Apprentice and Questioner, 1863 in Exhibition

Lots of fun at the third ROAR Gathering at The Factory this weekend!

I was delighted to exhibit two pieces:
Questioner, 1863 and Apprentice. These pieces demonstrated my use of video in creating realtime scores for musical improvisation, as well as silent video art aimed at generating an imagined sonic experiences.

The large
concrete space carried the flute sounds of Questioner, 1863, creating dream-like apparitions throughout The Factory, while the darkness of the projection room provided excellent contrast to the hands seen in Apprentice.

Collecting feedback through exhibition is essential and although there was some competition with the royal wedding, football cup finals and delightful weather, many artists were presenting work. Discussing exhibiting artists' sculptures and pieces of audiovisual installation with them inspired me to think about new ways of working for exhibition.

Let's Get Writing!

A call for submissions has been announced by Divergence Press, the University of Huddersfield's online peer-reviewed journal for the University of Huddersfield's Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM)!

Divergence Press are looking for submissions to coincide with their shift towards a new journal hosting platform in Autumn 2018, and are encouraging musicians, composers and artists to submit written articles discussing their creative methods and working practices organised around the following 'threads':

  • Composition
  • Technologies
  • Performance
  • Sonic Arts & Multimedia
  • Improvisation
  • Listening & Reception
  • Audiences
  • Speculations

Although entries are to be of a high standard in terms of research and writing, the journal is actively looking for articles which 'bridge the gap between more formal academic writing and informal blog/magazine writing'.

Another exciting part of this call is that the new platform will support embedded audio and video, offering writers the opportunity to include examples of their work!

As Divergence Press is an open-access journal (which grants free access to anyone through the internet), successful submissions will likely have a wide reach to a broader general public.

This open call means there is no deadline for submission, and is a great opportunity for anyone currently seeking the chance to discuss their work through publication.

Good luck with your submission!

'Hung' Exhibition

Throughout April, ROAR have been hosting their third iteration of the Hung exhibition, where artists are invited to create and contribute pieces by hanging their work in the provided spaces around the gallery.

I saw this as a perfect chance to come up with a piece for the gallery which hosts my teaching studio as I had not yet composed anything specifically for them! I wanted to provoke the viewer into considering what a musical notation actually is, or what it could be. I created a score which provides the performer with some rather tricky decisions. Some musicians would consider this to not be a completed score, others would enjoy the freedom the score provides.

The score provides some indication of pitch, rhythm and dynamic but meter, bar line clef and instrument(s) are absent. As the score is somewhat indeterminate I have no idea what sound it would produce if played.

I have composed several indeterminate pieces in my short years as a composer, but I have not done so for some time and really enjoyed working on this short notation.

I have no idea how fast, slow or long the piece is (any time), exactly what instruments may be used, nor exactly what pitches would be revealed through performance (any place).

Any time, any place (2018) is available for download from my Compositions page.

I always welcome your input, so any questions or comments on this or anything else on the website can be addressed to musicalmrfox@gmail.com

New Composition

I have been focussed on attempting to communicate one (stubborn) idea through my recent work: I've been trying to make pieces which have a particular quality of fragility or vulnerability. I have now realised that a better work might have an implied meaning, not through a series of pieces of differing media, but by consolidating the not so different attitudes into one piece.

This is quite challenging and somewhat frustrating but I already feel as though this consolidation will allow me to communicate my intentions more effectively than two separate pieces could.

Although I'm not quite back to the starting point, I have made a lot of significant changes - I just hope they stick!


Previous Composition

I've added a Compositions section to the website!

A selection of pieces have been added along with sound and/or video files and performance notes.

Music Tuition

Since the launch of my recent exhibition in June I have had to focus on my music tuition. The Academy at which I previously taught was closed, making me redundant from the end of July, 2017.

Rather than being an obstacle, I saw this as a chance to renew myself and open my own practice. Getting the business underway and functioning has proven more difficult than I originally imagined, requiring a lot of time and energy.

I have continued to compose, with two pieces now taking shape: an audiovisual sonic art (video) piece which builds from where the MA left off; and a composition for voice/guitar/piano which engages my current thoughts on musical composition. I hope I will feel comfortable uploading at least one of these when they are completed.

Exhibition Launched

The launch of my exhibition at Access Space in Sheffield was a success!

Thank you to all who came down to see and discuss the work in person - I very much enjoyed the chance to get feedback and discuss various ideas with the group!

The two pieces from my MA portfolio, Syncretism and Apprentice, are still being exhibited at Access Space until the 15th June, 2017.

Please check out information about Access Space and the exhibition.

Exhibition

I am pleased to announce the first exhibition of two pieces from my MA portfolio: Syncretism and Apprentice.

Access Space in Sheffield has agreed to show these two works along with a brief discussion from myself on the opening night.

The event opens on July 1st at 5:30pm and will be shown for two weeks.

Further information about Access Space and the exhibition can be found here.

Master's Degree Results

Great news! Today I received confirmation that my Masters Degree (compositions and thesis), Sound in an Alternative Medium has passed with Distinction!

So, what’s next?

Use Audacity to Improve Your Musicianship

I have created a video which shows how you can use Audacity to slow down the tempo of a track. This will make practising your instrument and learning songs that bit easier!

The video also shows how to use Audacity to change the key of a song, which can help you avoid having to alter the tuning of your stringed instrument between songs!

University of Huddersfield Blog Post

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for the University of Huddersfield’s press blog in which he discusses the experience of publishing with their open access journal, Fields.

I also included some details about how this experience, and that of speaking at a conference in support of the published work, had an impacted on his current research at the University as a postgraduate researcher.

The short article can be found at the University of Huddersfield’s Press blog, with a permanent file available for download here.

Online Lessons

I am pleased to now be able to offer ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS!

I am looking for some helpful and willing learners to take part in a few experiments with the technology.

What you will need:

• an instrument - limited to guitar for now, I’m afraid…
• a PC (Windows, or Mac OS) with a webcam, current tablet or mobile phone with webcam
• a microphone (many laptops now have these built in)
• a Skype account

Conference

I was selected to speak about his recent publication at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, 2016.

This was an amazing opportunity to discuss my work and gain even more experience in public speaking.

Many thanks go to Katherine Jensen for organising the whole thing!

If you have any questions, comments, queries, or would like to know more about the work, please do get in touch via info@musicalmrfox.co.uk or musicalmrfox@gmail.com

Royal Award Ceremony

In February 2016, I was one of five students selected by the University of Huddersfield to attend the ceremony for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The University of Huddersfield won the prize for ‘world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience’. The award was accepted by Professor Bob Cryan and Professor Rachel Cowgill.

A party of staff and students attended the ceremony which included Mr Chris J. Brown, Professor Martin Hewitt, Professor Aaron Cassidy, Khannah Bint Saliym, Jung In Jung, Chi Ching, Beavan Flanagan and myself.

Many thanks to the University of Huddersfield, and particularly Professor Cassidy, for this absolutely amazing opportunity; it was an absolute honour and a wonderful occasion which I will never forget.

Do feel free to check out some official photographs of the occasion!

Publication!

Many thanks must go out to the Fields Journal team at the University of Huddersfield! After a lot of hard work on both sides, James’s paper has been published!

I am keen for this work to reach as many people as possible. It, along with any of the other journal entries, can be downloaded for free from the University’s digital repository.

If you have any questions, comments, queries, or would like to know more about the work, please do get in touch via info@musicalmrfox.co.uk or musicalmrfox@gmail.com
© 2018 MusicalMrFox Email: info@musicalmrfox.co.uk