Turntable Music Symposium 2018

January 23, 2018

Dj Nik Nak Turntablism

Through a mixture of talks, workshops and performances, the Turntable Music symposium will present approaches to music performance and composition using turntables, including the styles of hip hop, minimalism and experimental music.

DJ workshop RSA PerfArts

Our first guest is Bradley Smith, Lead for Music Technology at the Leicestershire Schools Music Service Hub who will discuss his approach to teaching turntablism and the development of a turntablism course which has reached 1500 High School children in Leicestershire since September 2016. Smith will explain the pedagogical underpinnings of the turntablism unit followed by a hands on DJ workshop.

locked groove record sticker

James  Kelly will present a workshop exploring locked grooves in DJ’ing and composition. A locked groove on a vinyl record is a closed groove, which traps the turntable needle creating a short repeating passage. They have been used by a range of artists from the Musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer to the Detroit Techno of Jeff Mills. Kelly’s recent work has included the use of locked grooves in the piece Vinyl Minimalism and a new collaboration for cello and locked groove with Audrey Riley. Participants in the workshop will experiment with mixing locked groove records and creating new locked grooves, by placing stickers onto existing records causing the sound to loop.

audrey riley cello

Our third speaker of the day is the Audrey Riley. Riley is a composer, cellist, arranger, and conductor with close to 200 album credits to her name. For three decades, she has worked at the very highest levels of the music industry producing an exceedingly diverse body of work, from conducting the orchestra of La Scala in Milan to playing cello with Blur, Nick Cave and the Foo Fighters. Riley will discuss her career in music and present a new work with James Kelly, Piece for Cello and Locked Grooves. Our talks and workshops are followed by an evening concert with performances from DJ NikNak, Audrey Riley and James Kelly.

Audrey Riley and James Kelly

Audrey Riley and James Kelly – Piece for Cello and Locked Grooves.

Riley’s cello playing is cut to vinyl as locked grooves which are remixed by Kelly using three turntables and a DJ mixer. The piece explores the dialogue between processed cello recordings and live improvisation.

NikNak Turntablist

DJ NikNak – Day and Night

Nicole Raymond (DJ NikNak) will be performing an improvised piece using samples she recorded during a residency at the artTerra Gallery in Tondela, Portugal. This piece also features songs chosen by Raymond as she takes on her role as DJ to further illustrate her story during the performance. It is a reflection and Raymond’s turntablist interpretation of how each day and each night are different and unique to each other, whilst using self recorded soundscapes and samples, scratch techniques and multi effects to illustrate this to the audience.

Having graduated with a degree in Music Technology and Innovation from De Montfort University, Leicester, NikNak is currently studying for an MA in Electronic and Computer Music at the University of Leeds.

Schedule

Date: Thursday the 8th of February 2018

Venue: University of Northampton Avenue Campus,

10:00am Bradley Smith

Teaching Turntablism (MY89)

11:00am Bradley Smith

Turntablism workshop (MP9)

12:00pm James Kelly

Locked Groove DJ Workshop (MP9)

2:00pm Audrey Riley

Piece for Cello and Locked Groove Talk (W10)

7:00pm Concert (MY9)

James Kelly and Audrey Riley – Piece for Locked Grooves

DJ Nik Nak – Day and Night

Turntable Music Symposium

Now in its third year, the turntable music symposia at the University of Northampton explore the role of the DJ in contemporary music. Previous guest speakers at the symposium have included Shiva Fashreki, Sophy Smith, Lisa Busby and Karin Weissenbrunner.

Turntable Music Symposium 2017

Turntable Music Symposium 2016

Photo credit – DJ workshop image RSA Performing Arts via Twitter.

More experimental turntablism on this blog:

Experimental Turntablism at Crackle, University of Leeds

Turntablist Performance at Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester

Experimental Turntablism Interview with Eleven Magazine

From the Archive: Experimental Turntablism

James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Green Ep

Live Electronic Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Janek Schaefer Performance, Leicester

Dirty Electronics Ensemble with DJ Sniff

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James Kelly DJ Workshop at R10 Leicester 27.01.18

January 17, 2018

Ableton User Group Leicester Mark Towers James Kelly

I will be delivering a DJ workshop focused on the use of locked grooves at the Ableton User Group meeting at R10 in Leicester. Details below:

Ableton Certified Trainer Mark Towers will be on hand to guide you through some of the new features of Ableton Live 10. This workshop will include techniques for composition and performance with a focus on some of Live 10’s new devices, workflows and Push integration. more details on the upcoming release of Live 10 can be found here: https://www.ableton.com/en/live/

We are also very please to invite James Kelly along for a very special workshop:

As a turntablist for the last 15 years, James Kelly’s music explores the remixing of vinyl using DJ scratch techniques for the creation of new music. James will discuss how he takes influence from both Hip hop turntablism and experimental music practices when approaching the turntable for composition and performance. The workshop will explore locked grooves in DJ’ing and composition. A locked groove on a vinyl record is a closed groove, which traps the turntable needle creating a short repeating passage. They have been used by a range of artists from the Musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer to the Detroit Techno of Jeff Mills. Participants in the workshop will experiment with mixing locked groove records and creating new locked grooves, by placing stickers onto existing records causing the sound to loop.

