It’s been a lot of fun playing gigs with Layla since our album, Red Goddess (of this men shall know nothing) was released back in March. Thank you to everyone who invited us to play and all those who said very kind things to us after shows. Thanks also to Ben Goldberg at Ba Da Bing! for the gentle push in this direction. I should also mention that WE FINALLY HAVE A WEBSITE!
It’s been fairly busy around here, preparing for the wedding along with research and some fairly demanding teaching has taken up a large portion of time recently. I am immensely grateful to Layla for taking the lead on the wedding with her brilliant organisational skills when I was often deluged and disorientated by my workload.
However, I’ve found a bit of time to do other things over the last few weeks:
First, I was honoured to be asked to be a guest speaker to students of interaction design at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, where Ben Dalton was leading a course on geolocation and mobile media. This was a great opportunity to talk about my work with Simon Bradley, the development of LOAM (more on that presently), Almias, field recording, philosophies for augmented aurality, psychogeography, audio interaction design, foklore and the challenges of recording music outdoors. A very pleasant and relaxed session that saw me come away with some new ideas and perspectives.
Next, the 19th XETB album has finally found a home and will be released early in 2013, primarily on professionally duplicated cassette. More details on this as they appear!
This frees up a bit of mental space to begin thinking about the sequel to Almias! I hope to be able to find a bit of funding so that the Almias trio can also enlist an actor or two to help us discover a spectral, (dis)embodied narrative within the Yorkshire Landscape.
Just a small note to say the Almias app is now available for Android phones. There are a few features that need to be dropped in over the next week, but it is stable and performed very well in my field test earlier this week. You can get it free from Google Play via the Almias website – enjoy!
There are also photos and info on the press page.
On Friday afternoon, Simon and I took the Almias app up to the crag itself to test it and to record sound and video to accompany our rapidly approaching conference. Things all worked really well – looking forward to editing it into some kind of video – but for now here’s a couple of pics and a bit of sound! (Hiss to be cleaned up – it seemed to come off the headphone splitter, not the app!)
This was probably the first time I’d had a significant chance to listen back to the music we recorded on location back in 2010… I have to say that I think it worked beautifully – sounds truly born of the location and impossible to separate from it.
An unexpected day off gave me a chance to progress a bit on the app version of Almias. The finished app will be launched to coincide with Harrogate International Festival, and perhaps there’ll even be an Almias/IOSAS performance as part of the fringe!
Spent some time tweaking the existing locative sound loops (purple in the image below) and generative systems (blue). Almias is really just a test case for a locative audio platform I’m developing (currently codenamed Loam), and today I also threw around some ideas for creating an editor using the Google Maps API:
The app also has some graphics now, which make it a bit more pleasing than a black screen:
And a cute icon!
Looking forward to going up the crag tomorrow for a field test, followed by an IOSAS practice!
Today I’m hoping to get out and test a work-in-progress geolocative version of Almias. I can’t write much at present, but if things work then I’m sure a download will be forthcoming! Here’s how the basic sound map is looking:
I can still hardly believe that the original Almias project in 2010 came together like it did. As noted in the review in Northern Earth, it was a real labour of love and probably my favourite project thus far.
Edit: Test complete – all works seamlessly!