I’ve been banging on for a while now about doing a weekly or monthly playlist thing that accompanies the project. It might not be stuff that necessarily says much about the project but is more likely to be the stuff that was following me around while recording, editing and updating the site. So without further ado… here is the first edition of Machine Mix!
Included are some great new cuts from Death In Vegas, Bjork and a great Breakage remix to kick off the whole thing. The latest single from perhaps the most wonderfully 80s fantasy movie band ever, Sound of Arrows, rounds off the mix. Also in there is a beautiful instrumental epic from Mathew Jonson, Datasette’s remix of Running Up That Hill, a bit of classic post-disco from Evelyn “Champagne” King, and even some lovely slomo house stuff featuring one of the greatest 303 lines ever created.
This is my life in music for the past month. I hope you like it.
Step right up folks! Allow me to introduce to you the first volume of the Sunshine Machine Recordings.
As with most of the stuff surrounding this project I’m giving away the digital downloads for free. I’m hoping to put this out as a digipack with some of the longer pieces edited down to fit so if you’d like to own the physical product please hang fire for a couple of weeks. Want to try to get it done for the holidays. So if you know decent CD On-Demand stores please let me know.
If you want to grab the free digital version right now you can through the lovely people at bandcamp. You can get there by clicking the link, going to the permalinks on the right of this page, or by clicking on the album cover above. Also if you like it or think other people will like it please spread the word.
Go get your free album! And let me know if you like it. Which one is your favorite?
It really was wonderful to have, what felt like, the entire world to myself this morning. It was strange, like nature had got slightly confused as to how to react to the situation and the unexpected weather. It was oddly noticable that few birds were even awake yet, and those that were singing were doing so in a slightly embarrased fashion, like they’d turned up to work on saturday to find the factory closed. And in the middle of all this sky and colour was me, hidden the bushes hoping not to be discovered trespassing. In actuality the only thing that happened was a mild distraction of another guy who was out with his dog on an early morning walk through the farmer’s field. I’m apparently not the only who likes to have this place to myself.
Installation 10 (Home, North West, UK)
Indian summers are a rare commodity in the UK, and especially in the North that normally gets battered by all the atlantic has to offer. The Pennines have a tendency to trap all the cloud cover and bad weather that blows in from the coast. However something like this, the exact opposite of it all, very occasionally happens; days that should be wet, and cold, and full of mud transform into the deepest, unending summer, filled with potential. I finally conquered Rivington on a day like this. It was wonderful. The colours of an entirely empty sky were breathtaking. The scale (F Dorian) was selected to convey fragility and the unfinished nature of things, something infinite and transient.
The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season, and infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled.
Installation 9 (Rivington, North West, UK)
It’s all a bit quiet here at the moment. Not much happening. But have you looked out of the window recently?! Autumn is here in full force to insist we all stay locked inside our homes against the rains and winds. And as we all know I can’t do this in the rain (it causes my equipment to blow up).
Also hit some technical snags recently. The lovely hardcore tripod I was using for this had to be returned to it’s owner (thank you for the very long loan Ste). Which makes the rest of the gear pretty impotent. I’m going to be purchasing my own lovely HD camera very soon. I was planning on doing that today but it transpires that Canon limit their 550D (my camera of choice) to 12 minutes of HD shooting. That’s neither use nor ornament to someone who does 30 minute continuous installations. So I beg your recommendations. Ideas?
Finally you should also check out these guys. They liked on one of the installation videos which is how I found them. It’s all in German (which I can’t read) but from what I can gather from the videos these guys are almost kindred spirits using gravity to generate audio. Plus their structure is beautiful and wonderful. Show them some love: http://pendelinstallation.wordpress.com/
So until the weather subsides or I find a way to water-proof all my equipment I bid you… good day.
