DYCP Application Support – Lawrence Gill (Automated Acoustics)

Automated Acoustics (Lawrence Gill) is an experimental music artist who sounds a bit like Tom Waits meets Aphex Twin, remixed by Hans Zimmer.

I have made music my whole life both as a solo producer, and collaborating with others, releasing a handful of critically-acclaimed records that remained in the underground.

Then artist releases stopped to focus on other music commitments working as a mastering engineer and sync agent.

AA also works as a mastering engineer for Fat As Funk Mastering

For the last few years I have been working partly as a media composer, producing epic music for agencies including Pusher Music & Score A Score in Los Angeles, Alternative Reality Music & Lift Music in the UK. I have landed sync placements in the Hollywood trailers for Alien: Covenant, Logan and Antlers, as well as scoring a Sprite advert. I feel I am at the top of my production game, as they say.

But I haven’t released any music to the public since 2011. Now I have the urge to go back out there as an artist and do something really way-out, memorable and beautiful. I plan on releasing lots more records, but I have something much more ambitious which will refine my current work and define my future.

My proposal will bring pleasure to many in both virtual and physical experiences, and be an interactive sound-art physical installation in its own right too, ready to bring a new sound experience to museums and galleries around the country.

Press reviews

Automated Acoustics previous album release “Love To The Dedicated Listener” from 2007 received favourable press quotes including:

“Something completely new & organically fresh – Automated Acoustics – a one man band whose love & relentless dream state productions will make you gush in their shimmering splendour.”  – Clash Magazine – Feature (print)

“Gill himself plays all the instruments & performs all vocals in this accomplished piece of music… This is Gill’s sound…   An enormously impressive debut”  –  Bearded Magazine review (print)

“His debut showcases a weird but often wonderful vision” – DJ Magazine review (print)“

“Gill (Automated Acoustics) is clearly addicted to making music with a fervour that very few artists could hope to match” Clash magazine Feature (print)

“Stands up to line by line attention at musical level…It’s music to listen to, to dedicate some time to…It’s complex, irrational, moody & funky. I like it.”Whisperin’ & Hollerin’ Magazine review (web)

In With The New – 2021 And Beyond

I would like to pitch you an ambitious project to build upon my previous work in a big way. An exploration in interactive invisible forces, sound art and music, presented in a physical installation which can be enjoyed in a museum or gallery exhibition.

Inbetween exhibiting it can be re-used in my studio forever, and will be a constant source of inspiration and infinite sounds. I have a way of releasing its unique sonic characteristics as a plug-in, so music producers around the world can try the unique tones on their own music.

I would like to explain my composition process further and show you some of my work, and then tie it all together in the proposal please.

My new Automated Acoustics sound is honed, trimmed and polished. Galvanised and focused. Epic trailer music with a unique aesthetic.

“Built From Memories” is my first artist release in 9 years. An ambitious electronic, orchestral and experimental music hybrid, coming out in Jan 2021 (this new release in not part of my application by the way).

It’s the first collection of my trailer work. Apart from my agency Pusher, the trailer industry and a couple of friends, you are the first to hear it. I really hope you like it!

How is it all built from memories?

The title “Built From Memories” reflects that every track I have ever made is somehow blended with a snapshot of life recorded from around the world – a memory.

Since college days I have been a menace with a portable recorder. The recording quality has improved, by my raw energy for collecting sounds from everywhere has not diminished.

I’ve sampled insane street preachers in L.A., tree frogs in the Carribean, industrial work inside the Sagrada Familia Barcelona, the London Underground grinding away and carried a whole drumkit 1 drum at a time down an embankment to record drums in an abandoned train tunnel age 17.

I’ve sampled hundreds of machines, animals, locations, echoes, humans, events, my own modified instruments, life in general is captured, distorted and reflected subtly in my music.

The process is its own reward. My music creation is an outlet to soothe the soul, and bring light to the dark. I considered naming this new release “Recording Therapy Works”.

Huge found-sounds from Scrapyard Recording sessions collide with a live micro-orchestra of cello, violin and double-bass. Blended with savage analog synths and emotional vocals. Epic battle music for a scene in your head. Self-released on my own imprint Alternative Blueprint records in January 2021.

A few original found-sounds you’ll find buried deep within Built From Memories:

  • My teeth being drilled at the dentist
  • Big drums recorded in a church
  • Many manipulations of metal from Scrapyard Recordings and other sampling advetures
  • Bespoke moving water instrument lovingly prepared and sampled
  • Empty oil tank mic’d up and recorded from within to create a pad
  • The London Underground train – tonnes of metal grinding together
  • Much more random stuff!

View “Built From Memories” videos:

“Swept Away” is my homage to 70’s Spy music, with a mental modern edge. An intense cinematic music epic in under 3 minutes. If you’re curious what instrumentation was used you can see here.

“Barebow Rebellion” has a meditative intro using layered ceremonial gongs, then drops to a fat gnarly bass drop at 1:00. Builds into an emotional wild piece with cello, violin and vocals from an older opera singer. Epic battle music with a regal vibe.

“Ghosting Again” is an exploration in space and distortion. It uses the Scrapyard sounds again, along with distorted piano through a guitar amp, dirty cello, and layered gongs melded with vocals to create an ambient wash. Epic dark music / fantasy music.

“Battle Of The Gods (Exotic Mix)” is epic battle music for a surreal desert world in my head. This trippy music uses an Egyptian Snake Flute, Suling, the church drums, cello drone, and wild vocals. I directed the singer to get down on her knees and imagine she was about to be executed, and to sing to save her life – she got really into it.

