I’m organising a symposium on Turntable music at The University of Northampton as part of Subject Futures Week. The talks will present unique approaches to music performance and composition using turntables, including the styles of hip hop, minimalism and experimental music.
Our first guest of the day is Dr Sophy Smith, Reader in Creative Technologies at De Montfort University. Smith will discuss research from her book Hip Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration, with a particular focus on compositional techniques employed by turntable teams such as the Scratch Perverts. Smith describes the scratch techniques employed by hip-hop DJ’s as the groundbreaking compositional strategies of hip-hop turntablism with incorporates sound manipulation and ‘flexible compositional processes’.
Our second guest is composer Shiva Fashreki who’s work explores concert music for turntables. Fashreki’s recent concerts include a live session for BBC Radio 3 at St John’s in Hackney, as well as the realisation of Daphne Oram’s work ‘Still Point’ for Double Orchestra, 78rpm vinyl discs and microphones at the Southbank Centre, London. Discussing her work with Turntables, Fashreki states:
“My turntabling practise can be described as a manipulation of pre-recorded sound to create new gestural movements and textures not always apparent in the record being manipulated. I often modify and prepare the turntables using sculptures that use the electricity, magnetism and circulation of the turntables to create sound and shapes.”
I will be presenting my PhD research which explores the use of a vinyl disc cutting lathe as a compositional tool for the creation of new music. My talk will discuss recent experiments cutting locked groove records to create minimalist music. In the evening I will present a performance – exhibition creating a turntablist remix of the records accompanied by live video feeds of the records.
Both the talks and concert are free.
Date: Monday 23rd January 2017
Venue: University of Northampton Avenue Campus, MY89
10am Sophy Smith
Hip Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration
11am James Kelly
1pm Shiva Fashreki
Daphne Oram’s Still Point and Concert Music for Turntables
7pm Jim Frize and James Kelly Concert
Isham Dark, Avenue Campus
Jim Frize performs live electronic music with a collection of his original instrument designs. His analogue, digital and electroacoustic instruments create a unique blend of experimental electronica. Jim began performing live electronic music with the Dirty Electronics Ensemble in 2006 and has since performed around the world.
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 project presented at the University of Northampton 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 four turntables to mix music which Kelly has cut to vinyl using a range of experimental disc cutting technique that alter the timbre of sound recordings.
More experimental turntablism on this blog: