Category Archives: Music

‘National Ignition’ Available for Pre-Order

Pre-Order National Ignition on Bandcamp

Three-odd years and one PhD later, I’m pleased to say that I have another Ochre album due for imminent release. National Ignition will be available for download on the 21st of January 2013, from all the usual download stores (I’ll put up direct store links when I get them).

It’s available to pre-order on Bandcamp now, which will allow you to download the first track immediately (the rest of the album being unlocked on release; you’ll receive email notification as soon as it’s available). The Bandcamp edition also features a 24-bit lossless FLAC option.

Like Early Learning before it, National Ignition received exquisite design treatment by nkurence. The album will remain download-only for the time being, but I’d like to release a vinyl version once funds permit, at the very least to do the artwork justice.

Collaborative project album coming up: Snow Palms – ‘Intervals’

At the start of the year I completed a project with composer David Sheppard, collaborating on his Snow Palms album, ‘Intervals’ (Village Green). David’s a composer of beautiful minimal, idiophone-based music in a similar vein to Reich, Glass et al, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to add my own production flourishes to some of the tracks he’d laid down, working on six of the eleven album tracks in the end. I also got to score for a string quartet, which isn’t something I regularly get to do, so that was quite the welcome challenge.

A review of the album surfaced today on Fluid Radio — check it out to read a take on what we’ve done (though for whatever reason, I’m not mentioned there — I’m involved, I promise!).

It’s due for release on 19th of November. For more info/press copy and audio excerpts, please visit the release page on Village Green.

Scoring and Sound Design for ‘Centrefold’

I recently completed composing the soundtrack and sound design for Centrefold, a short animated documentary about labiaplasty. The film illustrates the personal accounts, hopes and fears, of three women following their decisions to undergo surgery. Here’s the trailer:

During the project I familiarised myself with Camel Audio‘s excellent Alchemy synth, so you can expect to hear some evolving synth drones and sample-mangling pads in the score. Imperfect Samples‘ warm Braunschweig piano sample library also came in very handy, affording me the kind of warm, intimate piano chords that I can’t seem to get enough of lately.

It was also superb fun being able to get my hands dirty handling the sound design for the film. Plenty of fabric-rustling, cutlery-clinking, field recording shenanigans involved, including the implementation of sophisticated GLOVEBIRD™ technology.

The full film’s due for launch this summer, following its tour of film festivals.

You can visit the official Centrefold site over at: www.thecentrefoldproject.org and take a peek behind the scenes on the official Facebook page.

Bandcamp Discog Updated to 24-bit FLAC

Following tepid on the heels of ‘Early Learning’, I’ve recently updated the Bandcamp editions of my remaining three albums with 24-bit masters. Like Dust of the Balance has undergone a straightforward update to 24-bit, re-dithered from the original track montage. Lemodie and A Midsummer Nice Dream, meanwhile, have been remastered to 24-bit from the original mixdowns, and so sound a bit more polished and refined. All albums continue to be offered for a price you deem fair.

Over in the shop, the Ochre Spreadshirt stores have been updated with a new shirt option — an ultra-soft vintage fit, tri-blend, adjective-laden American Apparel Track tee. I recently discovered this comfy garment after receiving it in Bandcamp-print guise; it’s the softest tee I own.

Meanwhile, I’m excited to be working on the soundtrack for the animated documentary, The Centrefold Project, due for release during Spring 2012.

Early Learning Now Available for Download

Download 'Early Learning' on BandcampI’d been planning to re-release these tracks properly for a while now, to give them the conclusive send-off they deserve. Thanks to the help of some friends, plus some professional mastering, I can happily announce that Early Learning is now available for a name-your-price download on Bandcamp! (iTunes etc. will follow over the forthcoming weeks.)

Although all the tracks have been previously released online in one form or another in the past, to collate and properly sequence them, give them a polish and adorn with some great nkurence-penned artwork, has breathed new life into them.

