Red Pools – Corrugate

After a long gestation period, I have finally released the latest Red Pools album on We Are All Ghosts.

Conceived in the manner of a two-‘sided’ release, Corrugate is two expansive tracks, which expand and contract organically using found song, recorded samples, feedback and dense electroacoustic sculpting mediated through a muscular rhythmic pulse

Databending, Glitched images, Raw editing

Over the past couple of years I have been experimenting with creating visual art based on some of my own photos processed using various forms of non-image editing. These processing methods (raw data editing, hex editing, sound processing) and so forth exploit the liminal state between order and disorder in data architecture in image protocols, with small changes omissions and insertions in raw data creating effects on the terms of the literal composition of the digital image itself, rather than by any aesthetic rules or preferences I have.

Creating these images is a matter of ‘Curating’ these glitches, and moderating them inside the preset bounds of the images architecture, so as not to break them.

Full album (a growing collection of the more prominent examples I have developed) here:

All licensed CC BY-SA

DSC_0555 DSC_0558 - Copy (2)

Superdream, Connect ZA, Gateshead, Johannesburg and Jeppe Park

Over the past few months I have been involved in the Superdream project, which has been coordinated by ISIS Arts, The Trinity Session, Sticky Situations, The Swallows Foundation, Gateshead Council and others to produce Art for public spaces in both Gateshead and Jeppestown, Johannesburg and to create links between UK and South African artists.

For the Superdream project I produced digital media art for two events, one in Windmill Hills Park, Gateshead and one in Jeppe Park, Johannesburg. Both areas were ‘undeveloped’, and one of the aims of the interventions in these spaces was to redefine public space through art, technology, innovation and a sense of community.

In Windmill Hills on May 2nd 2014 I presented an interactive audiovisual work, in stages of development.

‘Polyfields’ used four HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensors on an Arduino Mega 2560 programmed in Arduino’s IDE to output the distance of objects from the sensors, and these distances were used by Pd-extended to be the controls for a four channel audio piece, as well as a four channel video piece.

The audio and video data was taken from four sites around the park, both using conventional microphones as well as contact microphones and wall sensor modules, and video was also taken from these four sites – with one sensor representing one ‘site’.

In this way the participants (purposefully or accidentally) would introduce ‘channels’ of video and audio, to create their own experience of this supernormal locus of identity.




I was then invited to go to Johannesburg with ISIS arts and The Trinity Session along with Lucy Carolan, Richard Glynn, Andrea Masala, Marek Gabrysch and Charlotte Gregory to produce work for the Superdream event in Jeppe Park as part of the British Council’s Connect ZA programme.

For this event I presented a redesigned version of my work for Windmill Hills, using material gathered from Jeppe Park, working on collaboration with South African artists Em Kay and KMSN, and re-coded the installation using Max/MSP/Jitter and the NewPing library. The four sensors were nailed to a tree in Jeppe Park and the participants were invited to interact with it as they pleased, again creating their own experience of the artwork, it lying dormant until interaction was detected.




For this event I also created a piece based around a table football table sourced from a workshop next to the park which was close to a state of disrepair. With the help of Marek Gabrysch the table was able to be restored to it’s full working condition, and I augmented the football table with sensors in the goals, as well as small buffers next to the goals to wire the football table for sound, with a small selection panel on the side of the football table, players could select sounds which were triggered by hitting the buffers, and a random ‘Goal!’ sound would be triggered when a goal was scored.

This installation was created using an Arduino Mega 2560 and a Raspberry Pi running Stanford University’s Satellite CCRMA operating system. I designed a patch in Pd-extended interfacing with the Arduino using the Firmata software, which was then run from a headless Raspberry Pi which handled the sound. It was very much a prototype – a bespoke installation for the park.

The installation was very popular with the local children and thanks to some fantastic refereeing by one of the South African artists there were quite a few hotly contested games!









archo data – Video Glitch Art

archo data is a Youtube channel I will be using to upload databent, glitched and wrecked digital videos. These videos are ones that I have edited with brute force methods such as raw data editing and incorrect format processing. 

The results of these edits are ephemeral by their very nature, and will manifest differently for different programs, codecs and platforms. As such, what I upload to YouTube will not be what I see before I upload it. Once databent in this way the videos become linguistic anomalies of the digital world – and are rendered differently by different platforms, and often make the platforms themselves function incorrectly.

I will be uploading to this channel intermittently, whenever I produce these videos I will upload them.

CAUTION: Due to the nature of how glitches are read by video programs, there are often very loud sounds and flashing lights.

Red Pools – Live at Blue Rinse

Here is a video of my recent set at Blue Rinse – playing material from Erasal as well as new tracks.

Filmed and recorded by Gustav Thomas

Aether – ‘the upper pure, bright air’

This video serves as documentation of a composition I wrote with Dario Lozano-Thornton for sine waves and computer controlled strobe. Aether is a 9 minute audiovisual composition, with a score for an arduino-based variable rate and intensity strobe composed based on a composition for pure tones by Dario.

