Mutable Instruments’ Ambika

A DIY 6-voice poly digital/analogue hybrid. Check out those voice cards underneath.

Been enjoying this little project, spending the past week building a Mutable Instruments Ambika for a friend. Digital wavetable oscillators with 4-pole analogue filters, like the basic Shruthi, but with 6-voice polyphony. Brimming with character, and serious bang for buck if you can handle a soldering iron. Just don't get hung up about about the aliasing, as it's all part of the charm. Shall endeavour to get some sound online soon.

Please bear with me while I update my site theme. It’ll probably be rather spartan while I figure out how to flick various bits back on, as well as fiddle with the overall styling.

By the way, I’ve added our Snow Palms album to my Bandcamp page, so it’s also embedded on the music page.

‘National Ignition’ Out Now

All those who pre-ordered the album will already have a download link sitting in their inbox, but for everyone else, National Ignition is released today! It's available on Bandcamp for full streaming in its entirety, as well as offering a 24-bit lossless FLAC option for the download. Of course, if you'd prefer to download elsewhere, it's also online at iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Xbox Music etc.

‘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.

‘Centrefold’ Animation Now Online, Wins Award, Sparks Debate

The animated documentary I scored at the start of the year, Centrefold, has now been publicly released, so you can either watch the Vimeo embed below, or head over to www.thecentrefoldproject.org to watch and comment.

It's officially an award-winner too, winning 'Best Animation' at the 2012 SCINEMA Film Awards!

Centrefold has been busy sparking debate in the media, getting a mention on BBC Radio 4, a feature in The Huff Post, Rude Magazine, plus plenty of local media coverage around the North East. It's wonderful to see it making waves. If you're interested in following updates to the project, keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Oh, and I hope you like the music/sound design, too!

Interview on Real Eyes

There's a nice little interview with me currently running at Real Eyes [direct link]. As well as featuring excerpts from our dialogue, the article also includes quotes from previous interviews I've done (it's always odd reading old interviews; "did I really say that?"). Anyway, it makes for a nice primer on what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and where I've come from.

While you're there, you may as well catch the interview with Hecq, too!

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.

© 2002–2021 Christopher Leary
Header image: Understory cover art, by Guy Warley.