Tutor food

Portfolio Research

Most of the artists working in similar areas to me have very stripped back, minimalist portfolios using a lot of whitespace, allowing the content to speak for itself.  (eg Wen Chin Fu, Erfan Abdi, Karl Salzmann) I much prefer his style over the other common format of a fairly standard wordpress template (eg. Mariska Degroot).
This minimalistic style allows the necessary information to be easily conveyed. I like Salzmann’s portfolio best of these, as it uses simple formatting to turn a minimal text-based design into an eye catching arrangement, I am therefore going to take this approach in my design.

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 3rd Year, Tutor food No Comments

Live – A halfway-there summary.

Ok, so we’re half way through the year, and half way through this project, from an academic point of view, at least.

I’ve done 3 live performances ([1], [2], [3]) and stepped forward hugely in both the presentation of the piece and the underlying code. Allowing the tracking to work around stage lights has opened up the scope for performance massively, and general software improvement has opened possibilities in how sounds are effected, with a lot more aspects of movement being used and translated into sonic elements.

Aside from the performances, I’ve done large amounts of technical and performative development, moving from tracking with with webcam, through trying to use a webcam and wiimote together to make a faux kinect (to some success, but I eventually decided it wasn’t worth the hassle) and then on to using a playstation eye. I’ve also done a lot of visual experimentation with lights and juggling props to explore the deep sea theme that is running through this piece. I’ve also been discussing my work with various people in regards to getting them involved with the project.

So… where am I going?

I have a lot more ideas in a technical sense that I would like to explore, though with the performance working well in it’s current state these will have to be implemented if and when i feel the inclination and have the time – as with any programming project adding new elements to a project often takes a huge amount of time and there may be more important things to focus on.

As a tourable modern circus performance, the project is really too short currently to stand on it’s own. The types of venue that it would suite in it’s current form as part of a bigger show would be medium sized theater stages (Newport’s Riverfront Theatre, or Cardiff’s Chapter Arts to name a couple of local ones).
To be able to perform in such venues, I would need to either obtain funding to develop the project into a full-length show, or find a company which will include my project as part of it’s show. I have started talking to NoFit State circus in cardiff to this regard, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

I could also quite feasibly tour with a circus festival stage such as Bassline Circus, or Big Top Mania, and I have already had an offer to join Basstrology which is an example of such a stage (though one that is still in fairly early stages of development). being festival format shows, the acts can be more varied, and less cohesive as a whole than theatre shows have to be, making it more feasible to start touring the performance in its current state.

As it is, my project could easily stand up on its own performing at circus festivals and conventions, though this is not financially viable in the long run. I will also try and perform in a few scratch sessions in Cardiff (The Forge) and Bristol (Volt, Ausform)

As it is a performance of spectacle, the audience for circus performance is interesting – it is very varied, with a wide range of people going, but not very often. Modern theatre based circus is a little more narrow, however, but definitely supported, with Newport’s Riverfront putting on regular circus shows (both NoFit State and Crashmat Collective are performing in February). I think, however, that the real audience I’m aiming this project to at the moment is the bigger circus companies or funding sources, as I realistically need those connections for this project to really take off.

Once the project is performable in a larger scale, promotion should be relatively easy, as I have already been working sporadically as a walkabout performer in south wales handing out fliers (usually on stilts), which has proven very successful. This approach combined with posters and an online presence should be easily sufficient to draw a crowd.


Jan – migrate system to new laptop, confirm which additional performers I am having involved with the the project at this stage.
Feb – march – musical and visual development
April-may rehearsals & any performances I can organise.

Tech development will have to continue throughout, as any visual or sonic changes will undoubtably cause the necessity for changes to keep it all working.

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 3rd Year, Live, Tutor food No Comments

Uni Midterm waffling – Production

Format of release and publication

The site is obviously deals with itself in that regard, and the video and app will be distributed through the site.


Audiences and markets

The audience at this point is, I guess, potential collaborators and companies that I may be able to work with.

The live part of the project would definitely work best as part of a bigger show, and to this affect I need to either aim my marketing towards finding a larger show to join with, or towards gaining funding.

Once I have developed the site, a video and potentially app to a level I am happy with, I will distribute it by presenting it to juggling blogs and websites (http://juggling.tv/, http://www.ministryofmanipulation.com/, http://www.homeofpoi.co.uk/ etc) as well as possibly music tech blogs and such, but I haven’t researched these yet.

Similar things… there aren’t many. Either that or I’m really searching for the wrong thing. Most of my searches come back with my own work, and not much else. There are a few things that people have done that I’ve posted in previous posts, but nothing that’s developed the tech into a really viable performance.



Finish website – end of jan

Finish video – end of feb

Spam the hell out of the internet – march

Finish app – end of April

Monday, January 14th, 2013 3rd Year, Production, Tutor food No Comments

Outline of my ET project as a PDAR project

To create a performance tool that enables kinetic control of music through juggling.

For this prototype, both the sounds controlled and the control method were fairly simple, leaving a lot of depth for development into other technologies, and more involved composition.

I’m generally quite happy with the outcome of this project. I feel that it forms a solid piece of work which is both aesthetically and technologically interesting. I would be interested in continuing to develop the project into my third year, expanding it to not only include algorithmic selection elements, but also other alternative methods of controlling music through movement. These could be other juggling based methods, or otherwise. I think other methods of tracking would also be worth exploring, as well as a much more thorough look at the ways music can be affected. I would also like to relate these methods to more beat driven music, which will be harder to pull off convincingly, but necessary, I feel, to be able to break into a more mainstream market.

Monday, May 21st, 2012 2nd year, Emergent Tech, Live, Tutor food No Comments

The ‘Finished’ Website


The site is finished as a demo product, though I will continue to develop it if I continue the Court on as a project into next year.

