NEWS 1 2 3

Silicon Drum website online
JUNE 20th 2006

It has taken a while coming but I finally get my act together and publish a music website. It covers all my musical output as Silicon Drum, Silver Filter, John Blanchard and more. The DAT archives have been turned into mp3's and much of it is now available for free download.


Listen to Silicon Drum radio (mishmash channel)
(requires flash and will open new window)

Gabon project up and running
APRIL 28th 2006

Recording sessions have finished and the final masters have been sent off for pre-release CD production. Once the details are worked out it will be released in the not too distant future.

Based on over 100 hours of film and audio recordings captured in this equatorial country, the project aims to bring the rich cultural traditions of the Gabonese people to a wider audience. The CD features two discs: one is the pure recordings from the different locations and the other contains new compositions based on the source material. We have tried to protect the integrity of the complex rhythms and voices in the original recordings while bringing them into a new light. Sometimes they took us into new territory altogether.

Featured on the album are Pierre Akendengue, the father of Gabonese music, and his protege Annie-Flore Batchiellilys. Along with the musicians in England, hungarian ethno-musicologist Yvan Lantos, chief protagonist Josh Ponte and the village performers in Gabon, we make up the collective 'People'. We hope to be able and would be privilged to do similar projects in other remote regions where the pressures of progress threaten the culture of the indigenous people.

The project has been funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society in association with the National Geographic and all profits from music sales are going back to projects in Gabon.

CD cover artwork

preview album
(requires flash)

Les Denis
OCTOBER 30th 2005

Took part in the annual sonic melting pot that is 'Les Denis' (pronounced the French way). Each year a studio is hired for 24 hours and a gathering of musicians converge with a blank slate. The ethos is this - all music must be composed during the 24 hours (excluding covers); only one take is allowed; all mixes must be completed within the 24 hours.

A busy day/night ensued with a composition camper van outside, mobile studio in the spare room for electronics and a constant stream of recording in the live room. All in all about 17 tracks were recorded.

Waltzing Denis.mp3
The A team.mp3
Italian Lament.mp3

‘Finnish Song’ covered by Maddy Prior
SEPTEMBER 12th 2005

A first for me - someone has covered one of my compositions. Available from Park Records this album features the glorious voices of Abbie Lathe and Claude Gibson. My fascination with Finnish words has led to a number of recording sessions with Abbie and I hope to have a whole album sung in Finnish finished at some point.

Finnish Song.mp3
(a small section from my original recording)


Trimba premiere at Glastonbury 2005
JUNE 28th 2005

Well it would have done had there not been an almighty storm on the night before it started - we were left a foot in water and with a broken film screen!

A continuing fascination with all things triangular led to the creation of a new show by K-DNK called ‘Trimba’. It features musical bounce juggling in all manner of triangular structures and on a large xylophone. Trimba is set to a back drop of specially created animations and features new music that sounds a bit like a Charleston dancer has stepped into a gypsy shindig featuring a rogue trombonist. Have a listen.

Triangle in Portugal
OCTOBER 10th 2004

My audio-visual piece ‘Triangle’ had its first performance outside the UK in Lisbon, Portugal as part of a fashion show. It involves bouncing juggling balls inside a 10’ sided triangle to rhythmic effect. Depending on what angle and how hard you throw each ball you get different rhythmic building blocks. These can be layered on top of each other whan using three or more balls to give fascinating percussive results. And it looks pretty good too. It took two years intensive practise to develop.

Due to the obvious logistical problems with transporting such a large instrument I ended up making the structure on site. I was up till 5am the night before putting it together.

K-DNK premiere ‘No Exit’
APRIL 28th 2004

Very loosely based on Jean-Paul Satre’s play this performance brought together the company with director Jean-Paul Zaccarini (company F/Z) for the first time. A dark comedy looking at the strained relationships between three people stuck together for eternity, the show was premiered to great acclaim at The Circus Space, London. The music created by Silver Filter enhanced the dark and claustrophobic atmosphere.

Winner of Jerwood Award for Circus Arts

no _exit.wmv
music from show

The Cube
JULY 10th 2003

K-DNK performed in the cube in Pilton this year - a ton of glass and metal on the back of a camouflage hi-ab truck. Perfect for the exemplerary exponents of all things that go boing. Microphones were trained on the flurry of bouncing balls - a bit like watching someone play squash on their own but with seven balls.
(music in promo video by Squarepusher)

NOVEMBER 12th 2002

After a long battle against colon cancer my father died. He had plenty of time to prepare for his funeral and had asked if I would play something of mine. I had something in mind but when the inevitable happened I had to do something new and so wrote a short piece set to the first two lines of the Requiem Mass. I wanted it to have a light, ethereal quality consonant with leaving earthly matter behind while maintaining an underlying strength to provide courage for his journey elsewhere.

A recording of the piece was played at his funeral a week after he died. I am very thankful to the singers, Abbie Lathe, Elizabeth Spencer and Bill Blanchard, for bearing with me and helping me get it done in time.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them



NEWS 1 2 3

download music

John Blanchard creates ambient, classical and soundtrack music under his own name. He also releases reggae and electronic music as Silicon Drum, caustic electronica and music concrete as Silver Filter and world mish-mash with People.

a series of tracks inspired by the film 'Koyaanisqatsi' and the accompanying music by Philip Glass
a series of meditative pieces for the cello and other instruments

music for stage/performance

composer for the new K-DNK show
composed soundtrack for the extraordinary acro-balance duo

contact equilibrium
No Exit
dark and claustrophobic ambiences for the Jerwood award winning theatrical debut of K-DNK
created a soundtrack for the spectacular Bubbleshow for Ford

soundtrack for my own performance with crystal balls

Thames Festival
twice commissioned to write music for the moving floats at the Thames Festival
composer for puppetry group Spectral FX including their ultraviolet show 'Elimentree'

click on images/titles to view Quicktime movies (recommended) and on the .wmv in the bottom right of each section to open a Windows Media Player version


copyright © 2006-7
all rights reserved