100+

New music will be posted here from now on:

http://sevenismsineves.blogspot.com/

DAY ONE-HUNDRED!

Really enjoyed the 100 days event. Despite the frankly horrible venue, it was warm and friendly inside.

Lovely to chat to people I only knew from twitter updates, and see the culmination of 100 days of great artwork and ideas.

And to walk in and see my tape keyfob vid projected on the wall made me feel proud.

And the fact that the performances were predominantly female comedians - and that this didn't seem unusual - was great.

Had to display my art 'creatively' as it was pretty precarious on my plinth.


I did a quick tape insert when I got back to my friend's.



Am I a better person? I'm a better guitarist, and more efficient at making pieces of music, and less procrastinatory, and generally more confident in being creative.

These are some of the pieces I'm most proud of:

DAY NINETY-NINE

Final track. 55th one!

This is based on @benpartridge's random wiki article surfing.

I clicked that and got to a page about Zavodovski Island, which is a small island near the Antarctic with a volcano that engulfs the island.

Found this picture and was inspired to make a track about it.

http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1900-13=&volpage=photos&photo=110091


















Tried to do something icy, sparse, warm, volcanic.

Wanted to collate all the techniques from previous pieces, and use all my instruments.

There's a bubbling volcanic bassline, icy whistling, a little windy drone at the start, some augmented radio, and some warm sparse free-form guitar. It's odd but it works I think.


DAY NINETY-EIGHT

Drew a monkeyfish. Oh, there's a red squiggle under that word. They don't exist? They should.





And here is a nice acoustic echoey track. No distortion!

DAY NINETY-SEVEN

Did some prep for Wednesday's event and yet another track.

Woozy bluesy noodling. Just a pick up the guitar and play job.

Actually though, there's a bit of post-production on this. I don't like doing that usually, I like to be able to play something, and then that's it, done.  But I was checking out some of the fx on ableton, and that's been kept in.


Never would've thought, 97 days ago, that I'd have recorded 53 pieces of music. Definitely gonna do more creative stuff after the 100 is up. Need a break though, and want to do some more considered, thought out pieces.

DAY NINETY-SIX

Couldn't get the tone right on this, and so it's a bit of a mess. Tried mastering it, but to no avail. The bass is just too noisy and feedbacky. Drowns out the guitar.

Anyway, I recorded it and uploaded it. Slow sludgy metal noise:

DAY NINETY-FIVE

People pissed me off today. Stupid decisions made in a panic, people not listening to reason, and it rubbing off on me. So here's a poem that doesn't really relay these things:

Far away from prying hands
The clutch of panic:
constricted restricted
clouded
contagious
Shut away; 
I wish

Kind of a shame I did Ira yesterday. Would've been appropriate for today. Probably just me shouting into a mic though.

DAY NINETY-FOUR

Final part of the deadly sins project. Ira, meaning Anger.

Starts off gentle but with a vague undercurrent of dread, then something happens, which causes a bubbling, rising synth drone seething with anger.

I was chatting to a friend about when I got burgled and how I was enraged, apoplectic, murderous. The memory brought it back.

DAY NINETY-THREE

50th track! yeah!

Did I go all out and create something spectacular?

Well... not exactly. There's a nice tune and humming hidden there, but it's beneath loads of distortion, grit, and grime.

DAY NINETY-TWO

I did that new logo for the blog. A bit late. Nevermind.

In a last ditch attempt to enforce some sort of cohesion on this project, I've done another cassette related photo


My boss found this in a charity shop. An indonesian bootleg of english folk songs in heavyweight casing. Good enough in itself, but the info 'this pack has been proved for casette protection from heat for hot countries' steps it up to awesome.

DAY NINETY-ONE

I think this is my 49th track. I did a different version of nexus spill and a dnb track I didn't upload, so I'm counting those too.

Definitely reach my target of 50. Brilliant! I think it's gonna be more difficult to find coherent collections of tracks to work on and send out as demos.

Was gonna give my calloused fingers a break today, but there's a mouse roller scroller button on my pc keyboard and I realized I could use it as an expression pedal by careful placement on the floor.

So, this is FX heavy and lots of wah, with echoes sustained forever.

Goes awry at 2 minute mark but I pull it back. I suppose that's always a danger when you just play freeform, with no prep, and don't really know how to play guitar.

 

I wasn't feeling especially indignant, but I just read Philip Roth's wonderful book Indignation, and there was a little residual empathic indignation

DAY NINETY

Slow, haunted bassline played on guitar, looped, then echoey reverby guitar played freeform on top. Slowly turning the wah up and down in between notes

Haven't felt like doing anything on the bass guitar for a while. It doesn't like being tuned in. Or being played.

Anyway, I think this sounds pretty good. Difficult to get the balance between imbuing with my 'sound', and not sounding too similar to everything else. Especially when working on something new every day.

DAY EIGHTY-NINE

Tried the same thing as yesterday, feedback on one instrument interacting with playing on another, but it doesnt work as well.

I'd had a few drinks, and came back and did what I could. The bar was also a steak house and had a boutique inside, and it looked like an Estate Agents from the outside. Odd mix.

