The culmination of a long association with pianist Matthew Mills, Bagatelles represents some 30 years of piano music by British composer Bernard Hughes.
This collection of tracks comes at a critical and volatile time in both personal and creative aspects of my life. Reliance on the familiar was taking hold and I needed to get more unpredictability and reactivity into making and performing. So I dropped my old Hybernation alias in favour of my name, found some different tools (a Teenage Engineering OP1 and the Sampr iPad app) and got to work.
In 2013 I was seeking out sounds to record for a Southend based computer game and was led to the old Town Crier’s Bell tucked away in an old box at Southend Museum. It provided a great new sound to add to the game, and a sample for this track.
The hand drier in the gents toilets at the Railway Hotel in Southend was broken for several months and made a very loud screeching noise as it spread germs around. Daryl Easlea, a fellow DJ on Ship Full of Bombs internet radio station, sent me a recording of it he had made on his mobile phone, which I then fixed.
In April 2016, Jon Kipps’ and I launched our Proscenium release (Courier Sound) with a gig at the Ten Bells in Shoreditch and I improvised my entire set from a found Kenco Coffee tub.
Samples for Flooded House were taken from a Creative Partnerships project in 2011, with year 5 pupils at William Read School in Canvey Island to make a film about sea creatures. Watery sounds from the school sink, puddles in the playground and Thorney Bay beach all feature.
Bear Pit Point B (Version 2) was recorded during my artist residency at Focal Point Gallery in 2015. The ‘Bear Pit’ was a wooden room built in Gallery 1, which I turned into a playable instrument. I used a 20 second sample from contact mic B for this track.
I had thought of the acronym Sewage Outlet Under Thames Hides Even Nastier Discharge several years ago. I recalled that artist Josh Langan had discovered a long storm drain that runs under the town and ripped some audio from a film he made down there.