Junk Store Shopping



While down South I made a pilgramage to OVERFLOW, my favourite Junk Store located in Mayfield.


Jan who owns Overflow is a real character, and this is the same store where I bought my Deagen Marimba… I love visiting junk stores in NZ for many reasons – partly nostalgia, partly hoping for a unique sound prop which may generate ideas for new sounds, music or a library.. but also partly as I consider them to be like a living museum of recent history.

But one thing with junk stores is that many have been ruined by being either too close to a major city, and/or the owner spends too much time on TradeMe & Ebay, which means there will be no bargains & likely no surprises. But out in the provinces, stores like this are often fed from estate sales ie the death of an elderly person results in a ‘house lot’ of ephemera becoming available.

For some people, a yard like this would make them cringe in horror…
But for a sound designer it is like being a kid in a candy store!


The history of some of the items in store make me think about the lucky kid who would have been overjoyed to get a xmas present involving ‘roaring jets’ or a ‘digital derby’




Then there are the oddities… What posesses someone to try & make a full size motorbike from… pipe?



My eye is always drawn to examples of beautiful retro electro mechanical tech




In a room out the back of Overflow, Jan has the most amazing collection of retro clothing I have ever seen! They are all on hangers and are vaguely sorted by colour… Captivated by the textures I shot a bunch of photos and comp’d them…




Every time I walk into a junk store I always ask the owner: “any musical instruments or noise makers? But while in Oamaru I learned a valuable lesson: don’t believe their answer. The first junk store in Oamaru looked promising, with this “Shop lifters will be ejected’ seat outside:



A quick scan inside & all I managed to find was a $5 12volt bright red siren…
But the next shop provided the revelation…


Some kind of radiophonic totem?

One day I will stumble across an unopened bottle of laudanum ‘cure all’


The revelation?
Well I specifically asked the owner of this store if he had any instruments or noise makers…
“No, nothing like that…”


Not the red siren I mentioned earlier, but the thing labelled U.S.N.GAS ALARM?

“Oh that… watch out its really loud!”


“Yes, but hey don’t use it in here – there’s a baby sleeping in the office!”

Anyway I ended up buying it, still not really knowing what it was…

Turns out to be the loudest prop I have ever heard!! It is essentially a large scale ratchet and while i have played a small ratchet before, this thing is so loud I am yet to ‘properly’ play it – one click shredded my ears!

After doing some more research as to who the USN are and what the hell a Gas Alarm is, it turns out they were used in World War 1 and II – troops used these as a siren, to warn others when a gas attack was detected! Check this archival footage of one in use:

Check the guy on the left at 0’05”

Amazing that such a device somehow made it to Oamaru, NZ and is still in perfect working condition. Whatever wood is doing the clacking is as springy and loud now as it was back then! And what a clever design, to make something light, robust and loud as hell!

I plan to record it, but not until a session I am planning in a fairly unique acoustic space….

“Noise makers? Nothing like that here…”





Turbulent flow



Every time I go for a drive over to the Wairarapa & beyond, I pass this bend in the Upper Hutt River and notice the strange rocks… and think to myself, I must come here for a shoot. Not passing by, not rushing. Just some time, when allowed.

So… freshly out of lockdown, I did! And I think it is a location worth revisiting, the ‘turbulent flow’ must be a torrent some days… Equally its known as a great swimming hole in Summer.
(park on Michigan Ave, Ngati Tama Park)





I fully subscribe to the #lazymetadata modus operandi
I have consciously made it a habit to shoot an iPhone photo of every xpan long exposure I shoot. Inevitably I am using my iphone for reciprocity timer app, and if i quickly snap a few photos i get GPS and date and time stamp. One day I’ll work out some sign language to document F stop & exposure time, without looking like I am throwing shapes at tik tok or something…



raw scan RGB:





monchrome_xpan_crop_final_altfinal_version 7 (click img for full screen)





print worthy? maybe
let me revisit a few seasons…

heres iphone pan version – lots of scope for exploration!





Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River

Fujifilm TX2/XPAN2 with Kodak Tmax100








nuzic 144



▶ Actress – ‘Loveless’ (feat. Aura T-09)






▶ Heavenchord – hello strange podcast #456



▶ MURCOF – Inner Spaces Milan 2020



▶ Autechre = MegaMix free download





202009 Road Trip film update



NOTE TO SELF ie for the archive:

Dropped off to SPLENDID LAB on Friday:
13 rolls x Kodak TMax 100 x XPAN
6 rolls x Kodak TriX 400 x Contax T2 and Canon 1V SLR
2 rolls x Kodak Ektar 100 x XPAN
3 rolls x Fuji Natura 1600 x NATURA S

24 rolls!?!
To shoot 24 rolls of film (half is xpan, other half between three other cameras) plus drone & DSLR footage… plus all the multitrack recordings? Best road trip ever!

Having been stuck at home for 8+ months this was the most productive road trip I have ever done. Stuck at home, with fibre, means LOTS of time to research…

Apart from that, all the Ektachrome stock I shot is currently put aside, as I have a shoot this week (Ektachrome 35mm stills & Super 8 film) before sending all the Ektachrome to REVERSAL.

I feel blessed that the process of my primary work mediums requires social distancing. Landscape photography, field recording, aerial photography via drone all are better as far away from other people as possible!

The worst aspect of COVID is that the pain is not evenly distributed.





Book shopping



When travelling I always make a point of visiting favourite local bookstores, because a good book store will very likely have something specific to my mission. UNITY Books in Wellington and Auckland are very reliable in this respect, but equally so is SCORPIO Books in Christchurch, which I frequented when I lived in CHCH as a Uni student in the mid/late 80s > unemployed muso > film school student in 1990 & then had to leave, to be where the work was…

My purchase this time relates to photography, but I find such books also often relate well if you swap #photo for #fieldrecording or #sounddesign or #mix

The Heart of the Photograph by David duChemin.
100 Questions for making stronger, more expressive photographs

no amazon link, support your local bookstore









I did a count up a few days ago, and have shot another 3 or 4 rolls since then… So if you are a photographer who is still in lockdown, my only advice is to get ready! Do your location research, plan a trip and stock up on film… All of the weeks and weeks of restricted travel resulted in one of the best road trips I have done, with the highest hit ratio of finding photos worth making.

Off to the lab…
SPLENDID in Wellington and REVERSAL in Auckland




Luminous rock




Stopped to shoot xpan longexposure here, at this insanely luminous rock! There are road works all along this coast as they are still rebuilding from the earthquake, and while shooting a Maori road worker came walking past…
Me: OMG You have the best office in the country!
Him: True! And it is a privilege to be working here
Me: Damn right!





Fave new location




First time visit to this location, Nape Nape Beach, which is about 90min drive north of Christchurch. Somehow my trip had a recurring theme of limestone and this beach and the surrounding area had beautiful limestone structures… While messing around shooting some xpan long exposures I came up with a whole new photo project, and shot some prototype versions. Cannot wait to see the results & shoot more!