Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bruised sleep

I tried something totally different for my YouTube channel. I took a prosepoem that I wrote years and years ago, and made some experimental ASMR with it. 

 If you like the audio, then you can download it here for free: ASMR Andy - Bruised Sleep


Homemade healthy bars


I've recently discovered that I love chocolate Nakd bars, but at £1 each they're a little expensive to eat every day. I looked at the ingredients on the back of the wrapper and saw how easy it would be to make my own.

Here's what I did.

Makes 18 small bars (approximately 33g each, and approximately 130 calories)

You will need:
200g dates
100g cashews
75g raisins
2 tblsp cocoa powder

Pop everything into a blender, and pulse until it all comes together (you may need to add a teaspoon of apple juice or water to get it to the right consistency - the right consistency is like playdough!)

Line a square cake tin with cling wrap, smoosh the mixture into the tin, cover with more cling wrap, and press down so it is in an even layer. Pop in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, then remove the cling wrap and turn on to a chopping board. It should be big enough to cut into 18 equal pieces that you should then wrap in squares of baking parchment.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

ASMR - Digital clouds

I made a new video! This one is a bit different: I recorded the visuals, then stripped out that audio, then using my lovely Zoom H2n mic, I recorded a variety of crinkly, tapping, and crumpling noises to add on top.

Hope you like it.

Diolch,
Andy x

Monday, 30 June 2014

ASMR Andy

I've only gone and made a YouTube channel! It's called ASMR Andy, and so far I have two videos on there. Please have a look, and tell me what you think.

Diolch,
Andy x


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ice cream loaf


I saw this online and had to try it. It's really easy, all you need is:

1 pint of ice cream (that's been left out of the freezer to melt)
210g of self raising flour

That's it! Mix them together and pour into a lined loaf tin, and bake at gas mark 4 / 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.

It's not bad, maybe a bit expensive - but definitely give it a go! :) I used Ben & Jerry's Phish Food, and I also threw in some chocolate chips.




Tuesday, 10 June 2014

ASMR

ASMR is an acronym for autonomous sensory meridian response. It's something I've experienced all my life, but only found out this week that it has a name. I've struggled previously to explain what it feels like, and when it happens. I've always used the terms "tingle in my head" when hearing a "chocolate voice". Someone with a nice, soft voice, and when they speak, it makes my brain tingle. Yes, I realise how weird I sound!

Though it is not a medically proven phenomenon, there are plenty of people who experience it, and the similarities as so similar as to show that it is actually a real thing. Here's the Wikipedia entry.

My triggers, as I have learned they're called, are soft-speaking, whispering, paper folding noises, and close-ear speaking. Turns out that accents are triggers for me too - specifically Japanese, Australian, German and Indian accents! There are a few videos I have watched, while trying to learn things, eg Blender, origami, cooking or whatever that made me tingle; I thought I'd post them here to see if they work on anyone else.





Here's a podcast of Alan Lee (one of the conceptual artists who worked on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films), please ignore the first voice, Alan starts speaking at about 5 minutes). Here is the podcast.

Since I started researching ASMR, I discovered so many videos on youtube, made specifically for ASMRers. Here are a few of my favourites:


This is Ally, apart from making really good ASMR videos, she's also really nice and friendly!




So anyway, just wanted to write about ASMR, as I now know it's not just me who experiences it! I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences too.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A night on bald mountain


I blogged about this in 2010, but then I forgot all about it! I wasn't on Soundcloud then either, so didn't have anywhere to host my sound experiments. Here's the original blog post:

Night on Bald Mountain is a fantasy for orchestra that was composed by Modest Mussorgsky; and based on a tone poem of his. The original tone poem was called St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain and had a Witches' Sabbath as its theme. He completed it on June the 23rd 1867; on St. John's Eve, and exactly a hundred and ten years before I was born. I've always been drawn to this piece of music, ever since I saw Disney's Fantasia when I was little. Now that I know more about its evolution and history, I love it even more.
I thought it was about time that Fflwcs had a go at making a version of Bald Mountain. I use all the original score, but have tried to emphasise the otherworldliness of the piece, and also the downright scariness of it. Wales has so many beautiful mountains, and lots of my childhood was spent climbing them, so I think that has inspired me and my love of this Mussorgsky work. There is a legend in Wales: if you sleep on the summit of Cader Idris, when you wake up you'll either be mad, or a poet. My Mam used to joke that if I slept up there I'd wake up exactly the same.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cinnamon drizzle cake


