Visual Sequence, also known as Rhiannon B. is a visual and sound artist, living and working in Coventry (the birthplace of Delia Derbyshire). It’s hard to believe that this collection of four perfectly-mastered pieces, inspired by the different states of sea mist, is her first official release.
The composer used primarily the Lyra 8 & Pulsar 23 analog synthesizers. The delightfully capricious nature of these instruments, developed by SOMA Laboratory, injects an organic component into the music. Immerse yourself in the splendid and mysterious soundscapes, which are adorned with profound textures, ethereal atmospheres, and emotional harmonies.
Really sad to hear the news today of the death of Chris Huggett last week. Co-founder of Electronic Dream Plant (EDP) and founder of Oxford Synthesiser Company (OSC), he went on to work for Akai and Novation on truly groundbreaking instruments.
Products from EDP included the Wasp, which used digital oscillators and analog filters and envelopes. This theme continued when he set up OSC on what still is one of my favourite synths of all time, the OSCar. I was lucky enough to buy one of the last ones ever made, back in the mid-eighties. But when my Polytechnic grant ran out a couple of years later I had to sell it. Fortunately, I replaced it a few years ago with another late model. Not only a great sounding synth, but an incredible design. I absolutely love it, and still dream of the polyphonic version!
Chris then went to work for Akai, taking his knowledge of digital oscillators to the development of their samplers. He went on to work for Novation, notably on their BassStation and Supernova synths.
Chris Huggett is not the most widely known name in synthesiser history, but the products he helped development surely are. A great legacy.
“The idea within the music was to create the feeling of the wings movement. The energy behind flight for a bird. I want the listener to have the feeling of flying. I want to convey the feeling I get when geese fly overhead. The energy and effort that the body experts. Each wing forcing the air while the body makes gentle sounds like an accordion. I have ignored many aspects of time and tempo. Inspired by Satie to ignore and eliminate the bar lines. There is no strict tempo, no pulse, no defined time signature. The birds sing all together but have little time or inclination to listen to each other much. As they are all too busy shouting for their own space in the world. The dawn chorus is a melee of songs and rhythms from all our garden birds. Some have flown hundreds of miles to be with us. Others are our native garden friends like the Blackbirds and the Robins. There is no real time signature in this piece. It is all Tempo Rubato, with no end. Just the same way a bird would sing. The phrases are sometimes short and sometimes long. Some parts are in 12/8 others in 3/4 some are 9/8 and 4/4 or 5/4. All together they make a polyrhythm reflecting the birds at the dawn chorus. As no one teaches the birds time signatures or key relationships, they just sing over each other repeating themselves.
I followed in the footsteps of Erik Satie by ignoring bar lines and conventions of time too. Nothing really has a time signature in the piece. Everything individually has, but over all it is a chaos of polyrhythms. This is again deliberate as I wanted to simulate the growing of the dawn into the light and then evaporating away like a dream. Also birds have no sense of time signatures when they sing together they just sing. I didn’t want a set rhythm or time to the piece because birds don’t sing to a set pulse, nor are they conducted in anyway to be together musically. Despite this it is a beautiful wonder of nature. They are not thinking about 4/4 or 6/8, they just belt it out. The melee of music that is the dawn chorus is everyone singing all the favourite melodies at once. All the varied rhythms and lengths, everything predefined by what the birds can utter. But all as one too. I wanted to recreate musically the sound of birds flying. The effort and strain they exertion for each moment of flight. Along with the feeling of oneness too.
The EMS Synthi AKS and Korg Delta were loaned by Ian Campbell at synthcurious.com, he also added some fine touches to the big wing sounds himself.”