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  • Muriel Howorth: Atomic gardener

    The Odditorium is a compendium of eccentrics, trickers, deviants and obsessives, many of whom are largely unacknowledged in the usual histories of science, politics and the arts. This book has been compiled…

  • Hugo - Spacedog's robotic vent doll

    Ventriloquism: Unheimlich Manoeuvres

    Published online by Wire Magazine (June 2014), Unheimlich Manoeuvres  is a short essay on ventriloquism and the uncanny. It’s illustrated with videos of many fine ventriloquists including Ray Alan, Arthur Worsley and…

  • Material Culture and Electronic Sound

    Material Culture and Electronic Sound is edited by Tim Boon and Frode Weium, with a forward by Brian Eno. Published by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (2013), this is the eighth book in…

  • Reprint of Daphne Oram’s ‘An Individual Note’

    Funded by the Daphne Oram Trust, Anomie Academic have republished Daphne Oram’s An Individual Note: of Music, Sound and Electronics – a book that’s been out of print since 1973. This beautiful…

  • Foghorn Requiem

    South Shields meets the sublime

    A report on the Foghorn Requiem When sound escapes the confines of a building, it takes on an unusual caste. At myriad outdoor festivals around the country, we’re in denial about this…

  • Daphne Oram

    Happy Ada Lovelace Day 2011

    This must be how it feels to see a unicorn. Six months ago, I came face to face with a machine I’d read about often but never expected to see. A one-off…

  • The Bird Fancyer’s Delight – background notes

    For those of you who would like to know more about The Bird Fancyer’s Delight, the topic of my recent Radio 4 documentary, here’s a bumper crop of references I’ve found over the last few months. These include transcripts from the British Library, music excerpts, photographs of a serinette and details of contributors to the show. I hope you find them interesting…

  • Stooky Bill

    With jet black eyes and hair singed by the lights of the John Logie Baird’s early televisor, Stooky Bill was the inventor’s ventriloquial sidekick. Stooky’s face appeared as a streaky blob on the second ever televisor image, around 1925. Here’s photographic evidence that Baird had at least two Stooky Bills.

  • Loving the Machine – notes

    Thanks to everyone who came along to TEDx Brighton, January 2011. I had a great time – never knew I could hear so many new ideas in one day. Taking a tip from Antony Mayfield’s inspiring talk on social networks, I’d like to share these links with you all…

  • Music machines in the Science Museum stores

    A trip to the electronic musical instrument collection of the Science Museum stores, during a research trip on electronic sound (March 2010). I was shown around the stores by curators Tim Boon…

  • Play the saw in six weeks

    A brief tutorial on how to play the saw, a European skiffle instrument with a haunting, ethereal sound.