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Category Archives: electronic music

After 25 years since the first Oscillate club nights in Birmingham U.K. , & over 12 years as off-shoot Modulate,  Oscillate Sound System is attempting regeneration, Dr Who style, for a few special events in 2017/18. The first took place as part of a Cyberculture exhibition in Leicester June 2017 ( flyer below).

Next will be a special Oscillate after show party on September 15th 2017, at Centrala, which will take place after the nearby Beyond The Tracks Festival which features Orbitol, Leftfield and Higher Intelligence Agency. More soon.

A3 oscillate 2017-2

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Retrospective post

Modulate performed at Supersonic Festival in the afternoon and, although we were very pleased to be there, we were surprised to discover when we arrived that the large skylights in the ceiling above the stage had not been blacked out – not an  ideal  situation for an audio visual group –  and it was too late to do anything about it. So, we did our set with bleached out visuals, &  feeling rather exposed by the light, as we like to not be seen and for audiences to focus on the sound and image, not on us.

However, the PA was magnificent, full use of the bass frequencies was made, & Bobby & the two Marks kept on having to rescue their laptops as they vibrated off the tables!

Perhaps Supersonic will have us back one day to play in the dark – that would be nice.


Modulate were invited to spend a week at SONM in Murcia, Spain – a new Centre for  Sound Art and Experimental Music curated by Francisco Lopez. Here we gave a presentation, performed a concert, and showcased a new  installation , the “Modulate Octophonic Loop System” ,  an 8.1 sound installation developed by Bobby Bird exploring new ways to present Modulate’s unique sound, which remained exhibited at SONM after we left.

Stereo excerpt from The Modulate Octophonic Loop System

More images from SONM 

Excerpt from our live AV concert 

New work was developed by Modulate with support from Arts Council England

see more images here: Modulate in the Woods
Hear excerpts from our live set on Modulate Soundcloud
For this years Shambala Festival, Modulate created a series of unique sound and visual experiences in the woods , partially inspired our setting, being situated in the center of the beautiful Wilderness area. Here we designed a magical light tree to sit beneath, an expanded UV Totem space, a three screen  projection installation, plus we brought our quality sound system, emanating a warm and resonating space amongst the trees. Through this we played our own selection of experimental electronic sounds and AV for three nights, plus, on the Saturday we premiered an entirely new Modulate audio visual live set at around 3 in the morning-
All in all, another creative and fun time was had by us all- thanks Shambala, Des, and to all of the extended Modulate team .

Congratulations to Modulate member Mark Harris , who has just had his album  “The Boy Observes the Ocean”, released on Hibernate Records.  A series of beautifully crafted soundscapes, the album has been gaining some excellent reviews, and can be bought in CD format from  Hibernate or as mp3s download from  boomkat,

Sample mix

Buy CDr | Buy digital

Mark will be giving a solo performance in our Modulate space in the woodands at Shambala Festival on Sunday August 29th

In March we gave a 45 minute Live Cinema performance at Flatpack Festival , an  improvised, slowly unfolding abstract sonic visual journey, which was very well received by the audience.

recording of our  performance below :

Prior to our performance we also curated a selection of screenings,  including an exclusive preview of EXP /Frank Bretschneider plus some clips of  a beautiful  video installation ‘Forever’ by Universal Everything

Modulate gave a live AV performance at Noisefloor Festival,  held at  Staffordshire University, Stafford. See clip here: vimeo.com/modulate

Conceived to help bring the fields of Electroacoustic music and IDM/Electronica closer together,the festival featured daytime multi-channel Electroacoustic fixed media compositions, played through a 14 loudspeaker diffusion array, plus live concerts in the evenings, at which modulate played alongside Soundhacker, Autistici , Michael Santos and  Simon Scott

Modulate member Mark Harris also gave a solo performance.

Modulate audio except ATM : cov1

In September 09 Modulate performed at A Thing About Machines festival in Coventry, in the historic setting of St John’s Church on Spoon Street. The three Modulate music makers ( Bobby, Mark and Mark) performed from the front of the church while Joseph and I  had the pleasure of projecting our visuals onto the architecture from the back of the church.

It was a great to have the opportunity to  perform in such a special setting, and a pleasure to be a part of this unique festival, now in its second year.

What a shame that the Arts Council did not support ATM this year, despite the success of last years festival and the great line up this year – but well  done to Cormac for continuing regardless. Lets hope they  give more support where its due in  future .