Reminded me of the Baixa part of Lisbon where boutiques are open late at night next to cool bars. There it made sense.

So, appropriately, here's a track where the 2 parts don't quite work together.

DAY EIGHTY-EIGHT

Another beautiful "Silver" moon! I love it! Enjoy full moon t... on Twitpic


 This is taken from space by @astro_soitchi. An astronaut who is somehow beaming pics to the net. He must have a good wifi connection.

The second full moon of the year: the Ice Moon.

I'm pleased with this track. Windy atmospherics, sparse electronics, gentle 12-string plucking and echoes cascading into the ether.

All produced in real time. Atmospherics and electronics by feedback of guitar, and sometimes picking up the 12-string too.

DAY EIGHTY-SEVEN

This takes a while to get going, and then when I get into it, I forget and it goes on for ages. Free-form noise blues. I love playing this style. Possibly not enough reverb on the high notes.

Nearly didn't pick up my guitar. Woke up shattered, and felt vague and anxious all day. The title, if not the music, are supposed to reflect this.

DAY EIGHTY-SIX



This is kind of a combination of faineant and concentration. Just played straight through on guitar, with slow echo between channels. then simple 12-string strumming in the background. A few jarring mistakes, but didn't have time to re-record.

Title is a combination of the words the track is based on and also one of @chrissywilliams 100 words

Also a giraffe for this project. He only needs 405,000 more!

DAY EIGHTY-FIVE

15 days left... the home stretch by my calculations..

Another part in the deadly sins project, I'm afraid. Avarice and Pride this time. I was planning to stretch these out alongside more listener-friendly music, but greed and pride presented themselves to me today. Hopefully, I won't be in throe to anger tomorrow, but if I am, at least I have something cathartic to do with it.

I was watching Amadeus and there's clear elements of pride and greed in that film (ok, it's more about envy, but I've done that one!) and my tape vid was put on the hundred days site, with some overly kind words about my music - I really don't deserve comparisons to Mogwai (Hunted by a Freak is one of my favourite ever tracks, incidentally) so, I was feeling proud.

In terms of pride and greed in the actual track, I used the augmented radio technique that I'm proud of, and I was greedy with the use of 3 separate feedback tones: the aforementioned augmented classical music low-down in the mix, a windy atmospheric drone, and an electronic analog square synth effect. Amazingly, they all work together well!

DAY EIGHTY-FOUR

OK, 2nd part in the deadly sins project is luxuria invidia which means 'lust envy' which I was feeling strongly today ('tho I'm not gonna go into it!)

Another long feedback drone, pulsing, I reckon, with lust and envy. There's obviously a pulsing associated with lust, both physically, and in terms of blood; and I think there can be a rising heat pulse associated with envy too, so this is what I've tried to represent.

This isn't so good for earphone listening as the left and right channels are pretty different.


DAY EIGHTY-THREE

Right, let's see if this works:



Cool.

So my attempt at a video. I've been taking photo's every week of a key-fob of a cassette. The black paint started to come off really quick, and it's nearly all off now. Sped up a recent track (Cavernous) so it fit with the photos merging. So it's just photo's of a disintegrating tape. And then reversed, so it loops over a few minutes.

DAY EIGHTY-TWO

Another day, another droney-ambient-psych-electroacoustic track.



Title means 'gluttony sloth' and recorded after a busy day and more takeaway (just a coincidence, ok?). Simple notes played with loads of FX to make it electronic-y, the distortion is gradually ramped up so that by the middle its just a wall of ambient electronic feedback, then I fiddle with the controls to make some more weird sounds (like I did with frozen dew) then gradually lower the distortion so you can hear the notes again.

This sounds really giddy and textured.

DAY EIGHTY-ONE



Recorded in a post-takeaway overdose fugue state.

Not happy with the bassline. Was fine when I was playing it, I thought, but listening back it's a bit plodding. Plus, it's played dry - no FX on the bass whatsoever.

Kind of an MV/EE style on this one. Psychedelic free-folk doodlings. Some nice guitar plucking coming in and out of focus.

DAY EIGHTY



Ambient-psychedelic-acoustic stylings on my trusty 6-string.

Nice pulsing atmospheric echo, simple driving bass, and engaged-tone geetar.

DAY SEVENTY-NINE

Discarded gloves, on an empty shelf (save for screwed up rubbish), at Borders closing down sale. Portentous. And appropriate as homage to @grant_me's lost gloves project


















Went for a more Emeralds/Sean McCann style for this one. Strings played open, so I could play with the wah (don't have an expression pedal), but didn't make an awful lot of difference.

Anyway, nice, weird echo and reverb and pretty easy listening by my standards.

DAY SEVENTY-EIGHT

Some fuzzy noise blues. Similar to stuff I've done in the past, but I really like this style of playing. Bassline on the low E and then free-form playing on the higher strings.

Drenched in reverb and echo, and all the better for it.



Ohh! I didn't know I could embed the tracks like that!

Also, a one-line drawing in homage to @studioanjou's 100 days of coffee project:

DAY SEVENTY-SEVEN

Proper song this. Lyrics, chords, etc.

