Category Archives: @home residency

studioELL’s @HOME Residency is a unique opportunity will offer a platform for artists to work in their own studio, with critique opportunities throughout the residency. Artists share their weekly progress, which will culminate in a final exhibition and artist lecture at the end of their stay.

26 June 2022

I wanted to write a track with a title as a basis for its content.  I was thinking about terms which would reflect my experience of the artist residency – to create a synthesis of what I have learned.  I was open to whether or not I would add lyrics.

Instruments – in the main I chose those with names which referred to the natural elements, and added effects, echo or reverb, depending on what I felt was required for each section.

-Title: Word Waves

-Tempo: 148

-Time Signature: 4/4

-Key: C Major

-Sections: 4

-Bar length: 24

-Genre: Electronica

Section A

  • Mutated bass
  • Synth wave
  • Cymbal to represent a shoreline sound
  • Rainfall

Section B

  • Sunset acoustic drum kit
  • Analogue haze digital drums
  • Modular space synth
  • Natural bass

Section C

  • Future breaks synth
  • Hard rock guitar 1
  • Hard rock guitar 2

Section D

I wanted to introduce new bass sounds to build up the momentum of the track towards the end.

  • Sweeping synth
  • Bass synth

I then edited and removed elements to create space between the parts and sections, and adjusted some of the volume levels and velocity.  Panning and repetition DJ effects were also added to provide a sense of motion to replicate the movement of water.

Image – I then took photos in line with the theme of the title, which I merged, layered and edited.

Mastering – I listened to various versions before choosing the final mix.

19 June 2022

This week’s parameters: to create a track with a spoken word element, as I’ve not tried this before. This also links in with combining poetry and sound.

– Tempo: 82 came to mind
– Time signature: 4/4
– Key signature: Bb major
– Sections: 3 (approx. 16 bars each)
– Genre: I left this open to interpretation

Lead synth line, with the rhythm set to a 1/16 triplet beat to create a fuller and slightly syncopated sound. Echo was added.

Glockenspiel – I’ve not written using this instrument before, and was intrigued how it would sound in contrast with the lead synth line. This was set to a 1/8 beat to add a sense of linearity. A galactic themed reverb was added. I played individual notes rather than trying to create particular chord progressions or melody.

Tape effect added, as I wondered what it would sound like. I played this quite minimally, so was more of an accompaniment to the other two instruments.

Sections – I duplicated the first section into three separate parts, and removed elements from each instrument line. This was a random process – the only requirement was to ensure these parts worked in unison with the rhythm. This changed some of the tones and pace within each line, which I felt was an interesting outcome.

Tape effect two – I included a reversed tape sound into some of the spaces that had now been created.

Title – as I’d used synth leads and tape sounds, I decided to name it after these two things.

Section – I extended the bars in the closing section, so there was time to bring the track to an end.

Artwork – collated and collaged from recent photos.

Spoken word element – I’d like time to reflect on what I’ve created so far, in order to identify words or a narrative to be added. I would also like to add various effects to my voice, so the vocal lines become layered elements within the instrumentation.

12 June 2022

I wrote the start of a few track ideas this week – I allowed myself to write freely without initially editing.

It was one of those weeks where I couldn’t decide which track to focus on, so I wrote an alternative. Sometimes I require time to reflect on the work’s meaning, or to experience it in a different setting or time, to see if this brings alternative inspiration and perspectives. However, I also value the work I make and will revisit the previous pieces.

I wrote a track in response to another monochrome photo collage I recently created.

Digital instruments used:

  • Bass
  • Analogue drum kit
  • Acoustic guitar (changed to electric guitar, which was then removed after a time as to me, it felt like it was part of a separate track)
  • Three synths
  • Drum machine

I’d like to add a deeper-sounding register to this track, with samples of found sounds, as well as utilising stereo panning to add more 3D and sculptural elements to the sonic space.

