EMS Residency, Stockholm, September 2019
I spent a week at EMS working on two projects:
As an electroacoustic composer I have mainly been working with field recordings creating multi-channel works that explore a specific place and soundscape. The layers of the soundscape are analysed, taken apart and sometimes processed to create a hyper-real soundscape which explores both natural and man-made sounds. Themes within these works include noise pollution and explorations of domestic and foreign soundscapes often with the aim of developing an understanding of people's relationship with their local community soundscapes.
For me working with the Buchla has taken me on a new sonic exploration. Working with the synth has enhanced my understanding of signal flow and improvisation with the synth means that you don't really know what sound is coming next. With practice you will have a rough idea but for me I really had no idea what type of sound I was creating. I spent hours with it completely transfixed by the transformation of different waveforms as a result of using different types of control voltages and how these sounds changed over time. Working with the Buchla has enhanced my understanding of the physics of sound going back to the basics and building sounds from scratch.
While in Stockholm I also had a wonderful opportunity to give a presentation on my compositional practice at KMH, Royal College of Music to BA, MA and PhD students. I would like to thank Kim Hedas at KMH for inviting me. I really enjoyed this presentation mainly because the students seemed to be very interested in what I had to say and asked me some great questions about my music and compositional process.
*** The use of EMS studios is free but you need to apply online. Flights to Stockholm are cheap with a choice of 3 airports, Arlanda, Skavsta and Vasteras. There is a train from Arlanda airport to Stockholm and the other two airports have very good bus services to and from the airport. For me the biggest expense was accommodation and I used Airbnb for that.