OK, not proper really. I received a spam email and this was the message text:

"syren bike lotto.
cur qualm tardy finny!
tenth anus bunch.
rein inker tug.

echo bike syren work!
guest syren.
delve mover epic bora!
delve pilot clan scoff?

shout scat quag pore!
nexus spill.
calve bunch fled calve?
leap swear nexus.

leap doty dulse corny?
lid kotow pore.
helve widow.
anus sloe.

ilk tacky delve wrap?
scull fled blob col?
lotto zinc mark salon?
scat reedy sudd.

blob sloe mark anus?
helve tug rogue dulse?
quail psalm grass raw!

quail piano."

That was it. There was no other message text. Spam poetry. I joked to a friend ages ago that I was gonna make it onto a song, but I obviously never would. Until now.

Used the chords from 'too dark to swim', excuse my singing, and here we have a beautiful mess named after my fave line:

DAY SEVENTY-SIX

No music today. I played some stuff and realised alot of the things I've recorded I'll never be able to play again..didn't write anything down, or merely scribbled some notes on scraps!

A friend of mine has just moved to San Francisco so I wrote him some facetious advice for living in the States. 

Advice and Information for living in America
  • The currency is made up of dollars, quarters and yanks. A quarter is a dollar coin cut into a triangle or a 'piece a' pie'. Quarters can be used once every 25 years. 
  • Always drive in the centre of the road. Constantly toot your horn.
     
  • Upon seeing a child it is customary to give a friendly clap to the back of their head and shout 'yeehah' in their astonished face. 
  • Like the UK, the USA is split into four countries - America, Alaska, Mexico and New England. Technically, Canada is another, but it's traditional not to count it. The voting restrictions explain Canada's status as the 'silent 5th' country. 
  • Every day is a celebration of some kind. This week look forward to the compulsory fun of 'National Air Day', 'National Emotions Day' and 'National Tues Day'. Happy National Have a Nice Day Day today!
     
  • Like all American phone numbers, the emergency number is derived from related words. So convert the letters of EMERGENCY and you get 363743629. Altenatively, simply dial 6463 663 663 (NINE ONE ONE). Because of the additional 4 in the initial sequence the Emergency Services are known as the Plus Fours (7587 36877).
     
  • Don't forget to leave a three syllable pause before dialling a Canadian number!
     
  • Upon reaching 38 years old it is compulsory to have plastic surgery, false teeth, and a robot arm. This is why all Americans are beautiful. The procedures obviously don't apply to Canadians. They remain beautiful their whole natural lives; and into their afterlives.
     
  • The language spoken is ostensibly English, but predominantly they speak in Sarcasm and Irony. America is the only country that truly understands sarcasm and perhaps their greatest feat is in convincing us the exact opposite.

DAY SEVENTY-FIVE

This was never supposed to be about making music. I didn't think I'd be able to write and record tracks in an hour or two, but three-quarters of the way in and this is my (I think) 34th track. I haven't felt much like drawing, painting or writing recently, but I can always find something on the guitar. So track 34:

concentration

I didn't even realise this is pretty close to 'faineant' until after I'd recorded it and listened back. It's quite nice and acoustic and ambient, but obviously I've gotta be a bit obtuse so hid some wrong notes in there, and it's quite feedbacky. There's 5 concurrent guitar lines at times, so it can cope with the odd bum note.

Weird thing was I couldn't play this with a metronome, so goes a bit off centre sometimes. Maybe cos the echo was at a different bpm. I used a similar glittery echo to 'all that glitters'.

Does it count as plagiarism if I've plagiarised my own tunes?

DAY SEVENTY-FOUR

Some meandering blues with that lovely echo platter chorus-like effect. This is really long, nearly 12 minutes, didn't realise as I was playing it.

It's meant to be a bridge between solstice and a similar track, so that I can use them all together as an extended piece. It should work ok. It's closer to solstice but never mind, it's different enough. All the solstice tracks are (different instruments and different FX).

sevenism - winter pt. II

DAY SEVENTY-THREE

OK so today (well, Thursday, so 3 days ago. sorry, anyway..) I played yesterday's track again. Better sound quality but sounds less emphatic.

I think the immediacy of playing and recording something very quickly has it's advantages. It can be rawer and more emotional, more personal.

sevenism - too dark to swim

The title alludes to feeling shattered and emotionally drained. Went to a funeral, haven't been sleeping properly, lot's of travelling around and work's busy too.

DAY SEVENTY-TWO

12-string strumming, whistling, and humming on this one.

Played some similar 2 string chords where I could play the open strings too. Works quite well.

Starts off gentle strumming but because of all the FX on there it gets too muffled and jarringly screechy, and I couldn't master it into anything listenable.

I've recorded it tomorrow too and it will sound better. Hmm. Not sure what tense to use when pretending to talk in the past.

DAY SEVENTY-ONE

bACK.. Ohhh.. Back in my lovely cold flat, and found myself wanting to pick up my guitar. Didn't feel like a chore. hooray!