05 June 2022

En Masse (Instrumental Soundtrack)

I set a timer for five minutes at the end of a long day, as I was intrigued by what my mind could create in a state of tiredness.  The following components were then added:

  • Violas with a repeating motif – I also changed the time signature so they had a swing feel.
  • A completely incongruous drum pattern for the sole purpose of creating different rhythms and sounds.
  • A drum and bass pattern was added in its place, and the original drum pattern was removed.
  • Various electronic drum elements.
  • Synth sounds which reminded me of storms and the crackling sounds of natural elements.
  • I then realised I was working on some kind of soundtrack, and started to think about the film scene it would accompany.
  • En Masse – I created this title as was thinking of stars, galaxies and the universe as I listened to the track. I felt this represented the mood.
  • I then looked at the sequencing and spacing of the sounds, and created three sections. 

I’d like to work with field recordings and found sounds, so that I can make other atmospheric soundtracks, with associated video pieces.

29 May 2022

Recently, I’ve started writing by playing and recording a couple of quick lines after the general parameters for the track have been set.  I listen several times to see if any components stand out, or commence a new part in order to keep the songwriting process fresh.

Track elements:

  • Tempo:  102 BPM (I wanted to experiment with a slightly slower tempo to see what would happen in the writing process)
  • Time signature:  4/4
  • Key:  B major
  • Sections:  4
  • Performance:  band with electric guitars, synths, drums, electric drums, vocals and loop pedal.  At present my aim is to create a body of work which can be interpreted in a band format.  This would be in alignment with the word of the year I chose in January 2022 of ‘play.’
  • Mood: Ambient, Electro, anthemic.  A track with interactive elements which would work with an audience at a gig or performance.


  • Drums – I wrote two parts as wanted to experiment with different placements of beats and rhythms.  Also, it took the pressure off compiling one complete drum line, as my process is to work quite quickly where possible. The parts would interact with each other.

I’m intrigued by bands with two drummers – it is a set-up I would like to experiment with.  In this hybrid world we find ourselves in, analogue and digital drums or synth sounds are an interesting combination to me.

  • Synths – I wanted to include electronic motifs to contrast with the electric guitar.
  • Tone – the sounds I initially chose were quite bright, which I changed to be heavier and more dissonant.
  • Lyrics – three phrases. Writing these helped me to determine the tone and mood.
  • Backing vocals – I experimented with creating patterns with elements of my voice.



Did I mention


I’m broken again


I reveal

Breaking patterns

Which delete my fuel


I reveal

Breaking patterns

Which delete my feel

22 May 2022

I found an abstract monochrome photo I’d taken, and thought it would be interesting to write a track in response to it.

Words which came to mind as I was looking at the image:

  • Mysterious
  • Linear
  • Abstract
  • Movement
  • Blurring
  • Monotone
  • Repeated patterns
  • Steps
  • X-ray

Track Formats:

  • Title – Hover Lines
  • Time signature – 4/4
  • Key picked at random – G# minor
  • Scale – Pentatonic
  • Three sections for the track – intro, main, outro

The order of my workflow:

I thought about sounds which would represent the mood of the image:

  • Industrial, electronic, longer sounds with reverb
  • Synth bassline


  • A minimalist drum beat with three sounds
  • Second bassline – I sang the line then located the notes on the digital bass
  • Sustained guitar synth

Main section:

  • I kept the drums, synth bass and guitar, and changed the second bass melody
  • I wanted to find a large sound which would disrupt the middle part somewhat, to represent the abstract mass in the lower left-hand side of the image
  • The underlay for this is a digital analogue synth
  • I went through various distorted and bass-heavy sounds, however none of these fit, and I ended up choosing a bending lead pad sound, which made the middle section more harmonious


  • I then tapered various parts towards the end in order to bring it to a close, adding a DJ effect to the last few bars

I was intrigued how the track syncopated itself throughout. I would also like to experiment with slowing down the pace. Creating this has inspired me to plan a video piece in response.

