Onomatopoeic proposal.

March 26, 2008


Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it describes e.g. ‘Crash’ , ‘Miaow’ etc. and as such are possibly the origins of spoken languages being the simplest form of communication – imitating an object to communicate meaning ( for instance in Chinese ‘Mao’ 猫 has become the word for a cat, based originally on it’s sound). Onomatopoeic words are some of the most recent additions to languages, incorporating direct imitations of the post industrial world, ‘Beep’, ‘Zap’, ‘squeak’…occasionally becoming nouns; ‘ratchet’, ‘Crank’ etc. Curiously onomatopoeic words vary considerably across the globe; different cultures seem to hear differently. Languages themselves once established obviously restrict and distort the ability to form ‘pure’ onomatopoeic words but cultural variations also play a part – in the same way that the perception of musical tone and harmony vary across cultures. As an experiment i propose a WIKI Onomatopoeia library which would allow anyone to describe their literal interpretation of sound – not the accepted cultural/linguistic form (e.g. ‘woof’ for a dog) but what the individual hears. This would form a living recording of audio interpretation and the cultural variations and distortions that occur in different regions.

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Geoff Leigh

March 13, 2008


Last Saturday I spent the afternoon working with ‘the legendary’ Geoff Leigh (pictured above in his cave like studio in Hastings) on some electro-acoustic improvised pieces: Geoff playing flute and various wind instruments which I processed live using granular sequencing software. This will hopefully be the beginning of a longer, currently anonymous, musical collaboration (if you can think of any good names, let me know). Geoff is a renowned multi instrumentalist probably best known for having played in an early incarnation of Henry Cow* in the early seventies, Moiré Music in the eighties and more recently with North African musicians and with those other old hippies, Faust.

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Paris in the spring

March 7, 2008


More qualk nostalgia. This time some recordings made in Paris, April 1991. These recordings date from the ‘Unpop’ period and shortly after the entire group were permanently banned from entering France (…it’s a long story but we each had nice red circular stamps in our passports which said something like ‘banned from France”). We made a few small concerts in Paris, having sneaked over from Belgium (crafty, eh?) and then quickly off to Spain. The idea was to make some quiet, mostly improvised ‘café style’ dance concerts to flummox the usual crowd of noise loving goths. The recordings catch the group in a playful mood – a clear homage to Mahmoud Ahmed and Cheb Khaled. And, as usual the sound quality is pretty rough…

bourbonese qualk live Paris ‘EPE’ April 1991 8MB MP3