December: Strategies and Tours

We not only survived Europe – we succeeded – which was never expected or given. There’s been a long history of disinterest that followed on early disaster: but it does seem time heals all wounds.

Anecdotes from the tour are accumulating here.

So the talk is now of further touring in Europe, to be combined in some way with visits to North America. Not a simple thing, much scheduling is involved. Our main agent is now based in Los Angeles, hopefully for a coordinated result at least in the USA and Canada. We are receiving a wide variety of offers, they can’t all be taken up. If you are someone that would like to set up a live show better make contact nowtte at sevcom.com

As with the last tour, I must be shy with the details until they are locked in – more shy this time as there’s quite a lot of wrangling.

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Sydney gig with Itch-E & Scratch-E in February

Touring is easy to summarise; research and development not so much. Here’s whats going on in regard to Severed Heads – the museum stuff.

Surround: Earlier this year I remade a couple of videos in surround vision. But they only had stereo sound. The longer objective is to provide both sound and vision. This has a longer strategic purpose, but in the short term an idea is to resurrect and update the Sevcom Music Server series. This was a series of four CDs made 1998 – 2004 which were then licensed for the soundtrack of The Illustrated Family Doctor. A further CD was made in a limited run and then the project shelved.

As a ‘server’ the music should really be available as a service. It also has the texture that allows it to be developed as virtual environments. Two aspects that would work well with YouTube’s spatial sound technology (for example). Reworking the material to be ambisonic is proving a good test of technology, but a new volume 6 designed to be ‘ambientsonic’ in design is the priority.

Video: New shows mean new videos. We are introducing new songs and remaking some old ones. The current R&D is about the fabric from which the video is apparently made. There’s wider questions being addressed here – why vinyl and film is revered – why video synthesis is thought more authentic when done in hardware – what practical creative use this materiality can offer. I’m damned if I want to use Polaroids and Super 8 to make my clips, but I do want to play with the implications.

The desire to ‘improve’ video to look like film has never gone away, but a greater variety of experimental processes were available back in the New Media era – or at least tools that expressed a wider variety of ideas were on offer. I’ve had to go back to old versions of software to be able to do much of my exploration. For example the current version of Photoshop is 64 bit, it can’t work with plugins from 90’s/00’s. Some can work on 32 bit, more require 16 bit software on a virtualised machine. The further back you go, the stranger and less tame the results. Effects have become gentrified as they have entered mainstream culture – there’s a bit of archeology involved.

Aversion album: We had promised to make an merchandise only album of cover versions for this year’s tour – that’s now set for next year. It’s not finished but a few tracks are likely to appear in shows coming up early in 2017.

Acetates: There’s some talk about a follow up to Cheerio Inner Moon, we’re both keen on it, but coming up with ‘authentic’ material in keeping with that (very spontaneous) release is not easy, and we will take as long as required to not suck. I’m sure you can appreciate that. Meanwhile the last acetate is becoming silly prices 🙂

Holy shit this tour is actually happening.

STOP PRESS – PLEASE ADVISE ON BEER

Just saw on a Facebook page that the Los Angeles gig has sold out. To me this is like the grim reaper popping in the door and saying NO I’M NOT HERE FOR A CUPPA. Grim reaper?

THE SEVENTH SEAL, Bengt Ekerot, 1957, death
No I’m not here for a cuppa.

Well look there’s a certain comfort in being a small target, and we have been such a very small target for a long time that it’s been quite cosy. I have no idea why any group of people would be at all interested. But they are. I feel like I am drawn to walk up to people and sob BUT WHY? WHY ARE YOU HERE? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? WHY DAMN YOU! Like a bad episode of a British Science Fiction show or something.

(I have to explain I am also pretty sick with fever right now and so running on ‘a different way of seeing’ that I’m going to regret in a day or so).

Anyway we are putting together some merchandise. Look at this:

KNIVES-photo-of-sample-2-lores

It’s based on the Australian Hot With Fleas sleeve. Look, the knives go over the edges. Have you any idea how damn expensive it is to do that? I do. We are talking classy. Of course we’ll have a few cheaper ones.

I also want to have a live album. You download it, but you can only get the code at the show. It’s like an Xmas card, but instead of Grandma’s $10 note there’s an access code. I’d love to have a SH snow globe but, luggage, y’know.

Oh yeah the new vinyl too.

Never done merchandise like this before. It feels so authentically USA.