When You Wish...........
When You Wish..... was streamed on You Tube on August 29th with the opportunity to watch the Moon which happened to be in conjunction with Jupiter as well as Saturn that evening. There will be future full-moon streamings.
This is the original invitation................
When You Wish…………..
I have asked people to send me long single notes, drones or recordings of found sounds that are long single or repetitive sounds.
These sounds will be collected and arranged to re-create ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ from the soundtrack of film, Pinocchio. I have slowed this piece down so that it lasts 57 minutes; this will allow me to organize these long notes. The piece will subsequently be sped back up to become a collection of many peoples’ contributions.
I would like these sounds to reflect your sense of belonging and community at this time (during Lockdown). This might be reflected in how you play/sing the note or perhaps the source of any recorded found sound hold these connotations for you. I would like to present the work alongside a photograph of yourself with a short sentence saying how these sounds reflect your feelings.
If you are local (Bristol), I can come and record your sound(s) from a safe distance (outside), just get in touch and let me know.
You can send your recordings by We Transfer to and e-mail me with your comments and photographs or to let me know that you would like me to come and record you. Please, if possible, indicate what is the pitch of the sound you have sent.
Many thanks, Richard Hughes
I saw your request on the EY music page on Facebook.
A great project !
I play in a band called The Drones www.dronesmusic.net and drones are dear to my heart.
We have droned together on Zoom during the lockdown but, good though it was to do something together the sound was unlistenable.
I have sent you a recording of me droning in D on my guitar.
This stands for all my many attempts at music making and Deep Listening with various people during the lockdown and how the connection was there even if the sound wasn’t.
All the best.
This long quivering bending note that takes my breath and sends my breath
This modulating purring, this tone cupped and hollowed inside my hands, crooning with a pulse...
In the pit of my belly,
Then excavated scooped and Squeezed out of this metallic thrumming Reed like a spring
And released like a thrilling bird…. thrilled… yes... yes
From this pocket size, Harmonica....
My shepherds reed..
I see it.... humming buzzing and throbbing as it leaves my throat…. exclaiming….whisht…
And passes trembling through the air
A willing commotion....launching, raising whiskers pleasuring the hairs
on my skin...
This long fruity swollen note…like a sobbing cry,
a yelping whoop is a yearning note reaching out
across to loved ones and friends far and near,
to hold them close to look in deep their eyes and hearts…and
perhaps also a Wordless questioning... to ask whispering,
‘how have you been? and how are you now?
How you been, now….’tis…was….Tongue tied lament….untied,
hushed, shtoom, muted tight-lipped
blowing a full raspberry down a brass tube loosening my lips,
kissable notes crackling, rustling bubbling…..hiss…hissing…buzzing….buzz saw rhythm sucking blowing sucking….
In my mind.... for moments... I sense
My breath churning in a constant never ending cycling buzzing vibrating wheel of a Hurdy Hurdy...
and…an eternally long circular breath from a bagpipe reed….
then.....from the rasping hollow of a forest of didgeridoos
convulsive flowing as a long river threading….
through hot dry deserts from its source…
smoothing rocks endlessly into pebbles.... to join the huge thundering seas.... those stronger currents….
then riding huge waves in a storm that slowly sighs and flattens ....
And..... and... and.... I’ve been carried away
I’m Carried away….
I’m carried back to my own breathing.... to my own breath....
And all of this... makes my eyes water...
This long quivering bending note…. that takes my breath and sends my breath…..
Luci Gorell Barnes
My sense of home and belonging is partly about place, but much more about being with you. This is your electric razor in the morning. You are in your dressing gown and I am sitting with a cup of coffee you've made for me. x
Here's two contributions to your 'Wish' project - which sounds great.The first in a constant Coffee Grinder 'Drone', the second a Coffee Grinder 'Pulse' I believe both are in F (according to the xylophone chimes).The Coffee Grinder has been a vital part of Lockdown for me. We have chosen to grind our own beans as it permeates the flat with the delicious smell of coffee - Italian, French, Blue Mountain, Java. I love my blue Mocha pot to perc it in on the hob and we froth the milk in a Cafetiere - as shown by an Italian friend in Rome- the pump action gets a real froth on without the added water of steam.The promise of 'proper' coffee for me signals some degree of civility wherever I am.