After both workshops, we invite you to take part in a Link jam. Simply bring your Link enabled devices, plug and and get your groove on. What is Link? Details here: https://www.ableton.com/en/link/ Read the rest of this entry »

Ola Szmidt EP1 – Vinyl and Digital Release

December 1, 2017

Ola Szmidt EP1

The debut EP from Ola Szmidt is now available on vinyl, in a limited edition of 500 copies. I co-wrote and produced the track Moja which is featured on the EP. The release has been supported by the PRS Foundation for New Music and the Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award where Ola has received mentoring from Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Emily Moxon (Brownswood Recordings). Moja features Ola Szmidt on vocals, Corey Mwamba on Vibes, Dave Dhono on Cello and Cyriel Diels on saxophone. It was mixed by Chris Cousin and myself at the Bathysphere studio and mastered by Kieran Hebden.


Read the rest of this entry »

Experimental Turntablism at Crackle, University of Leeds

August 24, 2017

vinyl crackle experimental turntablism nik nak james kelly

I will be performing at the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, University of Leeds on the 5th of Noember 2017. I’d like to thank DJ NikNak for the invitation to perform. Details below.. Read the rest of this entry »

Archive: Performance at Sonic Arts Network Expo Plymouth 2007

August 24, 2017

Lick the pitch sudophone plymouth

In 2007 I performed two pieces at the Sonic Arts Networks Sonic Picnic event in Plymouth. I was in John Richards (Dirty Electronics) ensemble performing a piece called Lick The Pitch for the electronic instrument the Sudophone. I also performed on turntables in an ensemble called the Semorphonic Orchestra. Read the rest of this entry »

Turntablist Performance at Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester March 2017.

August 4, 2017

James Kelly Leicester

I performed the piece Vinyl Minimalism at the Sue Townsend Theatre, which was a great venue for the work. The Audio-visual piece is a collaboration with The Lab Visuals and the music is created by live manipulation of records which have been cut using a variety of experimental disc cutting techniques. The event was generously supported by Leicester College, De Montfort University and the Biscuit Tin Sound System.

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Photo credit: David Wilson Clark Read the rest of this entry »

Gra8755 Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime -Vinyl Release

August 4, 2017

Gra8755 violence and crime

Gra8775’s Dub version of Violence and Crime voiced by I-mitri is now available on 7″ vinyl on the Dreadwise label. The track has been well received in the sound system scene and it had DJ support from Reggae luminary David Rodigan who played the track at Glastonbury and on BBC Radio.

Violence and Crime was originally a Pure Phase Dubstep track which we used to play in sets. It did the rounds as a dubplate, with DJ support from Mungo’s Hi Fi, but was never released. Later, Gra’s Dub version became an anthem on the Biscuit Tin Sound System, so it’s great to see it getting a vinyl release.

Gra8755 Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime (Dub Version)

Pure Phase and Pandacub Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime (Original Dubstep Version)

More Pure Phase on this blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Ola Szmidt – Moja – First Play by Gilles Peterson on 6 Music.

August 3, 2017

Gilles Peterson Ola

I had a nice surprise on Saturday when Gilles Peterson dropped one of my tracks on his 6 Music show. The track Moja was written with the Polish vocalist Ola Szmidt and it will feature on Ola’s debut vinyl EP which is due to be released with support from the PRS Foundation for New Music and the Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award. Moja features Corey Mwamba on Vibes, Dave Dhono on Cello and Cyriel Diels and saxophone. It was mixed by Chris Cousin and myself at the Bathysphere studio.

More info and sounds from my collaboration with Ola:

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: Transformation Remix EP

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: The Healing Remix EP

Muted Fnord, Poisk and James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt

Pleq and James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt

SoundKitchen Performance with Pleq and Mark Harris

UK Young Artists Performance with Ola Szmidt

Experimental Turntablism on Tour. James Kelly + Robert Curgenven

February 24, 2017

James Kelly Vinyl Minimalism.png

I’m organising a three day tour with the composer and sound artist Robert Curgenven. Robert will be presenting his audio visual work Speculative Pataphysics created using three turntables, custom-made oscillators, 1930s acetates and custom-cut dubplates. I will be presenting an AV piece called Vinyl Minimalism in collaboration with The Lab Visuals. The concerts will be the final performances before the submission of my PhD which is focused on the creative application of a disc cutting lathe. I have been collaborating with the cellist Audrey Riley  and have cut records with Audrey’s improvisations using a variety of disc cutting techniques. The records will be remixed in performance using turntablist techniques.

Robert and I will be presenting two concerts in Leicester and Milton Keynes, with a workshop at Goldsmiths University, London. The concert at the Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester is being generously supported by the music program at Leicester College and the Music Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester. The second concert is with the the guitarist Norberto Lobo at the MK Gallery Milton Keynes and we finish the tour with a workshop discussing how we use vinyl as part of our compositional process and in performance.

Tour Schedule

Wednesday 15th March
Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester
7.30pm Free Entry. Reserve tickets

Thursday 16th March
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes with Norberto Lobo
7.30pm £7 on door. Further info

Friday 17th March
Workshop at the University of Goldsmiths, London Read the rest of this entry »

Mathieu Briand’s Spiral Installation. Tate Modern 2007 (From The Archive)

January 26, 2017

mathieu briand spiral dj installation tate modern

Another dip into my archive. In 2007 Mathieu Briand ‘s installation The Spiral was installed in the turbine hall at the Tate Modern. The installation had five turntables, a DJ mixer and a vinyl cutting lathe in the centre, with a spiral of seating for the audience. Performances from the turntables could be cut to vinyl and then played back in the space, creating an evolving composition. Briand himself had a 12″ of locked grooves which he used to create an improvised techno piece, similar to the locked groove records of Techno DJ Jeff Mills. I worked with composer Duncan Chapman for the Sonic Arts Network, performing a DJ improvisation on Briand’s installation. Read the rest of this entry »