For a while Ive wanted to promote & explore live electronic art music, which I feel is still underexplored, at least in the UK. Having collaborated successfully several times with Automatronic, which was set up by a collective of organists to explore the pipe organ with electronics in a contemporary context, so myself and Chrissie Caulfield set up Electromatronic to explore live electronics without the pipe organ. We intend a series of concerts, across the UK, with collaborations with local sound artists/ electronic art music practitioners as well as people we collaborate with.
On the first concert we had two fixed media pieces from Huw Morgan and Michael Bonaventure (both Automatronic organists/composers) which did not feature the organ. We had three live acts which comprised of
Charles Celeste Hutchins- improvisation with Analogue modular Synth
Panelak- Exciting performance artist using an array of small portable devices with effects, neatly housed on a tea trolley
CSMA- (myself and Chrissie Caulfield) with our synth collection, performing two pieces:
1. Synth and deck improvisation- in this piece I play my synthesizers which are live sampled by Chrissies software application (which she developed herself for a previous project) and manipulated by deck controllers-
2. The sleepless fox- This was a piece composed specifically for this concert, from texts about a far east pirate, there is a video diary about composing this piece here
We had a good audience, and an informal review from Tony Matthews:
Went to a concert of new electronic music. It was interesting. I knew I wasn’t going to hear anything I was used to, and I was correct in this assumption. It was a varied experience, at worst it was boring. In a attempt to be new and “wow” the basic concept of what makes a piece of music work had gone out of the window and as a result I was not engaged in its sound world. However, that was only two of the six works on show. There was a performance artist who after initial misgivings, I found myself warming to. The best work was the finale. Yes it was full of electronic trickery with weird and wonderful sounds and harmonies but it was skilfully controlled and, most important of all, it had a structure. There were ideas that returned, passages that were fleetingly tonal. These concepts meant this work was an evolution of music, building on what has worked for centuries to provide a satisfying music experience. So Stuart Russell and Chris. well done. You have inspired me to try out some of these techniques. Meanwhile, it’s back to the school musical, B-flat and 4/4 time.
We would like to thank Huw Morgan and the Vicar of St Laurence Church, Catford for hosting and the staff of the Clarendon Hotel for helping to carry all the gear up 4 flights of stairs!
Call out for locations and dates: we have collaborators for the next Electromatronic concert, but we would be interested to hear from anyone who would like to host this project or collaborate in a particular location on a tour in 2016