This wasn’t exactly the installation I had planned. Or to be honest the elequant post I had planned (as wordpress decided to only publish half the post. Most annoying. But regardless this was the installation I did to make up for postponing the one planned for Rivington. Oddly enough I’ve never had the impetus or idea to perform this thing in the place I spend most of my time. But regardless thanks Laura for letting me use her terrace for the setup and Nik for help with the filming. It was a bit of a last minute decision and a rush but we just managed it (thanks to the kindness of friends). The whole convoluted story is in the blog post thats coming up this week. Much better focus that SM7 (d’oh!) but the noise that you get on even good DV cams like the one we used is starting to become too much to bear anymore. 550D this week. Credit cards exist for a reason.
Installation 8 (Rooftops, Bolton, UK)
After consulting the runes, the cloud data and the MET office tonight’s installation atop Rivington is going to be postponed. For the fourth time.
As the day wears on it’ll be total cloud cover AND after the weather yesterday the chances of me being able to lug the gear up the dirt track is looking less likely.
But if you subscribe to the RSS feed you wouldn’t need to check on here for updates, they’d come to you.
As you can gather not exactly what I normally aim for in one of these installations. I was on my own for this one when I did the setup and as a result made a little, if not rather obvious, mistake when sorting out the DV cam. Suffice to say the autofocus and a neutral density filter conspired against me resulting in a somewhat blurred image. It’s kind of pretty though isn’t it? However this is yet another reason why I desperately need a smaller, easier and higher quality camera. More on that very soon. But until then enjoy the latest.
Installation 7 (Coast Road, Southport, UK)
Summer has been a strange mix of hyper activity and lethargy. While it has been a useful time for sourcing and performing installations for the project on occasion it has felt like the elements have been transpiring against me for the vast majority of the time. The weather this summer has not been good, although in England that’s hardly ever a surprise (especially living in the north-west with the Pennines pinning in any cloud cover and refusing to let it move off anywhere). It has had a massive impact on what could and has been achieved over my break away from those horrible jobs we do to ensure that life and interesting things can continue. Unfortunately it’s only just over a week until the monotony of work kicks in and reduces the time available to me to do more installations.
Hence why I’ve decided to spend my day getting the site really ready to roll. It’s spent the summer languishing in this almost-but-not-quite-finished beta state. Hopefully within the next few hours all the updates and current videos will be online ready for you. Links for the audio player should be properly working (and I’ll have figured how to do autoplay). And most importantly all the diagrams and materials for the open source section should be online too.
I also ask you a question that has been pressing on my mind recently. I normally carry on with projects out of pure strength of will and/or misguided enthusiasm. Sunshine Machine feels kind of different though. Normally projects are done to satisfy myself or some creative goal I carry. This feels much less centred internally for me. Do you think this is something that other people or you want to even know about? Does it interest you or am I way off the mark? I’m not looking for reassurance or praise, just an honest response as to whether you think this is a worthwhile project for me to be engaging myself with and more importantly will it engage others (as that is really the whole point of the project). Please do comment if you have an opinion either way.
Right, lots to do with this site so I’ll be back once all is sorted out.
P.S If there are still some alignment issues and the pages randomly jump to the right I’m very sorry. I know its happening and it is on my list of stuff to sort out.
This morning I received some bad news from the lovely gent I had asked to help me with constructing the website for Sunshine Machine (basically what I wanted couldn’t be done). So instead I’ve spent some serious time and energy investing in constructing this website. It functions how I want it to and within the boundaries of what can be done on my non-existent budget. I’m also capable of administering and updating it entirely without help.
So as you look around these currently empty halls imagine the potential for expansion and population. There are still some teething issues with alignments, the audio player isn’t embedded yet, and some CSS coding rubbish but hopefully within a few days those should be worked out and we can really start to generate the copy and link to all the media we’ve generated over the last year.
If there was a huge budget this would have been finished months ago but since this is DIY or DIWO (do it with others) we can’t expect multimillion dollar budgets and tight timeframes. You can expect a lot of heart.
The timing of this is cooincidental but rather fortunate. Our next installation happens in 5 days time so hopefully that installation will give us the chance to test run the way the site works and how we can fit what we do in real life with what we allow to manifest digitally.
So until our last few teething problems are worked out and we’re posting properly we wish you a very interesting life.
sunshine machine team.x