Sunday, 17 February 2013


I am pleased to be able to announce that I will be playing a set at the Awakenings Evening of Ambient and Electronic Music on Saturday 13th July 2013 at the Paget High School in Burton-On-Trent :-)

The music performed in the 45 minute set, which will be unique to the night, will have the title of "MMXIII".

This will be my first live performance under my own name and I will be joined on stage by my son, Callum Raeburn-Fellowes, who will be playing synthesizers, electronic percussion and some of the weird little gizmos we have lying around the GTK Studio :-)

I've decided to go under my own name as the performance will be partly improvised and totally live, in that we are not going to be using software synthesizers, therefore the music will not have the structured sounds and compositions of the Geigertek project. It seemed a bit daft to be listed as Geigertek when I won't be playing any Geigertek material.

We're about to start work on the set and it's quite likely we'll be emptying the GTK Studio because we'll be using pretty much everything in here, including the old and crusty signal generators, the D.I.Y 4 pad electronic drum unit, a Stylophone, the Vibrati Punk Carton and the Peavey desk as well as a Nintendo DS and iPhone (need to figure out how to make sure it doesn't take calls whilst we do our thing!!!).

Callum and I will be preparing a video backing to compliment the music, which will feature moving images and some of my photographs and also those of my partner, Anne Mancini-Smith.

I am extremely excited by this date and hope that the end product will meet with approval.

Full details will be posted as soon as I have them.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Introducing The Canon......

When I went to see Gary Numan with my photo pass at the University of East Anglia in Norwich last December, I came away from the event feeling that my fabulously trusty and loyal Fujifilm S2950HD was simply no longer able to achieve the sort of results I wanted. It was a moment when I knew that I had finally out-grown this amazing little camera and I had to move up to a digital SLR.

Through a bit of luck and a fair wind, I managed to save some money over the Christmas period (not many about who can say that!!!) and I found myself in a position whereupon I could order the aforementioned camera.

I did a bit of research, looking for what I wanted in terms of specification, alongside what I could afford. I didn't have a king's ransom to spend, but enough to get a decent piece of kit. The choice came down to two cameras, the Nikon D3100 and the Canon EOS 1100D. During my research, I found what appeared to be an ever-present war between the users of Nikons and the users of Canons. I've had good friends showering me with advice (all gratefully received thank you as it all helped with my final decision) and defending their marque of camera. So, when the choice came, I was a little torn as both are great cameras. But it took one thing to settle my angst. The Canon EOS 1100D has Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) and the Nikon D3100 does not. Now those of you who follow my photography know that when I bought The Fuji, it was AEB that sold me to it as I do like to do the HDR thing. It was argued that if I were to shoot in RAW (a very high quality image format) instead of JPEG, then I wouldn't need to use the three shot method. But there are times when I need/want to work quickly on my processing, so I like the immediacy of the three shots.

The final decision was of course, the Canon EOS 1100D. It comes with an 18-55mm zoom lens, battery and charger as well as a good strap. I also ordered a second spare battery, a digital remote timer/shutter release (for long exposures and time lapse), a UV filter, a polarising filter and a new tripod. Still waiting for the filters and the tripod to arrive (should be any day now), but everything else is here and oh my, the difference is astounding.

I have an old 35mm SLR kit in my garage which I had 25 years ago, so I already have something of a basic working knowledge of SLR cameras. I spent the day yesterday with the camera and the manual (unusual thing for me to do!!!) and by the evening, I had it sussed. I now can't wait to get out and about with it. Just taking silly daft pictures around the house showed me the difference in quality. It wasn't too long before I abandoned the automatic settings and started using the manual settings, and it felt like going back in time to when I first had my 35mm SLR kit. It's even better this time as I don't have the expense or inconvenience of film and developing charges. I've got lots of things that I want to get out there and take pictures of, not least long exposure landscapes/cityscape, gigs and of course my on-going Synth Studio Photo Project. I also thought that I would need to start saving money for lenses, but again, I don't think that this will necessary as the supplied 18-55mm kit zoom lens appears to be quite a flexible piece of equipment. The only things I now require are a 50mm lens (very good for low light situations) and a wide-angle zoom for landscapes/urban exploration.

So, exciting times again as the photography moves up to the next level. Let's hope the images come out as nice with The Canon as they have done with The Fuji (which isn't going to be retired as I shall keep it in the camera bag as a second camera because it has great HD video!!!)

Friday, 1 February 2013

A new toy......

I recently took possession of an Apple iPhone 3G (hereinafter referred to as "The 3G") and wow, have I been impressed with it.

Now, I get that it isn't a 3GS, a 4, a 4S or a 5, but let's remember that I have not used a smart phone before so everything on the 3G is new to me.

With it being an older model, and so typical of Apple, no longer supported, there are very few apps that are still available, but that hasn't stopped me. I now have my Twitter and Facebook accounts accessible from The 3G, as well as e-mail and Google Maps. I'm also really liking the little camera and it's use with Twitter (of which I now totally get the point!!!), particularly when I am out and about. As we use the utterly excellent BT Internet in this house, I can usually get a decent WIFI connection absolutely anywhere (found a WIFI hotspot in the middle of a Norfolk village the other day!!!) and of course this enables me to upload my pics to Twitter. I realised the power and the benefits of The 3G when I went for a day trip to London a couple of days ago, when I was able to snap a few pics and tweet them almost immediately (connection dependant of course). I think it's likely that I'll upgrade in the future to one of the newer generation iPhones as I would like some of the fab photo and music apps that are available, but I'm in no hurry. I've found a couple of really cool music apps already and am enjoying messing about with them - these are "Bloom" (co-created by none other than Brian Eno) and "Oramics", an app based on the work of Radiophonic Workshop co-creator, Daphne Oram. Will I be using these in my own music? Yes, I think I will.

Like I said above, none of what I've written here is really anything new for most people, but for me it is and I'm absolutely loving the new little world it has opened up to me.