We caught up with Lodder//Shooter about their micro-commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival: Lancastère Concrète.
Watch Lancastère Concrète (premiers 12pm 29th November 2023).
Lodder//Shooter’s longstanding collaboration began several years ago on the Leeds DIY music scene, beginning as a shared interest in improvisation, electronic music, and finding new ways to combine the two. Since the release of their EP ’There is a Giant Skeleton Inside of Me’ in 2020, they have continued to develop their artistic practice together as a duo. Their recent work features a collision of natural and manipulated synthesised sound, drawing on inspirations from both a wide range of musical genres and the contrast of nature with industrial environments.
Hi Lodder//Shooter, how’s it going? Can you tell us a bit about you both, and how you started working together?
We first met at Leeds Conservatoire in 2017 when we both started studying on the jazz course, but didn’t really start making music together until a few years ago. We’d both struggled with the isolation of covid lockdowns and wanted to find a way to make music collaboratively again which led us to teaching ourselves music production and making our first record There Is A Giant Skeleton Inside Of Me. Since then we’ve carried on making music together and become more involved in the Leeds Jazz and DIY music scenes.
What have you been up to since the Lancaster Jazz Festival?
The past couple of months have been pretty full-on, we both play as part of Ferg’s Imaginary Big Band and have just played at London and Cambridge Jazz Festivals. We’re also both working on a personal creativity challenge called Alphabet Superset where we each create a short piece of music on a different theme each week. This has been a pretty big challenge to maintain a consistent level of creativity but it’s been fun to stretch ourselves.
We’re excited to share your micro-commission, can you tell us a bit about it and how you approached it?
We pretty much simultaneously had the idea to build a piece out of found sounds. Both of us have used found sound samples in our previous work but I think this is the first time either of us have made an entire piece out of self recorded samples. We both enjoy working within parameters, so we set the rule that every sound used in the piece had to start life as a found sound from Lancaster, but could be manipulated to any extent. For our more general inspiration, we liked how Lancaster has such a sudden contrast of environments within short distances and wanted to reflect this in our piece. We walked from the canal to the quay, sampling nature, busy roads, pedestrian areas and industrial architecture and created a piece that reflected the sudden changes of surroundings experienced in a short space of time.
This audio visual piece uses sound recordings, all made in Lancaster. Can you tell us about how you made these recordings?
We spent a day walking round the city with a handheld Zoom recorder finding sounds we thought were interesting and making quick, on-the-go recordings of them. Some highlights included the sounds of coffee being made at The Hall, buses reversing out of Lancaster Bus Station, someone pushing a broken bike, a busker in the city centre, and some great sounds messing with the reverb under the canal bridges. We also got a fantastic bass sound by putting a contact mic on the wires on the Millennium Bridge and plucking them. In post processing we had a lot of fun turning these recordings into samples to build the music out of- some had an obvious use (like the bridge bass) and some we did a lot of manipulation with to turn into something new. We also included some sounds as-is to maintain the atmospheric distinctly-Lancaster quality we wanted the piece to still have.
The point of this piece is for people make their own tracks and share them.
What was your thinking behind making the commission interactive like this?
Sound design and production can seem daunting, and exclusive – but the barriers to entry to make noise and create interesting music are lowering as technology progresses, and with the cheapest microphone (even your phone) and free audio editing software you can teach yourself to manipulate sounds and create new ones. We both felt daunted by the idea of producing and making electronic music when we were first starting out, and hope that these sounds and the way they are manipulated can inspire more people to create. There’s a lot of potential in every sample and we’re both excited to hear them used in ways that we could never have imagined.
Tell us about your creative lives right now. Any gigs or upcoming releases we should know about?
As previously mentioned, we are both making music weekly (ish) on Instagram, so you can find us there (@loddxr, @bess_shooter) and Lodder is in the beginnings of producing an LP for their solo work (@ghosthouse.wav). Bess has been part of a project honouring Leeds jazz-punk legend Xero Slingsby and the album for this came out last week on Tight Lines- ‘¡Up Yours! Fergus Quill Plays Xero Slingsby’.
And finally, what are you listening to at the moment, any recommendations for us?
A lot of the music that inspires to me to create like this, and some constant staples in my listening diet are:
and most relevant to me for this work is the music of clipping.
clipping.’s album Visions of Bodies Being Burned is a masterpiece in sound design and spooky noise, and their live record (only on youtube) Double Live, is an experimental field recording piece – from their bandcamp;
“This is not a standard live album. All the audio was recorded during Clipping’s 2017 tour, but the microphones weren’t pointed at the band. Instead they were in toilets, taped to ceiling pipes, tied to trees, worn by roadies—hidden all over venues. The results were then synchronized and edited over more than a year. Double Live is an impossible performance heard by hundreds of disembodied ears—part live album, part tour document, part musique concrète piece.” – Lodder
My music taste can be pretty fluid which I think is what inspires me to not worry about being constrained by genre when creating music. I’ve recently been listening to loads of Alice Coltrane as well as Miles Davis late 60s/early 70s ‘Electric Miles’ era. I saw Paul Cousins perform a reel to reel tape machine set recently and have been loving his album ‘Vanishing Artefacts’, I’m also hugely inspired by sound artist evicshen. I’ve seen her perform live a couple of times and I’m obsessed with her approach to sonic textures and phenomenal live performances. Lodder introduced me to Clipping a couple of years ago and agree that they’ve been our biggest influence on this project, and my approach to music production in general. – Shooter