Proud to Align with Artsmark!

AM01 Partner CMYK logo

Infinite Play are proud to align ourselves with the Arts Council of England’s Artsmark initiative.

 

In so doing, we will be actively reflecting on past projects to ensure future projects working with school groups encompass holistic quality and scope top ensure from planning to delivery, we are bringing the most suitable skills and experiences for each project and to also actively sing the praises of this excellent initiative.

 

Although Artsmark focusses on a specific age group and curricular setting from post foundation stage to college/pupil referral units/youth justice facilities/NEET, we at Infinite Play have begun developing the Artists’ Wellbeing Experience based on this example; to ensure support and resources are available to artists in order to safeguard their wellbeing and resilience when working with groups who already have their wellbeing and resilience safeguarded.

 

Infinite Play are proud to advocate Artsmark in school settings and look forward to having the support and principles of Artsmark informing our practice and embedded in the language we use to plan and deliver great artswork in curricular settings and to further develop this great example in our work with other groups to exemplify delivery of artistic quality and great working practice to our peers, participants, and subsequent generations of professional creators.

Funding Talk & Community Consultation

Many thanks to all who attended the discussion at Artlink last night, the stage has been set for excellent community partnerships bringing work to local artists whilst supporting the wellbeing of Hull’s communities by developing cultural capital and creating experiences, opportunities, and ultimately the resilience of the communities to take ownership of their own projects.

 

The discussion was interesting and really assisted in the steering of the project towards a clear and cohesive direction which will continue to develop at the next meeting which to be announced soon; so many, many thanks for all the contributions especially to Paul Holloway of City Arts and Groundwork for being guest speakers at the initial consultation.

 

The road isn’t going to be a short one, but together, we will shape the direction of community arts in Hull and in turn, support the wellbeing of communities through the reach of the project.

 

 

Funding Talk

Counting to Zero will be conducting an informal discussion on routes to funding for the artists, producers, and creatives of Hull; in the hope of increasing the potential for quality art activities over the three year City of Culture Legacy Programme and beyond.

 

Venue: Artlink, Princes Avenue, Hull

When: 1st February 2018, 6-9PM

Free Entry, Suggested Donation of £2 to cover costs

Please sign up on Eventbrite to ensure a seat as spaces are limited

 

Guest speakers include:

 

Chantal Guevara (Independent Dance Management Network, Cloud Dance Festival)

John Hinson (Project Manager & City of Culture Volunteer)

Special Guest Speaker TBC

 

Facebook Event Page HERE

Eventbrite Event Page HERE

Bridging the Gap

Infinite Play founder c2z has been busy developing new projects for the legacy programme following Hull’s U.K. City of Culture 2017 programme.

Bridging the Gap is Counting to Zero’s first major project; a cultural exchange between Kingston upon Hull and the Nordic states.

Currently developed towards pilot stage, Bridging the Gap will begin in March 2018 with cultural visits and collaborations between artists, schools, and youth groups of Hull, Reykjavik (Iceland) and Aarhus (Denmark).

The artists will conduct writing workshops on the theme of Nordic folklore and bridges.

The results of these workshops will be recorded and participants will learn basic sound editing through Audacity, the free cross platform audio editing program. Participants will then explore creative soundscape making which will form the basis of public sound installations displayed in all three cities, with the final stage in Hull coinciding with Curated Place’s North Atlantic Flux festival in November 2018.

 

It is hoped that participants will explore their own cultural identity, share ideas and understanding with their counterparts in the partner host cities, and benefit from increased resilience in literacy, social identity, and engagement in sonic arts.

During delivery of the pilot stage, we will develop and co-create how the project proper is delivered in 2019 between Hull, Finland, and the Faroe Islands; with a further iteration to follow in 2020.

With 2020 being Hull’s final year of the three year legacy programme following our City of Culture 2017 programme, we are looking at ways to also include collaborative compositions between all the artists involved across all three years of the project culminating in performances with the artists and participants of each partner host city in Hull to close the legacy programme in lieu of handing over the title of U.K. City of Culture to Coventry.

Opportunities for Sonic Artists and Musicians

Following the success of the recent PRS New Music Biennial in Hull comes the 53 Degrees North Music Conference – two days of talks and information on the music industry and how to tackle it all at walking distance between the Albemarle Centre for Music and Hull Truck Theatre.

With everything from going label free and monetising your music to production techniques, networking, and major event production, the conference covers a lot of bases on the questions faced by professionals wanting to hone their marketing or producers leaving the bedroom; speakers include our own Steve Cobby, Bacary Bax and Mark Page as well as drummer and long term Hull scene supporter Dom Smith of Soundsphere Magazine, and Hull’s prodigal son, Melvin Benn.

There’s also production and technique masterclasses from key professionals, with Tim Bamber on engineering for Yamaha and Dave Philips on microphones for Shure.

Click HERE for tickets, HERE for the Hull Truck programme and HERE for the Albemarle Centre programme.

