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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

An audio recording from AudioBoo

syzygy: audioBoo: studio wiring (pretty-much) finished boo

An audio recording from audioboo.fm

Posted by james at 10:10 PM

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Luton Airport - so quiet (AudioBoo)

Luton AirportIt's been a very strange, peaceful few days here in Luton, since the airport has effectively closed down, due to the effects of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in Iceland.

Here's a recording I made on my way home from a very quiet airport terminal, walking past the apron where ten or fifteen Ryanair and Easyjet planes were standing idle.


An audio recording from audioboo.fm

A relatively peaceful Luton gardenI also recorded the (relative) peace and quiet of the garden yesterday, having sat outside for a while and enjoyed the remarkable array of birdsongs that could be heard over the traffic.


An audio recording from audioboo.fm

Posted by james at 8:10 PM

Monday, 12 April 2010

Mary and David's Wedding

We spent much of the weekend on the south coast, having been invited to the wedding of my youngest sister, Mary, to her fianc´┐Ż, David. Lenni was honoured (and extremely pleased) to be asked to be a bridesmaid, and Chris and I took on the job of capturing various moments of the day on camera and video.

The day itself was glorious - such things can never be predicted! Our wedding anniversary is in just under a week's time, and twelve years ago was a cold, damp day that was more like winter than spring. But the sun shone warmly in Sussex on Saturday, and Dave was able to have the roof down on his Saab convertible to bring Mary to the church, so that Pete could walk her up the aisle. It was most definitely a family occasion - Deb created a beautiful cake, and Mother made the dress, and everybody pitched in with the last-minute preparations.

David had family over from Wales, and we had representatives from the Scottish and New Zealand contingent; and, of course, Mary and David's friends were in attendance, including Cat, who was chief bridesmaid, and really looked after Mary on the day.

I took hundreds of photos on the day, the most in-focus of which - as always - are in the gallery. Below are a few sample pictures that give a sense of the day - there are lots more on Mary's Facebook page!

Posted by james at 9:08 PM

Friday, 9 April 2010

A Heath Robinson Recording (AudioBoo)

Heath-Robinson recording equipmentHere's a brief recording, made as a test, really, to verify the operation of a cable I'd just made. It was intended to 'break out' the combined headphone output and microphone input of my 3rd Generation iPod Touch - and it seems to work!

The intention is - as I indicate in the recording - to be able to use more than just a straightforward microphone with the iPod (which has excellent recording capaibilities) so that it can be part of a portable recording or even performance set-up with tools like EveryDay Looper and StompVox

An audio recording from audioboo.fm

Posted by james at 12:00 AM

Monday, 5 April 2010

Our first visit to Ashridge of 2010 (TwitPic)

Our first visit to Ashridge of 2010 - and what a lovely after... on Twitpic

A photo from TwitPic - click it for a larger version.

Posted by james at 5:20 PM

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Stockwood Country Fair

We went to the second annual Easter Country Fair at Stockwood Park this afternoon. The weather was good to us, and we were treated to some wonderful sunshine, as the children enjoyed a giant slide, and Beth and I ambled round the many stalls that were there.

They also had a 'mini-farm', with lambs, piglets and chicks, and a static falconry display (I wonder if they'll do some flying demonstrations tomorrow), and face painting, too. There were other attractions, such as archery, but this cost extra.

It was a quite a small fair, given the amount of parkland available, but it has grown since last year, and I imagine there'll be even more to attract the public next Easter. That said, the queues for entry were fairly extensive, so it's certainly proved popular!

We also met Jane, who works for Museums Luton and - more importantly(!) looks after their Twitter account at twitter.com/MuseumsLuton - what a superstar! While I'm on the subject, Vickie from Humbers Homemade (twitter.com/humbershomemade) was there as well, with her selection of jams and chutneys... there really is a thriving Twitter community in Luton!

I was able to take my camera out, though - for the first time since the snow, quite possibly! - and get some nice photos. As always, I've uploaded the best to an album in the gallery, and I'll leave you with some below.

We've had a lovely family Easter Sunday - I hope you have, too!

Chris on the 'Super Slide'Lenni on the 'Super Slide' Lenni offering the goats some hayA Happy Chris

Posted by james at 7:24 PM

Saturday, 3 April 2010

"Finchley Road" (and this time of year)

I have no idea why, but I seem to be at my musically most prolific in the springtime. Perhaps it's the greater proclivity of daylight, or just the amount of days off I have left at the end of the 'leave year', but I've been able to spend quite a lot of time in the studio of late, and made progress on a few of the projects on which I've been procrastinating.

Here, then, is a song called 'Finchley Road':

I wrote this song during a homeward commute on a dark, damp evening, and challenged myself to record it only using 'real-life' synthesizers, to give it an 'electro' sound. There's more information about the writing and recording process in the song story and technical details pages.
My next project is a contemporary theme and music bed for a podcast - my plan is to listen to a lot of current pop music(!) and make careful notes on the arrangements. In the darkness of the Earth Hour last Saturday, I made some notes for another song - whether I can read what I scrawled on the back of a 2009 'page-a-day' calendar is another matter entirely, however! I've been listening to some Flaming Lips recently, and I really like the unusual, slightly awkward arrangements of their songs. Something to aspire to, I suppose!

I'm fortunate to have much of the Easter Holidays off work - we have plenty of family activities to enjoy without having to go too far afield. Just last Sunday, Stockwood Discovery Centre had an intriguing event - students at Barnfield College have developed a 'virtual museum' using the Second Life network, putting a great deal of effort in to recreating some of Luton's landmarks, and an exhibition of their work. The 'Heart Angels' from our local radio station were also in attendance, and both Eleanor and Christopher were featured in photos of the day (see below). If the weather holds out, we'll have plenty more family fun!

P.S. I almost forgot... Christopher has been making music, too - I've been helping with some of the backing tracks, but his current collection of tunes can be found on his website: www.nxmee.com/music.html

Posted by james at 12:50 PM

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