Sunday, March 27, 2016

Horse Island

Horse Island

a mouth opens between here 
    and Horse Island 
this hag of the land
    spits salt to cut a new face
as black basalt teeth
    chew waves

Friday, February 26, 2016

Election day in Ireland

Waving The Flag

It's election day in Ireland. Once again I am subject to cynical assessments of the process via social media. This derives from fundamental mistakes people make when considering their role within "democracy" and "politics", two terms that are basically meaningless without further descriptives.

I grew up in Canada, which is similar to the USA and UK in having "first past the post" elections. Technically called "plurality voting", such a system only simulates democracy. Voting is treated like a horse race. A representative government can never result by definition. It is safe to say that there is no democracy in Canada. (Despite Leonard Cohen's optimism!)
Saturday, February 13, 2016

The sensory phenomenology of gravity waves



I was as excited as many of you to learn this week of the discovery of gravity waves. And also happy to hear the audible chirp as two massive black holes collided over a billion light years away. But does this discovery mean that we can now "listen" to the universe? Are the claims for this as some sort of a revolutionary sensory phenomenology valid?

Read on for scientific wonder, sensory overload, and a mixtape.
Friday, February 05, 2016

Stolen Mirror release party

Fergus Kelly at Stolen Mirror release party

As 2016 dawns Stolen Mirror enters a new phase. In December my label released AC, the debut CD from Steve McCourt, featuring three compositions. And two weeks ago Fergus Kelly's latest album, Neural Atlas, saw the light of day. These two limited edition CDs contain electroacoustic music that plays with sound in intriguing ways.

Wednesday evening we had a release party at the very wonderful Guesthouse in Shandon, Cork. I have to thank Irene Murphy and the rest of the collective for being so generous with their time and energy. We had delightful vegetarian food and wine around an open fire before retiring upstairs for music.
Monday, January 18, 2016

Requiem David Bowie (Some Are)



Time exists within the song, held in suspension. Every moment accumulates within us, like ash from the end of a cigarette. How can we weigh smoke? How can we measure what has passed? What do we invest in listening? What does the song instantiate within us?

"Some are winter sun", Bowie sung.

This is an attempt to extract time from the song "Some Are", to make seconds more substantial, so that their passing can be ever more obvious. "Time takes a cigarette." Time leaves dust within us. Time leaves us, finally. You're not alone. You're only shadow, here under the burning light of the winter sun. Where we are all shadow and ash.
Friday, December 18, 2015

Stolen Mirror releases debut CD from Steve McCourt

AC

Today is an exciting milestone, as my label Stolen Mirror releases Steve McCourt's evocative debut "AC" on compact disc.

For some, noise is a curse, an unwanted sound, a transaction gone bad. For others, noise is a wellspring of life and energy, from which imagination springs. McCourt operates in the second category, composing with jet engines, cell phone interference, and sounds usually ignored as musical material. He has crafted a personal statement about the place of noise in our lives.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Light Moves festival this week

Methods of Hypnosis

It's back for its second year, bringing all manner of inventive and energetic films to Limerick. The Light Moves festival of screendance is not simply focused on films that illustrate dance, but rather on the many ways in which movement can be creatively expressed in film.

Most of the events take place at Dance Limerick, 1-2 John's Square. The church is used for the screenings and seminars. The studio on the opposite side of the square houses the installations.

I'm very proud that my film "Methods of Hypnosis" is one of them. It's being presented with a first-class projection and sound system, so I cannot wait to see it! You can drop by the studio between 10am and 8pm Thursday and Friday only, to check it out.

A woman is wrapped in a blanket by four strangers. Couples with broken arms partner on a dance floor. An unconscious young man is disengaged from a steering wheel. "Methods of Hypnosis" reveals strange choreographies hidden in public domain footage. Repeated patterns of behaviour. A path traced out over time. Social relationships exercised. Place in the process of formation.

I will also be giving a talk and screening on "The music video experiments of Angela Conway", as part of the Friday Symposium. I'll be talking about her work as musician, choreographer, and videographer, which arose out of associations with the group Wire and the Michael Clarke Company.
Sunday, November 08, 2015

Sesame salmon stir-fry



It's been a while since I shared any food. Here's something delicious and healthy you can make in a wok. It starts with fresh salmon fillet, skin on (of course -- that's where much goodness is).

Monday, October 12, 2015

media + inspiration + art = mia



Let me introduce my newest website, MIA. This stands for media + inspiration + art.

It's a blog, a curated collection of creative approaches to technology and aesthetics.

There I will be posting links to fascinating projects that might be related to courses I teach at the University of Limerick. Or might not.

I won't be passing much comment, but instead hope to give you a daily dose of inspiration. It will become a repository for ideas I think are particularly worthy.

Check it out, and subscribe via email, RSS, etc.

Update: URL updated for 2016.
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Album review: "Matins d'Ariège" by Stéphane Marin



It begins with a juddering of a window being buffeted in the wind, and then we are sucked out into a squall, wind swirling about us. To lock out the gale we slam doors closed, slide bolts on their supports, and latch squeaky shutters. Thunderous impacts alternate with the howling gale in a procession of inside/outside, far/near, dissipation/intensification.

Literally and figuratively "Bourrasques" is an opening. It's a stunning way to commence Matins d'Ariège, a new release by Stéphane Marin. For two years Marin gathered sounds in the village of Fabas, embedded in the Pyrénnées Ariégeoises region of France, using mostly binaural and contact microphones.