As I type this the Magpie rattling outside is the same pace as the pulse - so I might try and capture that as well. Thanks Colin
Joseph Elliott Trudgen
Nice to be involved a lockdown project - just got my amp fixed - nice to have a play through it. Look forward to hearing the finished project
Work.......... jealousy, the sound of someone working.........above, in this upside down world.
A sense of blissful, bucolic calm punctuated by occasional stings of reality.
Have fun with these recordings.
Here's a low C on my tenor (Bb concert) plus another where it goes up with overtones.
Playing regular exercises on the tenor has kept me sane during this lockdown period. Can't be sure if it has helped my wife or neighbours, no complaints yet though.
My Lockdown community outside of the house has been my musical friends in the Hail Jamaica Band, C-Jam and the Bristol Reggae Orchestra and beyond:
regular phone call check-ups;
a hard-core 2 hour rehearsal programme from Iain Ballamy, including many long tones like this one, with 3 vibrato styles;
online recording of riffs and solos;
fortnightly Zoom meetings, including an hilarious yet disastrous attempt at a jam session;
my online introduction to improvisation developed into 2 marathon video edits, both leading to short solos from over 20 members;
a Zoom meet up with a Birminham based community Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors
and the sad phone calls for 10 nights to the BRI Covid 19 Intensive Care Unit and the eventual death of my alto-playing king of ska and Jamaican cuisine, Junior Hines
During lock-down I've had moments of deep desperate boredom - this note reflects that sense of no direction!
That noise; I like it because it is half happy and half sad - happy because you get to spend more time with your family and sad because you can't meet anyone or go anywhere.
Thinking about the sound of this time - it is actually in this space - it's about the sounds of this garden and the children at the school and the accordion and the bees that have been the soundtrack. It's like a container spaciousness. I mean, we've spent a lot of time indoors and having this space has helped it feel not oppressive. It's given it a rhythm and just listening this morning to the automobile sounds - the cars coming back is oppressive. I wish these sounds were not on the recordings. I love those human sounds. I'd like to see the car reduction sustained.
I've been doing vocal stuff every day - that's really helped - it's a kind of meditation really. It has helped me to connect with the universe and make me feel not so alone. When you live on your own, you have to find the ways of supporting the foundation of yourself. It's easy to get into self-doubt. You question what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Hi Richard, here is a long disjointed D drone on my new Korg MS20. I bought it just before lockdown intending to learn synthesis from scratch. Little did I know that I would be presented with the opportunity to do exactly that, though in circumstances I could hardly have imagined! My feelings oscillated between frantic worry about the fact that my entire family were seperated around the country and overseas, and that I was stuck in Bristol... to guilty enjoyment in being able to dedicate much more time to music writing/playing/recording etc, than I usually manage due to work. I often bemoan my work-to-music ratio and crave more time.....but not like this!
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me Yeah, ooooooooooh and I'm feelin' good! -this was playing the moment Lorelei entered the world three days before lockdown. Picture is us burying her placenta under a hazel tree.
My “found sound” was a the dawn chorus recorded in April. While humanity was in lockdown due to plague situation nature was in full swing and benefiting from less human activity. This had special significance for me. The Atmospheric sound of the Dm drone on synth added an ethereal feel to the bird song that suggested a spiritual/divine element to the whole covid strangeness of being in lockdown while nature flourishes.
"You only realise how much you have when it's taken away."
“The blend of acoustic and effected sounds reflect the blurred lines between the intensive periods of time I’ve spent working within the brief and transient communities and the local community where I live. Whilst I miss my work the lockdown has brought me closer to my local community and given me lots of time with my son, both of which I am grateful for."
Livia Sokolaki Philips
Lockdown has been hard
keeping schoolwork on track,
trying to travel but there is
one bright side. Which is playing the piano, violin and most of all THE FRENCH HORN!
I play quite a lot of instruments but those are my favourites.
My community is pretty entertaining I never get bored! All my friends and family are so supportive, kind, funny and playfull
But all my friends and family find me eXTREMELY entertaining.
