Mid August Images 2014
All taken with a Sony RX100.
New ways of working – controllers
Before diving into working on my next album, I thought I’d ‘take stock’ and re-evaluate my working methods. I’ve always considered Midi-controllers to be pretty dull things – useful, but unexciting. Recently I bought some of the Novation ‘Launch series’ controllers and I have to say, I think I was wrong.
Looking at Ableton ‘Live’ (*) too, is a different approach for me (even though I’ve used the old soundcloud version in the past), the way in which these controllers work with Live is very interesting. I’m not sure how much I will use this combination, but I can see some ‘sound-mangling’ potentials. Also, the Launchpad (mini) works very well with FL Studio‘s performance mode and Image-line’s ‘Deckadance‘ (which I’ve used in the past), I use FL predominantly, at present. The level of ‘tweakability’ and live control afforded by these controllers is something I’d not really incorporated into my work, so perhaps it’s time I did ! I have to say, I’m a sucker for anything with lights and such like !
(* I’m currently using ‘Live Intro’, as I’m just trying things out, at present)
Here’s a current work-in-progress set up: (the elephants are there to inspire me)
Infra Red experiments with the Sony RX100 / Hoya R72 filter
Having experimented with many settings, I’ve decide to stick to shooting RAW, with a custom white balance. In the time I’ve been spending with this combination, I’ve been getting some very interesting results (IMO !), but the camera and the IR filter combination together can produce the ‘mysterious magenta centre spot‘. I can’t pinpoint this down to a specific combination of settings. It’s really a bit hit and miss, sometimes it’s not present at all, other times very present.
Here’s a jpg of a RAW file straight from camera (with pronounced magenta spot) Before processing
Here’s the processed version (see below for explanation)
The magenta spot kind of forced me into looking at black and white processing, primarily. I came across a tip on the B+W site IR filter site, regarding converting the image into ‘Lab color’ mode and converting the ‘lightness’ channel to grayscale, I found this yielded interesting results. When I started looking at IR in general, I was very disappointed when my images looked nothing like a lot of examples I’d seen online, I tried the channel mixer settings that most people do and a few other things too. I’ve got more to learn indeed !
Here’s a selection of assorted recent shots (mid July)
‘IKON’ new Igneous Flame album
Something rather different !
‘Ikon‘ is a significantly different Igneous Flame album. With this album I wanted to incorporate percussion as a more central element to the material. Even though I have used ‘percussives’ on some of my previous albums, ‘Ikon’ takes the rhythmic element much further.
I would describe ‘IKON’ as a ‘fusion’ album, in that it is a somewhat unusual mix of percussion / bass / synths as well as drone textures. The percussion consists of an array of ethnic instruments and (to a lesser degree) more traditional drumkits. The basses are various too – fretless, double bass and electronic, as are the synths. The
‘ambient dronage’ consists primarily of extracts from longer pieces that I created at the outset of the project.
Regarding the production of the album, there is a degree of ‘torque’ to the mix, in that there are no hi-hats or cymbals (except on ‘Radiating Blue’), the high frequency elements coming from other sounds sources, which needed to be spectrally balanced accordingly.
As to the material itself, whilst fitting broadly in the ‘ambient electronica’ genre, there is a wide variety of tonal colours. Shifting rhythmic patterns create tension and release and recurring thematic elements abound.
Track 8 ‘Floe’ is a Bandcamp exclusive bonus track (not part of the album as such), for listeners who might want to hear something of the more ‘traditional’ Igneous Flame sound !
Pete Kelly (Igneous Flame) July, 2014
All tracks composed, mixed and mastered by Pete Kelly (Igneous Flame) at LuminaSounds studios, 2014
Video to accompany a montage I made of each track on the album:
Igneous Flame Update, May 2014
I’m concurrently working on two projects at present, ‘Ikon’ and ‘Iris’, they will both be released later this year. The current state of play of these two projects is as follows:
‘Ikon’ – I’m currently concentrating on this one, it will be significantly different to anything else I’ve released, in that it is beat / percussion based with elements of ‘regular’ instrumentation with drone ‘overlays’. This has been a very time consuming project and it feels like it will never be finished – there’s always still more to do. Saying that, it will be completed soon (I hope !)
‘Iris’ - A much more ‘traditional’ work, primarily based around the guitar. Regular instrumentation and a focus on more formally musical compositions are in order for this one. Will end up as a large (two hours-ish) release. Will probably be finished towards the end of the year.
‘Kaleidoscope‘ (free track)
I recently finished a new track called ‘Kaleidoscope’, it’s available as a free download, which is very good value, as it’s fourteen minutes long !
On another note, having acquired a new camera, I’m getting back more into photography and I’m also looking at video work currently. I updated my copy of Sony Vegas Studio (suite), so I have lots of lovely new plugins to peruse and as the new camera (Sony RX100) takes pretty darn good video, it has inspired me to look into such things further.
Maxa at 14 and a half
Our hound Maxa is now almost 14 and half years old. She’s very much showing her age, but she’s still very ‘young at heart’ at the same time.
She’s a rescue dog, we got her from Leeds Dog Trust and she was hard work for most of her youth ! She’s still very wilfull, but age has tempered her somewhat. She’s a great companion, very affectionate, but still a bit of a monster from time to time. She loves pottering and digging in the garden and saying hello to people she meets on her brief walks out.
Here’s a selection of shots taken of her recently, as you can see she’s pretty grey, but her eyes are still clear (and her bark is still very audible !) and her mind is still pretty sharp. All images taken with a Sony RX 100, some processed, some not.