Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

BEAST FEaST 2015

Monday, April 27th, 2015

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My work ‘Annapurna Pastoral – One Hundred Springs‘ has been programmed in BEAST FEaST a three-day festival at the University of Birmingham 30/04 – 02/05 2015.

My work will be played in the Dome Room in the Bramall Building on a 20 channel loudspeaker system. Following an invitation from BEAST I have just been in residence at the studios preparing a 20 channel version of my piece that was originally composed in 5 channels.

There is more info on the piece and an excerpt in a previous post here.

The concert is at 8pm and BEAST FEaST continues until the evening of Saturday 2nd May with paper presentations, installations and concerts featuring the work of David Prior, Peter Batchelor, Manuella Blackburn and Annie Mahtani amongst others.

SOUNDkitchen Performance Review

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

There’s a nice review by Nathan Thomas of the SOUNDkitchen event on 13/09/14 over on the Fluid Radio website. It includes some positive thoughts on my performance with Annie Mahtani.

We are looking forward to performing an 8 channel version at the Metanast event at MediaCity on Friday. We played a similar set in Montpellier earlier this year and there’s an excerpt of of this performance on soundcloud.

Live at NoiseFloor on Bandcamp

Monday, July 14th, 2014

This recording of a live performance I gave at NoiseFloor Festival in Stafford a couple of years ago has been on Soundcloud for a while but is now available to download on Bandcamp.

World Listening Day Performance on Bandcamp

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

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I gave a live laptop performance on World Listening Day, 18.07.2013 at a SOUNDkitchen event at the Bull’s Head in Birmingham. The set features the following field recordings mixed with some additional material and live electronics:

- St Salvator’s Church Bells: Casalbordino, Italy
- Coin Offerings at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha: Bangkok, Thailand
- Rain on Metal Staircase: Istanbul, Turkey
- Adhan (Call To Prayer): Istanbul, Turkey
- Khaen Player on Sampang Lane: Bankok Thailand
- Bangkok to Kanchanaburi Train: Thailand
- Musicians in Cuihu (Green Lake) Park: Kunming, China
- Buddhist Chanting at Wat Phai Ngoen: Bangkok, Thailand
- Birds at Kunming Market: Kunming, China
- Chao Phraya River Boat: Bangkok, Thailand
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Bells: Berlin, Germany

A recording of this performance is now available to download from Bandcamp.

An number of the recordings are also available in an unadulterated form on my Gruenrekorder release ‘Sacred & Profane’.

Sacred & Profane – Gruenrekorder GrDl 123

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

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I’m very pleased to announce that ‘Sacred & Profane’, my first solo release of field recordings, will be available on the Gruenrekorder label from 1st March 2013 as a digital download.

The recordings in this collection span several years and several countries. They are essentially documents of my travels as a tourist with a microphone. Each soundscape was recorded in a sacred place, or captures the sound of a sacred ritual. This notion of sacred sounds was the initial thematic concept for the collection. However, while selecting and preparing the material I became more aware of the secular sounds that are present alongside the religious sounds I originally set out to record – the profane. These commonplace, usually quieter sounds have a powerful ability to frame, contextualise and ground the listener, drawing one back from the spiritual and abstract, to the concrete.

To purchase a copy please visit the Gruenrekorder website.

Audiograft Jukebox 2013

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

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My work ‘Tesseral Form No. 2 (Residence)’ has been included in the online Audiograft Jukebox.  The work is composed of field recordings from Birmingham and the various properties I have lived in over the years. The Audiograft festival is happening in several venues around Oxford from February 25th – March 3rd 2013 and is curated by members of the Sonic Arts Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University.

The festival includes a varied programme of British and international artists including live performances, sound art installations and listening walks. The full programme is available on the Audiograft website.

Annapurna Pastoral – ((audience)) Delhi 2013

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

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I am pleased to anounce that my latest composition ‘Annapurna Pastoral – One Hundred Springs’ has been selected by New York based curators ((audience)) for ‘LISTEN, my heart, to the whispers of the world with which it makes love to you’; a cinema-for-the-ear event they are presenting in association with Khoj International Artists’ Association in February 2013 in Delhi, India. The programme also features work by Hildegard Westerkamp, Kamal Swaroop, Michael Northam, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay and difFuSed Beats.

