I have been thinking – I have been thinking that I would like to be a patron of the arts. But, the way I have gone about this is to become a facilitator of the arts more than a patron.

Yes, it would be great in cramming my pokey flat with original artwork such as photographs, paintings and collages. However, that would be a bit too self-serving for me. Whilst I have no gripe with other people doing this, I would like to invest my money in the artist rather than their work.

So, I started a music label.

My music label is called Focused Silence and can be found at www.focusedsilence.com – I have about 17 releases on it which is not bad considering the amount of time it has been active (couple of weeks). Most of the albums are transplanted from a doomed label called Artapes Productions – It seemed fitting I give them my full attention now that they have a new home. The label, Focused Silence, deals in Free Music and Field Recordings.

Well, I hear you cry, what the hell is Free Music & Field Recordings?

Field recording is the term used for an audio recording produced outside a recording studio, and the term applies to recordings of both natural and human-produced sounds.

Field recording of natural sounds, also called phonography (a term chosen to illustrate its similarities to photography), was originally developed as a documentary adjunct to research work in the field, and foley work for film. With the introduction of high-quality, portable recording equipment, it has subsequently become an evocative artform in itself. In the 1970s, both processed and natural phonographic recordings, (pioneered by Irv Teibel’s environments series), became popular.

“Field recordings” may also refer to simple monaural or stereo recordings taken of musicians in familiar and casual surroundings, such as the ethnomusicology recordings pioneered by John Lomax.

cropped-the-parish-news-square-1024x1024.jpgFree time is a type of musical meter free from musical time and time signature. It is used when a piece of music has no discernible beat. Instead, the rhythm is intuitive and free-flowing. In standard musical notation, there are five ways in which a piece is indicated to be in free time:

  1. There is simply no time signature displayed. This is common in old vocal music such as Gaelic psalms.
  2. There is no time signature but the direction ‘Free time’ is written above the stave.
  3. There is a time signature (usually 4/4) and the direction ‘Free time’ written above.
  4. The word FREE is written downwards across the stave. This is mostly used when the piece changes to free time after having had a time signature.
  5. Instead of a time signature, a large X is written on the stave.

Examples of musical genres based around free time include free improvisation, free jazz and noise music.

The artwork for the label is all done by myself and is quite good – there is a link to the focused silence artwork album here. The albums of music are released on CD and the Field Recording albums are as high quality downloads – it seems a lot of fun.

A part of the label that I am immensely proud of is the radio show associated with the label – I call the radio show The Parish News and it is where I get to pretend to be on Radio Caroline. The format of the show has a lot to be desired, at the minute it is just me quickly rabbiting on between links. However, I hope I grow in to the show and that I become a ‘natural’. A link to listen to The Parish News is here. I am trying to syndicate the show to as many stations as possible – at the moment I have interest from FM Stations in Todmorden & Glasgow and a Digital Station in the South West of England. It really is fun.


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