Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Last day of rehearsals for E-Day


Well, as the title of this post suggests, today will be the last day of rehearsals for the "David Wright, Callisto and Friends" concert that will headline the E-Day electronic music festival in Holland this coming Saturday.

We've worked hard on this and we think that we have a good solid set. The first half will have two of my tracks from my second album, "The Timeless Mind" (which is released on Sunday and available for purchase at the E-Day event!!!), a track from David Wright's "Distant Dreams and Moonlight" album and medley of tracks from various Code Indigo albums. The second half of the set will be David and myself performing as Callisto - thumping rhythms, soaring synth leads and live sequencing - we must be mad!!!

So, once today is done with, that's it until Saturday.

Will be fun :-)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Stuff

Well, lots in the pipeline I have to say.

Once E-Day has passed, I'll be focusing on a live slot at an evening of electronica in Norwich in August. I'm awaiting final details, but it would seem that I have a 30 minute slot. What will be interesting about this particular performance is that I will not be doing the ambient instrumental stuff. No. It's out and out electronica complete with vocals - a real challenge for me I have to say. But, it's a challenge I'm up for. I've got a few songs waiting in the wings, and once we've done the E-Day concert, I can finish the recordings and start work on the backing tracks. For this gig, I'm planning on a 5 or 6 track E.P. which can be sold at the event and there is a possibility of it being made available for download. I'm in talks with AD Music about that at the moment, so watch this space ;-)

I've also got some musical sketch pads which will form the basis for the third Geigertek album. More uptempo, more electronic and less piano than my previous outings. But that will be looked at once the August gig has taken place.

This weekend will see me getting my MIDI keyboards and synths performance ready - programming the MIDI keyboards to control the various software synthesziers I use and also sorting out the numerous sound patches into some semblance of order. Once that's done, everything from my point of view will be in place ready for next weekend's big event. Can't wait.

News on the forthcoming albums: Geigertek “The Timeless Mind”/Callisto “Nyx”

The new and long overdue Callisto CD “Nyx” and the anticipated "The Timeless Mind" from Geigertek will both be released on 24th May 2010 and premiered at the E-Day festival on Saturday 22nd May 2010. David Wright will be joined on stage by Geigertek to perform the new Callisto album with a specially produced graphics backdrop to accompany the performance.
Also available at E-Day will be the new Geigertek album “The Timeless Mind”. Both electronic music albums will be available to buy exclusively from the AD Music stand at E-Day. The .mp3 download versions will be available from the AD Music online website and as a .flac download from Musiczeit from 22:00 hours (BST) on Sunday 23rd May and will also be available from all main download stores, ie iTunes etc.

Prepping for E-Day 2010

The rehearsals for the E-Day are now well and truly underway!!! I have to say that, as it is with most rehearsal situations, there was some some confusion and chaos in the beginning. The set that I am a part of is for the headline act "David Wright, Callisto and Friends", so that means that this is unlike most normal performances that you would see at E-Day because this is a little more complicated owing to David Wright deciding on a slightly complex set that incorporates several artists and styles of electronic music due to the the numerous projects he is involved in.

Joining David on stage will be me (Neil Fellowes a.k.a. Geigertek) on keyboards and Nigel Turner-Heffer on guitar/keyboards. We'll perform music from David’s solo catalogue and the new Geigertek album, "The Timeless Mind". We'll will be joined by Andy Lobban to perform a specially written medley of Code Indigo tracks similar to that which went down so well in Derby last year. Time permitting, we'll also be joined by Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock to perform something totally unrehearsed.

The main bulk of the evening though will feature David Wright and myself as “Callisto” to premiere the new album “Nyx”, a powerhouse sequence based epic. For those of you expecting banks of Moogs, you'll be disappointed, because the Moogs, Jupiter 8s Minimoogs, CS80s, ARP 2600s and other associated synths that provided the bulk of the backdrop are from a row of Intel Macs and PCs!!! But have no fear….there will be synths and keyboards on view and lots of live playing going on, therefore plenty of scope for things to go wrong............!!!

We'll also have a specially commissioned graphic backdrop to accompany the music for the audience to enjoy. Of course, you’re probably aware that Callisto is, in fact, David Wright and Dave Massey but because Dave Massey "doesn’t do live", I've joined to complete the “live” Callisto line-up. Sadly though, due to a close family bereavement, Dave Massey won’t be in attendance at E-Day.

Nigel Turner-Heffer has worked with David Wright for several years on numerous non EM related projects and he is, of course, also part of Code Indigo. Thus, with me already in attendance, it made sense to incorporate some Code Indigo music on the night.

The most difficult part of the rehearsals has been trying to deconstruct the hugely technically complex “Nyx” album to play in a live setting. Much of the album relies on studio wizardry and the powerful studio bound Intel Mac Pros to create the musical and sequenced based ideas, and there was some initial concern that Callisto wouldn’t be able to recreate the album live. But they made a fair stab at it at the Hampshire Jam last year and the rehearsal suggest that these concerns are indeed unfounded.