You will need: 

For the loaf
Loaf tin (and liner) 
150g caster sugar 
150g butter (or good margarine) 
3 large free range eggs 
2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped out (or table spoon of vanilla paste) 
150g self raising flour 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 

For the icing
30g icing sugar
good shake of cinnamon (about 1 level teaspoon)
table spoon or two of water (or lemon or orange juice)

Method:
Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees)
Cream the sugar and butter
Beat in the eggs and vanilla
Sift in the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and fold gently in
Spoon into tin (greased and lined with baking parchment, if not using a liner)
Bake for 45-55 minutes - it's ready when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
Leave in the tin, on a cooling rack to cool

While still warm, poke a skewer a good few times all over the cake
Make up the icing by sifting the icing sugar and mixing everything together
Spoon over the cooling cake and leave to set



Monday, 7 April 2014

Fingerless gloves *free pattern*



You will need 

One ball of Sirdar Crofter DK, or 110m (120m, 145m) of DK yarn 
3.5mm needles 
4.5mm needles 
2 stitch markers 
Needle for seaming 

Sizes S, M, L 


Using 3.5mm needles CO 36 (40, 44) sts using cable CO. 
Rows 1-8: k2, p2 rib 
Row 9: change to 4.5mm needles, k33 (37, 41) kf&b, k2 [37, 41, 45 sts] 
Row 10: p Row 11-14: knit one row; purl one row; knit one row; purl one row 
Row 15: k17 (19, 21), m1r, k3, m1l, k to end [39, 43, 47 sts] 
Row 16: p 
Row 17: k17 (19, 21), m1r, k5, m1l, k to end [41, 45, 48 sts] 
Row 18: p (for large size gloves, knit an extra row, purl an extra row, continue as for small and medium) 
Row 19: k19 (21, 23) pm, m1r, k3, m1l, pm, k to end [43, 47, 51 sts] 
Row 20: p 
Row 21: k19 (21, 23) slm, m1r, k to marker, m1l, slm, k to end 
Row 22: p 
Repeat rows 21 and 22 until there are 15 sts between each marker, ending with a purl row [53, 57, 61 sts]. 
Row 31: k (remembering to slip markers) 
Row 32: p 
Row 33: k to marker, slm, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p3, slm, k to end 
Row 34: p to marker, slm, k3, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, slm, p to end 
Repeat rows 33 and 34 twice (repeat three times for large size if needed). 
Row 39: k to marker, remove marker, BO in pattern to marker, remove marker, k to end 
Row 40: p18 (20, 22), p2tog, p to end [37, 41, 45 sts] 

Stockinette stitch for 8 (8, 10) rows, ending with a purl row (making sure you p2tog on last row to get back to an even number of sts). 

Change back to 3.5mm needles, k2, p2 rib for 7 rows, BO in pattern. 


Sew the side seam. Wear!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Zombies in a row - EP



After the franticness of my Musical Advent Calendar in December last year, to raise money for Shelter Cymru; I've been doing some musical experimentation. I've made a few tracks and remixes using hann stretch techniques, and some of my selfmade VSTs. Drone, noise, experimental, ambient fuckery.


The tracks feel like they go together, so I made them into this little EP. Free to download, as always.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Day 25 - I'd Do Anything (for Christopher)


Day 25 of my ‪#‎MusicalAdventCalendar‬ to raise money for Shelter Cymru.

Day 25 - the final track! Thanks to all who donated to my Musical Advent Calendar for Shelter Cymru, you have helped make a massive difference. This song isn't strictly a Christmas song, but Oliver is always on at Christmastime and I wantred a song for my wonderful fiancé Chris. It's also now Christmas Day, so Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd!

My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Day 24 - Hallelujah chorus


Day 24 of my ‪#‎MusicalAdventCalendar‬ to raise money for Shelter Cymru.

