hello from David McFarlane + 👂🏻sounds like
some news / some events / some reviews
I’ve been thinking about starting a newsletter sort of thing for a while now
If you’re reading this:
you will have already put the puzzle pieces together to realise that this is it. It’s in front of you right now. This is that newsletter
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Here’s what to expect:
things I’m up to
bits of writing about music/tech/art etc.
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Some February Events happening in Manchester
Some things I liked in January
Some February Events
I’ve got two events coming up, and it would be lovely to see you there if you’re around Manchester!
One is an event preview and panel discussion:
🕹 Only A Game
📍 HOME, Manchester
📆 February 25th + 26th
and the other is a gig that I’m playing in and I’m really excited about:
🎷 Pierre Flasse Ensemble
📍The Carlton Club
📆 February 28th
More info below…
Only a Game
At the end of March, I’m taking part in an AI art festival in Bangalore called FutureFantastic, organised by BeFantastic and FutureEverything. I’m involved in two projects – Asthir Gehrayee, which is an interactive installation all about climate change and plankton, and the other is Only A Game, which is (can you see a trend?) an interactive installation all about climate change, in the form of a game people can play by moving their body around.
For Asthir Gehrayee I’m making an interactive interface which controls the music and visuals by tracking people’s faces, using Max.
For Only A Game I’m writing the music and sound designing, which is (fingers crossed, please god) MUCH more straightforward.
Bangalore is very, very far away, but this preview on February 25th + 26th is very, very close to my house, at HOME in Manchester.
There’s going to be a prototype of Only A Game and one of the other projects on display for people to have a go with.
I’m talking about both the projects I’m involved with on a panel discussion at 3pm on the 25th, come hear!
Pierre Flasse is a fantastic composer, and he’s been writing some beauuuutiful music. I’ll be helping him play it as part of his band at The Carlton Club on February 28th:
Pierre Flasse himself on trombone
Tom Drew on saxophone/clarinet
Will Shaw on drums
Claire Cope on keyboards
Dan Springate on cello/electric bass
me on electric mandolin/electric guitar/bouzouki
what does it sound like? oh god good question
I called this newsletter sounds like after the charades signal because it’s about sounds, music, sounds I like, things I like, things that sound like other things, etc., but now I’m at the point of describing some sounds and I’ve come over all unsure–whenever anyone asks I’ve said ‘I’m playing electric mandolin in a contemporary jazz ensemble’, which is, both at once, incredibly specific, and telling you barely anything about what the experience of listening will be
As you can see from the instruments it’s not the most standard lineup (I am particularly excited someone’s writing me some music for mandolin and bouzouki), but at various points it sounds:
there’s a bit that really reminds me of Fleetwood Mac
there are at least two bits that remind me of the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack
there’s one entire piece that I think sounds like an 80’s cop show, but it’s in 13/8 time, so if you watch closely when I play it I am muttering ‘ONE-two-three-four-five-six-ONE-two-three-four-five-six-SEVEN’ over and over for the entire piece
Pierre, if you’re reading this, you are welcome for this first review of your music, feel free to put it on the album sleeve
I am really delighted that our first gig is at Brume, a monthly gig in Manchester for new and experimental music, including all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff – all the info here:
SOME QUICKFIRE REVIEWS FROM JANUARY
🎬 The Menu: didn’t realise this was a comedy until halfway through, when I did I enjoyed it a lot more. It should have committed one way or the other to being a comedy or not, it sort of lands inbetween in a way that doesn’t quite work either way, overall a good watch I thought
🎬 Triangle of Sadness: like The Menu (‘aren’t rich people bad at being rich?’) but much better
🎬 Tár: What IS that app they keep using that has texts AND video calling at the same time?
App aside: Cate Blanchett is very very good, it was a long film but held my interest the whole time, and I agree totally with its central message – composers and conductors are all, with no exceptions, terrible people (only joking (some of them are alright))
🎬 Aftersun: god how have did I see four entire films in January? I thought this was really beautifully shot, very subtle, DID make me well up a bit, would recommend
📚 Leonard and Hungry Paul: My friend Ellen who reads more books than nearly anyone I know recommended this to me, and she was so right to, what a lovely, funny, beautiful book about very little happening
📺 The Sopranos: God I’m late to the game here, shocked to discover it’s as good as everyone says, I have not shut up about it
📨 Dramaturgy Of Autumn: This is a piece of writing by my friend James Varney, a writer/dramaturg/theatre maker in Manchester. As with the rest of his writing it’s twisty and interesting and weird, and blends together lots of topics to make a delicious chunky soup about theatre, spiders, workshops, and a useless, revolting future
📨 Lizzie Wrote This: Towards the end of last year my friend Lizzie started a newsletter of ‘occasional musings on cooking, eating, reading and drifting through Brussels, not always in that order’. I particularly liked her writing on coffee, a subject close to my heart, but seeing as these are January reviews, here’s her January post on coffee cake. Equal parts (🍰) practical, thoughtful, thought-provoking:
Alright that’s all for now, tune in next time for more sounds, more things I like, more things that sound like other things, 👋🏻 bye!
p.s. if you aren’t subscribed already:
This is such an exciting development! Welcome to the club, and thanks for the shoutout 💜 I also had the exact same app-based bemusement watching Tár!
Congrats on the first edition and I am already looking forward to the next!