Archive for September, 2008


there are holes in what we do, there is a hole between me and you – hot chip

Yeah there is no real reason for using that Hot Chip quote, but it’s what I am listening to right now so we’re going to go with it.  I have once again been woefully neglectful to this blog.  It’s not like I am cheating on it with another blog, but rather I find myself in a place of confusion when it comes to writing for it.  I always seem to seize up and forgot all the things I want to say.

The last couple of months have been quite productive, and they have also illustrated to me how much it is that I know.

If you were keeping tabs on me in August you know that I took the album that goes with the immersive installation to Abbey Road to be mastered for vinyl, and it was the fucking coolest thing.  I know that quantifying something as cool is useless within the scope of research, so I will try and be more direct.

It fulfilled a part of me that had yet to be filled by making work.  All of sudden the simple act of going to a place with the history of Abbey Road made it real as a concrete brick hitting you on the head.  This was my music, and I was placing it within that context, I was choosing to elevate to something more than digital noise you can download, it was becoming real and substantial.  Suddenly the music stopped being an idea and become a tangential entity.  Furthermore it was good for me to understand how far my skill had come within the technical bits of things.  For the most part everything I know on Pro Tools was self-taught, and I was absolutely bricking it the night before I went.  I was afraid in the context of Abbey Road that my music would seem limp and studentish, but on speakers that can pull details that you would normally never hear and show you all the flaws in your tracks, the music sounded king, and I gained back a confidence that had been missing for about 5 years now.  Sean Magee the engineer who I will work with from here on in, also boosted my confidence by stating that we didn’t need to do that much to the tunes, they were pretty much ready to go.  Do you know how amazing that is to hear from the dude who mixed LCD Soundsystem and Kraftwerk?  I am still smiling.

I know that I bitch and moan on the regular about this PhD and where I sit within it and how I feel about being a researcher/artist or vice versa but I need to take a moment and realise that for all the flaws I am also engaging with my own work in a way I might never have been able to.  Dude I am making records, what the fuck?

So with the tunes off being pressed, it’s not like I have been sitting on my hands staring at the wall blankly.  I have made reference to the immersive installation aspect of this research, but I don’t believe I have been really clear about what that means. (If I have, and this bit is boring…sorry)

Essentially I am going to be making a replica of a child’s room, which is loosely based on my room as a kid.  It was in my room that I learned to listen to music and allow that specific way of listening to transform me and who I am.  Listening to music wasn’t just about me sitting there on the floor on hidden from view bathed in weak winter dusk light, rather it was about me attached to something that was bigger than myself.  Music allowed me to escape myself and become involved with something bigger and more wonderful.  I have been experiencing the ineffable in some way since my first pair of headphones, and that formative experience is what moves and drives the work.

So within the context of making this room, I need a space to build it in, and here is where we are currently.  I live in Glasgow and the city council is fairly cool about lending vacant shop front spaces to artists to realise their work in.  But it’s not as simple as me calling up and saying, ‘hey dudes, I need a space’.  Rather it’s been a bureaucratic nightmare of back and forth, endless conversations and now I am waiting until a GCC deadline to pass before I can hear if I have a space to build my space.  Boring, told you.

So, now we’re all on the same page. Now that this bit of general catch up is done, I have some more things to post.