15 May 2022

I experimented with an alternative time signature on this week’s track. My starting point was to create something with heavy guitars as an underlying foundation. I used the following digital instruments:

  • Bass synth
  • Electric guitars 1 and 2
  • Vocal 1 (riff)
  • Vocal 2 (counterpoint)
  • Vocal 3 and 4 (backing)
  • Vocals 5 to 8 (recurring vocal motifs towards the end – one inspired the song title)
  • Drums (kick, snare, high-hat)

The demo track has more of an electronic feel as I changed the original bass guitar to a bass synth, so that the sounds would complement each other. It is interesting to me how changing one instrument can alter the direction of a track.

I also decided to continue with the vocal motif rather than create verses and a chorus, therefore ended up being more of a dance track format.
I used DJ effects to create a remix version. It was my first time doing this, and was fun to create. The process reminds me how powerful the combination of analogue and digital sounds can be, as I started to think about how this could be performed live.

Can You

Can you begin again
Can you remember then
Can you forgive yourself
Can you unplay the game
Can you return to strength
Can you unplay your ways

Can you forgive yourself
Can you remember when
Can you return to strength
Can you begin again
Can you move in reverse
Can you forget the day
Can you embrace cliché

01 May 2022

This week I wanted to write a song utilising a different digital audio interface (digital space to collate and produce music and audio). I’m currently experimenting with a variety of platforms to see which may work best with my current workflow, which is to layer different sounds, instruments and vocals in a simple way.

I’m often moved by film soundtracks. Sometimes these are written in response to moving imagery, or songs are chosen to correlate with a mood of a particular scene or narrative.

I wanted the song to indicate what it needs to be – to see what visuals or words come to mind as I listen.

I wrote the parts in this order:

  • Synth
  • Drums
  • Main draft vocal (all the vocals are sung with sounds in order to experiment with melodies and harmonies at this stage, rather than words and an emphasis on lyric creation)
  • Draft vocal harmonies
  • Adding effects to parts

I will listen to the draft demo to see what words appear for the lyrics, and see if I want to add any additional instruments. Some of the vocal lines may also change into instrumental lines, or vice-versa.

24 April 2022

This week I wanted to write a draft for a song. I started with a theme, then thought of words and images in relation to this. I then experimented with chords on my acoustic guitar until I found a riff I wanted to work with. After listening back to what I had recorded so far, the lyrics were written over a few days.

Now I have a draft demo, I can listen to this further to see how I would like to develop it. I like to sit with songs sometimes so that they become more familiar over time. I also listen to draft songs in various places, as this can add another dimension to my perspective or songwriting process.

17 April 2022

As a strategy for making songwriting as pressure-free as possible, I like to create single cover sketches. I start the process with photos, which then inform titles. These may exist as stand-alone pieces, or be further developed into lyrics and songs.

This gives me permission to initially create without necessarily having a particular outcome in mind.

10 April 2022

I’ve been continuing to look at some of my previous photography of outdoor spaces. I’d like to re-visit some of these areas in order to record sounds that I find, and create pieces in response to the auditory and visual textures.

It is also interesting to reflect on the changing seasons, and how emotions can also have cyclical elements.

03 April 2022

This week I was inspired to look at previous photo’s I’ve taken of historic buildings and spaces. I’d like to create sound pieces influenced by their past. I’m interested in live looping and layering processes, and would like to experiment with using words and found sounds. I would combine with video projections around the same theme, to create an immersive experience.

27 March 2022

Intentional walking – I’ve undertaken a lot this week, in an attempt to be present whilst manoeuvring between the pockets of my schedule.

The positives are that I have wandered through unknown roads, seen new buildings and sites, and joined spaces together in alternative ways both geographically and emotionally.

The feeling of returning home, knowing I committed to the journey.

Pacing through places I have lived or visited at various stages of my London life, reawakening memories and feelings. It also helped me witness previous times from alternative perspectives. Some roads seemed longer, or some shorter than I remember.

