Emmetts And Ectoplasm – From The Gardens To The Graves

Hello You. Been a lean few weeks on this pages while I’ve been ensconced in the studio working on lots of random projects, some of which I’m hoping will surface at some point in the not-too-distant future. One of them has involved a lot of head-scratching trying to create the sound of a prehistoric object ‘whistling through the air’ and slamming into a ‘prehistoric warthog’, another has been trying to create a sense of vague creeping terror while my flatmate breaks in a new pair of boots. Eventually all of these things will hopefully make sense. Anyway, Very excited to briefly invite you to a couple of events I’m taking part in over the coming weekends, starting with a field recording and soundscape composition workshop taking place on Saturday 15th October at Emmett’s Garden near Sevenoaks at the behest of The National Trust. And because I’m dashing out the door to make final preparations, I’m just going to unapologetically quote the press release verbatim, like a lazy and hasty fellow:

Join field recordists / sound artists Nick Luscombe and Robin The Fog for this field recording workshop and be part of a new and unique soundscape project at Emmetts Garden. Explore the sounds of Emmetts Garden with a listening and recording/playback workshop. During the workshop Nick and Robin will detail their work and experience as sound recordists, and explain how to create soundscapes inspired by places. We will then record at various locations throughout the garden and then listen back to the recordings together.

Nick and Robin will then edit and mix the recordings and create seven unique soundscapes telling the sound story of each location. The soundscapes will then be available to listen to via http://www.mscty.space and via QR codes across the garden. If possible please bring your smartphone, if you have one, to record sounds with the group. No previous knowledge of recording required… just an interest in listening to the natural environment! Book your place here.

The following Saturday I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I’ll be returning to Brompton Cemetery Chapel for an evening of Audio Ectoplasm at the behest of my dear friends at London Month Of The Dead.

Here’s that lazy, hasty press release lift once again: Robin the Fog creates musique concréte compositions and performances purely by manipulating natural acoustic sounds on a quartet of vintage reel-to-reel tape recorders, with all additional electronic effects or artificial reverb strictly forbidden – a process that has seen their work compared to William Basinski, Philip Jeck, Morton Feldman and even the sculptures of Rachel Whiteread.

Now Robin is very proud to bring one of his spectacular live performances to London Month of the Dead, in which the secret sounds of Brompton chapel will be dubbed onto loops of tape and stretched precariously around the venue – creating an experience that is part sonic séance, part chaotic performance art.

It promises to be another remarkable evening of spooky candlelit splendour in one of the most magnificently ornate ‘Gardens of Sleep’ you’re ever likely to come across. Allow me to To whet your appetite further with this video of Howlround’s original appearance from 2016, shot by the venerable and redoubtable Victoria Hastings – who, if memory serves, was mostly just there for the free gin cocktail!

…Just kidding Victoria, you know I hold your film-making skills in high regard! More of this and lots more soon, but here’s a quick blast of something currently in the pipeline: A new work in progress which began late one evening on a night bus, heading home from a rehearsal of a forthcoming work by The Howling with Ken Hollings and Beth Arzy. A key issue that evening had been the question of how we could mimic the sounds of chirping insects and croaking frogs to create a convincingly spooky swamp atmosphere. Suddenly fate dropped a fellow passenger right into my lap (not literally, that would have been most improper) in possession of the most remarkable case of hiccups and the rest is history. Or rather will become history shortly, all being well. Bravo, Pippa English – and thank you for being a good sport!

Speaking of Beth Arzy, check out her photos of the Howlround set from the Touch 40 party at Cafe Oto a couple of weeks back. Aren’t they wonderful?! Although I do worry I look a bit threatening…


Author: Robin The Fog

Sound Artist, Radio Producer, DJ, founder and chief strategist of tape-loop proejct Howlround. Devout Catalyst.

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