So with just a week or so to go, the rehearsals are on track and going well, with probably at least one more Tuesday evening and the weekend before e-day to iron out any problems............see you at E-Day!!!

Review: JOHN FOXX - MY LOST CITY


"My Lost City" is a collection of pieces recorded by John Foxx in his Shoreditch studio, "The Garden" during the timeframe of 1981 to 1985. These recordings lay forgotten in storage and gathering dust over a twenty year period until the latter part of 2008 when they were "rescued" and prepared for release. Other than some seemingly minor retro-spective re-mixing, this material is presented as it was - raw analogue musical sketchings of a time when parts of London, and in particular Shoreditch, the area in which Foxx had his studio, were like abandoned ghost-towns, replete with derelict buildings and deserted streets. To quote John Foxx:

I hadn't listened to the recordings that are being released as the My Lost City album since they were made, over twenty years ago. When I played them I was struck by the way they evoke a time and a place - and how I d been unaware of this when they were made. Then they seemed like fragments, unfinished and unsatisfying. A stop on the way to somewhere else. Now they seem like a time capsule discovered from under the streets. Made by someone else. Like an old radio tuned into a long gone station. Curious psychic electricals, crackling distantly from the speakers. They were recorded in East London. Back then, Shoreditch and Spitalfields were abandoned, dark and forgotten, yet only a step away from the City of London, the country s financial dynamo. I built a studio in the basement of an old Edwardian department store trees growing from the upper storeys when we moved in. I remember trying to make connections in this little laboratory between synthesizers and hymns and cities, churches, electricity and memory.

John Foxx is a master of ambience and tone-poetry, like some kind of audio alchemist, he brews electronic atmospheres, ambient washes and meaningful riffs that long ago put him on a par with the likes of Brian Eno. This was so ably demonstrated with the sublime "Cathedral Oceans" series and the collabaoration with Harold Budd - within this framework, "My Lost City" is no exception.

Merging the borders of electronica and ambience, Foxx paints a picture of that lost time before the re-development of London's East end, his passion for places and his sensitivity to everything around him act as sonic brushstrokes providing detail over simplistic and minimal ambient backdrops - his trademark use of dense and extended reverberation comes to the fore here, showing the pathways that would ultimately lead to the "Cathedral Oceans" albums. Each piece is a small piece of art in it's own right, sometimes delicate, sometimes mournful, sometimes desolate, but each conveying the sense of an urban snapshot. The music suggests a deep-rooted spiritual aspect; the monophonic unaccompanied melody lines that seem to be free rather than measured, dowsed in lengthy reverberations and the ensuing resonant modes that create naturally conceived harmonies, relate without question Anglican plainsong. The influence of medieval choral composers such as Thomas Tallis, John Taverner (not to confused with modern-day composer, Sir John Taverner) and William Byrd shine through when Foxx layers his voice which carries an ethereal air with it's almost sacred chanting in Latin.

John Foxx has often cited J.G. Ballard with the latters' written images of dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments, as an influence in his work, and "My Lost City" provides further evidence of this with titles such as "Hidden Assembly", "Hawksmoor Orbital" and "City Of Disappearances". The urban atmospheres of the pieces, alongside the liturgical ambiences, give the listener a sense of displacement with an underlying and often inconsistent vein of hope.

All in all, "My Lost City" is one man's musical snapshot of a place in time now past. This album is replete with floating and rising synthesizer patterns, heavily reverberated vocal chanting, electronics that almost flutter and synthesised church organs. It is also something of an historical roadmap to future projects, s kind of evolutionary stepping stone from the time of "Metamatic" and "The Garden". It's also an important addition to the John Foxx time-line, showing where he had been, but also where he was about to go.

Track Listing:
01. Imperfect Hymn
02. Holywell Lane
03. Magnetic Fields
04. Just Passing Through
05. Barbican Brakhage
06. Hidden Assembly
07. Hawksmoor Oribital
08. Piranesi Motorcade
09. City Of Disappearances
10. Umbra Sumus
11. Scene 27 - Intro To The Voice Behind The Wallpaper, Trellick Tower 3am

Catalogue Number: META21CD
Release Date: 23rd February 2009
Label: Metamatic Records

Welcome!!!

And here it is at last, a proper blog thing to go with the Geigertek website and my own personal website.

I'll use this bloggy thing to chart my (mis)adventures in the worlds of music and Urban Exploration. I'll also use it to write my own reviews on such subjects as the music I'm listening to, photographic ideas I've come across or new pieces of equipment or software I'm using. I'll also chart the progress of my musical journey in terms of new material, albums and live performances.

I hope you'll enjoy my musings and rambles, there may even be the odd rant (it has been known).

So, without further ado, onward with the first entries.

Catch you later.

Neil