'salts  |  adagios' is a series of works based on structural and architectural recordings of concert hall spaces (using JrF contact microphones & geophones) and other buildings resonating, either without any additional sound source or when sounded by musicians or other activities.

several of the pieces (release forthcoming) involve small ensembles of orchestral musicians playing durational re-scoreings of fragments of adagios, often taking 4 or so seconds and re-scoring to 20-40 minutes. The sound is then filtered by the performance space itself and recorded using the techniques I have developed over the past decades. 

pieces recorded in the UK from the adagios project have been released as a limited edition cd and download in April2018

a new piece from the salts series;

salts | sopra

will be installed as part of the 44O+ set of sound works for spikersuppa lydgalleri, Oslo - Jan - Feb 2020

multi-channel performance at Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queens Uni, Belfast, March 2022 with Franziska Schroeder (sax), Zenep Bulut (voice) & Miguel Ortiz (cello)

a track from the 'salts | adagios' album will be played on BBC radio 3's Late Junction - 24th May 2018 & the programme will then be available to stream online for a few weeks.


pleased to announce that the release of the long awaited and much requested pieces from the 'salts  |  adagios' project is now available. a limited edition cd or download is available via bandcamp, or via the direct link below. 

inc. postage options


where did this process begin ? I was a choir boy up until the age of 11 or 12 - around the time I discovered new wave I realised that the two musical interests where somewhat incompatible - at least it felt like that back then. The choirmaster would make us listen to the church for several minutes at times, and there were the occasions when I had been locked in a small room by one of the older boys to 'teach me a lesson'. At the time this all felt rather odd or uncomfortable but it had an impact and slowly over the rest of my teen years, as the music got louder and more filled with intense energy, I also sought out the sound of buildings. 

with connections to traditional music, post punk, contemporary classical, jazz, improvisation and other experimental forms my sound world grew fast and wide. An interest in choral music led me to researching how some churches, up until the 15th century, were acoustically tuned to specific frequencies by placing glass jars and empty spaces in the walls. This revelation, alongside all of the sonic pleasures of spaces I was already enjoying, led me to listening to performances in different locations - I would try to find rooms above or below the stage or auditorium, or listen in through open windows and doors. I would press my ears to girders and walls, trying to hear the various areas of sonic turbulence and ecstatic resonance. 

As my work with self designed wide frequency range contact microphones and adapted geophones developed I realised there might be a way to use buildings as filters or record these unplanned resonances. So, eventually I got the chance to experiment in a concert hall here in East Yorkshire - then another and another, spreading out across the UK and elsewhere around the world. There were complications. The venues disliked anyone pointing out frequencies that they believed should not be there or that were supposedly designed out of the space. To me they were fascinating and another form of new music - collaborations between musicians, buildings, surface and space. 


so, as I have been asked many, many times, what is the process ? well, that would be telling....but what I can say is that it involves a lot of listening - a particular way of listening and, I firmly believe, something in me that is built from all the time I have spent listening to spaces not for a career but for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. I listen with my naked ears and also with multiple microphones, contact microphones and geophones placed around the building. It's a long process and every building is different (of course). there is no quick fix set up and if there were i'd avoid it as the process of listening is, I believe, an elemental part of the resulting works. 

anyone who works with ensembles or orchestras knows that the complex rules around performance rights and pay rates means that time of often limited, hence most of the recordings were done during workshops with student ensembles whilst working on my photographic scores.   

each piece probably contains recordings from 10-15 sources around each building, sometimes more. These are then lived with for a period of months and eventually combined to bring out a combination of resonances sitting alongside the played music that remains audible, though misted, out of focus, abstracted and at the same time given a new sense of clarity. 

I am fascinated by the sound of buildings and of them resonated by infrasound, locales, activity or music. In these pieces I hope something of my connection to this listening is there, audible, clear, on going.



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