The Chimera Chronicles are a series of works based around an improvisational atmostpheric theme. Volume 1 of the works was released in January 2015.
Volume 1 consists of 3 tracks - Dijon, Summoning & Sonority.
1. Dijon - 00:00
- The tone of this work comes from a Fender Jaguar electric guitar with a Dijon capacitor and Oil City Scrapyard Dog pickup. This piece is centred around the reactions of the reverb to the guitar. This piece contains only the guitar and reverb unit as its sound sources.
2. Summoning - 16:04
- Centred around an excessively distorted guitar this piece works with the droning aspect that heavy distortion can create as well moving through feedback sections. The Shruti box effect is created by putting a phaser on the guitar tone and the washing effect in the background is a stereo chorus added to the reverb signal.
3. Sonority - 30:28
- Featuring Paul Harvey's "If I Were The Devil" Speech from 1965 this piece uses a various techniques on an electric bass including a bow, glass slide, body taps and assorted others. It also features sections with a loose jack connector and an electric guitar through an EHX Memory Toy.
Created as for the final showcase at the UWTSD Artist In Residence show. This work is a collaboration with visual artist Lewis Ferneaux. The work using motion tracking hardware and software to allow the listener/performer to bring parts of the score into the piece by placing a hand in front of the canvas. In the sirit of collaboration this piece requires more than one person to play the entire score.
Submitted as part of the Octophonic Events UK Unity showcase in March 2015. This piece is composed for 8-point surround
Goldilocks zone is a minimalist piece drawing inspiration from the works of La Monte Young & Philip Glass. The piece layers multiple time signatures on top of each other in parts that move in sympathy throughout the room. The layers are placed upon a background of shifting chordal drones.
Slaanesh: Birth Scream
This installation made use of an octophonic box speaker array. One speaker in each corner of the room effectively created 2 layers of surround sound. The seating position was raised to place the listeners head at the centre of the room; a 1000w subwoofer was then fitted underneath the seat.
The piece tells the story of an alien race in the far reaches of space known as the Eldar. After reaching the pinnacle in all matters of life, from technology to philosophy, the race began to stagnate through boredom. This eventually led the Eldar to explore all levels of sensations; from total pleasure to ultimate suffering. This indulgence in decadence and debauchery eventually led to the birth of a new god: Slannesh - The god of excess.
The story is told through 5 movements spread over 3 scenes lasting around 13 minutes. It was installed in the BBC building at UWTSD Swansea. The piece made use of complete and total darkness to enhance the auditory senses.
This version is a stereo bounce of the piece.
Other Assorted Works
Annuario Pontificio - Drones & Modes
The narrative of the piece depicted the choice of modes as they would aid in the storytelling. The Piece is called "Annuario Pontificio"; named after the annual listing of all departments within the catholic church and chronicles the major members of the church throughout it's existence. The piece depicts the history of the Catholic church throughout history and it's involvement in child abuse. The piece begins with organs to portray the historic catholic church. A sample of a young child crying is used to show the revelation of the ingrained child abuse within the church and is followed by a harp that attempts to cover the sound of the child and portrays the church's attempts to cover-up the abuse. The helicopter sound becomes more prominent in this section to depict the church's method of moving members involved in scandals to other areas of the church. The final section of the track sees the harp change modes to signal the arrival of a new pope who seems to bring in a new era for the church as the child crying ceases. The ending of the track contains another small sample of crying to portray that after the listener is done being distracted, the child still remains.
The Monotony Of War - One Note Composition
The composition covers the story of a war effort from preparation, full scale war and the effect of powerful weapons and superior manpower on the war.
The opening section describes the preparation and mobilisation of the war effort which culminates in a fast and dramatic leap into full scale war with the volume increase. The middle section is the ongoing war and is followed by the introduction of new weaponry (the synth) akin to the A-bomb of World War 2. The chants represent the march of masses of troops that, when combined with the new weapons end the war by dominating the enemy (or in this case, the mix).
Silicon Forest - Percussive composition
The concept behind this piece is a battle between digital and organic sounds. The digital sounds at the start have a repetitive rhythm that has very little variation. The organic toms are introduced and add variety to the piece until the digital sounds are removed and the organic sounds take over to become a far more rhythmical and driving piece.
Child's Play - Offset Realism
This piece was created using only samples of real world noises and all are unedited (aside from a little EQ in places). The idea behind offset realism is to use only unedited real world sounds to create a soundscape that is for the most part quite normal, but contains an element that should not be there. This element can be used to add tension, confusion, uneasiness or serenity. In this piece I chose uneasiness.
I used mainly samples of a war zone with gunshots, tanks, air raid sirens, explosions etc. But I offset this with the sounds of children playing with toys. The theme is that the children playing with toys represents leaders of nations treating war as a game and seem to fail to understand exactly how horrifying the whole thing is.
Paper Scratcher - Restricted sound source challenge
For this piece I was challenged to compose using only a pencil and paper as the sound sources. A piece that heavily influenced my composition was Jonty Harrison's "Klang". This piece made use of a basic sound source that was affected t a heavy degree to create a whole new sonic landscape that had a spacey feel to it. I felt that with some of the sounds that I had created I would be best served following a similar route to Jonty Harrison.
The structure of the piece followed Klang to a degree in the sense that it begins and ends with the source sounds but throughout the middle section the piece goes off into a completely unrelated area of sound. In Klang Jonty Harrison also makes use of digitised sounds to give a sci-fi feel to the piece and this is something that I also used in my composition.