Lots of ambient echo effects on this one. Tone not dissimilar to that used on Andromeda (which listening back is pretty good), but different enough. And y'know, I only had 40 minutes to record this had to get a lovefilm back in the post and get to bed by midnight.

Where was I? Ok, yeah, this was meant to get more intricate, but I kind of ran out of time and wanted to put some 12-string, and a higher, whats the word, frequency, no, octave line in too. Sounds good anyway.

sevenism - faineant

faineant means 'disinclined to work or exertion' which does not describe me in the slightest one bit. No. It's not like I would just use a random word I like from a novel I'm reading in a hastily made track. Hmm.

Oh also, this amused me on the train. 3 notices all next to each other, and pictures, warning not to drink the water. So I wrote 'drink me' in the spirit of balance. People like balance.

DAY SEVENTY

Again, just played the guitar. I managed to almost tune it in, but then i meddled too much and couldn't get one of the strings back in tune again.

I miss my digital tuner. It's dangerous though. Like how A-level Maths taught me how to use a scientific calculator but forget arithmetic.

DAY SIXTY-NINE

Back at my parents so on my mums spanish guitar. I was showing her chords as her guitar has just been gathering dust for the past 20 years, and she was thinking of playing again.

I can't be bothered with chords though. So started playing in my usual fashion, and found the beginnings of something to work on.

DAY SIXTY-EIGHT

Made a banana and walnut loaf with a friend. I was arguing that it wasn't really creative. just following a recipe, so i was trying to surreptitiously put chili and pepper in, but was hindered.

I don't see it as enough to simply make something, i think there has to be an element of originality

i've never baked a cake before (unless you count chocolate cornflake cakes) so it's something new at least.



DAY SIXTY-SEVEN

I designed a font in a meeting. Glorified doodling really, but had to get a train soon after work.














 It's difficult to design a font that's both functional and original, especially when people are asking you questions.

I did motivational posters for my office ages ago, but only just taken a decent photo:

DAY SIXTY-SIX

Virtually 2/3 the way through. It's a bit of a chore at the moment. I've had little or no inspiration, and feel I've just been churning out barely adequate music.

Well, I like this.

My kettle was sticking it's tongue out at me. My kettle looks like a robo-dog-cat from this angle.

When I was learning to speak I started making up my own nouns. A 'minamin' was an orange or satsuma, 'antibanner' meant umbrella (I still contest this is a better term) and the generic term for a dog or cat was 'dugati'. I was 28 years old.

Sorry.

Anyway, here's Dugati:

DAY SIXTY-FIVE

Ross Noble started a rumour on twitter that kanYe West and Susan Boyle were collaborating on a Simon Cowell-produced remix of God Save The Queen. It was successful as loads of people retweeted it, some believed it, and it was reported on a radio station.

I tried to do a cover. I spent very little time on this, and I'm aware it doesn't look like a cd cover. But fuck it, I did nothing else creative today.



DAY SIXTY-FOUR

This is all I did. A quick sketch at work. I have an A3 pad, ostensibly for making work related notes on, but more often it's a sketchpad.
I picked up my 12-string guitar and played some of solstice but didn't feel like recording anything.

  

DAY SIXTY-THREE

Recorded 8 tracks in a row now. Christ.

I picked up the guitar knowing I wouldn't find anything to play. But I did. Very quick. One take.

There's two sections. The first half is played one line on 6-string, another on 12-string. Then in the second half part of these lines are looped and more loops are played on top. So it builds up and then... it ends.

I wanted to call it palindromic but there's only minor palindromic aspects (reverse echo and finishes with the same loop as it started).

andromeda

DAY SIXTY-TWO

Slowed down one of the augmented radio sessions I did. and just played some long bass notes over that echo between speakers, and did the same thing at a higher octave on guitar.

Named after the pattern I got after dropping my favourite espresso cup.

Shatter Locus
http://bln.kr/93Q

DAY SIXTY-ONE

Ninth track in the last ten days. Bit bored now, but haven't felt like doing anything else.

Just some simple blues twanging on my trusty 6-string. Only used two strings, bit of distortion and echo.

settle-down blues

DAY SIXTY

The moon was at it's brightest all year. My camera couldn't cope with the brightness.


















The first full moon of the year is known as the 'wolf moon' which derives from the Native American name.

Good name for a track too. Simple bass, acoustic, 12-string guitar lines.

wolf moon

DAY FIFTY-NINE

Slapped a beat on this one. Ten years ago I'd've been horrified. I used to painstakingly cut it up into bass drum, snare hihat etc and re-arrange, but here I've only slightly amended on 4th and 8th bars.

Played the bassline to the beat, but it still comes in rather abruptly. The beat works better in the second part where the guitar lines get more complicated.

breaking out

DAY FIFTY-EIGHT

http://bln.kr/8UA

6 and 12 string strumming with some weird phasar and sweep echo in the background. I'm struggling to think of names for tracks now. This one is called 'untitled'.













Someone posted this on twitter with no explanation or nuffink. It'd be lovely to randomly drive past this.

DAY FIFTY-SEVEN

tH..argh. This track I kind of sung on. But lots of FX on the vocals, which are sparse and rubbish so you can't here them. It's an anti-folk track with similar 6 and 12 string lines overdubbed. Lets call it everything's fine.

