"Some of my first memories involved headphones: listening in the dark to the radio, or books-on-tape, or cassettes of music I had been given, or my own recordings made in secret: fragments of conversations, or a funny voice I was perfecting, or the alien sounds of a radio carrier signal. I was a secret listener. I still am.
Music, sound and words work a strange alchemy in the mind. The world they create is simultaneously physical and cerebral, existing in both the ears and the imagination, in sound waves and brainwaves. This secret sound world, unique to every listener, is where I am happiest; where I love to explore."
Scottish West Highlands based composer, producer, guitarist and writer.
Often working in the intersection between sound art and music, Jamie is known for his ability to bring a sound world vividly to life.
Leaving Fife in the early 90’s, Smith moved to Leicester and, having studied with many leading British experimental musicians, most notably Gavin Bryars, he developed a unique textural approach to the guitar and worked largely on the fringes of free improvisation and experimental rock music, often as part of the cult trio Misterlee.
Since 2011 has co- owned and run St. Mary’s Space in North Argyll, Scotland, with his wife, Charlotte. The studio is a creative hub attracting artists from far and wide, being both a peaceful refuge from an increasingly hectic world and an intensely creative environment dedicated to art and music. From here, Jamie works as composer, producer and mixer, integrating music, spoken word, location recording and sound design to create visceral three dimensional sound worlds with exciting recording artists from Scotland and beyond.
In a varied career Jamie has composed music for theatre, dance, short films, animation, TV and radio and has been privileged to work with many wonderful artists including Knomad Spock, Kathryn Joseph, Mr McFalls chamber, Shuna Scott Sendall, Kelly Macdonald, Akram Khan, Horse McDonald, Rachel Walker, Dorit Chrysler, Dolly Valentine and many more.
The woods surrounding the old church where we live and work are very ancient. They hold their silence like a loaded gun. There is no bucolic pastoral here. Just a voracity, a vital lack of sentimentality. It is a creeping thing. It will subsume us, eventually.
Notes from a Tremulous hand is a psycho-autobiography; a means to explore my relationship with the two most significant preoccupations in my life. It is also an episodic adventure story; a comedy; a tragedy; a mystery. It has a convoluted plot, but the plot is almost irrelevant in the face of the sheer density of allusion, reference and autobiographical detail with which I have populated the text. The listener need not concern themselves with any of this though. The surface of the soundworld is richly ornamental and inviting, like the woods behind the house.
I have used various different kinds of music throughout this project: corporeal music; music the characters have imagined; music I have imagined; music you might imagine; music it is impossible to imagine; verbal descriptions of music; musical descriptions of music; non-musical descriptions of non-music; meta-music; and, of course, 'pata-music*
*more advanced listeners among you will no doubt find many other kinds of music in there too, but you can keep it to yourself.
The work was conceived ambisonically and may loosely fall into what is currently known as ‘Immersive Audio’. This is not a term with which I have much truck, being partly too vague and partly marketing speak, and I mention this only as a point of interest to the audio curious. Certainly, it shouldn’t be on your mind when listening (if it is, you’re probably not ‘immersed’). And I would hope that if you do find yourself 'lost in sound', it is because you have used your ears and engaged your imagination.
~ AN INCOMPLETE CATALOGUE OF PLAGIARISMS ~
~ Nicholas Culpeper ~ The Stooges ~ Iannis Xenakis ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Alfred Jarry~ John Evelyn ~ Misterlee ~ John Burnside ~ Mark Linkous ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Andrew Hugill ~ Björk Guðmundsdóttir ~ Robert Bridges ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ Ernest Hemingway ~ Angela Carter ~ Benjamin Britten ~ Po ~ Alasdair Gray ~ Jean Sibelius ~ Franz Kafka ~ Jerry Goldsmith ~ Gavin Bryars ~ H.G. Wells ~ Charles Ives ~ Monica Heldal ~ Henry David Thoreau ~ William Shakespeare ~ Conlon Nancarrow ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~ John Adams ~ The Chemical Brothers ~ Tōru Takemitsu ~ Mica Levi ~ Dylan Thomas ~ Vivian Stanshall ~ Harry Partch ~ Percy Grainger ~