Supernormal 2014!!

Yes! We did it again! This year at Supernormal was awesome, I (with Kim Da Costa from Form Constants) was involved in Sam Francis’ Shed Project which was an unplanned evolving sound stage along with a number of other artists. Others projects and individuals involved in The Shed included Sam Underwood, Bermuda Triangle Test Engineers, XXXTipex, Cymagick, Music by the Metre and Emma Lilwall. The weekend saw these projects played out and intertwined in spontaneous collaborations, it was great!

I was also involved in Field Sports/Fold Music which was an evolution of the Team Sports trio (Ian Watson, Matthew Lovett and Jimmy Otley). This project involved Nic Finch and Jimmy Otley on cello, Tina Hitchens on violin, Matt Lovett on acoustic guitar, Nick Harrison on drums and myself on battery powered electronics. We played in the living room / hall inside Braziers House, my home made amplifiers I built for Supernormal 2013 were a feature here again being used to amplify my electronics and play back field recordings the group had made.

I will add pictures and recordings to this post as I acquire them and/or get permission.

For now, here is a great video of many highlights of the festival with The Shed being featured a lot, enjoy!

Fragments and Memories of Supernormal 2014 from hyperoculus on Vimeo.

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New Instruments!!

Erk! I haven’t blogged anything in ages!! Woops!

Well I have been busy, lots of DIY projects have been coming together, here are some snippets of two today:


I made the Benjolin in Manchester a few months ago, and added the mods at home – today I converted the patch points to banana jacks as I have a couple of other banana based systems in the works. The Benjolin is a unique simplex 2 oscillator analogue synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk. It’s main feature for me is a chaotic circuit designed by Rob a couple of decades ago called the Rungler – I’m going to write more about this on a page I am developing on Chaos Theory and music, so stay tuned! The synth also features a very tasty features and mods allow for some interesting outputs.

2014-07-08 21.41.51

Above is a rendition of the Ciat-Lonbarde Rollz 5, PCB realised by Meng Qi. It is a drum machine of sorts, but a pretty twisted one. The pic shows it in its current state, waiting to go into a clear acrylic case once the mounting hardware I need arrives in the post. The Rollz 5 designs by Peter Blasser feature 4 circuits that have many variables down to the component level. The Meng Qi features 4 of each of the voice circuits, and 8 of the Rollz circuits which define the rhythms of the instrument, so there is plenty to play with. My favorite circuit is the “Ultrasound Filter” which converts ultrasonic pulses coming from the Rollz section into quite a variety of sonics, sometimes sounding like cosmic radio interference, other times sounding like digital formant vocalisations. Richard Brewster has dissected the Rollz 5 circuitry and provided detailed schematics along with modifications on his blog which you can find here: Rollz 5 Schematics

Today I started some experiments patching the two instruments together and got this:

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Hyperspace Error

Another modular session, this time exploring a largely generative patch with random step sequencing dictated by LFOs and then LFO frequency controlled by the random step sequence – there’s a whole bunch of other stuff going on as well but I mainly just sat back and listened!