The site contains the necessary elements to sustain the market interaction needed to run a project such as this, and is graphically consistent with the band’s image. However, the eventual aim is to extend the multimedia aspect of the band to the site, and create an interactive (probably flash, maybe HTML5) site, where the audience can interact with the music, and find out parts of the band’s fictional backstory, however this is a goal with a notably longer timeframe than the time allowed by this project, so would have to be taken up next year. As it stands though, I feel the site is a good demo site, for a demo of a band.

The site does have a few issues – a couple of inconsistencies with fonts (as well as the font not quite being right – it gives the right feel, but isn’t as readable as I’d like) and minor layout issues (form spacing etc) which I would like to fix but haven’t had the development time to iron out, I will fix these issues as soon as I am able.

The Coroners Court – Funding

The obvious way to gain funding is through gigging. This would not be sustainable at first, but if we could build enough of a fan base it would work. Album sales are unlikely at the moment, as the live show does not translate to a purely aural recorded format. The music would need a lot of development before we could record an album or EP. Due to the heavily artistic nature of our performance, there may be possibility of funding from bodies such as Wales Arts International for example, to gain funding to enter the european music scene. Another slightly unusual form of funding could come from teaching – as our compositional methods are quite unique, we can give others the benefit of the time we have spent developing the processes. There may well be access to funding for this aim. However it does go against the mythos surrounding the rest of the band’s activities, so would perhaps be detrimental to these other areas of performance. Regardless, A fully functioning live show needs to be perfected to be versatile enough to work in different environments before any of these are viable.

Monday, May 21st, 2012 2nd year, Coroners Court, PDAR, Tutor food, Uni No Comments

Market and Audience – The Coroners Court

As mentioned in the last couple of posts, there clearly is a market for nu-prog in the UK, however, bar a few exceptions, it does seem to diminish the further an artist strays from a ‘pop’ format. The most common way bands get around this is by achieving cult status, it is an unpredictable title, however, and cannot be relied upon in the least – however moves can be made in the right direction to increase the likelihood of being picked up on it, law out enough hooks, and play enough gigs, and perhaps people will bite. Again, this isn’t at all reliable, but would be an interesting social experiment.

Nu-prog does have a certain appeal to older prog fans, and that demographic should not be ignored. There would definitely be interest from the patrons of small/medium band run festivals such as Beautiful Days, and Cropredy, with an older age bracket than many of the larger festivals, and a higher concentration of hippies (hippies and geeks, the mainstay of prog). These festivals are relatively local, and definitely worth applying for slots at.

As for local gigs, Newport is an unlikely area to gain much success. There is a suitable crowd in Cardiff, but it’s very small, and rarely would have enough people to merit booking a venue with a large enough stage for our current performance, unless the floor mat is modified to fit a smaller stage (2 drummers and a large mat is quite restricting really). Bristol, however, has a very large population of the demographic we’d be aiming at, so it would be worth our while starting to gig around bristol to build up a fan base.

Beyond that, there is a larger scene for prog music across a lot of Europe, particularly eastern europe going into russia, if we could gain funding to tour around that area, we might gain success.

Monday, May 21st, 2012 2nd year, Coroners Court, PDAR, Tutor food, Uni No Comments

The Coroners Court – Comparative Projects – Concepts

From a conceptual point of view, there are many other projects that take a very stylised, conceptual approach to music, and many bands that heavily incorporate both mythology and theatrics into their performances.

All of these concepts are possibly most effectively – and successfully – demonstrated by Gorillaz – who are a fictional band, in a fictional world, with a complex fictional backstory, that intertwines with some truth about Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s genuine creation of the project. The multimedia approach led to a very different approach to live music, where the focus is fully on the visuals, rather than the band. The fictional story elements spread across several different mediums to the point that at one point, after Noodle (the guitarist) ‘died’ in one of the videos (El Mañana), she disappeared from the (no longer) online tour of the Gorillaz’ fictional studio, and her room started falling apart. There was nothing released other than these subtle hints, and only when a lot of people had questioned it did they say that the death had been ‘staged’ and she was still alive. The questions surrounding the back story have generated a lot of buzz for the band, though it must be noted that there had to be a certain level of popularity beforehand for such a tactic to pay off.

A band that shares a similar theatrical element and mythical back story would be CalatrilloZ I metal band that perform “a tale created by Mr Z, an opera singer who created mix between a band and theater play to tell the story of the Evil Marionettes.” The focus of the band is very much on the story as much as the music itself. The result is a lot of hype about their live shows – the theatrical, visual elements adding hugely to the experience.

Several other bands have adopted this cabaret-esque performance to great success – albiet more often than not, bands with at least a hint of the gothic to them (Though the Court can certainly be said to have that, with it’s performance based around what is essentially a large sigil on the floor). Examples of such bands would be Emilie Autumn, who’s already cabaret influenced show has slowly dropped more and more of it’s live instrumental performance over the years to adopt an ever more theatrical style. Voltaire, the acidental goth. The Constructus Corporation (and many of Watkin Tudor Jones’s other projects, Die Antwoord being the latest) which beautifully combined a musical double album and graphic novel – the second disc being composed around ideas sent in by readers – unfortunately the project self destructed due to a series of unfortunate mishaps during release. Abney Park and The Clockwork Quartet who both explore steampunk narrative themes via the use of music. And more locally, Rogora Khart, a local ‘gypsy rock’ band from ‘Newportograd’ who play up the gypsy image and backstory to great effect and seem to have a steady flow of function gigs in the area, despite (and perhaps because of) their unusual performance.

Monday, May 21st, 2012 2nd year, Coroners Court, PDAR, Tutor food, Uni No Comments