It’s also worth noting there’s a listening session where Miles Clark from Doncaster based label/promoters I’m not from London will be playing and discussing the top ten tracks selected from contributions so be sure to send some of your work to miles@imnotfromlondon.com as soon as possible and maybe get the chance to hear your work discussed between 5-6PM on Thursday at Hull Truck.

Stop Press: We’ve just heard our beloved Adelphi Club will be hosting the afterparties on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th and there’s apparently going to be some really special guests. Tickets are unlikely to be available on the door and but you can get yours from attending the conference…like you need a better reason to go!

In Other News:

Award winning Hull based production company My Pockets are looking for someone with good song writing and music making skills to support young people writing music and songs. Email Peter Snelling at peter@mypockets.co.uk to find out more.

Brighton based Synthetic Ecology have opened submissions for their Midnight Notes event, 2nd of September at O N C A Brighton. Sonic arts, video, and performance submissions on the theme of ‘Night Time’ are welcome, no time restraints but <20 minutes will improve chances of selection. They are also looking for workshops and talks, so if you have skills to share then get involved. Selected artists will be expected to travel down for the event and travel expenses and some material costs are covered.

Click HERE for more details or email: lydia@onca.org.uk for inquiries – Deadline is Midnight 13th August, selections announced on the 17th August.

Curated Place are looking for volunteers to assist artists in putting together a festival of light and sound. There may not be much sound work required, but filling this role would provide great experience working with major artists, provide an insight into how an awesome production company like Curated Place work and they’re such lovely people to work with as we found out at the recent North Atlantic Flux festival.

Click HERE for more details or email Susan Wareham at: susan@curatedplace.com  to register interest – Deadline is Friday 4th at 10AM.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the awesome Humber Street Sesh festival is coming up this Saturday 5th of August with performances from the amazing Dyr Sister, James Orvis, and Monolife. Go.

Celebrating 15 years of the MicroKorg

I still remember my first Korg.

I had a Saturday job at Pools Corner during school selling, polishing, repairing, and drooling over guitars, brass, effects pedals. It was here that I found the Rhythm 55 drum machine.

 

It was pretty basic, all preset patterns; but using the trigger output half jacked into the expression port of a Zoom effects unit, and sliding a paperclip across the contacts of the swing function turned it into a crazy synth with the pitch controlled by the tempo.

 

I later formed a band and we were recording a single in a studio in Gilberdyke.

Our programmer was off to Holland that weekend so he pre-recorded his parts, including the drum machine, to CD.

The studio had an original Korg MS-10 lying around. The keyboard didn’t work, but we still managed to squeeze some squelches from it and include it on the single. I noticed the trigger in port on the MS-10, it would have been nice to have connected to the Rhythm 55.

 

Our programmer was subscribed to Future Music Magazine, and I would always drool over the synths being reviewed and dream of having the cheddar to buy the sheer pornography of the tech.

 

In 1999, Korg introduced the MS-2000 – a digital modelling version of the MS-20 (twin oscillator version of the MS-10). How I drooled. Later, the Electribe series brought the same synth engine as had modelled the MS-2000, as well as complementary units for rhythm and sampling.

Korg and the bastard sons of their initial success in the MS-10 seem to have been ubiquitous in my life ever since I got into synths.

 

Fast-forward five years, and local band Mr Beasley were formed in Hull. For the first time, I could see in front of me, in my stomping ground, people producing and performing live electronic music with punch, charisma, and panache.

I later discovered that Bobby (Beasley) was using VST plugins – software equivalents – of the same tech borne from Korg’s original innovation.

I felt like this was something I could do.

 

Another couple of years and Crystal Castles came to my attention. Their work was robotic and tight, but so punk it almost felt off the rails. I often listened to their debut thinking it was the result of conjugal union between two inner city fruit machines. As it turned out, Ethan of CC played most of his live stuff through an MS-2000 and a MicroKorg. Again, this felt like something I could do.

 

It wasn’t until 2008 when I heard the Nintendo ‘game’ Korg DS-10 was being developed that my mind truly opened up to the possibilities.

I’ve always been put off by software, when there’s so much you can create with outboard equipment you can see in front of you and tweak in real time. That may have led to a little more in the way of histrionics than I’d like when I listen back through my archives, but at least I didn’t have to worry about Windows crashing on me, hardware breakdown, all the foibles that come with digital audio workstations that just weren’t dedicated enough to purpose.

 

At least, with the DS-10 package, I only had to worry about charging my battery and occasionally blowing the dust from the contacts on the cartridge.

 

Finally, it felt like this was something I could, and would, use to enter the field of live electronic music production.

 

The DS-10 is basically two fully programmable and tweakable MS-10s for bass and melody; along with a further four MS-10s which serve as drum parts – or, if you only need bass drum, hi-hat, and snare: a further MS-10 to play with.

 

I started programming for real for the first time, using the touch pad to key in scale quantised notes with the touchpad, recording with the virtual keyboard, or the awesome step sequencer that could be used to program notes, volume, stereo panning, even filter sweeps.