Also, there was a face in my Espresso. I'm pretty sure it wasn't jesus, so I drank him.


DAY FIFTY-SIX

Went for Wooden Shjips style rolling bassline, and some no-wave style guitar. Guitar was too feedbacky with more than perfunctory twangs, so used my voice on the same tone to get the effect.

Arbitrarily called 'no love'. Well, Josie has decreed it's love week, like the crazed dictator she is. So there we are.

http://bln.kr/8Q3

DAY FIFTY-FIVE

I tried to play a bit of guitar today, but wasn't in the mood and didn't find anything worth recording.

Shouldn't feel bad, I've recorded about 20 tracks now. Of variable quality, sure, but that's good going.

DAY FIFTY-FOUR

 Is it possible to remix a track you've never heard? A track that might not even exist?

This album by Boards of Canada was apparently released to friends and family and has never been leaked.

The band put a discography of unreleased albums up on their website, with album covers, track titles and duration, catalogue number etc.

Some of the titles were remarkably evocative, and me being a huge fan, used to wonder what they sounded like.

The one that stuck with me was 'Infinite Lines of Colourful Sevens', it reminded me of a simple BBC BASIC program that filled the screen with coloured words.

I managed to get a Boards of Canada-esque bass sound using buzzsaw and u-vibe mods on my guitar. Then by reversing a guitar line, and another simple guitar line played forwards. I'm really pleased with how this turned out.

sevenism - Infinite Lines Of Colourful Sevens

DAY FIFTY-THREE

A long ambient drone made by placing a guitar close to a speaker to create feedback, then carefully increasing distortion and amending wah, distortion tone, and bass and treble on sine chorus, so that it gradually shifts in tone and texture. Also some 12 string strumming very low down in the mix.

It sounds icy and crunchy hence the title:

frozen dew

DAY FIFTY-TWO

This poster is always on the bus. It gets to me how bad it is.

I couldn't get a decent photo on my phone without looking weird, but it says 'no school uniforms, just great courses'. Its for a college.

The layout is bad, the faux-graffiti backdrop is pointless. There is no link between having to wear a uniform and the courses being great. Are you supposed to wear the course?

But my main gripe is the people. The girls are doing model smiles and model stances. And there is a man who appears to be wearing a school uniform. A shirt and tie. These are not students, a student is not going to wear a shirt and tie upon being told 'no school uniforms'. Those three on the right are too old to be teenage students.

Just that one on the left. Hey, they found a student. Isn't he cool, with his hair and his clothes, and his uncomfortable look? Punk Rock, that is in isn't it?



Also, recorded a quick track. Simple echoey bassline, distorted 12-string, and clean acoustic guitar. Its ok.

The Helvetica Scenario 

DAY FIFTY-ONE

 http://japanesetranslator.co.uk/your-name-in-japanese/?forename=James&style=1



My name in Kanji.






Looks better than my name in that ABC alphabet, whatever that's called.

Played a bit of guitar too, but didn't find anything worth recording.

DAY FIFTY!

Halfway through #100days:

15 drawings/arty things
13 photos
17 tracks recorded
1 poem
1 jar of marmalade

I like those stats! Am I half-way to becoming a better person?

Yes.

Actually, that's the wrong way to look at it. Being creative is important, because it's natural. As children we are always drawing and making things, and yet it's not a childish pursuit, but a human one.

Tried to go all out today, and record a track using all instruments at my disposal. But I was lying on my bed, trying to keep my eyes open, not wanting to do anything.

Glad I got up. I'm really pleased with this. So: simple bassline, fuzzy acoustic guitar, sparkly 12 string, and my out-of-tune voice humming for a bit.

It starts off like it's too slow, but once the 3 main parts are up it's ok. Reason it's slow is I wanted to add some augmented radio too (so had it at the same BPM as the echo), but it was too muffled in the mix. Listening back I should've used my voice more in this, it doesn't sound too bad. But hey, it's not bad for an hour and a half.

sevenism - halfway home

And it's an important lesson: regardless of how I feel, how little I want to do something, it's worth making the effort.

DAY FORTY-NINE

I've wanted to do this for ages. Feed Classical music into guitar FX.

I had Radio 3 on, speaker close to a vocal mic, and just added a load of distortion, echo, and wah.

It's a lot of fun amending the wah while guessing where the music is going. On this take there's a load of speaking but it sounds cool.

sevenism - augmented radio

DAY FORTY-EIGHT

Recorded a quick track on both 6-string, and 12-string, guitar.

Wanted to use bass guitar too, but didn't have time to tune it up. I don't think my bass likes this cold weather.

Was trying to play the different parts out of phase but wasn't really paying attention to the metronome, so just comes out a bit lackadaisical. What the hell? I thought it was pronounced lax-adaisical. Dear me.

Anyway

DAY FORTY-SEVEN

I made a card for ShakeHands MidWinter Day.

This is a traditional British celebration (and not at all made up by Graham Linehan to confuse Americans into thinking we have our own version of Thanksgiving). Fox-Rabbit is eaten by most people and games such as Tease Cheese and Shout Peter Stupid are played.