‘Annapurna Pastoral’ is a soundscape composition in 5.1 surround that uses field recordings I made in 2007 during a trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Some notes:

Iain Armstrong’s ‘Annapurna Pastoral – One Hundred Springs’ is a meditation on the Himalayan soundscapes of Annapurna. The work, a loose narrative of a pilgrimage to Muktinath (also known as Chumig Gyatsa the site of ‘One Hundred Springs’), tries to capture the peaceful, pastoral nature of these remote locations while referencing the deep-rooted spiritualism that the Himalaya inspire. Subverted references to the musical pastorale can be heard in the sound of the bansuri, sarangi and the use of drones.

The principal sound sources were recorded by the artist during a trek of the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, 2007. Since the recordings were made, the building of a road along the route of the trail has encroached further into the mountains, threatening to transform the region. With the completion of this project set to encircle the entire Annapurna massif by 2017 these recordings may serve as a document of soundscapes that have now been lost.

Here is an excerpt from the opening of the work:

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Urban Observatory – Poland

Friday, September 21st, 2012

My piece Tesseral Form No. 2 (Residence) has been selected for presentation at the international Urban Observatory Festival 2012 in Torun, Poland. The festival runs from 28.09.2012 – 05.10.2012 and more information, along with a list of the other selected artists, is available here: http://obserwatoriumiejskie.tumblr.com/soundsubmission

You can listen to the track here:

Tesseral Form No. 2 (Residence) by Iain Armstrong

‘Book’ – Animation

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I’ve been sorting through some of my archives. I produced the sound design for this short animation from 2003 . The animation was made by Lizzy Bean. The sound track is mostly a ‘remix’ or montage of excerpts from three of my compostitions.

Animation by Elizabeth Bean with sound design by Iain Armstrong.

Imperfect Cinema Collaboration – Supersonic 2011

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

As part of last year’s Supersonic Festival 2011 I worked with Annie Mahtani from SOUNDkitchen on a collaboration with micro-cinema collective Imperfect Cinema. Inspired by their DIY punk roots Imperfect Cinema invited festival goers to record small amounts of footage of the festival on Super 8 cameras which they then collected, digitised and edited into a 15min film. Annie and I collected field recordings from around the festival and compsed a soundtrack for the film to be edited to – all in 48hrs! The final film was screened at the festival in the Custard Factory theatre on the Sunday evening.

Supersonic 2012 is coming up in October and looks set to be a fantastic 10th year celebration. Imperfect Cinema are back and discussions are underway for SOUNDkitchen to put in an appearance too!

By Dan Paolantonio & Allister Gall. A collaborative short film shot on super8mm film by attendees of the 2011 Supersonic Festival. This film was informed by a workshop held by Imperfect Cinema in which the IC project and the super-8mm medium were explored in terms of potential synergies and dialogues with sonic arts, with a particular emphasis on location and materiality and 'foraging' as a production methodology (with the films of Margaret Tait and Marie Menken used as examples). Working with Sonic Arts collective Soundkitchen (who produced the audio for this film) who describe themselves as 'Cinema for the Ears' we asked our film-makers to consider the visual material they gathered in terms of its potential for becoming 'Music for the Eyes.' We were also particularly inspired by Capsule's 'Home of Metal' project and how this presented the aesthetic of Heavy Metal Music as a manifestation of the industry of the West Midlands. Similarly we asked our filmmakers to consider not only the post-industrial landscape of the Custard Factory (the venue for the festival) but also the reflexivity of the analogue materials used to capture the images in the first place (film stock). Following shooting Imperfect Cinema hand processed the film stocks overnight (in a travel lodge bathroom) then converted the film images to digital video files (telecine transfer) and finally edited the visual elements to the soundtrack produced by SoundKitchen for screening on that day. During the edit we aimed to focus upon images which we felt conjured feelings of the elemental, with a particular emphasis on fire and water, as we felt that this fit with the notion of Heavy Metal music being 'forged' in the West Midlands. The entire process from the start of the workshop to the screening in the Custard Factory Arts Centre Cinema was a little over 24 hours! We hope you enjoy this alternative document of the 2011 Supersonic Festival and indeed can experience it as Music for the Eyes!