Lonesound is the name of songwriter/producer James Ewers' new solo project; his wonderful EP "The Great Outdoors - Part One" was released at the start of the month (click the album art above to listen). I really love it, it's got touches of a few of my favourite things: a bit of Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, even The Cure.

I've been a fan of James's work for a long while now, from way back in the days of his band My Luminaries, so I was very honoured when he asked me to play synth and sing backing vocals in his live band. It's been a very long while since I've played such loud music as part of an ensemble - most of the performances I've done recently have involved lots of multitasking with lots of technology, it's a lovely change of scene for me to sit back and play a supporting role. I'm definitely getting a kick out of it!

So there are shows you can come to - head over to Facebook and like the
band's page to stay on top of updates and such.

In the mean time, you should watch this video for the track "The Great Outdoors" and consider coming out to the next gig, which is free, in London this Friday!

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My wanted ad: desperately seeking...

I am currently searching for any 'up-for-it' instrumentalists around the Bedford/Cambridge/MK/London area who might be keen to perform new works and engage in live performance experimentation using tech applications like Ableton Live, Logic Mainstage, Max MSP, and other digital applications.

At the moment I am composing a suite for solo cello + technology and am desperately looking for a player to be my guinea pig in the creation of this work. But beyond this project, I'd love to work with anyone who is somewhat local to London/Midlands/East Anglia and is excited by the prospect of playing and recording new music with me in this way.

Ultimately I would like to form a band/live ensemble that utilises technology in the performance of new music with the help of a laptop, effects pedals and other interesting interfaces. The idea of live looping, improvisation, recording on the fly and the use of 'oblique strategies' in performance really appeals to me, and I hope I'm not the only one. From John Adam's "Book of Alleged Dances" to Terry Riley's "Cusp of Magic", Steve Reich's Counterpoints to Graham Fitkin's laptop performances with Ruth Wall - the range of creative possibility that technology provides us in this moment in history is unsurpassed and now seems like the perfect time to continue, develop and evolve this fantastic tradition.

So if you're interested or even curious, please get in contact. If you know any players who might be interested then please pass this message on. thanks!!

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Peter Sant's Cadence

I just posted a clip from Peter Sant's latest video art piece, "Cadence" on the media page of this site (for the full length version - check out ). Despite my computer-related woes of late, I really enjoyed working on this project - camped out on the dining table with my MIDI keyboards and controllers strewn around the kitchen.

I originally got the job by responding to a post on
Composition Today (truly one of the ugliest arts-related sites ever to exist on the interwebs) - the artist was looking for a keyboardist/composer, and I took the bait. He responded in kind with a list of musical limitations and rules by which I needed to adhere. Also, I was to only receive the foley track, and not the footage, to score to. Here were some of the rules:

  • begin at precisely 2min 30 secs
  • contain a 'light' and discretely 'anticipatory' motif
  • never be 'dark' or 'suspenseful'
  • contain the following, in order of their relative quantity:
    • organ
    • synthesiser
    • piano
    • plus an optional extra (but not percussive)
  • not occupy more than 70% of the allocated time
  • operate at a tempo slower than a clock

There was a lot of back and forth - a few changes, a few edits. It was refreshing to work in this way, separate and remote from the visual element yet very close to it at the same time. Here's an example from the final score - the first occurrence of the main theme, beginning at precisely 2min 30secs...

Cadence [excerpt] by leahkardos Read more