Today is another bonkers 8-bit bit of loveliness was sponsored by equally bonkers and lovely (and all round darling) Julian Rosser. It's Christmas Eve and I'm on £590, let's see if we can get it a bit higher for this amazing charity - the donation page is open for a few more months, so if you're feeling flush after Christmas, please donate then.

My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help

Monday, 23 December 2013

Day 23 - Some children see him (Rainbow version)


Day 23 of my ‪#‎MusicalAdventCalendar‬ to raise money for Shelter Cymru.

Today is a rather special one. I collaborated with my good friend Kitt of Jesus in Love, to make a new inclusive, queer version of this lovely song. Extra special thanks to Kitt, Audrey and Three-Turtle Man for sending me such excellent ideas, music and love all the way from LA. This was probably the hardest of all the tracks to do, but I love how it turned out.

Kitt will also be promoting this on her blog, and she has kindly allowed me to use her text: 


**
A Rainbow Version of the Christmas carol "Some Children See Him" was released today. It has a new straight/queer stanza added to the standard multiracial lyrics. 

"Some Children See Him" is a delightfully liberating song about how children imagine the baby Jesus looking like them. It has a verse for every race -- so why not a verse for every sexual orientation?

Here are the new lines that I wrote:

Some children see him straight as they Playing like most boys play Some children see him straight as they Straight but not narrow. Some children see him queer or gay Because some kids are born that way Some children see him queer or gay The rainbow child of God.

I even sing on the new track. Our band is called "Kitt and Andy and the Splott Queer Community Singers."

My co-leader Andrew Craig Williams is a queer artist and music maker in Wales. He and many of his queer friends live in an area of Cardiff called Splott. 

http://andrewcraigwilliams.blogspot.com 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splott

Andy often provides queer Christian art for the Jesus in Love Blog. When he asked me to suggest songs for his Musical Advent Calendar, I offered to write some queer lines for "Some Children See Him."

He was immediately enthusiastic and started organizing a group to sing it. I thought he would record everyone singing together in Splott, so I was flabbergasted when he asked, "Is there any way you could record you and Audrey singing?"

I live in Los Angeles, home of the recording industry, so it turned out that there was a way -- with the help of a mystery co-producer behind the scenes in true Hollywood tradition. My life partner Audrey and I are raw amateurs when it comes to singing, so it was rather embarrassing when we got the star treatment at the professional recording studio of a friend, who shall be known here only as Three Turtle Man. But somehow it made sense because it was all for the cause of showing God's unconditional love.

The church has often excluded LGBT people from Christmas festivities, so we all made our best efforts in the spirit of Christ who was born in lowly circumstances to embody God's wildly inclusive love for all.

Andy mixed both our voices into the final version along with heavenly synths, piano, strings, and maybe a bell or two. We are a truly international group, with singers from Wales, England and America.

"Our singers hail from American, Welsh, English, Scottish descent," Andy said. "How's that for multicultural!! A wide range of beliefs too; people from Anglican, Catholic, MCC, pagan, and atheist backgrounds. Wowsers!!"

The Musical Advent Calendar is a fundraiser for Shelter Cymru, a charity for the homeless in Wales. Donations can be made at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/andywills

If you like our Rainbow Version of "Some Children See Him," please consider making a donation at my GoFundMe page for Jesus in Love, a project supporting LGBT spirituality and the arts. http://www.gofundme.com/5mugns

The original lyrics [link] are great, including these words in the final verse: http://www.alfredburtcarols.com/burt/Web%20Pages/This%20Is%20Christmas/Childrensee.htm

The children in each different place will see the baby Jesus' face like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace, and filled with holy light. 

**

My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Day 22 - Ring Out Solstice Bells


Day 22 of my ‪#‎MusicalAdventCalendar‬ to raise money for Shelter Cymru.

Today is a collaboration with my lush friend Jane Oriel - she normally sings the blues, but she turned into a folk mistress just for me! Thank you sweetheart.

My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Day 21 - Last Xmas


Day 21 of my ‪#‎MusicalAdventCalendar‬ to raise money for Shelter Cymru.

Today is a collaboration with lovely Matt Cook (who did most of the work on this one!)

My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help
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