We also enjoyed the other performances in the church, which were given by Janek Schaefer , Ben Ramsay and Threep

Modulate Sonic Circle at Shambala 09

sonic circle

More images on flickr

For the woodland area at Shambala Festival 2009, Modulate continued to expandand and develop upon previous years multiple speaker sound installations, creating a larger version of the Sonic Circle , using a custom 10.2 rig flown in the trees comprising of 10 xNexo PS 8s,  plus a larger stereo system based on the ground,  with a smaller 10.2 monitoring system inside our Yurt control center.

With the 10.2 system, the stereo signal can be filtered & panned around the 10 speakers in different directions or in a random panning mode, the stereo system on the ground can receive the full frequency spectrum or be used as the sub for the 10 surround speakers, also effects can be added & these can be filtered & panned independently to the stereo signal. the idea is to create a moving stereo sound stage in which the system can be constantly tweaked or tuned to work with different tracks or soundscapes …. but you would really need to hear it to get the full idea!

This year, instead of the circle being visually defined by small led’s
inside the speakers, we had 40 x 1000 liter IBC containers with DMX controlled luminares inside.   Recycled IBC containers have been used by other artists to create various lighting installations, one of the better known being Modularbeat‘s Kubik installation / portable outdoor club, which has appeared in major urban spaces across Europe. However after we were asked by  Shambala  if we could incorporate the use of similar containers into the Modulate space, we thought it would be fun to try a new take on the idea, translated from an urban space into a woodland glade.

Having previously designed a number of light and sound installations using Max/MSP, multi-speaker sound systems & DMX controlled lighting within fiberglass orbs & light sticks, programmer and sound designer Bobby Bird found it a relatively smooth process to translate similar software design to the cubes, while David Checkley,  technical support,  sourced materials and pulled together a great team of able & willing assistants to build the installation on site.

Aside from the Sonic Circle and the cubes, we projected live quartz
animations onto a circular screen, laser projections onto the tree canopy, UV canvases on trees, a chilled fog machine, plus electronic sounds flying in all directions, selected all over the three nights by Mark Bunegar & Bobby Bird (Modulate).

As well as original material, some of the artists / labels played included Raster Notion: Alva Noto, Senking, Pixel, Nibo, Ryoji Ikeda, Kangding Ray, Komet, Stephan Mathieu, BJ Nilsen, Fluxion, Robert Henke / Monolake, Gerhard Behles, Frank Bretschneider + Steinbruchel, Robert Hampson, Klovn, Atom TM, Deep Chord, Hem, Autechre, Shuttle 358, Tetsu Inoue, Helena Gough, Fennesz, Rhythm and Sound, Trente Moller, Pole, Vladislav Delay, Coh, Main, Weiland Samolak, Loscil, EU, Smyglyssna, Signal, Biosphere, Sutekh, Gramm, Masters of Psychedelic Ambience, EU, Bretschneider + Dupree , Atom TMBurnt Friedman.

The Modulate team this year :

Bobby Bird: sounds +  sound design, Max/MSP programming and concept for the Sonic
Circle,  programing for the light cubes.
Dave Checkley : production manager
+ his team of helpers,  Cloe, Ant, and Bob
Liam: all round help & sound tech install
Mark Bunegar : sound selection and graphics
Sean Clark Cuttlefish : laser projections
Joseph Potts: UV canvas
Scylla : live quartz projections
Mark Harris: quartz composer programing
Dowd: professional tree climber , & Denise
Martin Vernan & Kika: mission transportation

still3

More images on flickr

squares4

Modulate’s performance at the CoCArt Music Festival, at the Center of Contemporary Arts in Torun, Poland, was a big success. The  five members of Modulate performed a new  AV set,  created for CoCart,  to an audience of over 400 people.

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squares-modulate

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Two Youtube clips :

One Here

One Here

Review

“Last weekend, during the final of II CoCArt Music Festvial, the audience took a musical journey with Modulate – a British multimedia collective. The people, gathered in the CoCA’s underground car park were taken aboard a futuristic space frigate, speeding through the void of outer space. The accompaniment to this fascinating voyage was kept minimal, while also being rich in textures and musical figures. The whole spectacle was replenished with abstract and geometrical visualizations, digital  / laptop electronics appeared here as a fully developed rhythmical form … a space cruise of the highest degree”.
Excerpts from a review by Dariusz Brzostek ( translated from Polish)

Venue

cocart_venue

Other perfromances we particularly enjoyed included those by Vitor Joaquim + Hugo Olim:

joac

Sunao Inami:

sunao

And of course, Hatti, co curators of the festival:

hatti

Photos courtesy of Vitor Joaquim , Wojtek Szabelski /  freepress.pl, and Rednail

With thanks to: CoCart and Hatti for inviting us

Arts Council England for additional travel funding

…  and the lovely Polish audience