Crowdfunding my way to New York to play a concert.

I have been asked to go and perform some music at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival in July. In terms of pure fun, career progression, networking and exposure it looks like it could be astounding! To give this a bit of context, I live in Wales (UK).

Earlier this year I was commissioned by Bangor Music Festival to compose and perform a piece of electroacoustic music / sonic art. This concert went really well and the piece is now available on iTunes, Spotify etc and is beginning to get noticed. The work was originally composed in 8 channel surround sound and is designed to be diffused in performance on even larger 3D sound arrays.

Above is a stereo mix down of the piece and here is a bit of writing about it.

I have now been asked to give the work a repeat performance on the other side of the Atlantic. My performance would comprise of diffusion the piece in the Abrons Arts Centre New York – 466 Grand St, Lower East Side, using their 16 channel surround sound auditorium. This will take place as part of a week-long series of concerts which also includes practice and rehearsal time in the venue. This will not only further develop my creative and performance skills, but will give me the opportunity to learn from, perform to and engage with world experts in the field, while sharing a tiny bit of UK culture with the world at large.

newyorkThe festival is happy to provide accommodation etc. but I would need to cover my travel and subsistence.

At the moment I can’t afford to get there. I have applied for various arts/music/culture grants but don’t know if I will be successful. So I attempting to Crowdfund my way as well; to (and from) New York with a little help from friends, fans and family in case the formal funding doesn’t come through 😉 The Crowdfunding link is here, if you have a few pounds to spare it would be hugely appreciated!

It would mean a massive amount, both on a personal (especially if you read the blog entry about the piece) and professional level if I could get there.

Many many thanks



Space To Think

In about September I was commissioned by Bangor Music Festival to compose a piece of electroacoustic music for their February 2018 event, along with a series of education workshops. I really wanted to do this and it was looking like it was going to be an amazing autumn and early spring of creating cool stuff and having fun; then the floor almost literally gave way.

Following a period of ill health my Dad took his own life in mid October and unsurprisingly this hit me really hard. It is not so much the sadness which is debilitating but the feelings of numbness, rage and lethargy that suck the capacity for creativity away. In my case my Dad and I got on really well, he was a role model and someone who had a massive influence on me throughout my life, when something so seemingly at odds with everything you have ever known happens all the basic assumptions that you make in life come into question. I would even look at my feet when walking down stairs, not through shock or physical instability but because I no longer trusted the assumption that I knew where my feet and where the steps where. It was certainly no mindset to take creative decisions in, they are so vague, so intangible and impossible to verify that the simplest starting impetus threw up paralyzing indecision.


It was at this point that I sadly informed Guto the festival director that I couldn’t fulfill the commission. I have never had to do this before and it left me feeling awful, but also slightly relieved.  There followed a period of calm, I got back to doing some work and I managed to get off the antidepressants (citalopram) which had been prescribed to help me sleep, level me out and stop catching things out of the corner of my eye. In late December I got a phone call from Guto offering to take some of the festival work back, but once again asking if I would like to compose ‘something’ for the finishing concert.


I find it really hard to sit down and just make noises or compose, some people start from an initial sound or a feeling, I tend to find some sort of idea or framework to hang something on and then can go from there. I though about this for about 24 hours, it was an incredibly kind offer which Guto had made, and my head was clearing. I went for a run in the hills, it happened to be early as I wanted to make the summit of a mountain near to us to catch the winter solstice sunrise and on the way up the ideas just struck me.

The theme of the event this year is space and I am happy to say that the work shared a stage with Birmingham Ensemble for Electroacoustic Research (BEER). BEER had worked in collaboration with the Art@CMS project at CERN in Switzerland, using real-time sonification of data streams from the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most complex particle accelerator. This is something which it is foolish to compete against; that, and the fact that I literally have Scott Wilson (of BEER)’s book on coding in Supercollider sat on my desk. Thus I chose to take a different tack and rather than approach it from an analytical and scientific angle I went for something closer to home.

Space To Think – Ed Wright 2018 (8 channel surround sound audio)

pianostringsA lot of what is in the popular imagination about space and space travel is precisely that, imagination. From the Barron’s Forbidden Planet through to the electronic squelch of radio communication a lot of what we think of as space related is a very human construct. What fascinates me is how much of what we believe sounds as if it comes from outer space or under the sea (or for that matter any environment out of our direct experience) is actually a result of dubbing and sound design in the media. As a culture we have bought into the idea of rockets rumbling as they go past, even though there may be almost nothing in the void of space to transmit the sound and the glockenspiel twinkle of stars is almost as real as the piano wire scrape of the Tardis. This provides a fantastic palate of subverted fantasy with which to create and explore a rich and varied sound world. Apart from the use of two pieces of NASA archive; launch and countdown, the rest of the sounds used I have recorded and shaped myself.

26232759_10155810057685631_1698340499798078925_oGreat delight was taken in recreating a few iconic ‘other worldly’ sound objects and effects along the way, 50 pence pieces were rubbed down piano strings to provide the basis for a tardis noise before looping and adding spring reverb. Humming strip lights were close mic-ed to create light-sabres, and some generative coding brought about drone progressions similar to the opening of Star Trek. These and many other sounds were used as the raw materials of the piece and then developed as the different timbre interact and evolve. The result is an acousmatic work utilizing a wide variety of sounds from analogue synthesis through to simple dislocation and out to generative algorithms creating an apparently extra-terrestrial environment in which our earthbound ears and minds can roam.


Many thanks to Guto Puw and the Bangor Music Festival for their kindness, understanding and faith.

In memory of Brian Wright

A revised binaural mix….

Having posted this a few days ago I revisited in and found some errors in the way it had been mixed, this should be better 🙂


It was written for the Blinc digital festival in Conwy a place renowned for its castle but also the jackdaws that reside in and around the town.


The work was originally done in quadrophonic surround sound but has been mixed down binaurally which (briefly) takes into account the timing and EQ changes that take place as sound bends around your head to reach each ear, thus arriving at often slightly different times and having often lost slightly different parts of the frequency content.

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The work was made with recordings and realised in ProTools, the binaural processing was done with a home made programming patch in the Max 6 environment.

Binaural encoding is a bit of a personalised effect it works really well for some people and less so on others. I’d be pleased to get some feedback.

Enjoy 🙂