While it is seen as bad luck to actually shake hands on this day, observing others shaking hands is portentous as you get to watch 'the devil dance away'.

More details here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=188906458996


















DAY FORTY-SIX

Despite using whisky instead of a lemon, too much sugar, and not simmering properly, I got what appears to be marmalade. OK, yes, it tastes more like golden syrup with a consistency to match, but I made it, and whatever it is, it tastes good on toast. 'tho not so good that I'll give any to people in the other flats to apologise for setting off the alarm so much.



Heckled a spammer too. This one seemed a cut above: it was translated into Italian, and it beat gmail spam detection which is pretty impressive. I like to try and match the feel of the original message, but haven't had a response until now.

I do not know you...

Ciao!
Trovo la tua e-mail su internet e ho voluto scrivere per voi.
Tu non sai di me ... e non so voi ... Ma ho fiducia nel destino e mi auguro che il destino, mi dia una possibilita ....
Voglio trovare un tipo, uomo onesto e intelligente.
Il mio nome - Elena. La mia eta- 26 years.It e difficile da dire su di me. Se questo e di alcun interesse a voi, scrivete a me
Mi auguro, vedo la vostra lettera al piu presto. Nel seguente lettera che ho a dire su di me e di inviare le mie foto. Scrivi sulla mia email personale -@mail333.com ora scrivo con il lavoro e il mio capo non si sa in proposito. Cordiali saluti,
Elena.
Hello!
I find your email on internet and I wished to write to you.
You do not know me... and I do not know you... But I trust in destiny and I hope that destiny give me a chance....
I want to find a kind, honest and clever man.
My name - Elena. My age-26 years.It is difficult to tell about myself. If this is of any interest to you, write to me
I hope, I can see your letter soon. In the following letter I to tell about myself and send my photos. Write on my personal email -@mail333.com now I write with the work and my chief does not know about it. Sincerely,
Elena.

Ciao bella!
Your email it finds me.
Hope is only the love of life. And without hope where is destiny? and what is life?

I know nothing about you, and yet there is a familiarity within your words. I also am finding difficulty in talking about myself, and yet I feel you know me. I am 29, no it it is too soon, this cracked, winding path to my heart.

I await your response and cannot work until then.
Yours
Jamie
-------------
Hello Beautiful!
La tua e-mail che trova me.
La speranza è solo l'amore per la vita. E senza speranza, dove è il destino? e ciò che è vita?
Non so nulla di te, e tuttavia c'è una familiarità entro le tue parole. Anch'io sto trovando difficoltà a parlare di me, eppure mi sento mi conosci. Sono 29, no, è troppo presto, questo cracking, tortuosa strada al mio cuore.
Attendo le vostre risposte e non può lavorare fino ad allora.
Yours
Jamie

Hi Jamie!! I have received your letter!! Certainly, it not a correct way of acquaintance. But I to trust in destiny. It is very original - to write it to the stranger. I to send the picture! If it was pleasant to you, if you to wish to continue acquaintance to answer me!!
Not to worry, I opened for dialogue.
If to you to like, I with pleasure will tell about myself and to send new pictures.
I will wait. Kisses Elena 















The English isn't as good in the second email, and it's pretty much the same email but in a different style. I love the phrase 'I opened for dialogue'. I checked the email address on google, no hits, but the domain is Russian, and I went into a flight of fancy about the Russian mafia googling me and finding where I live! Ridiculous, I know, but I didn't reply, and I've removed the user part of her email address.

Ach I say 'her' but it could be some guy who wrote those. Or maybe I'm just cynical, and have ruined my chances with Elena.

DAY FORTY-FIVE

Finally got a microphone for my 12-string guitar. And it works nicely.

This track is really enjoyable to play, holding off the lower strings for as long as possible. I got a bit excited though, and played bits in the wrong order and it's a bit bum-notey once or twice.

solstice

I put two different types of echo on, which is why it sounds almost like a sitar.

Tried to make some whisky marmalade, but turned my back for a second and it boiled over, put the heat down, went to turn smoke alarm off, wouldn't go off, went back it had boiled over again, smoke everywhere, unset marmalade all over hobs, surfaces, washing machine, floor, and smoke alarm still going off.

Salvaged about a jar full, and when smoke had dispersed enough to re-enter kitchen, I tried again and it boiled over again. I don't have high hopes for marmalade on toast tomorrow morning.

DAY FORTY-FOUR

Played a bit of guitar but didn't record anything. Just some bluesy noodling.

DAY FORTY-THREE

When I was at Primary School, aged about 10, I used to draw these weird polygon structures, impossible three-dimensional sprawls, and sometimes they'd end up looking like something. Some kid thought it would be 'rad' if I etched one of these designs into his skateboard but I knew I wouldnt've been able to.



















Bored at work, I drew this. It ended up like a tortoise I think.

Also I did a track based on yesterdays bassline. Still doesn't work properly. Noisy, a bit atonal, and too similar to other stuff I've done:

headfog

DAY FORTY-TWO

Started another track, got a bassline down, but I couldn't play to it.

