Turntable Music Symposium 2019

January 22, 2019

turntable music symposium 2019

Through a series of talks, workshops and performances, the turntable music symposia at the University of Northampton explores the role of the DJ in contemporary music and the vinyl records impact on auditory culture. This years event includes talks by DJ Jo Burns, James Kelly and the Open Music Archive. The concert presents performances by Fugues, James Kelly and an audience participation performance of John Cage’s 33 1/3 (1969).

dj jo burns

Our first speaker of the day is DJ Jo Burns aka Madame Electrifie. Jo has amassed some 15 years on the decks, playing some of the UK’s leading venues across the years, from Ministry to Turnmills, and has graced many of the leading London warehouse parties. Fusing the best vintage beats with the best of the modern age; Madame Electrifie takes classic grooves and threads through everything from hip hop, to house, breaks and drum and bass to create a raucous dance floor focused party, all with that distinctive driving sound that’s a firm nod to her breaks and tech roots mixed with plenty of funk, fun and nonsense on the way.

James Kelly Turntablist

James Kelly will present the talk: The Turntable Music of John Cage. Cage is known for his pioneering work in experimental music. He composed works such as Imaginary Landscapes No. 1 (1939), Imaginary Landscapes No. 2 (1940) Imaginary Landscapes No. 3 (1942), Cartridge Music (1960) and 33 1/3 (1969) which utilised the turntable and playback cartridge as instruments for the creation of new music.

Open Music Archive

Our third speaker is Ben White from the Open Music Archive. Open Music Archive is a collaborative project, initiated by artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White, to source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings. The archive distributes these recordings freely, forms a site of exchange, and is a vehicle for future collaborations and distributed projects. The archive is situated within the current discourse surrounding notions of authorship, ownership and distribution, reanimated by a porting of Free/Libre and Open Source software models to wider creative contexts. The focus is on the public domain and creative works which are not owned by any one individual and are held in common by society as a whole.

Concert:

fugues band

FUGUES are an electronic duo featuring vocalist Shannon Kait and producer Jo Burns (Madame Electrifie). Their music takes a journey through dark brooding basslines and haunting vocal melodies, through stomping electronica, trip hop and house. Influenced by the energy of the dancefloor combined with the ambience of the after party, it’s a heavy blend taking in influence from everything from jazz to dub.

james-kelly-vinyl-minimalism

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. The piece Vinyl Minimalism takes his compositional approach in new directions by utilising a disc cutting lathe – a machine which is traditionally used in the manufacture of records. The mechanism and limitations of the lathe itself are used as an artistic tool to shape the music. The performance is created using three turntables to mix music which Kelly has cut to vinyl using a range of experimental disc cutting techniques that alter the timbre of sound recordings. Part performance, part exhibition, the work is presented is an audio visual performance in collaboration with The Lab Visuals. Live video feeds are mixed together making the compositional process accessible to the audience.

33 1 3

John Cage’s 1969 piece instructs the arrangement of eight to twelve turntables and three hundred records to be placed in the performance space. The audience are the performers and are free to play and mix the records as they wish. This performance ‘happening’ is an example of experimental turntablism where turntables and records are used as musical instruments. 33 1/3 was presented at University of California, Davis on November 21, 1969. It was also incorporated into Address (1977). Discussing the creative us of records, Cage stated:
“The only lively thing that will happen with a record is, if somehow you would use it to make something which it isn’t. If you could for instance make another piece of music with a record, including a record and other sounds of the environment or other musical instruments, that I would find interesting.”

Schedule

Thursday 7th February 2019

MB8, Avenue Campus, University of Northampton

10.00am Jo Burns
11.00am James Kelly
1.00pm Open Music Archive

7.30pm Concert

Newton Grand Hall, Avenue Campus, University of Northampton

Fugues
James Kelly
John Cage 33 ⅓

Turntable Music Symposia

Now in its fourth year, the turntable music symposia at the University of Northampton explores the role of the DJ in contemporary music and the vinyl records impact on auditory culture. Previous speakers and performers at the symposium have included Shiva Fashreki, Sophy Smith, Lisa Busby, Karin Weissenbrunner, DJ NikNak, Bradley Smith and James Kelly.

