In The Labyrinth

In preparation for the Experimenting with Geography workshop, Jonathan Prior, Eric Laurier and I have made a short film exploring the Institute of Geography at the University of Edinburgh. The building is a reverberant, cavernous space which can feel almost haunted at times. It’s full of stairs and doors and empty corridors, so we wanted the film to reflect this. The building once housed a hospital, and something of that former function lingers. Jonathan says that there is a room now occupied by PhD students which used to be the morgue.

The film ends with Jonathan sitting down in G10, where the workshop in May will be held.

I take full responsibility for the dodgy camerawork here. Film isn’t really my medium, as you can perhaps tell. Thanks to Eric for the use of the cameras and the editing.


Experimenting with Geography applications

I have now been through all the applications for this workshop and have made the decisions about offering places and funding. If you applied, you should have received an email from me telling you the outcome. If you haven’t, please get in touch.

On the whole the applications were pretty high quality. I looked at each application myself and then Hayden, Eric Laurier and Jonathan Prior gave me second opinions and helped to make the final call. So by the end the decisions were pretty solid. Massive thanks to them for helping with a difficult task..

Coffee room

Here’s another composition assembled from recordings of hum from a fizzy drinks machine and the ticking of an old clock, both located in the coffee room at the Institute of Geography. I must be a musician at heart because no matter how experimental I get with my field recordings, I’m always drawn to the ones with stereotypically musical features such as pitch and rhythm.

Drummond Coffee Room.mp3


The mic I’m using, which can be seen in the picture, is a Rode NT4 stereo condenser. I highly recommend it. If you can live with the fixed XY cardioid pattern, the quality is unbeatable for the price. Personally, I find that having the pattern fixed actually makes my life easier as it’s one less variable to fiddle with. You just point and shoot. I see from Janek Schaefer’s website that he’s also a big fan of this mic. It can be powered by a 9 volt battery if phantom power isn’t available, which means you can use it with devices such as minidisc players and cassette recorders. Some of my best recordings have been made with this and an old Sony minidisc recorder..

Armitage Shanks interface

Just before Christmas, I made some recordings around the Institute of Geography at the University of Edinburgh. I was joined by Jonathan Prior, a PhD student there who shares my interest in audio methods.

The first thing I’ve edited from that session involves layered recordings of the mens’ toilets. Jonathan and I both agreed it would be a bad idea to loiter in the ladies with a big furry thing, so call us gender essentialists but we stuck to our home turf. Maybe at the workshop in May someone of the fairer sex can do the womens and we’ll compare.

Special thanks to Jonathan for getting a nice pic of my bald spot.

Drummond Gents.mp3


Experimenting with Geography workshop update

A brief update…

The deadline for applications for this event passed recently. I have received 42 applications – we have a maximum of 28 places, so if you’ve applied your chances of being offered a place are quite good, although not all the places are funded for accommodation and travel.

I’ve emailed everyone to confirm receipt of applications, so if you sent in a form and haven’t heard back from me, that probably means something has gone wrong and you should get in touch asap.

The outcomes will be announced by March 1st..