Hey-motherfucking-ho

DAY FORTY-ONE

Wrote a poem:

These ghosts of meaning,
Flicker like grace notes;
Virtual particles;
Mere logical flaws.

I like putting sciencey stuff in poems. it seems obtuse. This is about how sure we can be of our thoughts, feelings, perceptions; and how we're often wrong.

It's been getting to me recently. This democracy of opinion, judgments made with little, or no, thought.

Like Harlan Ellison said,

"Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble. It’s like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks."

DAY FORTY

This seems like a milestone. 40 days.

Another milestone: 5 days in a row recording tracks. This one didn't come out so well. I used a technique of recording one string at a time. So the bassline is one guitar string, then go back and record the high E string, then another string, and so on.

apparitions

I was setting up a hifi amp and needed some light to get to the tangle of wires. Used the flash on camera phone. Took a photo:








Somehow a little Hitler ghost popped his head out of the wall while I took the photo. There can be no other explanation, it's certainly not an upturned plug. 

DAY THIRTY-NINE

Had a friend round and she wanted me to play something, but I went shy and couldn't really think of anything.

Later on I recorded another track, and I'm pleased with how it came out. Sounds like it's played on rhodes rather than guitar.Only problem was I didn't bother with metronome or bpm so wasn't sure when the bass should come in. Messed it up a little the third time.

stillness

I recorded this about 1.30am and outside it was still, just white snow on the ground, and the glow from street lights. I live on a main road and usually there's traffic, even at this time, but it was momentarily peaceful.

DAY THIRTY-EIGHT

Found a nice chord progression. Rather than play it properly, I just went back and overdubbed until the mistakes were a bit hidden. It gives it a nice quality. I wanted to sing over it but haven't really got the confidence or the lyrics.

the eden topology

The title is from a misread poster for a student theatre production. The actual title was far less interesting, and I've forgotten what it was.

I didn't want to do anything creative, wasn't in the mood, but I'm glad I made myself.

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN

I was watching a film about Edith Piaf and was struck by how similar she seemed to an ex: the same brittle charisma and destructive nature. There was a phrase that reminded me of someone else too. And then, later, I saw another ex refer to her boyfriend as 'fiance' on facebook!

So recorded a slow acoustic track. Again, quick and imperfect, the building feedback didn't work exactly how I wanted, but the sense of melancholy comes through I think.

booyah

Got some more details about a tape a small American label are putting out though, so that's cool.

DAY THIRTY-SIX

Rushed a quick track out. I was plucking away while watching The Wire, and found a note sequence I liked.

Rather than work out how it should sound, I just recorded it and added lots of distortion and some sparkly echo.

sevenism - all that glitters

The baguette and the tape from yesterday had gone, but one of the gloves was still there. Iced snow somehow removed the context, it didn't seem imbued with sadness any more.


DAY THIRTY-FIVE

Saw some odd things on the way to work.

Outside my house; a pristine baguette amidst a tangle of ivy. Dropped, I imagine, while rustling for keys then kicked slightly in annoyance.

















And just outside of work; a cassette covered in ice. It's called 'The pros and cons of hitch hiking'! I can only imagine that someone had thrown the tape to the ground in anger, freezing cold, weighed down by a heavy backpack, the cons of hitch-hiking far outweighing the pros.
















I also saw some discarded toddlers gloves at the bus-stop. Hopefully those weren't thrown down in anger. I didn't want to snap them, it didn't seem funny.

DAY THIRTY-FOUR

Been working on a zine to collect a load of art together. It's the size of a cassette inlay card, so that constrains what can be done.

In the interests of self imposed constraints I used the leftover bits when you rip out notepad paper (what are they called? the leftovers from hole-punched paper are called chads so I'm gonna call them chets), where was I? So I used the chets from notebook paper to make up letters just by ripping them.














I did manage to make all the letters with single chets but it looks better with the O and D constructed 2 each. I think the serifs on the T and M look cool.


DAY THIRTY-THREE

Recorded a quick noisy guitar track. There's too much distortion on it, well, too much treble. But it was 2 am, and I was trying to get to bed early in preparation for work on monday.

It's the same notes as the track I've been working on on 12-string, but spread out, slowed down, fucked up.

brap brap

I forgot to get a mic again.

DAY THIRTY-TWO

Really tired today so just had a go on my 12-string guitar. It has such a lovely, warm, tone. Must get a mic for it tomorrow.

Also, the last track I recorded was so awful (the oranges track) I think that put me off a bit too.

DAY THIRTY-ONE

nEW yEARS eVE.

Oh whoops. Here we go again.

This project counts as a new years resolution I reckon. Ironically, I did nothing creative today.

My friends said I could count dancing creatively, and dressing creatively, as being creative but I'm not sure I agree. I dance like Usher/Justin Timberlake and I was dressed like a 20s gangster.

DAY THIRTY

I woke up anxious and unsettled. Which is really weird because I'm back at home and should be relaxed.

So in this state I recorded another quick track (about an hour).

yes!

