The Creative Space is a personal space for current projects, ideas and previous artworks. I also have a strong interest in electronic music related to vintage synthesizers and have started a blog called The Synth Room
3/2016: The Basement Shots-30 second exposure Photographic experiments below the house with a Canon EOS Rebel and an exposure of 30 secs
5/2015: AKAI GX-630D Reel to Reel - Monoprint Large monoprint (3' x 5') completed in sections using black (block) ink on thick white paper
7/2014: Electronically '79 - Rhythm 77-79 (audio) My latest synthesized offering is now complete and up and running via my ReverbNation account. By no means perfect or completely polished but otherwise, I am quite pleased with the results. I may revisit the tune in the near future or even add some lyrics. Under my 'musician' name of Electronically '79, the tune 'Rhythm 77-79' is a pretty straightforward and familiar sounding slice of period-piece synthpop (Circa late 1970's). All instruments used are of course analogue machines from the period. I have used:
Roland TR-77 Yamaha CS-10 Yamaha SK-20 Crumar T1 (bass section) + general reverb effects, MXR Phaser 100 + chorus unit.
The title is inspired by the Roland TR-77 otherwise known as Rhythm 77.
6/2014: Hong Kong Short (audio) This piece was originally done a few years as a soundtrack to a short super 8 film about Hong Kong. Decided to give the audio a 2014 make-over by adding a few synth textures (Yamaha SK20/MXR Phase 100) and a Tangerine Dream-style appegiated end sequence. Also features on my (ReverbNation) Electronically '79 site.
6/2014: Work in Progress Currently engaged in the making of a series of mixed-media pieces based upon looped fragments of film and 'lost' home movies. For these pieces I have perfected an image-transfer technique. The process involves the application of clear gesso to the image side of a inkjet/laser print. I have reached the point where most of the photographic image bleeds into the canvas. Robert Rauschenberg used a similar process (using solvents) to transfer media images to his mixed media compositions. However, it often looks as if I have simply stuck a print on top of the canvas surface.
The basic idea for each piece is to combine all the mixed-media elements to create a static but film loop as if it were an endless, repeating film projection. The images are mostly taken from my very own collection of other peoples home movies. I simply begin by looking through (digitised) film and pause/extract frames that are interesting or stand-out for some reason. Here of some examples.
The piece entitled 'High Rise' is based upon the writings of JG Ballard. Nothing original there of course but thought it was about time I did my own personal but ever-so-slightly borrowed take on the highly influential/controversial author.
'Nairn Restored' is about the late journalist, broadcaster and outspoken critic of postwar modernism and is actually printed/painted on a plaster- based surface. Ian Nairn. A close friend (Dan) introduced me to this engaging but troubled and rather gouche character earlier this year through the BBC documentary The Man Who Fought the Planners: The Story of Ian Nairn (2014) and selected episodes of Nairn's Travels (1970) and Nairn Across Britain (1972). I have been captivated ever since.
A couple more additions to add to the collection of works in progress. The first one 'White Car in Germany' is based on a couple of frames taken from an anonymous 1970's super 8 home movie of a couple traveling around Germany. The title is also inspired by the Associates 1981 synth classic of the same name. The second piece recreates a sequence from a 1960's home movie of a smartly dressed woman opening the door of a vehicle.
4/2013: Love Letter to Delia Derbyshire (audio) Made in celebration of BBC Radiophonic Workshop composer, Delia Derbyshire. Regarded by many as a pioneer of electronic music through non-synthesizer means. Derbyshire was the master of the painstaking method of manipulating recorded tone through the cutting and splicing of audio tape. Delia's best known work is of course the original Doctor Who theme (1963). Essential viewing: BBC Radiophonic Workshop - The Alchemists of Sound (2003) and essential reading: Special Sound: The Creation and Legacy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
4/2013: Paintings from the 1980's Unearthed these long-forgotten Polaroids of paintings from around 1987-88. Painted these about a year after graduating from Stourbridge College of Art. The exterior shot is a run-down workshop/studio that I used in Newquay.
3/2013: Sheffield State Human Looking back at the Human League/Sheffield documentary that Dan, Lee and myself did just over a year ago. All music by Electronically'79 /mike barker
1/2013: Making of an Astronaut (audio) An original electronic composition that was included in the ARRIS /Chris Hadfield event