The DYCP Proposal – Music, Magnetism and Memories.

The project in a nutshell is to create a new body of musical works involving my invention of a magnetic resonance instrument/audio modifier device, combined with a modified, modernised plate reverb.

This contraption will play traditional and rare “forgotten” instruments, which I will record and make into music to be further treated by the resonator devices, and re-sampled to make variations on the themes.

This will produce a large body of interesting musical works that could then be released, remixed, performed live, licensed into film, trailers and advertising, and would probably lead to new commissions.

The project will also produce a unique plug-in sound modifier, that musicians worldwide could use in their own compositions at home.

Finally the end result will be a leviathan, imposing, beautiful, frightening interactive sound-art installation exploring magnetism and music which could be enjoyed in museums and galleries for many years.

The resulting suite of music will be modern hybrid orchestral-electronic and sound design/sound art. It will use found sounds recorded around the world and locally in the South-West, with a theme of connecting the world through found-sound and manipulating metal with magnetic forces to create and change the audio.

I plan to hire traditional orchestral musicians from local Heritage music site Halsway Manor (I got married there & know the manager).

The musicians will be paid upfront for their time and hired on a work-for-hire basis so I own the performances. I will be doing the composing, so the musicians will be purely session players.

I would like to use many “lost” traditional folk instruments to create a unique, other-worldly cinematic collection of music using long-forgotten instruments updated into the most modern of pieces.

I will use my magnetic resonator to stimulate the performers instruments while they do the fingerwork for a unique sound. I will record and film it all.

Each musical piece will be a 3-part work with a clear narrative journey, in the same style as my trailer music work. Each track will then have at least 2 remixes – an ambient mix repurposed from the delicate intro, and a different rhythm-based remix to bring more focus on different aspects of the original pieces, and make them connect with a wider demographic.

There will also be an accompanying collection of sound art & sound design made from the sessions.

The work will then be released to the public along with a video of the Resonator device construction, subsequent recording and music production process, some of which will be filmed in 360 VR.

A collection of digital convolution files will be created from the resonator instrument – files that “capture” the sound-changing properties of the device, and can be loaded up in music production software, thus allowing musicians all over the world to use it as a unique effect in their own music.

It’s the sort of project that could be set up as an interactive installation in a museum with musical stems from the project playable & able to be manipulated by visitors.

It’s a sonic and physical exploration of marrying the old and the new. Metal and ethereal. Electronica with ancient traditional instruments. A beautiful jigsaw of oil and water. Magnetism is all around us, timeless, invisible but powerful. Music is too. My plan of integrating traditional British folk instruments and playing them using a newly invented method, to make a futuristic avant-garde collection of sound-art, musical pieces and remixes from them.

Part of this plan is the construction of a 2 part sound design chamber, using magnetism and metal in different ways to create and manipulate sound.

The small resonator is what makes the initial magic happen, and will drive the traditional instruments to be further manipulated. I have built a working prototype of this before which you can hear in action on the track “Devil In Your Eyes” rattling a snare drum in a crazy fashion at the end.

Hear my prototype resonator 1 at the end of this track.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and with a more powerful device I could make most metal sing. It uses electromagnetism, but produces sound in a different way to a speaker driver, and as far as I know is a new thing.

This is the working prototype. I need to make it more powerful, and also make one that doesn’t look like it was sellotaped together in my kitchen in a haphazard fashion! The principle is sound though, and it’s ace.

Electromagnetic resonator on Autoharp sounds creepy

The large resonator I want to build will be a bit like the old fashioned plate reverbs as used in old studios. Indeed, it will have all the usual plate reverb features, but with some unique sound-bending enhancements and the facility to use the small resonator on it directly too, taking it far beyond the realms of traditional plate reverb.

I plan to build in some “thumpers” and “sound-benders” kind of like levers to flex the metal. This will need tinkering with, but will be an awesome addition to the device.

Also a couple of tuned “twangers” (name needs work) like a giant Mbira instrument key – to flick and add another resonant set of tones. I have used the Mbira extensively in my previous releases. Using a set of different springs, metal rods etc that can be pulled and released to add new dimansions to sounds being run though it, or generate their own unique tones solo.

In my design the electromagnetic resonator energy works at a much more intense level than seen before, and the plate is able to be dampened & flexed to change the sound. The resonator can be used on suitable bowls filled with water which can be swilled around to change the sound.

This goes well with my previous musical metal experiments (metal the material, not the musical genre!). I have recorded twice in a scrapyard, and had the guy operating the claw at my bidding smashing cars together for me as I recorded it, he also swung a 1.5 tonne metal crusher into a gigantic steel bin used to dispose of crushed cars! I have used these metal sounds a lot, and metallic sounds have become part of my musical aesthetic.

This experience will be transformative for me. I will use the resonators throughout my life, and it will help define and refine my sound further. The devices will never become stale, as by their nature they reflect what I put in. The forward-thinking avantgarde nature of the project will also cement me as a known experimental composer and lead to new comissions, placements and work. I hope the resonators will be enjoyed by many in museums and galleries for a long time too.

This project combines my long-running artistic use of found sound, metallic tones, home-made instruments and obscure real instruments in one project, and creates n experience and pieces that can be enjoyed and inspire others worldwide.

Thankyou so much for your consideration. I hope I can make this dream come true and create some timeless, unique art for you.

Thanks & best wishes,

Lawrence Gill.

In Studio A of Capitol Records, Los Angeles as part of the BPI Sync Mission.