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Patch Notes:

A fairly static Clouds drone from a little bit of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Percussion from Rings being fed noise from QR2, via Blinds being clocked from Pam’s and o a second channel the clock being faded in and out by a sine wave from the Batumi.

STO 1 through Optomix being opened by a clocked Maths channel being fed voltages from a random Batumi channel (offset and attenuated by Blinds) through A156. This is being attenuated by an ATATAT making it easy to gradually add from 1 note to several.

STO 2 playing quantized notes from Pressure Points three tuned voltage rows being switched by a clocked A151-2 to create arps. The pressure out is fed into an A171-2 VC Slew which opens the optomix channel gently on a PP channel press. STO 2’s output (shaped) is being fed through Warps (Parasite Chebyschev Shaper) and manually shaped.

Mixed through a Behringer 1802 with Strymon BlueSky and El Cap on the aux busses, recorded straight into Reaper as a stereo mix via Focusrite Saffire Pro.

The Somnambulist’s Field Guide DVD and live performance

And lo, a mere two years after it started to manifest into our realm of reality, The Somnambulist’s Field Guide finally goes full breach.

The full, just over an hour, audiovisual work has been released by Broken20. It comes in DVD format with audio download, handmade print, ritual herbs and a printed text.

Available directly here.

I’m also incredibly proud to be presenting the piece in a new configuration as a live performance/ritual as part of Cryptic Nights at the CCA on the 1st and 2nd of September 2016.

And here are some shots of all the dull behind the scenes bits that no one really cares about.

First run through since last October.

I always forget the joys of authoring and testing DVDs

Printing jig in an attempt to keep things central and as regular as possible.

Cutting and bagging the ritual herbs inserts, doesn’t look dodgy at all…..

As ever if you can, please do support the release and come along to the performances, it’s always a hard fight to get these things out of my head and into some  sort of corporeal form and the more widely they dissipate, the better the magick works. Do let me know if you’d like a promo copy to write some words somewhere and I’m always up for talking about my work/practice and discussing performances/commissions and so on so just drop me a line.

O Chaire Selene.


First recording/video with all my modules in the same place and organised in a workable way since coming back to Scotland.

Lighting courtesy of my wonderful ultra cheap ripple projector.

My D90 can only record 5 minutes at a time so I had to cheat and cut some ‘B-roll’ into the last minute..

Patch Notes:

I’m using Pam’s Workout (with lots of skipping steps) as a sequencer itself, for running Brains/PP, switching between the 3 rows of tuned voltages via a Doepfer A151 and also triggering the Doepfer 149-2 which changes the direction that Brains/PP is running in. This is running through a Disting to quantize Rings.

Clouds and Braids are running into channels of the Optomix and being opened and closed by the 2 ARs of Maths, being triggered from Pams. Peaks being triggered by a skippy Pams supplies the bassdrum.

A second PP is being used to play an STO going into the Doepfer A124 filter, pressure out opens the filter frequency a little more, A slewed gate opens a VCA and lets the signal pass and I’m also using an LS1 and A118 noise generator into either side of the ModDemix and into the linear FM of STO to allow me to dial in amounts of noise modulation. This is then going through Erbeverb and Echophon.

Batumi is sending a few clocked modulations around and the whole thing is mixed through a behringer mixer with TC Hall of Fame and Flashback pedals in the send/return loop. Stereo mix recorded straight into reaper via Saffire Pro.



I’ve not vanished off the face of the earth, I’ve been living in DE for the last 6 months for assorted reasons where the internet is very very strange and my network was part of another network and for some reason half of the web was blocked (including my access to my own website!) so….

I started a blog to collect various pieces of work I made as an Auslander.

Various things as ever are in assorted potentiality pipelines but we’ll just need to wait and see if/what’s happening.

Taming Electrons

As part of my Sanctuary 2015 commission, I built a series of light reactive synthesizers that are ‘played’ by light (either their frecuency, amplitude or both). The piece wil be ‘played’ by a combination of projected visuals and/or the the interruption of light and use of torches by members of the audience.

