
  • Lisa Whistlecroft- Death Amoung The Apple Trees.


  • Christine Caulfield (5 string Violin, Electric Violin, Effects, Quad Backing)
  • Daniel Merrill  (violin, Quad backing)
  • Firewire (local inpro group) (devised piece with live quad recording/ transformation/ playback)
  • Stuart Russell and Sarah Watts- (live electronics, synthesizers, Bass Clarinet and MIDI wind controller)

Below are programme notes and tracks from the events performers and contributors

Acousmatic Pieces

Daz Disley : 2BAB (UK Premiere)

To Be a Bee is a quadrophonic journey into an imaginary beehive, created for SoundFjord London’s presence at the DragonFly international festival of arts, Falköping Sweden, summer 2010.

Thinking around the subject of bees, hive-mind, and the individual’s perspective I momentarily dipped into a daydream and was hit by an overwhelming blast of information relating to what it feels and sounds like to be one amongst thousands, dedicated to the same cause of sustaining the collective.

My “trip” lasted all of around 50ms and the resultant piece is an attempt to slow down this experience to a point where it can be understood, and communicated – the intensity, beauty and sense of purpose.

I’ve used over 200 voices woven around each other to represent the various roles played-out by different sections of the hive “culture” as they selflessly work for the greater good – the omnipresent pheremonal pulse of the queen, the songs of the workers, the bumbling play of the drones, the juvenility of the nursery, the ever-present waggle-dance and the nagging question of how huge the sky must appear when you’re the size of a bee; and you experience it for the first time.

Click above to hear a stereo sub-mix …

Karen Lauke : Copper Vibrations

Copper Vibrations could be described as an exploration of sound art, digital music, a multimedia project or video installation because of its multidisciplinary nature.

The aim was to stimulate people’s imagination and encourage them to question the visual idea presented to them, thus making them turn towards the auditory material for clarification and understanding or vice versa.

Copper Vibrations experiments with the variety of sounds that can be produced from one source object. The audio element consists of manipulated sounds that were produced by bowing and striking pieces of suspended copper pipe.

Similarly, the video consists of layered and animated still images which were again based on different arrangements and the possible formations of copper pipe.

Throughout the piece, considerable attention was given to the overall unity of the source materials transformation, as at times the material is recognisible, and at others, it is proven that it is possible to negate away from the original recordings of the pipe.

The work has been diffused in Leeds at isee:eyehear in the Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall and at the Seeing Sound Symposium in Bath.

At this event a special quadraphonic version of this piece will be diffused


Lisa Whistlecroft- Death Amoung the Apple Trees:

I shall call this stricture, this rigidity, “death among the apple trees” for ever.

This is a single picture from the kaleidoscopic score for a dance-theatre piece called The Saturated Moment, based on the first chapter of Virginia Woolf’s play-poem The Waves. Even this picture contains two images: miniature portraits of the characters Neville and Rhoda. Trapped – one in certainty, one in incomprehension – they exist in different spaces; but fear and darkness breach safety barriers, and certainty dissolves and drowns.

Live performers:

Firewire: legacy.

I have divised a piece for local improvisation group Firewire which explores the legacy that recording now gives us. The group is divided into 4 subgroups, with a set of instructions as steps. The conductor, Julia Usher, will cue the four groups through each of the stages. I will record each stage of their improvisation, then play it back as they record the next part and so on. The final result will be an acousmatic piece in quadraphonic (hence the four groups) that will play on, and evolve after the group have finished playing.

Christine Caulfield:

Things People Do” is Chrissie’s second solo recording and features her playing electric & acoustic violins, cello and electric guitar. It is a wander around the darker and funnier corners of the human psyche.

“The Quahog Stalker” was inspired by a friend who is obsessed with the TV programme “Family Guy” and it’s creator Seth MacFarlane. She once joked that following him on Twitter was like stalking him, and once she finally saw him (though, at a distance, in concert) realised he was just an ordinary guy – with drop-dead looks, a huge amount of money and a beautiful singing voice. The piece was played to Alec Sulkin, a writer on Family Guy, who described it as “Funny and Wierd”, which Chrissie is very pleased about.

Massing is a semi-improvised piece by French-Canadian composer Sonia Paço-Rocchia. It was originally written for solo viola and Max/MSP electronics. It is played here on a 5 string violin, and Chrissie has been given permission to use the E string by the composer. Sonia divides her time between Montreal and London and produces fascinating and quirky works, often for strange instruments such as bicycles and slinkies.

Daniel Merrill:

Daniel Merrill, one third of the dead rat orchestra (recently featured toured with Godspeed and featured on the BBC), drops the diablo violin solos for one night to perform an increasingly rare set of electro-acoustic music, explorating of the overtone structure of vibrating strings, breaking the traditional understanding of the violins sound and function.



Stuart Russell with Sarah Watts (live electronics, synthesizers, Bass Clarinet, MIDI Wind controller)

I  will be teaming up  with Bass Clarinetist Sarah Watts to explore rich, textured, semi-improvised works, using the MIDI wind controller to play pitched sampled and layered harmonics of the bass clarinet from the sampler as well as playing both the bass clarinet itself against shimmering soundscapes and complex, repeating loops. Often the bass clarinet is subject to effects normally asociated with electric guitars, in particular, the Wah-wah pedal.

These pieces have grown out of our experimentation with sampling and processing harmonics and multiphonics and our interest to find new textures by marrying sampled with live acoustic sounds, and complex synthesised sounds. Some pieces are restful, meditative, others shamanic, hypnotic, powerful sounds.

Sarah is also to do a lunctime recital of solo bass clarinet pieces, the subject of a second blog.

Facebook event for lunchtime concert:!/event.php?eid=133865756676612


About stuartrussellcomposer

Composer/ sound artist. Electronic musician. Modern classical composer
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