The piece is reflective of demanding physical data extracted from extremely simple conditions – pure frequencies and binary visual states. The audio frequencies due to their nature and spectral placement appear at certain points to be distorting, or coming from multiple sources, however this is not the case, it is simply our ears’ inability to accurately represent that data. Similarly with the strobe light, it is difficult for our eyes (and cameras) to accurately represent binary states past certain frequencies, so visual hallucination and distortion can occur. Unfortunately, this composition is difficult to accurately represent on camera due to extremely fast strobes.

The video is from a showing of Aether at Broadacre House, at the Function event. The composition was adapted for two flashing laptop screens for this event.

Red Pools – Erasal

‘Three tracks of caustic city-driven technoustica, built from the minutia of old session recordings, hauntological cassette tapes of unknown origin, recombinant soundscapes, extracted percussion, and the processed ghosts of sound objects inhabiting the spaces I come into contact with.

Source material recorded, tracks composed and performed to create this record July 2013-Feb 2014. ‘ – Liner Notes

I have just released some new Red Pools material on the We Are All Ghosts label, three tracks made from sound sources I have recorded over the past year from multiple sources, merging close miced object recordings, harsh digital erosion, resynthesised samples, eroded drum sounds, dictaphone field recordings and found music.

Currently working on a commission for GIFT festival based around Windmill Hills park in gateshead, which is merging in with the Superdream project in Johannesburg in South Africa.

I’ll be presenting a work in progress on the 2nd of May from 8.30PM in the park, which will take the form of a sensor-based audiovisual installation working with field recordings and close object recordings all taken from inside the boundaries of the park.

AKAB / Trakt, Red Pools and Captcha review

Coming up this week, AKAB / Trakt, a performance/short term installation featuring Improv/Noise duo Trans/Human, performance from Nick Kilby and myself doing a multichannel audiovisual performance derived from projected visuals and body sonification, held at The Old Police House on Swinburne place, behind Gateshead Old Town Hall, this friday at 8pm.

Also on saturday I will be opening up for Karen Gwyer (Opal Tapes/No Pain in Pop) at the lit and phil with an audiovisual Red Pools set, featuring reactive visuals and a little spot of spatial improvisation, 8pm
Captcha were also reviewed a while ago in NARC magazine after our performance supporting Trembling Bells and The Horse Loom!



Arborescent – 7/2/14

Supported by Sound and Music, Arborescent comissioned 3 graphic scores from Richard Dawson, Yvette Hawkins and Mawson Kerr, inspired by legendary composer Iannis Xenakis.

Bringing together artists from multiple disciplines, the commissioned artworks were performed by us as per our interpretation and the artists’ directions

Sean Cotterill – Violin & Electronics
John Pope – Double Bass
Mariam Rezaei – Electronics, Tar

Captcha and Felt Beak

Captcha is an improvising duo comprised of myself on electric guitar with preparations and electronics, and Greta Buitkute on vocals.

Described as ‘Sonny and Linda Sharrock meets Hijokaidan’ by SUBTERRANEAN Newcastle, we play improvised, pulverised song forms, with extenuated quasi-jazz, lowercase improv crackling, screeching, screaming and post derek bailey guitar angularity.

We have played shows supporting Trembling Bells, The Horse Loom, Trans/Human and other across various spots in Newcastle.

Captcha - HyperforeignismGreta Buitkutė &amp; Sean Cotterill<br /> DOWNLOAD Hyperforeignism – Released on the Felt Beak label

Captcha - ButyraldahydeGreta Buitkutė &amp; Sean Cotterill<br /> DOWNLOAD Butyraldahyde – Released on the Kakutopia label on Free Music Archive.

I have also performed in and recorded with several ensembles for releases on the Felt Beak label, on various instruments including Violin, Electronics, Mixed Media, Guitar and Voice
Spawn &amp; Thot - No Skoolin’ - All Foolin’Sean &amp; Dario<br /> DOWNLOAD
Spawn and Thot – No Skoolin’ All Foolin (with Dario Lozano-Thornton)

Agatha Christie - Murder In MesopotamiaJwaffer, Gwilly Edmondez, Sean Cotterill &amp; Emily King<br /> DOWNLOAD
Agatha Christie – Murder in Mesopotamia (With jwaffer, Emily King and Gwilly Edmondez)

An Audionce With Ypsmael - The CoffinNorman Ypsmael, Dario Lozano-Thornton, Sean Cotterill, Neil McMahon, Charlie Bramley &amp; Greta Buitkutė<br /> DOWNLOAD
An Audionce with Ypsmael – The Coffin (With Norman Ypsmael, Charlie Bramley, Neil McMahon, Greta Buitkute and Dario Lozano-Thornton)

G.S.D. - ParkingGreta Buitkutė, Sean Cotterill &amp; Dan Dixon<br /> DOWNLOAD
GSD – Parking (With Dan Dixon and Greta Buitkute)