Sanctuary 2015: Taming Electrons

I find a real beauty in the simplicity of (mis)using the CMOS 40106 IC Schmitt Trigger as a musical device. By varying the resistance between points, the amount of time an attached capacitor takes to charge and discharge, subsequently flipping the switch gate, we can easily derive some form of frequency control. A single chip is packed with 6 switches allowing for up to 6 independent (or cross modulating) oscillators to be created.

In these devices, the majority of them use light dependant resistors (LDRs) to vary the frequency of the oscillators, larger value capacitors increase the period between charge and discharge pushing them into lower frequencies and rhythmic clicks.

When designing for this commission, a problem was trying to find a suitable and sturdy way of mounting the LDRs to a casing, particularly given that they would primarily be used in a field in the dark and the damp and there would be absolutely no provision for field repairs.   The use of jars that allow the light to pass through meant I could solder the LDRs directly to the circuitboard without having to run complex panel wiring and have points of exposed weakness.

These synthesizers can be interacted with, but there is something quite beautiful in their primitive and unpredictable nature, they will behave as circumstances cause them to and, while we may interact with them by shining or projecting light onto them, they are largely autonomous.

The series of devices will be connected to a mixer and processed and mixed together in an attempt to combine and shape the chaotic source material generated by projecting black and white kaleidoscopic film over them.

This series comprises of the following:

  • 5x jar synths with between 3 and 6 oscillators whose frequency is controlled by LDRs
  • 1x flat, rhythmic generator with 3 oscillators, each has it’s frequency and amplitude controlled by a set of LDRs
  • 1x Drone box with 3 oscillators that are tuneable via potentiometers but whose amplitude is controlled by LDRs
  • There are also included in this set, a pair of percussive, jar based instruments, these are not synthesizers but rather are fitted with piezo electric contact microphones and 100 M3 nuts and a silver dollar respectively allowing for the amplification of the sounds caused by their agitation.

Statement: Sanctuary 2015

So, next weekend this is happening:

BrokenLight – Broken20

 A multi-platform participatory ensemble work

Never willingly making life easy for themselves, Broken20 return to Sanctuary 2015. Expanding upon last year’s epic and slightly deranged 8 hour long continuous improvisation “An Unbroken Circle” (which you can read an unreliable account of here the experimental record label turned inadvertent art collective will take up residence in an 11m x 11m covered space presenting a curated programme of performances, workshops, screenings and improvisations across 10 hours, from 4pm on the 26th September through to 2am the following morning. Broken20 will be eschewing the long-form driving away of the Dark and instead paying tribute to the Light and embracing its absence. Over the 10 hour duration, there will be screenings of new film work; a performance by 24 oscillators controlled by the light; an evolving, generative chorus of drones controlled by webcams with no human required; a camp-fire round robin courtesy of out-of-sync dictaphones; a meditation on our place as a speck in the cosmos; interrupted and modified radio signals; and the opportunity for passers by to join in, pick up an instrument or box, and contribute to the digital hearth-side. At the end, as darkness becomes complete, all the disparate parts will combine in an improvised, collective performance, embracing any and all of those who’ve stopped off along the way to participate.

BrokenLight has seen literally hundreds of hours of soldering, coding, filming, editing, patching, processing, recording and writing take place in preparation, with new solo works created and new ideas for group pieces being formed; it is worth the trip alone to see how much diverse and experimental material a group of individuals can extricate from the relatively open brief on the idea of light and dark.

In addition to screenings of some of the experimental film works released via the label, a new film work by Brian McGovern will be premiered with a live score improvised by members of the collective.

