Harbour Fireworks (Bonfire Night Version)

We're pleased to share this video that accompanies an edit of one of the tracks that appears on our forthcoming Random Spectacular project.

Harbour Fireworks is taken from Concrete Antenna, a sound installation and 12" deluxe vinyl album package exploring the past, present and imagined future of Newhaven in Edinburgh. Much of the sonic palette for this track is derived from recordings of firework displays in the area. Find out more about the track

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Ultramarine on Northey Island

In early July 2015, Random Spectacular No. 2 contributors Ultramarine played live on Northey Island, a National Trust property in the Blackwater estuary, off Maldon, Essex.

Although the island is generally leased to private tenants, once a year the Trust takes back the island for Castaway, a wild camping experience.

Music has always been an important aspect of the Castway weekends and this year Ultramarine (Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond) performed a live set (accompanied by saxophonist Greg Heath) which included Decoy Point, a track from their 2013 album This Time Last Year, which was inspired by the Blackwater landscape.

You can listen to three of the tracks performed live below.

To find out more about the duo, visit the Ultramarine website. You might also enjoy Ian Coooper's Survey East journal.

LTM Recordings have also reissued a number of early Ultramarine releases.

Thanks to Ultramarine's Ian Cooper and LTM's James Nice for the photographs included here.

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Brita Granström and Mick Manning

Monday 27th April 2015 sees the opening of two exhibitions at Edinburgh's Open Eye Gallery from our friends Brita Granström and Mick Manning.

In Sea Salt and Sour Dough, Brita will present a series of paintings capturing intimate, everyday moments inspired by her home life and the landscapes of the Scottish Borders. Playful and charming paintings which reflect her creativity in all aspects of her life.

'Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location both indoors and outdoors in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.’

For his Beasts of Scotland exhibition, Mick Manning has created a series of unique pochoir prints, created using hand-cut stencils, stippling and block printing.

Born in Yorkshire, Mick studied at Bradford, Newcastle and then the Royal College of Art. Having spent a number of years teaching artists including Mark Hearld at Glasgow School of Art, Mick now devotes him time to his illustration projects and printmaking activities.

Both exhibitions run from 27th April to 11th May 2015 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.

If you're unable to visit, we have a good selection of Mick Manning prints available from our online gallery.

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Rescuing The Washing Brita Granström

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Vintage Plates Brita Granström

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The Letter Brita Granström

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Parrot Tulips Brita Granström

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Setting The Table Brita Granström

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Peregrine Over Edinburgh Mick Manning

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Golden Eagle Mick Manning

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Grey Seal Mick Manning

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Lurcher Pup Mick Manning

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Surface Tension

Writer, artist and musician Rob St. John (who contributed to our Random Spectacular No. 2 journal) has announced details of his latest project, Surface Tension.

In summer 2014, Ben Fenton, project manager of the ‘Fixing Broken Rivers’ campaign run by London freshwater conservation charity Thames 21, got in touch with Rob. Ben had an unusual commission in mind: could Rob design a project drawing from both art and science to creatively explore and document pollution along London’s River Lea?

Almost a year later, and the project – Surface Tension – is finished, resulting in an album of new music and field recordings taken along the Lea; a book of writing and photographs documenting the Lea Valley and the creative processes in Surface Tension; and an exhibition of film photographs from the project at Stour Space, Hackney Wick, London (E3 2PA) throughout April 2015.

In late summer, Rob walked most of the length of the Lea – one of Britain’s most polluted rivers – wearing holes into the soles of his shoes as he made field recordings with binaural microphones (which look like cheap headphones, but capture a 360 degree soundscape around your head), underwater hydrophones and contact mics. At the same time, he took film photographs on both a vintage 120 camera and a 35mm pinhole camera made from a Lesney toy matchbox (the Lesney factory was on the river at Hackney Wick).

Rob’s work has always had a foot in both art and science: working with sound, photography and natural processes in ways that are both experimental and accessible. In 2011 he released a critically acclaimed LP ‘Weald’; in 2013 the Water of Life collaboration with Tommy Perman; in 2014 the Bastard Mountain LP; and in 2015 Surface Tension and a sound installation Concrete Antenna at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Surface Tension is released in April on limited edition CD, housed in a beautiful book of Rob’s photographs and writing, designed by Tommy Perman.

Find out more about the project and order a copy of the limited edition CD.

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Blackford Hill

It was a bracing day in Edinburgh today. But still managed our (more or less) daily walk up to the top of Blackford Hill.

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Time on Speyside

We've been working up on Speyside for a while and have managed to find some time to enjoy the landscape.

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Emily Sutton at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Saturday 15th November 2014 sees the opening of 'Town and Country', Emily Sutton's major solo exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The exhibition will feature a wide range of one-off watercolours, limited edition prints and a flock of hand painted and embroidered birds.

Based in York, Emily has worked with many distinguished clients around the world, illustrating books for the Victoria & Albert Museum, Faber and Faber, Random House, Penguin and Walker Books and undertaking commissions for brands such as Hermes, Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s of Harrogate.

We're delighted to include Emily's designs within the St Jude's range of fabrics - her Curiosity Shop fabric won the 'Best British Pattern' category in the Elle Decoration British Design Awards in 2011.

'Town and Country' coincides with the publication of Transferware Treasures, a limited edition hand-bound foldout book of the artist’s watercolours of Victorian transferware, published by Fleece Press.

Find out more about the exhibition in the short film below and via the Yorkshire Sculpture Park website. The exhibition runs until 22nd February 2015.

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