So Below is a live performance piece for a chapel or resonant space, with the option of using various instruments. It was first performed in 2019 at the Glasgow University Chapel, supported by Cryptic, and with Maarten Vos on cello.

The setup is for an array of speakers around the space, with the sound moving through the room. It is performed in the dark, or as near-dark as can be achieved, and the focus is on the sound rather than the performance. This recording has been adapted to stereo.

The aim is to tap into a certain atmosphere – an atmosphere that is always present but which we are usually too distracted to notice. There is nothing new in this – all sacred and most traditional music has always followed the same idea. Anonymous audience feedback from the night bears this out – my mum’s one will be in there somewhere but I don’t think any of these are from her….. :

“Completely absorbed. I was swept away in my own story”

“Beautiful, affecting, transporting”

“Profound”

“Excellent, although chairs hurt my back”

It will be available only on Bandcamp.

Cello: Maarten Vos

Equipment: Cello, Voice, Monochord, Symbolic Sound Kyma, Looper

Software: Ableton Live, Madrona Labs Kaivo, Madrona Labs Aalto

Thanks to PRS Foundation for funding

and Cryptic for the support.

Nice review of the ‘So Below’ live show, from earlier this year.

https://www.list.co.uk/article/107783-so-below-alex-smoke-and-maarten-vos/

There will be news on further performances shortly, and am working towards a London show in the not-too-distant (but probably more distant than I think) future.

It’s been a quiet start to the year as far as observable activity is concerned, but behind the scenes it has been full on.

The first work to break ground will be ‘So Below’, a one-off performance with my sometime collaborator Maarten Vos at the Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, supported by the PRS Foundation and Cryptic.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on what to expect but it will be immersive, will incorporate cello, electronics and multi-channel surround, and will take place at night.

Hopefully some of you can make it.

Wed 3rd April, 8pm. Tickets are £10/£7 and available here.