Anschluss an das Internet, in einem Hotel, um über Dinge Blog. / by petergregson

Sitting, as I am, in a hotel room in Frankfurt fully exploiting the Internetzugang which I have lavishly treated myself to, I am aware I haven't blogged for a while. 

Well, quite simple, things have been bizzee - so please accept my apologies! 

What's happened... well, it's been a trip back to the US for nothing much other than some concerts and meetings (attending, not playing!). A while ago, I blogged about the fabulous sounding Ecstatic Music Festival, remember? Well, I went. Thrice. It was terrific - all sorts of awesome, and I'm reliably informed that it's happening again next year. Look out carbon footprint, this is a series worth travelling for. Also, it was a bizarre evening of rain, beers and Alarm Will Sound at Zankell Hall, the downstairs newness at Carnegie Hall. They played this bizarre "piece", a kind of time travel based on a hypothetical conversation between John Lennon and Stockhausen. Read some more official blurbage here, but take it from me - I had managed to score the very last seat in the house, went on my lonesome ownsome, and was absolutely glued to my seat. It was terrific, and if it tours, I'll be right there to see it again. So often, these "multimedia shows" are just, like,

ooh, lights and sparkles.. VIDEO! LOOK AT THE VIDEO! (loud noise) the wind.

This show, however, was totally compelling in a way that I'm struggling to articulate. I think it was because the parts which could have been seen to be ancillary were 'baked in'. I find this is often the fine line between gimmick and success, and this was about as far away from gimmick-dom as one could get, IMHO.

Coming back was all slightly manic, as I was running back to London for the very sad end of my Creative in Residence-ness at The Hospital Club. It wasn't all tears, though - it was actually all sparkly, twinkly lights and a lot of fun! I was collaborating with Dean McNamee (visual designer par excellence) on a set of 30 interactive Ikea lamps (below) that were listening and responding to the music I was playing. +points for the three piece tweed suit as well, no? There will be a chance to check this show out again in June, more on that anon.

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More studio time was found (and continues to be discovered). First up, a fab day with Guy Sigsworth and Mr Chris Elms, his engineer/ninja. Really, harmonizer + cello + other toys is quickly becoming a thing that must be explored more. Soundbytes as I have 'em. Then it was some time in Mute's lovely new studio down in H'smif. Saxon (the man behind this song which you all know and love!) was engineering a very much up to the wire session of a wonderful track by Johann Johannsson, which, along with that lovely piece by Max Richter that I do uhvrywhere, is being put onto ten of your best inches of vinyl and packaged up into a lovely thing that will be available very, very soon. On vinyl! 

Coming up next in air conditioned studio land? Gabriel Prokofiev's terrific cello suite. I've mentioned it before I think, but this is the week of happening, so I'm very excited to see this kick off. 

Frankfurt - I was invited to sit on a panel for the Fair Music Initiative which was happening around Musikmesse (if you don't know what it is: it's a lot of guitars and drums alongside the rest of the music industry selling stuff to each other. ++ noise from guitars and drums). The FMI a new EU thing looking into recording, live and online standards and rights for musicians. Interesting couple of days: a mixture of major/indie labels, artists and managers, aggregators and startups and the IMC/EMC people. Lots of heated debate over percentages and proximity of hotels in one's contracts, but actually some really valuable stuff, too. Again, more on this soon - I believe a paper is being published.

Some other notices: m'website is being redesigned literally right now, I'm back off to the US at the end of the month for some concerts/talks/events/sushi, my concerts are being hooked up to the wonderfully pretty SongKick, then we're into May when I will, I promise, blog about it all. A number of long haul flights will ensure I actually to post-match reports, but maybe it'll be on my shiny new site? Oooh, exciting...