Quip new album “The Up There Jar”

I wrote, performed and produced this album released on YMNLT records. Called the “Up There Jar” it is a collection of tracks produced in my studio with various vintage synths, guitars and my voice and spans various genres and styles. Please enjoy !

Stocker / Eyes new album “Earth Asylum”

Having worked hard on this one it is our great pleasure to announce the release of our latest album “Earth Asylum”.

Beau has written some words about it :

Complementary musical approaches fit together to create Stocker/Eyes, with the staccato like linear drum rhythms interwoven with layers of elongated electronics and melodic guitar motifs. Depictions of a giant’s laboring footsteps lumbering along, sometimes frantic and sometimes leisurely random, but always searching for something. These are enveloped by atmospheric electronic sounds and stratospheric granular pitches, a culminating representation of the unhinged societies we see in the Earth Asylum today.

We hope you enjoy it.

The Brain In Performance

Come along and explore our connections with nature, outer space and the brain through an immersive audio-visual experience. The collaborative project, presented by Beau Stocker, Ben Eyes and Mohammed Mohanna, all postgraduate students at the University of York, will include live experimental electronic/acoustic music and immersive full-wall video projections in the 3Sixty room.

As the performers respond musically to the visual stimuli, head mounted biosensors monitoring their brain waves will create further audio responses in real time in order to explore how the brain can be used as ‘another limb’ in live music performance.

Ben Eyes and James Cave at ICAD 2017

ICAD Award to Ben Eyes and James Cave

Ben Eyes and James Cave won an award at the International Community for Auditory Display conference 2017 at Penn State, for ‘Best Use of Sound’ for their piece “Fiamgnano Gorge”. This was one of three prizes awarded by the board of ICAD.  James writes: ” It’s exciting for us to have had such a positive endorsement of our work in this area. We’re also both grateful for the financial support we received from the Research Committee.” The proceedings of the event are here.

A recording of the live performance :

Cotton Panic

Ben Eyes is currently working as sound designer and sound engineer for the Jane Horrocks show “Cotton Panic” at Manchester International Festival.

The show, based on the story of the cotton famine in Lancashire in 1861, when cotton mill workers came out in solidarity with the emancipation of slaves in the USA, is a fully multi-modal performance with Jane Horrocks and the electronic band “Wrangler” (Stephen Mallinder, Benge and Phil Winter) playing a fully electronic industrial soundscape to accompany the piece. The show consists of various spoken word using historical texts, clog dancing, lighting and video projections. The band’s lineup consisting of modular synthesisers, vocoders, analogue drum machines, vintage analog synthesisers and effects. Six 4K projectors provide immersive visuals around the audience with various films supporting the narrative with performances from John Grant and Glenda Jackson.
Ben says of his work: “The piece is a really new mixture of theatre, video, dance and an electronic music concert. The initial work was specifying a speaker system that would be able to convey all the auditory information to the audience in the venue, Upper Campfield Market, which is a large glass ceilinged Victorian market hall.  I worked closely with the PA company to get a sound system that would be capable of reproducing the low frequencies from the analogue synths and drum machines. We used  D and B Infra Subs which have have three eighteen inch speakers so when the modular synth swoops down you feel the whole room vibrate – just like in a factory! The whole piece is about what happens to the people working in cotton mills and lots of the sounds are low rumbles, high end clanks and samples of looms made into percussive loops. There are moments with loud sirens too where we use a real siren on stage which is then processed through my laptop to repeat around the venue and is then pitch shifted.
Pre-production work involved recording and treating narrative elements of the piece using voice actors and some pre-recorded music. I used a Sound Devices USB Pre2 to do this and got very high quality recordings that could then be treated to sound “of the time”. Many of the recordings were made in difficult environments and so I had to think on my feet to dampen reflections, often using costume racks as sound absorbers.
For the live sound I am using a Yamaha CL5 desk, using a large rack of inbuilt reverbs and delays to treat different portions of the show. I have also incorporated Ableton running on my laptop as an effect send from the desk and at various points am treating vocals with vocoder, delay and convolution based reverbs. These are all manipulated in real time to add an extra live feel to the show. In terms of my own research I have used some of the convolution impulses I use in my own compositions to shape the sound of the music and live vocals and use some of the live processing techniques I use in my own performances. It is a great way to prove some of the concepts I am working on in a real full scale production. Although we are still in rehearsals the show is really coming together and we are working with a great team of creatives to realise it. Chris Turner who directed all the video elements, Choreography by Lorena Randy, Andreas Fuchs who has designed the lighting and Wils Wilson who is directing. It has also been a great pleasure to work with Jane Horrocks who has managed to realise an unknown story close to her heart in a really new and exciting way. It has been a great experience working on the show and I thank the Department of Music for the support they have given me in this endeavour. “