Early Learning constitutes most of my pre-‘Midsummer’ output from between 2001 and 2003, and in some cases required revisiting the Cubase VST 5 song files, to be remixed and re-rendered for a cohesive release (i.e. tracks 1, 3 & 9). Being a download-only album, it seemed like a good opportunity to encode the FLACs in 24-bit, exceeding the 16-bit sound quality typical of a CD-borne album. (Which reminds me, I can also upgrade the FLAC editions of ‘Like Dust’, Lemodie and ‘Midsummer’ with 24-bit FLACs too. Shall arrange this when I get the chance.)

I’ve also taken full advantage of Bandcamp’s bonus-bundling capabilities, uploading a couple of extra tracks (a remastered ‘Bipolar Bears’, plus my Zelda remix), in addition to Chris Larkee’s video for ‘Esign’. The Esign video has been updated with the remastered audio, and rendered to a 720p H.264/MPEG-4 video file.

Enjoy!

Please remember to hit those like/tweet buttons on Bandcamp and help spread the word. Much appreciated, thanks.

Production Portfolio Update

I’ve finally finished updating my production portfolio, following a few fevered QuickTime encoding sessions, showcasing most of the higher-profile work I’ve completed this year (plus some of my favourite projects from the past few years).

Initially I was a little reticent to combine my recording and production work under the ‘Ochre’ umbrella, but seeing as though the production side of things now (thankfully) makes up a sizeable portion of my working life (along with my mastering work), it seems to make sense now for my site to reflect this. It’s also a good means of keeping my portfolio neatly catalogued, online and in one place, as I had almost forgotten about some the work I’d undertaken in the past (I’d been busier than I thought!).

Additionally, I’ve created a small library of available production tracks, which will hopefully serve both as a demonstration of my compositional versatility, as well as a catalogue of pieces that are available for licensing.

I’m very keen to expand my portfolio, particularly with some game audio work, so if you’re an aspiring game developer in need of some music or sound effects for your game, please get in touch. Although I’ve licensed my music for use in games in the past, I’m really itching to get stuck in with some game audio production, interactive music and sound design, so I’ve been poring over various audio APIs, raising my proficiency with FMOD and Wwise.

Finally, I’ll be dropping some news about some Ochre related releases over the forthcoming weeks, so stay tuned. Thanks!

‘Infotain Me’ in LittleBigPlanet 2, on PS3

The sequel to Sony’s popular LittleBigPlanet game has finally been released on PS3. Developed once again by the talented folks of Media Molecule), LittleBigPlanet 2 is touted as not merely a platform game, but a platform for games, allowing players to create their own games, levels and music.

My track ‘Infotain Me’, taken from Lemodie, was licensed for use as part of the in-game soundtrack within LittleBigPlanet 2, and features alongside tracks from the likes of Plaid and Squarepusher. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be involved.

Infotain Me by Ochre

Name Your Price

It’s well into 2011, and now that they have officially ceased trading, my album contracts with Benbecula Records have expired. As a result, I’ve kindly had the rights to ‘Lemodie’ and ‘Like Dust’ handed back to me, so I’ve made them both available for download directly from my Bandcamp page (alongside ‘Midsummer’).

All three albums are downloadable on a ‘name your price’ basis, currently with no minimum charge, so if you simply feel like swiping them without paying a penny or sharing your email address, you’re free to do so. Better yet, you can set a price you deem fair for my hard work, and sleep easy knowing you’re incentivising future Ochre output. Please spread the word; retweet, share, post etc.

Each full-album download contains a bonus track, with ‘Lemodie’ and ‘Midsummer’ having their respective CD ‘secret’ tracks appended to their tracklist, while ‘Like Dust’ features ‘Threnodie’, a track previously released as part of the ‘Death of an Aura’ EP (which I’ve now retired).

The expiry of my contracts with Benbecula also means that both albums will start to disappear from third-party download stores. Once all down, I’ll set about distributing them through my own digital aggregator (probably Emubands, as they currently handle ‘Midsummer’ distro).