Am 19.08.2014 um 10:15 schrieb Ian Badcoe

Am 19.08.2014 um 10:15 schrieb Ian Badcoe

So runs the text near the top of the first reply I ever got from Hallam London.  Mail clients set to different languages were to become a standard part of our communication.

He'd left a message, asking for a poet collaborator, on a UK poetry forum.  As little as six months later somebody noticed, and I realised he wouldn't still be around.  So, being a heavyweight cybernetician, I googled him, found him, found his music, listened, found a contact email...

...and that was how it all began. He'd recorded electronic interpretations of Shakespearean sonnets, I'd just written a dystopian ten sonnet sequence and we started communicating and attempting to work out what could be done.

Our first conversation was about working practices, forms, and subjects.  For the former I created our secret little blog "Indwellers" (boring, don't ask).  For the second he said he really wanted to explore the classic pop song format: verse, chorus, verse, chorus and somewhere a break.  For the last we didn't really set any hard rules.  We knew that gender would come up (Hallam being gay) and me being me I knew that some subversion of genres would come into it.  We didn't then know we both liked SciFi, and at the time David Bowie was still alive and we hadn't realised how much he meant to both of us.

Other topics were discussed and others just developed.  Hallam has a great love of cities and always wants to visit and explore a new one.  I (don't ask why, I have no idea) am always writing about people transforming into various things.  Mental health is a strong topic in our work.  And, of course, from the very beginning we always intended to have a few love songs.

And that was that, over 2 - 3 years I wrote 40 or 50 lyrics, Hallam turned about 20 of them into songs, then earlier this year Hallam and Dave Sanderson narrowed that down to 10 (PLUS To the Sky which we had already had mixed and mastered by The EmU) and started serious work on an album.

The running order will go roughly (links are to older or demo versions where those exist...)

  1. Walking to Alpha Centauri
  2. Identity
  3. Anger Bob
  4. Underpass
  5. Methodology of Love
  6. Hey Changeling
  7. The Rain in Certain Car Parks
  8. On End Times Boulevard
  9. To the Sky
  10. End of Days
  11. Empty Streets

When will this be in the shops?  I hear you ask...  well we don't know.  The next thing Hallam needs is a manager (labels don't do much beyond putting stuff up for download these days, but a manager arranges gigs, publicity etc etc...) so we need this unreleased album for bait in that search...

...but what thee hell?  It's been four years already.  We can be patient.  Can you?  Well you'll have to be.  We may put some of the other, unused songs out as demos now and then.  Wish us well, it's long road...


Cloud Crowd Found Sound - 3.0 - "Eratosthenes Round Unwaltz"

Another of these, and for the moment the last. However I am already thinking of a sequel where I'll ask people to send random English phrases for me to compose together...

This time I had the idea to start with waltz rhythm.  This did not survive contact with the enemy (I am my own worst enemy) as the three-part rhythm became too fast (for human legs) and so I ended up putting four of those together to make 12/8 time.

You'll be wondering about the title...

You're not?  Do you have no spirit of enquiry!?

The Sieve of Eratosthenes is a mathematical idea for finding prime numbers: you take all the numbers except one.  Two is your first prime, so you take that, then sieve out and discard from the rest everything divisible by two.  Three is your next surviving number, so that's prime, and now you discard everything remaining that's divisible by three.  Repeat until the infinite initial pile of numbers is gone.

This piece relates to that in that I created a phrase that repeats every bar (the numbers, if you like).  Then I added a second phrase that repeats every two bars (sieving the even numbers) and another that repeats every three bars, and so on...  This means that the phrases keep coming up in different combinations and revealing themselves in new lights...

And it is a round in as much as the different voices repeat themselves, albeit with different recurrences.

I did not go on forever, you will be pleased to hear :-)

Cast in alphabetical order of height:
Maud Cooper - Whisperphone

Simon Crowell - "Ba Da Daa"

Mary Crowell - "Beh!"

Angela van Son - "Schuft"


Cloud Crowd Found Sound - 2.0 - "Woy Oy Oy"

Another stab (with a blunt instrument) at one of these.

This time it took me longer to find a starting point that I could work from.  I decided I wanted to break the utterances down further into mostly syllables, or rather "phonemes" since we're spoken not written.

I did that and got some great sounds out of the voices, but after that I got jammed.  There were plenty of nice "melody" bits, and plenty of lovely percussive sounds, it was just that however I put the latter together it came out like somebody playing with a drum machine and failing to grasp the hotel room trashing aspect of rock and roll.

And so things stood for a few days...

And then I remembered my clarinet lessons.  A lot of clarinet music is "swing" (which means splitting each beat into 2/3 and 1/3 instead of two equal parts) and a lot of clarinet studies use cool time signatures...

So I tried 5/4 (swing) and behold...  the whole thing started to work...


Bo Meson - Solo human voice

Rosemary Badcoe - First percussive and "Daa"

Angela van Son - Second percussive, "Hey!" and freaky laughter

Milo van Eerd - Special effects

Shouted interruption appears by kind permission of Mark Hurdiss.