SOUND DESIGN:

Bitter Lake

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Last night I watched the new documentary by Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake and I very highly reccomend it, both for the unique & experimental form of documentary film making Curtis employs and as a profoundly disturbing history of the Middle East & the repeated attempts at manipulation by the West.
If you’ve seen American Sniper then consider this documentary to be essential viewing for global & historical context ie the 100 year back story! Here’s the trailer:

If you have never seen a documentary by Adam Curtis then you are in for a treat – his use of Burials music in the opening montage of Bitter Lake is both surreal & haunting, but his tangential use of archival footage combined with score is fascinating & at times profoundly unsettling…

I also highly reccomend his earlier documentary Century of the Self which provides a history of mass manipulation for commercial purposes, and it is full of laugh out loud examples which would be funnier if they weren’t actually true. For example there is a scene in the section ENGINEERING CONSENT where they discuss how the first attempt at marketing Better Crockers instant pudding failed. At launch the instant cake mix just didn’t sell and after doing focus groups with consumers they discovered the target market (i.e. housewives) felt guilty about it being too easy… So the marketing theorists suggested a psychological solution: ‘Just add an egg’ – the guilt was assuaged & the product become hugely popular. Did the egg need to be added? Not for cooking purposes… While this might seem a banal & almost ridiculous example, how & why this solution occurred is just the start… The section about that egg starts at 1’50” in this excerpt:

ps The BBC iPlayer stream of Bitter Lake worked fine for me with no VPN or other malarky, but I hear people use the Zenmate plugin to access such geo-locked streams… Bitter Lake is available on the BBC iPlayer for the next 3 weeks…

 

Music Friday

Zola Blood – Meridian (Applescal Remix free download @soundcloud) via Insight

 

▶ nice track off new Beat Spacek album – no embed allowed by Ninjatune (!?) so here’s a soundcloud link

 

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▶ a new EP by Loscil, check it out/support a good cause: for Greta

 

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▶ excellent new dubby compilation ECHOGARDEN by Martin Nonstatic & Frank Sebastian via bandcamp

 

▶ interesting idea: albums that never were – reconstructing unreleased albums eg The Clash – Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg

 

▶ beautiful spacy ‘Ultra Deep Field Podcast #014′ mixed by Narcotic 303 – free downlaod

 


▶ Prince Far I & Creation Rebel – Peel Session 1978 #voice_of_thunder!

 

▶ John Lee Hooker in 1970 via

 

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▶ new old afx: tracks 1-48 download here & tracks 49-96 here

 

Auckland Artists Residency Deadline approaching

The Artists Residency I did based in the Auckland Regional Parks is coming up again – the application deadline is in 2 weeks (cut off is 17th February) so if anyone local reading this is thinking of applying then I very much encourage you to! It was a fantastic experience being based in such a beautiful part of New Zealand and having time dedicated to making new work… I’ve written about my experiences and the ramifications before here Why do an Artists Residency and funnily enough am applying for another international residency at the moment so am doing some deep thinking & planning as to the project/s I want to pursue for it. That process alone is invaluable, consider this question: if you were gifted 2 months of free time to make art, what would you do?

I strongly advise not leaving application until the last minute – the details and application info are all available here: Apply now to be our 2015 Artist in Residence

 

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Estuary by TeKauKau Point, shot with 5DmkIII and Zeiss Distagon 21mm lens