Beach filming

I’ve spent the last 2 days filming on the beach in the sun – it’s a hard life!

Not much time for lying around though, sadly!

Have another sneaky frame from the filming…

Sunday, April 7th, 2013 3rd Year, Production, Stuff I've Done, Uni No Comments

Filming Fire!

Just back from a nice location shoot for my video, today’s footage documenting some of my fire work. Have a sneaky preview frame!

Fire filming still

All looking pretty exciting!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 3rd Year, Production, Stuff I've Done, Uni No Comments

Manifesto 2012-13

The project that I would like to take on for the next year (at least) is a continuation of a project I did for last year’s Emergent Technology module. A performance using circus/physical theatre/dance performance to control/compose music in a live format. The aim is to create an immersive performance, with equal weighting to the visual and musical elements, bridging the connection between movement and music in both directions rather than the standard of only movement following music.

In the last year, I have taken big steps exploring avenues of non-linear composition – The Coroners Court and my Emergent Tech project that is growing into my final project. I have many other ideas in this area, and hope to explore these Ideas over the coming year, and hopefully after.

Over this year, I want to experiment across a range of different control methods – perhaps developing each into a mini proof-of-concept show in it;s own right. I hope to learn a lot about methods of making music and human kinetic visuals work as closely together as possible, composition for reactive music, and also further my abilities in Max/MSP and jitter as well as learning how to build physical tech for the project.

I want to collaborate with performers outside of this university – either circus or dance. and I hope that these connections will continue past graduation – the project setting up for a tourable show. If I don’t manage to find other performers to work with at this stage, I hope to create a compelling demo production to propose to performers after graduation.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 3rd Year, FMP, live-fmp, production-fmp, Uni No Comments

The Role of each god within the Court

Each god, or member of the band represents a duality of human aspects which they control.


He began life as mortal, but manipulated his way to god of fate status as a bid for power to control.


Malicious and insatiable – The god has no sympathy and little or no regard for anything other than itself. Its’ command of people and fate are little more than amusing distraction from the more taxing parts of its existence. It enjoys toying and playing games, and will only ever cause benefit for something else to remove it later down the line and laugh at the suffering caused by it.

It refuses point blank consequences for its own actions and will often shift the point or emphasis, or lie outright to avoid any negative actions or reactions.

It became involved with the Court due to its innate ability to persuade, put thoughts and ideas in a subjects head in such a way that they believe them to be their own and its lack of guilt in destroying lives. Its ability to persuade is largely how it became involved with the court. After gross exaggeration of power – it merely remains the ability to persuade rather than an actual affect on the sanity of an individual.

It puts untrue pure motives on its unjust actions and often acts as if its unjust actions are such deserved by subjects as to justify it objectively.


One of the earliest gods, easy-going, displaying the simplest child-like forms of emotion.


Began as a mere mortal, but took too many drugs, lost his mind and decided he was a god.

Rory – LOVE / HATE

Another early god. He represents the extremes of human emotion.

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

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

The Coroners Court – Comparative Projects – Music

The Coroners Court is relatively unique in it’s approach to composition and music as a whole, but different aspects of the whole can be linked to other projects that we have either been inspired by, or are just creating work along similar lines.

From a strictly musical sense, the court clearly reflects a lot of classic progressive rock, with its fusion of jazz funk and rock along and sprawling long structures, from the obvious influence of King Crimson, through the joining of rock and jazz in The Soft Machine, to the ubiquitous Pink Floyd and ELP. While these bands are sonically very related to The Coroners Court, they cannot be considered competition, per se. While all of them except for The Soft Machine are still sporadically performing, in some sense, they are really running on remaining momentum from when they were more popular, relying mostly on an older audience – the audience they have kept with them.

There is, however a small uprising in nu-prog, with bands such as Pure Reason Revolution (admittedly very recently disbanded), who hoped to revive the spirit of Pink Floyd and market it at a new, younger generation with electronica and post-rock elements added into the mix. They achieved relative success to this aim, before deciding their journey had run its course, just before christmas. Other bands in the mainstream can be considered as nu-prog, or at the very least rock with certain prog elements, for example Radiohead, MuseCoheed and Cambria, Battles, Indukti (ok, maybe not quite so mainstream, but still fairly popular!)

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