Links to past symposia

https://minimaljames.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/turntable-music-symposium-2018/

https://minimaljames.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/turntable-music-symposium-2017-university-of-northampton/

https://minimaljames.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/turntable-music-symposium-2016-university-of-northampton/

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R10 Presents: John Cage 33 1/3 16.11.18

November 2, 2018

John Cage live performance r10 33

We’re hosting a performance of 33 1/3 at R10 this month.

John Cage’s 1969 piece instructs the arrangement of eight to twelve turntables and three hundred records to be placed in the performance space. The audience are the performers and are free to play and mix the records as they wish.

This performance ‘happening’ is an example of experimental turntablism where turntables and records are used as musical instruments. Cage created a number of pieces such as Imaginary Landscapes No. 1 (1939), Imaginary Landscapes No. 2 (1940) Imaginary Landscapes No. 3 (1942) and Cartridge Music (1960) which utilised the turntable and playback cartridge as instruments for the creation of new music. 33 1/3 was presented at University of California, Davis on November 21, 1969. It was also incorporated into Address (1977). Discussing the creative us of records, Cage stated:

“The only lively thing that will happen with a record is, if somehow you would use it to make something which it isn’t. If you could for instance make another piece of music with a record, including a record and other sounds of the environment or other musical instruments, that I would find interesting.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ginger Snaps UK Tour 2018

April 28, 2018

Gingersnaps band

I’m joining Ginger Snaps as the turntablist for their UK tour with gigs in Northampton, Manchester, London, Leicester, and festivals Sound City in Liverpool, Hit the North, Newcastle and Great Escape in Brighton. These photographs are from our recent performance at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham.  Read the rest of this entry »

Live Electronic Music at R10, Leicester 14.04.18

April 12, 2018

R10 Leicester 14.03.18

On Saturday I will be performing with Hervé Perez at R10 in Leicester. We will be performing a live version of the piece Transformation, with saxophone and turntables. The original version is a three minute ambient track I wrote with Ola Szmidt on vocals and Dave Dhonau on cello. In 2013 Hervé created a 17 minute version which allows the listener space to focus on individual textures from the original track, while adding saxophone arrangements and glitch drums. For this performance I have cut sounds from both the original track and Hervé’s remix to vinyl as locked grooves and will be creating a live extended mix of the track while Hervé plays saxophone with signal processing.

Transformation (Original Mix)

Transformation (Hervé Perez Remix)

Update: This is a recording of our live set:

Full Event line up

Sam Topley – Massive Noisy Pompom

Hervé Perez and James Kelly – Saxophone and Turntables

Megan Timings – Chiptune Pop

Paul Mazzitelli – Tempest, Filtering and Feedback Read the rest of this entry »

Ambient Music Performance at Create-A-Con, LCB Depot, Leicester 10.03.18

March 5, 2018

laser beam

I will be performing Piece for Laser Beam, with laser projection by Sean Clark, at Create-A-Con at the LCB Depot, Leicester. I’m working on a new version of the piece which will be mixed live with Ableton’s Live software and hardware controllers. The original version of the piece was composed with Adam Weikert in March 2009 and presented at Stench III at the Phoenix Leicester, with the laser being projected onto the Phoenix cinema screen. Audio for the original version below.

The performance will be part of the Create-A-Con after party 6 – 9pm.

More Ambient Music on this Blog:

Ola Szmidt – EP1

James Kelly and Adam Weikert at Summer Sundae

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: Transformation Remix EP

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: The Healing Remix EP

Cynefin Contemporary Dance Film

Turntable Music Concert Photos

March 5, 2018

Audrey Riley and James Kelly

A few photos from my performance with Audrey Riley at the Turntable Music Symposium, University of Northampton.

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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

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.

 

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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 November 2017. I’d like to thank DJ NikNak for the invitation to perform. Details below.. Read the rest of this entry »