Sophie Wilsdon (and Jago Nicholas Wilsdon - Horne)
This is my current favourite white noise track, mainly because it's 11 hours long... I don't think it matters which bit you sampled...!
'Since becoming a mum, I've discovered the wonder of white noise for helping my baby get to sleep. White noise replicates the whooshing sound of the womb that he became accustomed to for 9 months, and now seems to help him to relax and stay asleep at night. For me it reminds me of being on a plane, and that no mans land / strange temporary other reality that you access when you're on a flight.'
good luck with the project
This is the sound of my clippers. Cutting my own hair is a skill I’ve had to learn in lockdown and I have improved since the start. The barbers I normally go to is very busy so getting a haircut would normally take a whole afternoon, but now it takes 15 minutes.
Belonging and community:
We put our desires to one side, we pull together, we give joy.
These sounds, played on violin through an octave pedal into a small homemade valve amp, represent the spirit of musical exploration and freedom that I've been trying to encourage in myself.
Too often my work has been tailored to what my colleagues need, but in this time of isolation I have found the liberty to make whatever music I please. This is healthy!
I feel more connected than ever in this bizarre time in our lives.
I hear that sweet Whats App. tune/riff/?? and I smile.
It signals there are photos to enjoy, videos, often hilarious, often moving, sometimes with a very serious message.
Messages from friends and family and perhaps a friend you haven't been in touch with for years.
In times of crisis, people reach out.
This is a time of community, coming together and connectedness.
One of my favourite songs from the theatre group I started a long time ago, the Jezebelles. We still sing it.
A celebration of women's breasts 'Mammary Glands'.
We need to sing, celebrate our bodies as women, continue to worship our beautiful breasts whatever is happening and play, perform and sing wherever we can.
We would be a dull society without theatre, dance, film etc.
It is the lifeblood of our country.
Save the Arts
I recorded my note on a Kong Volca Keys, having become a little obsessed with mini synths over the past few months. I normally use headphones, and that slightly remote sense of private listening has been in part my soundtrack for lockdown. You can also hear my clock in the background, which has been a constant part of my life since childhood. I don’t hear it any more, and forget to stop it when making recordings.
Walter the Caretaker
Makita DHP 459
The sound of hope that even in lockdown two pieces of timber can still meet and marry together.
These are two sounds I've been hearing regularly for the last few months - machinery from the farm on the next hill when it's dry and bright, and the lighthouse foghorn going off a few miles away when there's mist or mizzle. You can't set your watch by either, but the right weather will always bring them drifting across. Their familiarity feels like home.
I've spent long periods of time alone over the last months, so I made some vocal recordings to overlay, making several voices, and now I have company!
I also recorded very breathy sound qualities very close to the microphone, as I think this intimacy is potentially poignant and unsettling in 2020.
David Insua Cao
Lockdown in a narrowboat, in a new town, has shown the strength of community during the pandemic. We’ve gotten to know people by talking to them from the boat, across the canal, dog walking, volunteering and kneeling for nine minutes, silently, in the square as a community. This photo was taken by Nic Chapman as part of her Eleven Weeks lockdown artists project, also a community project. The recording of my electric coolbox fan relates to the feeling of belonging to the world of slightly cooler foods and beverages. I’d bought it the day I recorded it.
I often record and harmonise with more industrial sounding drones but in the time of lock-down during the recent pandemic I found myself in the Somerset countryside after a breakup where I was lucky enough to catch Spring’s fleeting moment and take time to walk in the woods and hills. The constantly changing landscape, streams and birdsong were a welcome antidote and allowed me to forget myself and remember the bigger picture of the wilds that I explored and enjoyed as a kid. Many of the sounds I hear in the natural world are like questions left unanswered or a stream of questions being answered and never resolved. There is something both present and passing in the flow of water and the playful fervor of chirping birds can offer some hope for a species faced with extinction. If huge angry lumbering lizards can evolve into these angels that have mastered flight and song maybe there is some hope for the rest of us and not all is lost. I hope these sounds bring something to this piece of music while we wish upon an exploded star beaming light through space forever.
With special thanks to Robert Green who did a fantastic job transcribing the piece.
supported by Arts Council England, Peshkar, #crisiscommissions