I’d toyed with sequencing before in Fruity Loops (as used by Mr Beasley!) and played around with Rebirth (an early incarnation of Reason with the famous Roland 303 being modelled along with other Roland classic drum machines); but for the first time, I had something in my palm, at the bus stop – even in the bath – to write music with whenever inspiration struck or my hands got bored of rolling cigarettes.

 

It was this dedicated, battery powered freedom that really allowed me to finally put my love of synths and electronic music into action.

 

In 2010, Korg began releasing small, battery powered synthesisers with the same analogue tech used in the MS-10, and the Monotron was born.

For years, the much bemoaned lack of analogue synths on the market was swept aside with affordably true analogue toys that enthusiasts soon began using in serious production; later the Monotribe series of analogue grooveboxes was followed by the Volca series – analogue synths, drum machines, samplers.

 

The release of the MS-20 Mini saw analogue synths with digital control and the collection keeps on growing but I still don’t feel the need to upgrade from my trusty MicroKorg. It’s programmable, reliable, and packs a real punch for playing live keys over the top of the frameworks I run off the Nintendo DS, which I can affect in real time using the Kaoss pad packaged with the DS-10 on the Nintendo’s touchpad. Let’s not even mention the variations of the Kaoss pad Korg has released, the Kaossilator series and the mobile apps for Kaossilator and the iDS-10 for the iPad…Korg has taken the world by storm with its affordable exit from the bedroom for many producers. The list just goes on and on; and it’s nice to think that my DS and my MicroKorg have something in common when I perform live.

I just put a deposit down on a MicroSampler, another extension to Korg’s range of budget production tools.

 

It’s been fifteen years since the MicroKorg first showed up, and next year, we’ll again celebrate where it all started out with the 40th year since the MS-10 was introduced.

 

Last I saw Ethan of Crystal Castles, I noticed his MS-2000 and MicroKorg had the brand names covered with gaffer tape. I told him I thought it was a really cool punk gesture; it transpired he was just pissed because they turned him down for sponsorship. Maybe they should take note, because my having seen what he was playing was an inspiration to me and future generations of would be producers and buyers of the illegitimate children of our beloved MS-10.

 

About a month after I bought my first MicroKorg for around £170 in 2010, I saw that someone was selling one on Ebay that had apparently been borrowed by Ethan for a gig. I emailed their management to confirm this and they did , but not ‘til after the sale had closed for a mere £10 more than I’d paid for mine.

I could have been gutted by this, but I’m not that sentimental.

Much like when I saw Mr Beasley perform using VSTs of the MS-10 spurred me on, knowing the MicroKorg was good enough for Ethan was good enough for me.

 

Counting to Zero,

Hull,

July 2017

Lou Hazelwood Converts Piano Roll to Music Box

We’re very much looking forward to what Lou Hazelwood is developing for Infinite Play 2017 – using relative pitch to convert piano roll of La Boheme to music box.

You can hear a sample of the work in progress HERE

Hazelwood is working closely with Sarah Pennington who is also developing works for Infinite Play 2017 with piano rolls and fragments of the pianos used to develop ‘Conversation for Pianos and Carillons’ in addition to her innovations for steering the festival.

Piano Sponsorship!

Many, many thanks to Gough & Davy, Peter Hird & Sons Ltd., and Emmaus Hull & East Riding for their sponsorship of ‘Conversation for Pianos & Carillons’!

Yesterday, we went to the Emmaus storehouse where they’re kindly looking after the donations from Gough and Davy – we now have two Yamaha Electone organs which we’ll be using during performances at the festival hub, and six more pianos at the end of their life ready for an epic send off during the festival programme.

This doesn’t include the two pianos from Gough’s used in developing the piano side of ‘Conversation…’ with the massive support of the lovely chaps at Hird letting us use their time, expertise, and cranes to figure out how we can go about composing the final piano smash on Queens Gardens in September, where Hird will be back again with their massive crane.

 

We’re incredibly pleased to be working with these local organisations and can’t thank them enough for their support and generosity!

 

The Importance of Musical Education

Great article in the Guardian last month extolling the virtues of music education HERE; John Grant was pleasantly surprised to see a kindergarten class on a school trip to see him perform, recognising the importance our Scandiwegian neighbours place on music education from an early age as noted in the Guardian article.

Grant can be heard in THIS excellent BBC documentary making the distinction that in countries with respect for music education for early ages, it is seen as a more respectable profession, something a person can do for a living:

 

“They want to show the kids what’s out there, you could do this, or you could do this;

it’s not seen as something inferior to being a lawyer.

In our societies, I don’t think you see a lot of that.”

Leginska Piano Roll Recordings Take Shape

We are delighted to have the input of Sinfonia U.K. Collective for this year’s festival.

We are celebrating Hull’s unsung piano genius, Ethel Leginska, by commissioning new Disklavier recordings of Leginska’s original compositions to be cut to Duo-Art piano roll for recital during the festival programme.

HERE  is a video of Graziana Presicce performing Leginska’s ‘Dance of a Puppet’ at the University of Hull with close supervision by Dr Lee Tsang.

we thank them wholeheartedly for their input and support of this project.