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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

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‘BIrmingham Sound Matter’ CD release and concert at Ikon Eastside

Concert presented by Modulate in collaboration with Ikon

Tickets sold out! CD available now

A concert featuring international sound artist

Francisco Lopez
(Madrid)  plus seven regional sound artists:
Helena Gough
Nicholas Bullen
Cormac Faulkner
Martin Clarke
Bobby Bird
Mark Harris
Annie Mahtani

Date: July 8th 2009

Time: 19.30

Venue: Ikon Eastside 183 Fazeley street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SE

Cost £6

A Birmingham Sound Matter CD (on Audiobulb Records) , will be released to coincide with the concert.  Available on the night and online from modulate.org.uk from Juy 8th for £10.

Francisco Lopez is internationally recognised as one of the major figures of the sound  experimental music scene who has, over the last thirty years, developed an astonishing sonic universe, based on a profound listening of the world.

He was first invited to Birmingham by Modulate in 2007, to give one of his legendary ‘Total Darkness’  performances, and we were delighted when he subsequently suggested returning to direct Birmingham Sound Matter. After a series of workshops led by Lopez earlier this year, the participants created a shared a pool of location recordings made in the city, which subsequently underwent a series of  transformations through further collective and creative processes. These recordings and transformations  have formed the basis of  the final compositions. which will be heard in concert on the night.

Lopez has previously directed two similar projects, Montreal Sound Matter and Brussels Sonic Matter

Supported by PRS Foundation  and  Arts Council England.

With thanks to Cuttlefish Digital Arts for web server provision,

Fazely Studios for workshops space, and SSE Audio for soundsystem

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Stage One

The workshops with sound artist Francisco Lopez , held at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham, went very well …

Participents:

Francisco Lopez  (Project Director)

Nicholas Bullen

Cormac Faulkner

Martin Clarke

Bobby Bird

Mark Harris

Annie Mahtani

Stage Two:  field recordings and composition, to take place over the next three months

Stage Three:  Live concert in Birmingham:

Wed 8th July at IKON Eastside 

Info / tickets AVAILABLE NOW!

Stage Four  CD release of Birmingham Sound Matter on Audiobulb Records

Project Director Francisco Lopez

Project facilitation Modulate

Project Co Ordinator: Scylla Magda

Photos: Mark Bunegar

Supported by The Arts Council England and PRS Foundation

In music,  the digital revolution happened well over a decade before the much vaunted ‘digital film revolution’, with bedroom studio musicians everywhere finally getting their hands on affordable digital technology to create experimental music. Any  clubber who was around in the 90’s in Birmingham will be well aware of this, as the city was home to some of the most respected clubs in the country, including Oscillate, hosted by  Higher Intelligence Agency, which brought acts includung Orbital, Autechre, Plaidµ-ziq, Biophere, Locust, UltramarineSpacetine Continuum, Chantal PassamoteSun Electric  to perform here, and House of God  whose resident  DJ / Musicians included  Surgeon and Sir Real

Now Birmingham City Council brings us “Hello Digital”, billed as the Midlands first digital festival, which proposes to introduce the citizens of Birmingham to the wonders of everything digital, and invites them to discover the future, at millennium point next w/e.

Modulates name won’t precisely be up in lights here (well, they could be…) but some of our members  have been working away in the background on one of the interactive installations, “Field of LIght “, a project dreamed up by the PLUS team, who also devised ‘Illuminate‘, another installation which we were involved in.

Modulate’s Bobby Bird has been programmer and technical consultant for the piece, devising a way to control the lights & transfer data gathered via a website into the real-world installation, Modulate member Mark Harris has created a generative sound piece to accompany it, which will gently evolve over the 4 days of the exhibit,  while our trusty ‘ in house’  electrician, Dave Checkly, has been busy wiring everything up in such a way as to ensure the general public won’t be electrocuted.