Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

R&D Update

Monday, November 27th, 2017

I’ve finally got around to writing up some of my research for my Invisible Places 2017 R&D project.

In April 2017 I traveled to São Miguel island in the Azores to attend the Invisible Places international conference. As SOUNDkitchen, Annie Mahtani and I devised and led a soundwalk for conference delegates in Ponta Delgada. We’ve written an account of the walk for the conference proceedings which you can read on the R&D SOUNDkitchen SOUNDwalk: Ponta Delgada page along with further information about our soundwalking practice. There’s also a montage of field recordings that features examples of the soundscape we encountered in the town and across the island.

I’ve also posted a detailed overview of the field recording kit I took on the trip. In addition to creating the soundwalk and attending the conference I spent several days field recording across the island. This was a perfect opportunity to develop my multichannel field recording practice working with some new equipment. I’ll be posting descriptions of the techniques I used and examples of the recordings I made soon. In the meantime you can read about the Zoom F4 multitrack recorder and the Ambeo VR microphone that I used to make ambisonic recordings on the R&D – Field Recording page.

Invisible Places 2017 R&D

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Ginetes visto do alto da Caldeira das Sete Cidades (Portugal)

I’m embarking on a period of research and development around my field recording and composition practice that has been funded by a Grants For the Arts award from Arts Council England supported using public funding by the National Lottery. The first stage of the project involves a trip to the beautiful Sao Miguel Island in the Azores to attend Invisible Places 2017. Working with Annie Mahtani, I’ll be devising and leading the SOUNDkitchen SOUNDwalk – Ponta Delgada at the symposium. I’ll also be spending a few days field recording around the island with a focus on ambisonic sound recordings.

I’ve set up a project page on my site here to document my work and will be posting updates on my progress on this blog in the category ‘IP 2017 R&D’.

‘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!

Anvil & Stirrup Performances

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012


I will be playing with Antti Saario as Anvil & Stirrup at two events in the coming months.

The first gig is at Falmouth’s School of Noises on Thursday 19th January at the Jacob’s Ladder Inn where we’ll playing a live laptop set and a live electronics improv with double bass player Thanos Polymeneas who’s also performing on the night.

The second is Audiograft 2012, Oxford’s festival of sound art and experimental music. We’ll be playing a live laptop set at the Jaqueline Du Pré Concert Hall on 2nd March at 7.30pm. Also on the bill is our friend and ex BEAST composer David Prior and the fantastic Trevor Wishart.

The Audiograft festival runs from Monday 27th February to Sunday 4th March and includes sound installations and performances from the likes of Lee Patterson and Robert Curgenven, ParkinsonSaunders, Paul Whitty, Max Eastley, Jason Kahn and Patrick Farmer.

Sixty-Six Books – Bush Theatre, London

Friday, October 7th, 2011


I’ve just finished a commission from Sound and Music working on an audio installation project with the Bush Theatre in London.

Sixty-Six Books is the inaugural show in the Bush Theatre’s new home, an ambitious project celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.  A cycle of sixty-six new works have been commissioned – plays, poems, stories and songs – each of which provide a contemporary response to the themes, stories and ideas in one of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Together they represent an unprecedented commissioning cycle in terms of the scale, range and quality of the writers involved.  They include: Archbishop Rowan Williams, Neil Labute, Wole Soyinka, Jackie Kay, David Edgar, Kwame Kwei Armah, Andrew Motion, Michael Rosen, Carol Ann Duffy and Billy Bragg.

I have recorded and produced twelve of the writer’s responses for inclusion in an installation that uses modifed telephone boxes as interactive listening stations. Users can select, and listen to the twelve responses at their leisure. The phone boxes include responses from Andrew Motion, Jackie Kay, Billly Bragg, Laura Dockrill and Michael Rosen. There are four phone boxes located: outside the Bush Theatre; in the foyer of the National Theatre; at Foyles Boookshop on the Southbank; in the West 12 Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush.

The complete cycle of works will be performed at the Bush Theatre and Westminster Abbey from the 10-29th October. The phone boxes will be accessible throughout this period, during the opening hours of the respective venues. You can book tickets for the performances via the Bush Theatre website, the phone boxes are free.

Here is a short identification track I wrote for the project:

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BiLE (Birmingham Laptop Ensemble)

Friday, October 7th, 2011

bile_artsfestI was delighted to be asked to join the fantastic BiLE in July. BiLE are a collaborative group of composers and performers of instrumental and electroacoustic music with a shared interest in live performance. They’ve been playing together since the beginning of the year and are developing a growing repertoire of pieces including existing scores, works written by members of the ensemble and improvisations. They have already played several gigs in the UK and Europe.

BiLE plays as a networked laptop ensemble with each performer contributing their own ‘instruments’ via a range of platforms such as MAX/MSP and Supercollider.  They often incorporate live sound sources and experimentation with gestural controllers such as iPhones, wiimotes and Xbox Kinect. Performances also include live visuals.

I played my first gig with BiLE at ArtsFest in Birmingham, Sept 2011. We performed in the impressive Round Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Here’s a short video of the performance by Antonio Roberts:

For more info on BiLE check out the website.

SOUNDkitchen’s SONICpicnic

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The next SOUNDkitchen gig is SONICpicnic on the 29th July at VIVID, Birmingham. We’re very excited about being in a new space and have an extended programme of performances, films, artist talks and food! The line up includes some of the SOUNDkitchen team, returning friends and exciting new acts.

We have a mutli channel listening room with a 16 channel speaker tree and I’ve contributed a piece that will be spatialised in this space.

More info on the SOUNDkitchen website.


SOUNDkitchen present PLEQ

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


The next SOUNDkitchen event is on Thursday 23rd June 2011 at Hare and Hounds. We are very excitied about our headline act Pleq who is joining us all the way from Poland. Pleq is the solo project of Bartosz Dziadosz, an experimental musician who combines elements of drone, down tempo, glitch and modern classical. He creates his work by fusing together independently synthesized sounds, often incorporating violin, the unexpectedly melancholic sound of a piano and sometimes female vocals.

Also on the bill is Birningham based Mark Harris, no stranger to SOUNDkitchen having performed at our opening gig with modulate and one of the contributors to our first collaborative project STONEsoup. He will be performing a solo laptop set.

Fianlly we are welcoming Leicester based turntablist and composer James Kelly to perform a live vinyl remix of his studio album Transformation of the Mind with live vocals from Ola Szmidt.

Check out the links and SOUNDkitchen website for artist bios and soundcloud audio samples.

SOUNDkitchen – Balkan Fusion

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The next SOUNDkitchen event is happening this thursday 17th March at Hare & Hounds, Birmingham. Featuring the first performance from BiLE (Birmingham Laptop Ensemble) and DJ Seb Merrick playing a mix of Balkan and electroacoustic music!