January 31st: I’ve been working as artist in residence at Pervasive Media Studio, in collaboration with mad circuit-bending boffin and all-round-sound-wrangler Mr. Underwood. We’ve been investigating found sounds in urban settings, building things that emit noise, and telling stories with them. Basically: hours of fun. News from the project so far here, and we’ll be sharing what we’ve been up to at this fine-looking event at the Watershed that will also feature our fellow artists in residence, the apocalypto-robosthetes Juneau Projects.
Angel Tech continue to slave away over hot waveforms in our studios (both underground & overground) in the insane hope of producing an LP sometime early next year. At time of writing we’re mostly routing vocals through tape recorders because we like the hiss.
In memory of my brother Mike Atack, who died suddenly last year, I’ll be helping to set up The Mike Atack trust based at Rawlins Community College in Leicestershire.The trust will provide funding for students at Rawlins and its feeder schools to develop their own out-of-the-ordinary opportunities in music and media production. More news once the website’s up and running…
January / February: I’m composing the soundtrack for The Stick House, a theatre project by writer Sharon Clark and technologist Tom Burton, working alongside many other wonderful collaborators under the name Raucous Collective. Wax cylinders, short-wave radio, Weimar Germany pit bands and twisted fairy-tale melodies. We’ll be showing a work-in-progress in February.
March: Sleepdogs are, like, proper made up that we’re recipients of the Live Theatre and The Empty Space bursary. This will see us spending a week at Live Theatre in Newcastle, developing the (very) early stages of a site-specific ’show for sunset’ with the current working title Tales From The Old World. We’ll be finding inspiration in the bridges, boats, beaches and buttresses nearby, probably shooting some films, making some recordings, and showing what we’ve come up with at the end of the week.
Late 2013: BBC Radio 4 have commissioned my cracked Christmas fable The Morpeth Carol as an Afternoon Play, to be produced by Marc Beeby.
Throughout the year: Sleepdogs will be touring The Bullet And The Bass Trombone. Part storytelling, part concert, it’s the story of a symphony orchestra trapped in a city during a military coup. So far audiences for our shows in Bristol, Cheltenham, London, Newcastle and Latitude festival have been describing it as “a roller coaster of emotions”, “meditative, unsettling”, “heart-wrenching” and “incredibly uplifting in an impossible-to-describe kind of way.” Which is wonderful and means, as solo performer, my main job now is not to bugger it up.