Dave Fyans ‘Taming Electrons’ sees an array of handmade oscillators, built to react to light being wrestled with as constantly evolving, geometric mandalas are projected through them and the randomly generated pitches captured and treated into a chaotic and fluid soundworld in an uncomfortable discourse between generative and edited processes. Fyans will also lead an improvisation workshop, open to all; See HERE this requires no previous experience, instruments or ability. Just bring your body (and your portable radio) and work together through a series of simple scores and along the way, explore the dynamics, thought processes, endless possibility and fun of experimental improvisation.

David Coyle expands on the poetic notions of the digital campfire raised last year and presents a new sculptural work using multiple looping dictaphones. Phasing and beating against itself, the piece will slowly devolve throughout the event as each discrete element succumbs to entropy and environment.

Dialogue: #8 by Dave Donnelly involves the reading of specially prepared texts, the collaborative intervention of a light sensitive robot and his trademark, stripped back sine wave based electronics.

Ruaridh Law presents two new participative sound performances using self-made software interfaces; the first, ‘Something That Reminds Me Of You’ develops ideas originally used in his recent commission for the University of Manchester’s “Burroughs at 100” event to stretch voices in real time to unrealistic proportions, forcing pitch and time to contort in a chorus of harmonics, all generated by the voices of participants, artists, friends and family musing and meditating on the ideas of light and dark (and with the audience being able to record their own contributions live and layer it themselves into the mix); whilst the second, ‘4 Windows On The North-Western Wall’ uses a battery of webcams to draw on both light sensing and motion capture to control and shape banks of oscillators, producing a droning, pulsing orchestra of tones that will respond to the fading outside light and the movements of the audience.

BrokenLight will be bookended by two sprawling improvised sessions with the collective which will pull in as many elements from the full programme as possible; throughout these (and many of the other parts of the programme), public participation is encouraged and there will be many instruments, homemade boxes and interactions to be experienced, chats to be had and joyous noise to be made. Come on in, the light is murky.


Well, it probably goes without saying, but I am extremely poor at the moment (well, essentially all the time, but particularly so just now) so have offered up a hopefully slightly sustainable way for folks to support my endeavours.

For as little as £20, you’ll get all of the things that I produce and release via Bandcamp for an entire year (which given that I tend to be fairly prolific stands to be a fair old amount of stuff to listen to).




If you don’t really like my stuff (phillistine!) or can’t afford it, fair enough but please do pass around the link.

If I get another 2 subscribers, I’ve decided that I’ll make a custom piece for each of my subscribers based in some way on a theme, piece of art, favourite piece of music suggested by them and name it in their honour so….

Any help, even grabbing a single album from Bandcamp is greatly greatly appreciated. As ever, shout if there are any queries.


Ragas of the Afternoon

There’s been a bit of a slew of activity lately but here’s today’s efforts for your aural delights.

Long raga by Noodlesoup on Mixcloud

An extended workout using a 2 or 3 second loop of Pandit Pran Nath granularly smeared around the modular synth, Clouds, Phonogene and Erbeverb at work with Doepfer 199 and 189-1 holding their own. Liberal slow modulations happening via Maths and Xaoc Batumi.

Modular Musings

I’ve recently recorded and made available a couple of recordings made using my eurorack modular. They are free to stream but if you enjoy them, they are dirt cheap and every tiny bit of support really helps so dig deep eh?

A Chorus Invisible

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The Resonant Frequency of A Cursed Relic

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Missing Memories

Figured I should at least reference a couple posts that went missing since the last great hackathon (thanks again trainer selling spambots!),

Thankfully I’d ported the post of my write up about my experience of our 8 hour long improvised performance at Sanctuary/The Dark Outside onto my portfolio which you can find here.

And then a recording of my first ever public performance with my eurorack modular on 5th March 2015 in the Gallery at DCA, Dundee.

3 drifting drones and a recording of Aleister Crowley all forming part of an improvised synthesizer based ritual working.

The performance accompanied a screening of this video which takes the elemental power of waves and uses it as a mechanism for relaying the hot breath of the Universe on the back of your neck, the climbing of the Peacock’s tail.