I was trying to work out the colour of anxiety. I wasn't playing the blues; I wasn't playing the yellows (fear); and I wasn't playing the reds (anger).

Anxiety lies somewhere between fear and anger so I guess I'm playing the oranges. But that doesn't seem right. Orange is a relaxed, sassy, confident colour.

On the other hand, one of my parents friends is synaesthetic and perceives colours when hearing a word. My name 'Jamie' is orangey-red.

DAY TWENTY-NINE

Good to be back in my cold lonely flat.

It was so cold in the toilet that I could see my breath, and I couldn't go to the loo.

Anyway, a nice, frosty, echo-y bass & guitar ting:

crank it up!

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

Did a cover for the drone n bass project I've been working on. Faburden is a 15th century musical term for bass drone.

This started off black and white like this:

















...and ended up like this:

















Basically, I go through iterations of saving in Paint, opening in Picture Viewer, enlarging, print screen, paste into Paint, resizing, saving in Paint. I gradually distorted the size so the main bit ends up cassette box size.

Paint pixelates the image and reduces contrast, whereas Picture Viewer smooths the pixels and creates a black border, so over a large number of iterations you get non-uniform blurring (the A's started off the same), and mixing of white and black borders (creating shades of grey).

So, in the same way, sound sources are distorted creating noise that was not there initially.

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN

The tap in my parent's kitchen creates a beautiful lattice effect when water resonates at the right flow. You can't really see this here because of the inherent noise in a complex system. But in this instant it looks like a bubbling fluid metal or crystallized ice.


DAY TWENTY-SIX

Had a quick go with the watercolour paints. Relatively pleased with what amounts to the first time I've tried to paint something since childhood.


DAY TWENTY- FIVE

I got some watercolour paints, and all the accessories, from my parents today. But I didn't feel like painting.

Just did some strumming on the guitar.

DAY TWENTY-FOUR

Just played the guitar today. Again the same track, as I can't tune it in properly. Damn my reliance on technology. But at least it means I can practice it. It's too finger-picking complicated for my cack-handed fingers.

DAY TWENTY-THREE

Made my brother a christmas card and cut out a tree to stick in mums card because it's not actually a christmas card, but it has butterflies on it so that'll do.

This is the leftover cutout bit and the words for my brothers card.



















Mum got a new string put in her guitar, which was nice. The guy in the shop wanted to put in all new strings because the strings are 20 odd years old, won't tune in, and are ready to break, but I was having none of that.

DAY TWENTY-TWO

The sun was really bright today. I liked the way it shone through this cafetiere, creating a clear image, and shadow, on the telly.















Also, the brightness meant that you could see the individual droplets of water vapour in the steam of the coffee.


DAY TWENTY-ONE



This is the guitar I've been playing last couple of days. You can see it's a bit battered.

DAY TWENTY

At my parents for Christmas. Dug out mums dusty old guitar. The D string is missing, but that doesn't matter. I like the highs and lows. The middles are boring.

Surprisingly some of the strings are in tune. The ones I use most for the solstice track, so just been playing that. It's got quite a nice tone, but recording it on camera or phone doesn't really work.

DAY NINETEEN

I was in Borders for their closing down sale. Something about the clamour, chaos, queues, empty shelves, and ugly shouting '70% off' signs put me off looking for anything.

I wandered round instead trying to find photos that encapsulated these elements.

People were laden with books like the world was running out. I didn't get a good shot of the pushchair full off books. I had to take the flash off because,  as my friend pointed out, 'there are laws against that'.














The chaos is illustrated in these two pictures. In the mis-spelling of Psychology next to the correct spelling, and in the back left/front right confusion on this sign:

This member of staff found a quiet corner to hide. I like how the empty shelves render the scene devoid of context, almost abstract.
















 
I was looking through a book, and an included postcard fell out, so I defaced it with a nice goodbye message. It seems more creative if I take an active role in what's being photographed.



DAY EIGHTEEN

Another quick one this. Got to leave for a train in an hour, and last minute preps.

Made from the detritus of a christmas card:



The next 10 days are gonna be really difficult to do something creative every day. I'm gonna be with friends til monday, so it might be things like vomiting up in a nice patten. My mums got an old spanish guitar that I can play around with. Hmm we'll see.

DAY SEVENTEEN

One of the benefits of this project is it really lends itself to immediacy.

I was lying on my bed earlier, close enough to the window that it felt the snow would engulf me, yet I was safely ensconced in warmth and comfort.

What better way to replicate this feeling than with a noisy, jarring, atonal, disjointed blues track?

sevenism - first snow

I picked at the bass until I had a nice rhythm (3/4 tempo - time signature fans) and then just played guitar to it. I really like the idea of getting to know the track while you're recording it. Of working out how to play it the first time you're playing it. It's obvious I've done this.

DAY SIXTEEN

In preparation for today's act of creativity I went out, got a bit drunk, then drew something while writing my diary. I think it's good how it looks like I've just drawn something really quickly as an afterthought.



This is Ondy, an evil demon cat. Look at those eyes. Look at the arrogance in that tail.

Coincidentally, 'ondy' is also the word that will supersede 'blog'. Thus it is decreed.