I enjoy the presence taking photographs and videos gives me. However, I made an active choice this week to note my feelings and emotions on the walks, rather than digitally document the experience. To take photos with my mind rather than a lens on this occasion, and to sense motion rather than capture it. It felt like a missed opportunity initially. However, I reminded myself that my aim was to be present in a different way in order to gain an alternative perspective – as an act towards emotional understanding and freedom.

I knew I wanted to create another video piece, therefore I will combine observational poetry written after the walks, with found sounds in response to my experience. I’m hoping this way of working will provide different characteristics in my practice.

Electric Way

Curated shadows
From table to
Two-way conversations

Combination locks and
Iron stools
A carafe of liquid neutrality equidistant
Amongst us

Punk cacti
Spray painted illuminous neon
Amid their emerald counterparts

Railway bridge graffiti
Traffic lights at lorry level
Expectant watching and directing
Patient pedestrians
Noise cancelling would be futile
At this inner city

Electric ways
Busy with
Curious roaming and inquisitivity
All appears changed
To me

Green glossy ceiling
With a golden chandelier
A hue in an unexpected place
Where other walls

What words have
Been delivered across this wooden table?
Which conversations have brought nourishment?
Or underscored fears?
Light scratches
On its enduring surface
Tear and wear

Chairs without visitors
Afternoon calm
Between the odds of empty seats and treats
Later they will be reduced
None to none

I’ve danced here
Bought crafted gifts here
Admired illustrations
And a variety of curious items
Smiled through crowds
Whilst wondering

When will my
Be launched into

20 March 2022

The themes of buildings and skies continued this week. I’ve merged and edited photos in order to create a video sketch piece which I would like to further abstract, and devise an accompanying micro-soundtrack with words and found sounds.

I’ve also extracted photos from the video – I like the randomness of this process and how the frames between transitions can be captured. This also brings a different quality in comparison to the original images.

13 March 2022

Following on from my previous post, I created content for the video poem via a combination of thoughts I was having as I walked into the evening, in response to nature and the moon which was clear above the expanse.

I composed sentences as I watched the video footage, added different effects to the words, and removed, edited or repeated others. My aim was to create a lexiconic soundscape, as was unsure what the essence of the video poem would be. I wanted to leave space for this to be revealed through the process of making and listening.

I also wanted the imagery to be as raw as possible. This may be due to the fact I was working with video, which can have a different workflow process to photography due to the sense of movement, although there are overlaps.

Once I had edited both the soundtrack and video, I tried merging these together to finalise the piece. However this was not possible unfortunately – I will therefore experiment with different ways of recording and editing sound so that I can find a solution. For me, being a multi-media artist is also a process of discovering and understanding the technical aspects of creating work. I enjoy learning and look forward to refining and uniting the audio and video in order to complete the video poem!

06 March 2022

I wanted to experiment with making video poetry this week. I used footage from a weekend walk – I was hoping that being in nature could bring some words into my mind, during a time where I have felt wordless.

Here are some video stills and photos – the video poem is to follow in my next post.

27 February 2022

I found myself photographing the following recently:

Geometric lines
Abandoned and other buildings
Bars and partitions
Palm trees
Shadows and patterns (recurring themes)

I felt like I was searching – it’s been a time of documentation and reflection to see what possibilities may arise.

I’m intrigued an almost neon palette has started to develop alongside more muted tones, and would like to explore this juxtaposition, and the potential narratives between the images.

13 February 2022

This week seemed to be about doubles for me, probably because I have had dreams consisting of two parts. Sometimes the order was undecipherable, as well as the plot. Nevertheless, I aimed to capture as much as possible by writing my dreams down as soon as I could.

Following on from the idea of duos, I wanted to create diptychs consisting of photography and poetry.

Other words which came to mind:
Call and Response
Alter Ego

I also experimented with the following poetic devices:
Free verse
Echo verse
Diminishing verse

06 February 2022

Photography and words – this week I have continued to explore poetic forms.

