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EP – A triangle is worth two in the hand


A triangle is worth two in the hand is a four-track EP, which explores the heart, nervous system and lungs in electronica. The EP covers a range of techniques, from 100% sampled work (Bird and Dolphin) to tracks made with almost-fully synthesised sound (Elysian Air). 

I first put these pieces together during a break late in my PhD. I generated synthetic ‘breath’ sounds, recorded and cut up percussion samples, and imagined bodily landscapes. I enjoyed the break in thesis-language — especially feeling each track’s sound-world and rhythmic momentum.

ESM-artificial designed the sleeve art work and Kramer mastered the EP. Kramer said he had an emotional response to mastering, which I found interesting. The best place to get the EP is from me, here, because it’s cheaper! It’s also on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify and other online media outlets. Thanks to those supporters who grabbed an earlier mix on BandCamp, this version emerged a little stronger, for 2018! There’ll be more music coming up, including free downloads, so please contact me if you’re into the music. 

Bird and Dolphin~




A triangle is worth two in the hand~


Elysian Air~


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Flute resources

Just updating some flute resources I’ve used recently.

The Virtual Flute — search for alternative fingerings, microtones and multiphonics (more than one sound at a time). For me, the most valuable element, is being able to click on the flute keys. This often brings up a range of multiphonic combinations, such as C#7 & E7 and A#6 & C#7 & E7, with their ease of ‘note distribution’. This is useful for improvisation and composition.

Herbert Lindholm’s Basic Flute Technique is freely available. If you are teaching and need another source to build technique in young to intermediate players, this is a fantastic resource. If you are returning to (advanced) flute playing after a long hiatus, as I’ve been recently, it’s also got a lot of value. There’s a lot of short material besides the scales where you can really tune in to your body, your sound and your body as resonator in tandem with the flute. I usually improvise or play long notes in different registers, but a short whole tone exercise in thirds or octaves, for example, is refreshing, and also disciplines the fingers. As a bonus, Lindholm includes a trill chart for difficult fingerings, tremolando and microtones.

Flute players are often told to ‘support’ their sound with ‘air’, the ‘diaphragm’, the ‘airstream’. But this ‘support’ comment is rarely defined or explained. Perhaps the most detailed understanding I received was from my high school flute teacher, a Buddhist, who gave me a book to read called, “Why Breathe? A Handbook of Illustrated Exercises for Correct Breathing” by Irwin Kellogg (1929). The exercises drew my attention to the role of the chest cavity, the ribs, the lungs, the diaphragm and the abdominals in breathing — inhaling and exhaling. Still, what do we mean by ‘support’ in relationship to flute tone, the process of controlling sound over time, embouchure, and bodily technique? For a more intricate questioning of this, see flutist John Wion’s discussion on breath support (scroll down his sections….).

Regardless of defining support, clearly the body is involved in playing the flute, and I am thankful for flautists such as Jane RiglerRobert Dick, Jennifer Cluff, and Robert Aitken who draw attention to the role of the flautist’s physical body as a resonator. There is more work around these days that looks at how flute players use mechanisms in their bodies that are similar to singers and actors, who engage their vocal chords. This is great because identifying something and breaking it down makes it easier to learn and re-learn.Through conversations with Jane, I’ve also re-considered the Alexander Technique as a strategy for dealing with seizures that sometimes occur when I play the flute.