Electronics: Robert's blog Tue 5 Feb 2013

Today we were experimented on by Lauren Sarah Hayes. She brought an arm band and a wrist band each for us with a vibrator – or, to be more precise, two vibrators – on the wrist band (and a battery pack on the arm band) and part of the purpose of the day was to see if these could effectively be used to deliver precise signals of timing for us to play slightly out-of-phase with each other. We eventually gave them the thumbs up, but not before they had sparked a lot of rather feeble innuendo from me (I think largely ignored by the others) and, at times, a slightly emotional reaction from some of us to having such a very intimate electronic nudge mechanism strapped to our arms. Where best to wear it? Which arm? Maybe a leg would be better? Mid-arm or wrist?

Lauren also brought a beautiful old synthesiser – Korg from the late seventies – which made a lot of very authentic-sounding electronic music – always clear interesting sounds, processed, in ways completely mysterious to me, through her laptop. Sometimes sounds were engendered by the players – actions we had performed coming back to us a little later magically transformed. Su-a’s cello, for example, came out sometimes sounding like primeval cow monsters at the bottom of the sea. All very engrossing – and the studio was warm, the breaks full of interesting conversation – and, sometime after 4, Ben announced that Jo, who had helped set up these workshops in the first place, but who is living in France for the year, had had her baby – Alec – congratulations, Jo!

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