Protest and Politics – The Album

On August 7th 2017, Stuart Fowkes (Cities and Memory) launched his latest project:

Protest and Politics is the first global mapping of the sounds of protest, demonstration and political activism.

Sourcing field recordings from his own archive as well as from dozens of field recordists around the world, he assembled a database of protest sounds over summer 2017, and opened this up to artists and musicians to recompose and reimagine, bringing to bear their own experiences and memories onto these sounds.

PROTEST & POLITICS – THE ALBUM is Stuart’s selection of 12 tracks to represent the huge variety of pieces create for the project.

Track 3 – ALONE IN THE CROWD, is the one that I composed.



Alone in the Crowd

Written as part of the Cities and Memory ‘Politics and Protest’ project.
Launches August 7th 2017:

A simple little piece based on a field recording from a political protest march in Paris 2015.

I absolutely loved the original recording by Ben Gale and wanted to highlight it’s qualities as much as possible in my remix – one of the reasons why you will hear it at the beginning and end of my piece with no editing whatsoever!

This composition was inspired by my own experiences on various protest marches over the years and my ability to almost completely shutdown external stimuli; to be ALONE IN THE CROWD. It’s a defence mechanism really, but at times almost spiritual – an ‘out of crowd’ experience! I don’t enjoy large gatherings that much at all and I think my brain simply needs time-out from the revelry!

• My piece starts with Ben’s field recording in its raw state.
• Slowly the sounds of protest morph, warp and fade into the background.
• They continue to ebb and flow, almost like a living breathing creature, but always slightly distant / faded.
• A simply, dissonant piano motif represents me in the middle of the throng. A choir theme adds that little edge of spirituality!
• The piano and choir fade away. Slowly the sounds of protest re-enter my consciousness and I rejoin the masses.

Warped Sounds of Protest – Reaktor 6 (Metaphysical Function with 14 layers of automation)
Piano – Kontakt 5 (‘Giant’ piano module)
Voices – Omnisphere (Boys Choir)

If you would like to contact me about music / sound design for a project:


Bandcamp Release: The Man Who Sold the Moon

Melodic electronica influenced by artists such as Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream.


Bespoke edits of all these tracks are also available for media projects and public broadcast. Please use the contact form below or email me using:


If you would like to contact me about music / sound design for a project:


The Cities and Memory Collection

A collection of original compositions created as part of the ‘Cities and Memory’ project run by Stuart Fowkes.

All the compositions are re-imaginings of field recordings.

Always interested in providing music and sound design for projects in and around the Birmingham area or anywhere across the world…

If you would like to contact me regarding music / sound design for a project:


Nantes: The Haunted Swing

An original composition based around a field recording from Nantes, France…

Original field Recording (Gavin Prior):



This was created by chopping up the original and processing the various fragments through granular sampler transformers in Reaktor 5. Only the original field recording was used; no other sounds were added…

  • Travelizer was used to introduce elements of pitch to the piece
  • Random Step Shifter was used to add extra rhythmic elements.
  • Grainstates was the ensemble used to create the general background ebb and flow + the ‘new’ swing sound.


The final mix was processed through a chain of modules in Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig and then mastered with Izotope Ozone 4.

This piece was composed for the ‘Cities and Memory’ website run by Stuart Fowkes…

Cities and Memory is a global field recording & sound art work that presents both the present reality of a place, but also its imagined, alternative counterpart – remixing the world, one sound at at time.

Every faithful field recording document on the sound map is accompanied by a reworking, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new.

More information on the location of the field recording used in this composition can be found here:

Nantes: the Haunted Swing

All the pieces I have created as part of the Cities and Memory project can be found here:

The Cities and memory Collection

Always interested in providing music and sound design for projects in and around the Birmingham area – use the form below or simply email me:


“The Castle And The Monastery” Utopia Map D4

The Icon for this image is in fact the inspiration for the track. It’s one small square of a woodcut map from the second printed edition of Utopia – 1518.

Full map here:

The track is meant to represent the sounds that might be heard in this area of the island!

In the spirit of the Cities and Memory website, I used a lot of new and old field recordings as the basis of the piece; if you want more details, then read on…

I’ve gone for a dreamy, mysterious atmosphere with this one. Bells ring out as the sun rises. You hear the burbling river that is still not far from its source*. Wind blows through the crow’s nest as waves swell around the ship. A gentle horn sounds from the castle battlements and is quickly joined by monks singing inside the monastery.
* Ignore the banner that says OSTRIUM ANDYRI (The mouth of the river Anydrus) – it’s generally regarded as a joke.
In the middle section the soundscape changes dramatically as a second horn rises outside the castle;
drums of war herald an approaching army and battle is joined.

The fighting fades away and we return to relative tranquillity; this time we also hear a lonely voice
from the battlements – first speaking and then singing a short lament.

Production-wise, everything is in this one, including my kitchen sink!
• Opening shimmering drone = Bells of St Anne’s Church, Moseley, Birmingham through 2 modules in Reaktor.
• Burbling brook – outlet pipe from my kitchen sink.
• Wind and waves – pure synthesis in Reaktor
• Horn – it’s a weird old alpine style horn I bought years ago – finally used it in a project!
• Amen – monks! :0)
• Deep brass chords – pure synthesis in Absynth.
• Horses – Earlswood Stables, Solihull.
• Swords – kitchen cutlery
• Elven language – gobbledegook based on the addendum to the book.!
• Female singing – synthesis.


ANCIENT OCEAN by Scott Lawlor and The Gateless Gate

Love this new ambient music release!

Ancient Ocean is a collaboration between versatile ambient musician Scott Lawlor and neo-Krautrock/kosmische act The Gateless Gate (or one half of it, Allister Thompson). Scott’s drones for this piece strongly suggested the ebb and flow of the ocean. However, making yet another oceanic ambient album wasn’t satisfying, so Allister came up with the concept of a primordial ocean, millions of years before the dawn of man. This opened up the door to all sorts of progressive rock influences creeping in, like Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.