At present, I particularly like working with chance, found words, and experimental devices. I have realised that currently, I draw from a different place internally when writing poetry than to writing lyrics. I have been surprised by this, as previously it felt as if they derived from the same foundations. However, I know this can shift and change.

I’ve also been writing music ideas as part of a songwriting challenge, which has helped me to focus creatively as the winter transitions from hibernation.

Reflection on work created so far during the residency, has helped me see where I would like to develop ideas and themes.

30 January 2022

Sometimes I look or listen out for the space and rhythm between things, especially when the days are darker and feel shorter in length.

This week I recorded ambient sounds, searched for textures and layers, and used the moments between seconds to be present.

I experimented with a variety of poetic forms to represent recent feelings, and picked three at random as a starting point for inspiration – a double acrostic, nonet, and triolet. These were composed in response to and in honour of this week’s photographs.

I was also reflecting on the images made last week – it was a process of finding and creating, which I enjoyed. When I look back at the photographs, they could appear to be muted or sombre. This also occurs in my music, where I can find catharsis in minor chords or raw lyrics on the realities of life.

23 January 2022

This week I went looking for elements of fun when visiting Bristol.  I found swings in a cafe with a window view – something unexpected and joyful.

I felt drawn to buildings with unusual shapes, or layers found in the cityscape.  I was intrigued by the visual history of reflected surfaces, in contrast with wood and stone, which have their own narrative.

I seem to be developing an interest in night photography.  I find it meditative to walk when tones and textures have alternative qualities.  Linear diagonals also made an appearance.

I have also enjoyed seeing the dynamics and layers – the view itself becomes an art palette.

My practice has also recently included obstructed or hidden elements.  I have been wondering what atmospheres would inhabit these spaces – the more layers there are, the more fictional (or real), they could become.  I would like to create sound pieces inspired by these, so they can coexist.

I recognise that for me, focus can appear when images are more abstracted.

16 January 2022

I remember sitting on a swing we constructed when younger. It was situated at the bottom of the garden, between two apple trees.

Around September time I think about the year ahead, and identify a word I would like to use as a form of inspiration during this time. I either set aside time to think about what the word may be, or it may come and find me. The word ‘play’ came into my mind as autumn appeared.

I therefore decided to explore this as a theme. The investigation of light last week was also part of this. I started by writing a list of activities which have brought enjoyment at different life stages. As I wrote this, I kept thinking about the variety of swings I was taken to in childhood. I wondered how I would feel visiting a playground now as an adult? Would the scale of the swings feel different? Would I find my own momentum?

I went out on a photo walk to a nearby playground. As it gets dark earlier in London at present, it looked like night by the time I arrived. The play area was also being refurbished. This made me think about fun and enjoyment in adulthood, how this can be self-made, experienced with barriers, or hidden. Also, how the act of play can be a form of maintenance or healing.

As part of this theme, I also wanted to create a new routine prior to creating. This will be an organic process, however at present it consists of an assortment of the following:

Mindfulness meditation
Find a guided visualisation for creativity
Cultivate gratitude
Light a candle
Burn incense
Collate materials
Make a tea or coffee
Fill a water bottle
Put on a radio show or playlist
Decide on the duration for focused activity
Set a timer
Look at where I ended at the last creativity session
Identify a rewarding activity to undertake afterwards
Finish (wherever I am at)
Review work made
Revisit gratitude
Undertake reward

Making lists has always brought me much comfort.

09 January 2022

I am looking forward to the journey of this @HOME RESIDENCY over the next six months. 

This week, I have been drawn to capturing various light sources due to the time of year.  For me, light can bring comfort in the darker months here in London.  I am interested in the abstract shapes which can develop over time, and the emotions these may instil.  I find light can be enriching as well as mysterious, and would like to investigate this interplay.  From natural to artificial, or text-based illuminations, I want to see what I can discover as a basis for photo, video, and sound-based works.