Another Type of WorkSong (for Huddie Ledbetter)


Lead Belly was born in Louisiana somewhere around 1888. Living the often violent life of an itinerate musician he found himself twice imprisoned for murder. In 1933 his reputation reached the Lomax family, who, after no small personal tragedy of their own, were traveling the Southern states, recording American work songs, ballads and blues in prisons, penitentiaries, and brothels. Moving around the country in their Ford sedan, John, and his sons John Jr. and Alan, set about recording such artists as Woody Guthrie, Muddy Waters and Jelly Roll Morton. They came across Lead Belly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, and with their state-of-the-art acetate disc recorder they cut several sides together over the next few months. They soon parted ways; Lead Belly to a fifteen year career as a solo artist, and the Lomax’s continuing their collection of folk musics for the archives of the Library of Congress, and the Works Progress Administration. Despite the difficult relationship between the academic Lomax’s and the hard-living blues artist, it is through this short-lived collaboration that Lead Belly’s work reached a wider audience, of which I count myself a part. My father, following a period of time working in the Caribbean after leaving school in 1964, had become interested in what was still at that time called ‘negro music’. A Presto vinyl record (PRE 689, 1965) containing a selection of Lead Belly’s early Lomax recordings, is one of the earliest artifacts of any kind that I remember from my childhood. For this project, I was interested in engaging with a populist folk tradition, in the hope such a strategy would enable me to think about electroacoustic composition in a new way. The sound material selected, was by necessity, lo-fidelity (A short promotional film made by Lomax and Lead Belly, found on YouTube). The surface noise in the piece, the glitches, and crackles, are inherent to the source material, and are intended to reference the sounds of old blues records, and to address issues of the value of distribution of heavily compressed audio on the internet, thought of here, as a repository of cultural memory. The piece was entirely constructed from Lead Belly’s voice and signature 12-string guitar.

Little Johnny Anger

Occasional Solo Outings | Solo Expanded Guitar | Acoustic | Electric | Electronic |

| Heroes | Antiheros | Zeros |
john fahey, robert johnson, christian fennesz, godspeed you black emporer, animal collective, ry cooder , woody guthrie, leadbelly, richard thompson, nick drake, skip spence, 6 organs of admittance, sunburned hand of the man, boris, sunn o)), pauline oliveros, hidegarde westekamp, halim el dabh, nas al ghiwane, yellow swans, lee ranaldo, glenn branca, django reinhardt, scott joplin, sir richard bishop, james blackshaw, bert jansch, tom rush, karen dalton, explosions in the sky, lemchaheb, jil jilala, low, modest mouse, blind lemon jefferson, mississippi john hurt, buster keaton, brothers quay, david lynch, jan svankmier, lumiere brothers, henry miller, ben okri, marquis de sade

Some Past Gigs

August 8th 2007 @ Songbird, Visions Bar, Dalston

August 18th 2007 @ Plac.Art.X, Regensburg, Germany

February 22nd 2008 @ Scaledown, Soho, London

7000 Dirhams / Aum Sahib

Year: 2005-2006
Location : Morocco
Worktype : Laptop Improvisation Group
Materials: Tape Machine, PureData, Electric Guitar, MaxMSP, Ableton, FX, Field Recordings
Info : Laptop Performances, Tour of Morocco

Work Details
For the summer months of 2005 and 2006 I took part in a number of interdisciplinary art festivals in Morocco. These recordings, made in Marrakech, are examples of context-responsive electro-acoustic improvisations made by an ensemble of 4 players assembled for the project. A strategy based upon genetic algorithms, that is to say, a collaborative process of selection and modification of sounds was developed, prior to performance, in order to create cohesion and a group identity in, at times, quite difficult circumstances.

7000dhs (2006) Step 1 Export


7000dhs (2006) Flute ou Chien


7000dhs (2006) Le vegetable le moins cher


7000dhs (2006) Ritual

7000dhs (2006) Le vrai gnaui blues


7000dhs (2006) Taforalght 1


7000dhs (2006) Taforalght 2


7000dhs (2006) Marrakash


7000dhs (2006) Tous les Portes sont fermees


Genetic Algorithms: Rules of Evolution

1 each directory represents the gene pool for that 15 min section of performance. contribute as many specimens as you see fit (15 max?) =a lot of genetic material to become familiar with

naming conventions: ritual001-01.wav

means ritual sound file 001 – first generation

after a generation of evolution it would become

a further evolutionary step would result in

and so on

3 it would be interesting for each dna strand (sound file) to go thru a minimum of 4 steps

i.e to pass thru each of the ‘fitness selectors’ following the original entry into the gene pool.


4 process
once you have downloaded the all the material, have a listen and assess the sample’s fitness for selection or rejection.

material selected is to be subjected to one of two processess

genetic splicing – dna from two selected samples is exchanged
mutation – dna is subjected to audio processing, and mutated into the next generation

nb/ neither of these processes should be applied to the entire strand, only sections of the strand may be processed, leaving some of the previous generation’s dna intact.

upload the next generation, with their new tag – e.g ritual001-01.wav, after modification, will be renamed, ritual001-02.wav

kill the parents (we should leave the originals online, but they are now unfit, and should be rejected)

by the end of this first stage of the process we should end up with a number of files:


these will serve as our genetic base for the improvisations in marrakesh

Club of Rome

Year:  2001-2005
Location:  England
Worktype:  Band Project
Materials:  electric guitars, guild bass, cello, violin, drum machine, electronics, voices

Titled (unreleased)


Handheld Music for Freeway


Hours of White Sheets (Sonic Supertonic) (unreleased)


Bang!Bang! / smash the cymbal (unreleased)


East Coast Drive


I Like U when Yr Down



Millenial popmusic we thought.

Choka Honey Calamo (discordia)

run down the calamari / gun down the minibar
suck up an H of honey / fuck up and burn your money
your ink is disingenous / you’re pierced by the tower of genepool
calaboosh you cannot partir / she had no part of me

cephalopod intimation / puff clouds in the nation of
this is disinformation / bang the squares bash the squares
summer school confutatis / inkcloud rorschach you’re no artist
your puff it has no function / encased as you are in galveston

swing down on candelabra / tell the cloud that you can see her there
ink up your brand new print-press / take a breath, touch her breast, her fin
and she looks so funny / said arms, lines of honey-milk
impress no magazine-mould / magnetic, she has been sold out

the prioress asks of dias / if his trips could ever free us
baby calamo goes to ask him / if he ever knew the captain
set sail for africa / blown off course, of course, it’s par for
hold her tongue in vice for hours / stop flow … we should go and shower

get right back to the calamaro / years later at the alamo
check your body’s re-volution / check yr think of evolution
ingenue – she wished she flew / dias’ dearest wish to find her
kick about and blow out umbra / when he comes there … discordia.

Peter Lowis – bottom ended
Ross Diamond – production
Jason Gleeson – jazzmstr co-director
J Milo Taylor – mosrite co-director

Sad it had to end – cut my teeth here – paid some dues – made some musicksound – made some great friends