A CAT IN SYRIA

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9am – Saturday’s early morning clouds dish out a warning that a better than average, but not all that when it comes to serious storms, Storm Jorge is on his way (you can just see the coast of France on the horizon – in sunshine! – if you look hard enough)


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10am – Yesterdays death wish puddle gets revived courtesy of a bored dark cloud with nothing better to do than rain some more in the company of his new best friend, ‘a useful blocked drain.’


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Midday – Teeming rain gets me and my carton of porridge oats plus a pain de raison – I was particularly looking forward to – totally soaked and inedible. Maybe I should have bought something in a tin.


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2pm – The sun says a quick ‘hello’, checks for rainbows that aren’t there, before giving up on Earth as a lost cause. He heads off to The Dark Side of The Moon as she never calls him a total waste of ‘Space’.


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6pm – An empty underpass where the old bloke who owns a harmonica but can’t get any sort of tune out of it usually hangs out. No one’s seen him for awhile. I heard that the cash rich tourists coming off the cruise liners in the harbour didn’t like walking past him as they made their way into town.


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7pm – A great night for freezing to death, crossing roads and unwittingly posing for a pointless random photo I was taking.


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8pm – Time to traumatize the pigeons, gulls, cats and dogs with the pointless sounds of exploding fireworks the cruise liners think are OK. That got me thinking I wouldn’t like to be ‘A Cat in Syria’ right now. I might use that as a title for an appropriate new classical piece one day.


Here’s an experimental piece of sound art I wrote a while back. It’s called ‘World of Shadows’, although if I was giving it its title today I think I’d have called it, ‘Land of Shadows’. I hope you enjoy;


As ever, if any poets out there are interested in having your poems turned into songs then click here to check it out: POETRY TO SONG


If you are looking for all my other music then you’ll find it to download on BANDCAMP or you can stream and/or make a playlist of it on SPOTIFY


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‘GUNPOWDER & TREASON’

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/gunpowder-treason

This is one of my early explorations in Sound Art from 2013. My idea was to create of piece of art using ‘found sound’ recorded during the day in a field where that evening a firework display was taking place and then add more samples during the actual display.  Daft as it might sound, what I wanted to achieve was to try to grab the stresses Guy Fawkes would have felt trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament and then getting burned at the stake and the contradictory pleasures we take from his failure today.  The daytime sounds layered into the piece catching Guy Fawkes’s feelings back on that day in 1605.   The night-time sounds are to capture excitement in the now.

Inspiration for the piece comes from Pierre Schaeffer’s 1948 ‘Etude aux Chemins de Fer’ study of railroad sounds and Musique Concrete generally.   Schaeffer’s coined the phrase “reduced listening” which means, ‘listening to a sound for its own sake, in itself, as a sound object’. I like that.

Anyway, I used the Musique Concrete compositional process when making this piece;

  • The recording of concrete acoustic sound (found sound).
  • The studying of selected fragments (sound objects) considering both the overall structure and the inner detail.
  • The realisation of the final piece through the structuring of modified sound objects.

The possibilities of what you can do with found sound are infinite.  I hope Schaeffer would have appreciated my piece for what it is although I think it more likely that he would be more interested in the technology I had at my disposal and what he could have done with it.

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