A Door To the Past

University of York students Beau Stocker (PhD Music), Katie Campbell (MSc Digital Heritage) and Ben Eyes (MA Music Technology) combine their work of improvised music, live electronics and 3D visual modelling to present an improvised music performance that explores concepts surrounding the Recusant period in York. The acoustic characteristics of each key historical space are captured through the use of acoustic impulse responses. Each piece of music is then informed by, and will reflect, the sound footprint of that particular space. Alongside this technology, Katie’s work with photography and 3D modelling will offer a visual representation of the relevant historic events that took place in each location. The free performance on Friday 20th November will take place in King’s Manor, a building which plays a role in the story.

Fl00D – Released on Time Released Sound USA

Fl00d a piece composed of field recordings from across the UK has been released on Time Released sound in the USA. Please find a link to the digital and physical releases below:

http://timereleasedsound.com/ben-eyes/

https://timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com/album/flood

 

Ben Eyes – FL00D

FL00D was initially inspired by the Winter floods that took place in England in 2014. The idea that we have permanently changed our weather system through our own doing is incredibly thought provoking and cannot be ignored. The floods and storms were some of the worst on record and seeing places I know and hold dear destroyed by the weather made me feel both extremely upset and helpless.

The work of James Lovelock was also a large inspiration behind this piece and his Gaia theory (the idea that the Earth is one whole complex living organism) is unfortunately now being proven correct. Through the pollution of our own delicate eco-system we have caused untold damage for many generations to come, possibly forever.

The piece starts with some very intimate field recordings made on the Holy Island of Lindasfarne in Northumbria. The listener is then taken on a journey, through the dark heart of our little Island, to discover the coming storm that will come and wash us all away…

The piece is accompanied by high speed footage captured at the sites of the various field recordings and was edited together to fit the piece by Emma Jane Richards.

“Perhaps the saddest thing is that Gaia will lose as much or more than we do. Not only will wildlife and whole ecosystems go extinct, but in human civilisation the planet has a precious resource. We are not merely a disease; we are, through our intelligence and communication, the nervous system of the planet. Through us, Gaia has seen herself from space, and begins to know her place in the universe.
We should be the heart and mind of the Earth, not its malady. So let us be brave and cease thinking of human needs and rights alone, and see that we have harmed the living Earth and need to make our peace with Gaia. We must do it while we are still strong enough to negotiate, and not a broken rabble led by brutal war lords. Most of all, we should remember that we are a part of it, and it is indeed our home.”

James Lovelock (Published in The Independent, 16 January 2006)

 

 

 

Attempts on Margharita

‘Margarita is not a character. Margarita is a pile of constantly changing drafts ready to be revised, retold, forgotten, erased… Can we keep Margarita going?’
This interactive performance installation asks for the audience’s participation in constructing a collective consciousness: ‘Margarita’.
by Xristina Penna with Ben Eyes, Jennifer Carlberg, Liv Bradbury, Esther Coll

I produced and designed the sound for the installation. Comprising several sound tunnels with personal listening stations, a Dunces hat running dictaphone tapes and a large scale quadraphonic system able to pan live feeds anywhere in the room.